5-7-2006 Good people's good enough for me

Sorry I missed the big meeting of the NEPA blogging minds yesterday, but we had us a bit of a personalized brush fire to put out. What are kids for, if not starting brush fires, right?

You know, in all the years we’ve been holed up here at the smallish adobe, not a single candidate for elected office has ever banged on the door, shaken my hand and then told me how they were going to cure all that ails modern society, and put a few free Cds in my pot. Tom Leighton dropped by when he was squaring off against Tom McGroarty, but as always, I was at work. Hey, I got other people’s kids to feed.

I once watched Christine Katsock go door-to-door on this street, but I was not paid a visit by her. Instead, some homemade-looking election materials were neatly stuffed behind my mailbox. Why was I skipped? Because she knew she’d be wasting her time and breath by approaching me? Smart girl. If so, she was absolutely correct. But still, I thought it’d be interesting to bump heads for a couple of minutes. Oh well.

During the latter stages of the run-up to the May ‘03 primaries, Tom McGroarty went up and down our street gently placing biodegradable bags coupled with his reelection letters on porch after porch. I still have the literature. I pull it out and read it now and then when I’m in need of a good laugh. And when he filed past our place, he smacked his reelection package off of the screen door so completely hard, I jumped to my feet while uttering something barely intelligible about delivering to him the overdue beating he so obviously needed. Sadly, wifey latched onto my shirt from behind with both hands as I was on my way out the door.


I believe?

He was a walking, talking example of a vertically-challenged know-it-all blabbermouth who got through both junior and senior high school without having some frickin’ manners tattooed all over his puny self. They (whoever they are) keep telling us that violence is never a suitable answer to our various and sundry problems, but there’s definitely something to be said for putting certain overbearing people in their place by way of a straight right hand. And in these respects, the Coughlin class of ‘78 failed us miserably.

Someone once said via the e-mail inbox that I was the man who blogged the mayor of Wilkes-Barre out of office. Truth be told, I came this effing close to punching roughly one-quarter of the idiocy out of the mayor of Wilkes-Barre.

If only.

Being our woefully inadequate, “Command 100,” commander-in-chief at the time, I’m absolutely sure all three of the police officers on duty at the time would have rushed to the scene and taken me into custody. But, once I was processed at police headquarters and suchlike, it would have cost the city thousands of dollars in overtime pay for the police officers that would have been required for the purposes of crowd control when something approximating three-quarters of the non-apathetic population of Wilkes-Barre rushed to the scene to pay my bail.

Ah…if only.

Now that the self-induced ache hovering directly behind my eyes is easing up just a bit, I remember Shirley Vitanovec (spelling?) dropping by here when she was nearing the end of her first term on council and some glad-handing was obviously necessary on her part if she was going to serve a second term.

I was never completely sure if I was getting the spelling of her name correct, so there finally came a point when I stopped trying altogether. If I felt the need to make reference to her, it came out Vita-super-nova. Or Vita-chevy-nova. Oh, and the occasional Vita-vita-vegimen, an obvious shout out to Lucille Ball. Now, with all of that fun on my part coming at her expense, you’d likely figure she’d slap my face rather then shaking my hand.

Luckily for me, a city fireman had intervened many weeks before and explained to her that, as a small boy, I had hit my head off of my step-father’s fist a couple of dozen times too many and really meant no disrespect at all. Needless to say, those brave firefighters of ours are always looking out for our safety.

Citizens Against Crime

On a somewhat related side note, I must reiterate that nothing that I endeavor to do or say is completely my fault. I am the surviving victim of three, count ’em…three broken homes, and forever wallowing in my abject victim-hood should suffice in shielding me from criticism or close scrutiny for the remainder of my oft-troubled days. In effect, I have an excuse. What the heck? It works for darn near everybody else.

Then again, I’m a white boy.

Pile on real savage like. Have at it. Knock yourselves out. Let it rip!

White people suck!!!

Wait a second. I did have a point, but it escapes me at this very moment. Oh, yeah. The door-to-door political thing.

Any-farging-who, I keep reading about how all of these all-encompassing and ultra-compassionate political hopefuls are out there somewhere knocking on doors and getting to know the immediate concerns of the common folk, but, for the most part, I have yet to meet them. If they’re supposedly pounding the pavement so completely, how come they never pound their way to my front door? I may come across as an unapproachable, and overly acerbic asshole on the internet, but I am not, nor have I ever been prone to biting the heads off of prospective candidates. Well, that is, unless they get to trying to shatter the glass in my front door with their hastily-prepared campaign materials turned high-velocity projectiles.

No, I’ll likely not vote for any, ahem, “financial” disciples of L. Ron Hubbard. No, I am not real excited about those, err...him, who single-handedly enabled the majority of Tom McGroarty’s ultimately devastating financial chicanery while “serving” as the chairman of the now financially insolvent and oft-sued redevelopment authority. But, it’d be perfectly fine by me if he dropped on by and tried to convince me not only that my thinking processes are not what they need to be, but also why he alone can deliver to Wilkes-Barre that which it needs the most.

I keep hearing that one of the candidates opting for Kevin Blaum’s soon-to-be vacated seat in Harrisburg should receive my vote based on the “fact” that he would be the candidate most likely to agree with Tom Leighton’s vision of a future Wilkes-Barre. Well, that’s really nifty and all, but what about that completely needless and unfortunate incident at the polls when people showed up hoping to vote and a hockey brawl just about broke out?

He could bang on the door and try to convince me that that upsetting incident was the one-time exception rather than the rule that guides his questionable behavior, but, near as I can tell, he hasn’t been banging on any doors on this street.

Then we’ve got Tom McGroarty’s former right-hand man, which, just guilt-by-association like, should in itself be the ultimate kiss of death for any registered voter not typically given to huffing corrosive chemicals on most days. Unlike the other candidates, this guy would be in for quite the verbal spat if he made the glaring mistake of interrupting any of my typically prolonged bouts of consuming fermented weeds and whatnot.

His candidacy is a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation seminar in the making.

As I have previously stated, with this obviously denuded and less than inspiring field of candidates for the offering, the always hopeful Christine Katsock actually has a decent shot at getting herself elected to something or other. Whatever works. As far as I’m concerned, she’s as book smart as she is grossly short on practical experience, but, as the perpetually under-funded outsider on steroids, she fully understands the need to get out there, bang on doors and talk shop with us common silly folk.

She hasn’t presented herself on my front porch as of yet, but I imagine she will make her way up my street and down the other side soon enough. While some folks rely totally on glitzy and expensive advertising campaigns to get themselves elected, she just keeps on biding her time and pressing the flesh. And it is for that reason alone that I believe her message, whatever it may transmute into being, will one day--someday--resonate with the hardscrabble populace and culminate in her gravitating to one political office or another.

While I would probably never vote for her, I would enjoy listening to what she has to say. Oh, and I’d have to congratulate her for her dogged determination in a decidedly one-party county known more for failures rather than successes passing as the, I’m left to assume…acceptable status quo. She’s a persistent Republican in Luzerne County, which means she has more moxie than a group of bomb-vest laden Taliban visiting the site of the former World Trade Center.

Very late yesterday afternoon, I was visited by Eddie Day. I know his real name is Ed Pashinski, but the little kid in me missing those glorious summers spent at Sandy Beach will forever see him as Eddie Day of “Eddie Day and The Nighttimers” fame. Whatever you do, don’t get me started again about all of that. No matter what exotic locale my step-dad had penciled in on his oft-full summer vacation calendars, I always made the trek from Derby, Connecticut to good ole’ Harveys Lake and spent my summers roaming around Sandy Beach or somewhere thereabouts.

Drop-dead awesome Turtles impersonations aside, just a few years after Harveys Lake became a de-facto gated community and Sandy Beach was sadly relegated to the dust bin of local, but fabled history, I started working with Ed’s younger brother and was exposed to both Ed and his extended family for the next 12-plus years. While I definitely had my differences with Ed’s co-worker and higher-up of a brother from time to time mostly due to my immature tendencies and whatnot, I always liked being around Ed Pashinski, his wife and his kids. In my mind, at least, at that time, he was what I could never aspire to be--a genuine class act.

Now, I know he was not only a teacher, but a union honcho, to boot. So, in my mind, that clearly means he’s sure to have his fair share of detractors, if not, outright enemies. So be it. Even though he interrupted my important drinking event yesterday afternoon, having him standing there before me reconfirmed the fact that I know him to be a quality person motivated by good intentions. He may not have the most impressive platform at this point, and he might find himself being outspent by other higher profile candidates vying for the same position that he is, but…my instincts are what they are and I will be voting for him when we finally get to play with our newfangled electronic voting machines.

There was a minute part of me that was hesitantly leaning towards voting for another candidate, but Ed bothered to press the flesh and he all but forced me to remember that he’s a quality person. He’s got my vote. You can e-mail me and spark all sorts of further debate, but I seriously doubt that it’ll resonate much with me. Much like Mayor Tom Leighton before him, I would prefer to vote for the people who have their hearts in the right place.

And in my mind, Ed Pashinski has his heart in the right place.

Let’s vote!

Let‘s rock!!!

From the e-mail inbox Good afternoon, Enjoyed the theatre tour, can't wait. Might be interested in one of the apartments if not too pricey.

By the way, my Mac also jumps into I Tunes when I visit your site. I thought I was losing my mind.

I don’t know what to tell anyone about the embedded music except to say that I’ll cool it until I figure out just what the heck is going on. But, be warned. You’re going to have to tolerate the Beach Boys medley for the foreseeable future. Believe it or not, that music is my way of delivering an “exclusive” without even typing a single word.

The 4th of July is going to be one humdinger of a celebration.

I can’t wait.

Get this. Since I had zero grandrodents to drag about behind me today, wifey and I enjoyed a somewhat lengthy bikeabout together. Albeit, a bikeabout at a very, very relaxed pace. No real biggie. I realize I can wear out just about everyone I encounter, so I’ll be patient and make like I’m content with feeling as if I’m stuck in the mud for the time being. I’ll get her into shape. She deserves more of my time and attention now that the grandkids won’t be around near as much as I’d like them to be. And, you know what? I’m good with that.

Now…if I could only talk her into running through the fountain once they fire it up.

I’m curious. What was the title of the last movie you watched in downtown Wilkes-Barre?

After some deliberation, wifey and I decided that The Sentinel was the very last of our movie-going exploits as far as downtown Wilkes-Barre is concerned.