Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hugged By The Mayor

Before I ascend to my pulpit please allow me to make it very clear that I AM A REGISTERED REPUBLICAN! When you live and function in a city, especially if you intend to write about it, being hugged by the Mayor is a great advantage. I have been hugged by more than one mayor but two hugs are the most important. Do you feel like you know Rudy Giuliani? Since 9/11, I do. Maybe I could take on a New York blog (bigger potential audience) if Rudy hugged me. During that time it seemed like he was everywhere. I was impressed with him before he became Mayor, while Mayor and after the fact. We should declare him Mayor of America and permanent adviser to the President. Every mayor in America should take notes! I have an affection for Rudy because that is the name of someone dear to me.

Before I get started on this rant let me make it very clear, not only am I a registered Republican but that I love Martha. (Note to Martha: Please don't take this personally, I am simple trying to make an important point and have a little fun. I know how very easily you are offended. Just remember that I love you in spite of both of our imperfections. Please hug me next time you see me.) You do know the Martha I am talking about, don't you? I am or was acquainted with many mayors including those who have or are serving in Winston-Salem, Clemmons, Kernersville, oh yeah Walkertown. There are probably some others but these are all my brain can get around right now. Just how many mayors can you possible consider in one setting?

OK, I think I got a little off track. The point is that being hugged by a Mayor is a good thing. It gives you power, attention and maybe acceptance as a respected member of your community. God knows, after everyone discovers who is writing this blog, I may need all of the respect I can find. The mayors may not hug me then!

For most of our history you did not become mayor of this city unless you were blessed by the corporate powers as they smoked there cigars cigarettes in the proverbial back rooms of power. Then confusion came when the people managed to elect a mayor from their own neighborhoods. 

Mayor, Martha Wood
As mayor, Martha and I had the most involvement together from the time she was an Alderman (the old name) through her term as Mayor. Our relationship continues into her current position in life. (Note to Martha: You look marvelous in this official portrait.) I would not call us close for at our first confrontation fire was flying from her eyes. As I recall, I told her to sit down, get out of my face and stop calling me a liar. How is that for beginning a long term relationship? The problem was that Martha's perception of me was tainted by lack of experience. I was actually the exact polar opposite of her perception of me and I knew it. No matter how hard I tried I was not convincing her otherwise. Fascinatingly her perception changed over the years and I honestly am convinced, not only that she thinks I changed, but that she is convinced that she had a part in changing me.

Time allowed Martha to come to terms with my small contributions to this community and she was pleased with them. She couldn't not like me any longer. In my position in this community Martha could be a problem. Amazingly, like most politicians, Martha was an artist at assuming credit for the work of others. She was mayor therefore anything you achieved, no matter how little her involvement, on behalf of the community must be to her credit. Our position on Martha could be explained in a comment made to me by a well positioned political operative at that time we were seeking a replacement. "The problem with Martha is that she is too short, feminine, aggressive, hostile, assuming, wears a skirt and, oh yes, controversial. What we need is a male in a nice suit. We can work around him. She is a roadblock."

Man, did we screw up on that one. I refuse to even grace this page with a picture! Why? We were convinced he had to be a Republican. Martha was our first, and mabe our last, female mayor for a while. She will be the reason why. I am sure to her that is a horrendous thought. Martha tired to run this city like she influenced her neighborhood. We are not a neighborhood we are a conglomeration of many very different neighborhoods all with their own ideas of what the whole should be. An effective mayor must be able to not only please the neighborhoods but constantlty push what is best for the whole no matter how controversial the cause might be.

Mayor, Allen Joins
Given our next opportunity I must gloat that we got it right, beyond our wildest imaginations, in Allen Joins. I recall, with pleasure, when Allen was running for his first term saying to him "Allen you will be the next mayor of Winston-Salem because the Republicans will make you mayor. Perform well and you can remain mayor for as long as you care to remain in play." Proof, name one person who can successfully oppose him! Why is that? He is not only a suit, but he is much, much more. He is the whole package wrapped in a ribbon of professional bearing. I fondly refer to our Democrat mayor as the Republican's choice. The question is not, if he can continue, but how long he will be willing to continue. For one I hope it is a very long time. How long have I been involved with Allen? How long has he been here? Oh, about that hug. No Allen has never physically hugged me. There have been a great deal of firm handshakes. However, every time I see him on the street, in a parade, at a restaurant or in a meeting, its the way he looks my way and breathes my name that feels like a hug to me. Yes, being hugged by a mayor is a good thing. Having his or her cell phone number in your pocket doesn't hurt either. It's a new day in Salem.

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