The Perils of Louella:
Chapter 186: Louella Puts
Hat in Ring|
LOUELLAs father wiped the sheen from his forehead. Whew! If it aint hot!
Sure is! agreed Louella, joining him on the marble stoop of the familys rowhouse overlooking Patterson Park. She handed him his beer and he popped the top and guzzled.
Still want to be the Mayor?
Well, I guess so, but you know, I dont know if I can handle it. I mean, I dont have the contacts and all. You have to know how to pull strings, know where the bodies are buried.
Her father laughed until he wheezed. Got that right! I mean, who you got could donate to your campaign? The papers wont take you seriously cause you dont have the money.
But thats sort of why I thought Id run this time, Dad! With all the other people running I could win by accident, even if I dont have much money!
Yep! Thats how that there Hitler got in, as I recall.
But anyway, when I was down there to register, at the last minute I almost changed my mind. I almost didnt do it. And then I thought about all those other people running and I figured, why not?
Her father shifted a little away from her. May I ask what name you used?
Wow! Sometimes I forget he can talk right when he wants to! marveled Louella. Well, I thought about that too. I mean, its a lot easier for people to say Eleanor Preston than Louella Pryzbylewski, dont you think?
Well, thats your name, aint it? You dont want to be ashamed of your name! Remember that fella Gary Hart? He caught it good when they found out hed made his name shorter! People dont like that. Makes you look shifty somehow.
Well, Ive got to admit it was tempting to go with Preston. Its got a solid sound to it, and its an old Baltimore name. People might vote for me just because of it, like Bush or Kennedy. I thought that, yeah, Ive got to admit it. But then I figured I might as well just go ahead and be me and make the reporters spell it back to me every time.
Not to mention everybody will know where you came from.
You mean theyll know Im white, Dad? Is that what youre saying? Louella challenged.
I know that dont sit well with you, Lou, but you gotta face facts in this town. You cant win nothin now if youre not black.
Oh, thats silly and you know it! Everybody in city government isnt black.
Well, its not for lack of trying.
You know, Dad, its hard sometimes to know your father is kind of a racist.
Me? I aint no racist! I fought in wars with em, worked with em at Esskay, and hell, I even live next to em, thanks to you, I may add! So dont lay that racist thing on me. Im just making observations based on how I see it. Youre a fine one to talk to me about race, what with your fancy condo in that there Guilford. Howre you gonna explain that to your voters, huh?
I thought about that, too, Dad, and so I have to tell you I used your address. It sounds like Im more part of the people, you know?
Well, I guess it worked all right for Mikulski, so why not you?
So when can I move back?
- TO BE CONTINUED -
Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
This story was published on June 30, 1999.