Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Remembering David Mann

When I was a yung'n, just getting to know Cincinnati, I lived on Halstead Street. In my time there I only ever saw 2 politicians. Quite a difference from Northside where they routinely pay to walk down Hamilton Avenue in sweltering heat & rain every year.
One of these politicians was Steve Chabot who was running for Cincinnati city council. He vowed to walk down every street in the city. Even if the guy's a complete asshole, I thought, he has to pick up something from this stunt. I had just got off working 3rd shift & had gone out on the front porch with an ice cold Stroh's, a bag of Mike Sells' and my latest haul from the comic shop. I had fashioned a speaker cabinet with a couple old car speakers I mounted in a cardboard box stuffed full of old newspapers. I had set that out on the porch & I distinctly remember it playing Black Flag's My War when Chabot ran up to me & breathlessly told me, "I'm Steve Chabot and I'm running for city council". He then darted off down the street. My Black Sabbath T-shirt, comic books, beer & chips at 8AM on a Saturday morning might have put him off, but both of us being Republicans, I was sad we didn't get a chance to discuss issues.
The only other politician I ever saw down there was David Mann. On steamy hot windless summer afternoon, I was on my bike outside the bar at the corner of Eliza & McMicken (I cannot remember it's name). Like most of the other guys hanging out, trying to stay cool, I was skinny, shirtless & unshaven with unkempt hair. We were all poor & trying to make the best of miserable summer day in the Ohio River valley. We were all a little surprised to see a large gray town car come rolling up the street - doors locked, windows up AC blasting - keeping the carload of suits inside nice & frosty. And there was David Mann, in the back seat, smecking & gavoreeting with his fellow suited droogies as they glided thru the slums of Cincinnati.
And that's about it.

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