Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Short Memories


Was it six months ago that I walked to the polls at the crack of sunlight to vote for Barack Obama and was encountered by a line of people that stretched around the block? It doesn't seem like it. Everybody was talking politics and everyone was talking about voting. This blog was started during that period and five out of six posts I did back then spoke about the primaries, "this" candidate, and "that" candidate. Was it six months ago that I last voted? I suppose it was.

In November, I saw people in the lines at my polling place that I hadn't seen in years. People I who thought were dead were, in fact, alive and on fire about voting. One old man got in line twice that fateful day in November. When he was told that he had already voted, he said without shame..."That's alright, I just wanted Barack to know that I'm still here, just in case he needed an extra vote." We all had a good laugh but, I couldn't knock his spirit.

Yesterday was another election. I had no trouble getting to the polls, there were no long lines, and no electricity in the air. There was roughly 100 people at the polling place (that in itself was a small miracle, I expected less). It was what my wife calls one of those "little elections". We had several judges running for re-election and some for "first time" posts in the Court of Common Pleas. We had an election for a new District Attorney too but, not many people took notice. Now that Obama is president, I'm afraid that is the extent of most people's political astuteness.

Do you know why I voted? Okay, not just so I would have a post to write about in "Keith's Space" or so I wouldn't look like a hypocrite but because every election is important. You don't think a D.A. is important? Think about the next time your car gets stolen or you get robbed and a "miracle of miracles" happens... the police actually catch the guy. Wouldn't you want the D.A.'s office to assure you that justice is served? If you don't care, then don't complain when the guy who robbed your house is riding home on the bus with you the next afternoon because the D.A.'s office wasn't prepared for his case, they had to throw it out, or they had to hold it up. A judge is also important but, no one seems to think so, until they are in front of one. Here's a story...

When I was in college, I rarely locked my room. Any and everybody I knew went in, went out, ate, slept in my bed, took a shower, and what have you. I was rarely ever there. One day a guy took some girl in my room and got in the bed with her but, he failed to lock the door. Well, her boyfriend walked in on her and this guy in mid-stroke. In anger, he lifted a chair and sailed it out of my window!

My college was a state owned school and, therefore, all of the property in it was owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Even though I wasn't present at the time of the altercation, I was handed a bill by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the damages. It is times like this that I did what any young man would do... I called my mama!

You know, it's a wonder I'm alive considering all of the trouble I seemed to get myself into. My mother gave me the money, mortified as she was, and we secured an attorney who I'll call "Hickock" (this was not his real name and he wasn't a real attorney to me either). He was supposed to represent me in Small Claims Court or whatever they had in that county... it might as well have been Klan County. I wasn't in Philly... I was in upstate Pennsylvania, where I think the mayor was also the barber and the postman in this county.

This knucklehead attorney (and I use that term loosely) falls asleep during my hearing and begins to snore. To make matters worse, I think he passed gas too. As you can imagine, I lost my case. I didn't really have one to begin with but the judge, an old gray-haired white man that I might have called a redneck in some other time or place, had pity on me. He said that under the circumstances, I didn't have proper representation and he reduced the amount of money I had to pay for the window and the damaged chair to under $500.00. It could have been worse.

In hindsight, I might have been better off just paying the bill and saving the state the cost of that silly hearing. Needless to say, they allowed me to pay it in installments. I had a job cleaning the pool and another one working in the cafeteria. I paid it off but, I didn't go on any dates for awhile. My mom just looked at me and shook her head, like she had done many times before. Yet, this woman never abandoned me... no matter what stupid thing I did or situation I managed to get myself into. She just shook her head, with that mortified look that I now perfectly understand.

When there is an election for a judge, I remember that kind old man who gave a 21 year old immature black kid a break one day. I remember to vote because, as unimportant as these type of elections may seem to some people, you never know when you might come before a judge and you want it to be a good and compassionate judge.

My memory is still sharp. I remember things and I look up the records of people I might have to vote for one day. My political astuteness didn't end with Barack Obama's election. I don't have a short memory and I hope you all don't either. Vote, while you still can!

25 comments:

Toni said...

Hillarious!

Angie B. said...

Funny, but true!

Sunflower said...

You make good points here Keith, along with your always priceless humorous anecdotes!-lololol.

Lisa said...

Hey Keith...You're slowly becoming the Black Aesop!! Love it though..

Halo said...

Funny Story, but a very serious message...We shouldn't just act as though because Obama is President that no other election counts.

Vanessa said...

Funny! I voted yesterday...I didn't know anything about half of those Judges or the District Attorney candidates..I was educated on the spot at the polls, but I still voted.

Cheryl said...

I love your stories Keith..They always teach us something in the process!

Brenda said...

Everyday with every post, you make me not want to set my blog up...I can't compete with this...and that's a good thing. :)

Sean said...

Hey Brother. After I stopped laughing at your situation I thought about your main point..about how the Obama election was just a fad for a lot of Black people and that they may never go back to the polls again until he's up for re-election..meanwhile a lot of other just important campaigns will fly right by us!

James Perkins said...

lololol@ you.. Man you would have been better off just working out a payment plan rather than going through a hearing.

Simon Bastion said...

Great Story Keith and good points made about the rising political apathy in the community!

Jazzy said...

You've lived a life Fam and we are all enriched because you share it with us.lolol

Grover Tha Playboy said...

You crazy man!...but wise! lololol

Tate2 said...

Good points made. I voted yesterday, but I only knew about Seth Williams, due to the commercials on Television and the Radio. I didn't know about any of the other people running and especially not the judges.

Swaggie said...

Good Post as usual. I didn't know anything about any of those folks running. That's the kind of stuff that should be in the newspapers instead of the crap they currently run.

Captain Jack said...

ROFLMAO- Love your anecdotes man...
The attorney fell asleep during the hearing...??? That's priceless.

Anonymous said...

@Swaggie-That stuff is in the newspapers, but it's not marketed as attractive as say news about a celebrity or an athlete..Therefor, most people (like yourself) aren't aware that it's in the newspaper.

CareyCarey said...

Good point Keith ..."vote because you never know who you might be standing in front of"

Case in point:The retired Australian chief court justice and Indiana alumnus Micheal Kirby, came out in his commencement address and said his lover of 40 years is a man. The title of his address was "Truth ultimately conquers prejudice". Well, I'd say don't wait 40 years ...vote today!

Btw, your blog must be huge. I frequently have a hard time getting in. I don't know if it's popups or what? My PC locks up when I visit your site and it doesn't do that at other sites.

Erin Michell said...

Funny story, thanks!!! But the message in the story was conveyed. Entertaining yet still enlightening as usual. Have a good day

Rich Fitzgerald said...

You are correct. The political battle is really waged on the local and state level. The country is just in such a mess that the National election was huge.

Arlene said...

Keith,

Oh boy, you've had some "fun." College days were a real "trip." Your points about voting for DA and judges are very important. Some years ago my son was car jacked at gun point in the early morning hours. My sister Karen and I rode around West Philly looking for the car knowing that young "jackers" had limited knowledge of the areas outside their own. And we thought the guy jacked the car to show off for friends. Well Karen found the car and the guy right on 60th Street about 5 blocks from the crime. We notified the police who arrested the thief, but not his buddies who were riding along. The police did not check the riders in the car, only the driver who didn't have the gun on him when arrested. To say a little, when we got to court the judge sentenced this thief with just months for car jacking because a gun was not recovered on arrest. You know the end of this story. The guy got out of jail and immediately committed another crime with a gun. That next time someone was critically injured and the police found crack on this guy. The man was sentenced to jail but on the crack charges, not the threat to life charges I think are much more important. And where's that judge now?? Retired to the southwest, enjoying a hefty pension.
We get who we elect. Is that justice?

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

ROFL. You have a good point. I never pay attention to the seemingly insignificant elections, but will from now on.

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Angel said...

very amusing as always Keith.




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