Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The historical Warner Mendenhall

WEDNESDAY IS the big day when the Overland Mendenhall Express arrives on the city's sidewalks with the latest crop of petitions to recall Mayor Plusquellic. Very soon we will know whether he will be successful in sending the issue to the ballot where the obsessive Akron lawyer will be consigned to history. If it gets that far, he will lose .

History has a short memory, if any at all, for such minor political figures as Warner Mendenhall, particularly when their ambition carries them over a cliff. Twenty-five years from now, the story will be something like this as two guys, Jake and Fritz, settle into the Country Manor Restaurant for the first time for their morning coffee:

Jake (looking up to a faded photo on the wall), asks the server: "Any idea who that person in the picture is? He looks like he was rather in a hurry. Just curious. "

Server: "I heard somebody say once that his name was Warner or Walter Munhall or somebody. I don't know for sure. He was a good friend of my boss."

Fritz: "If I remember my Akron history, I think it was Mendenhall....Yeah, Mendenhall."

Jake: "Some memory you have, Fritz. Why would you remember something as obscure as that? "

Fritz: "Dunno. Unless I'm mistaken, I think he tried to kick out the mayor with one of those recall elections. Hell, that was a good 25-30 years ago."

Jake: "Did he succeed?"

Fritz: "If memory serves, don't think so. Never happened."

Jake: "Walter Mendenhall, huh? Interesting. You know, I do have a vague idea of what you're talking about, now that you mention it. Sort of..."

Fritz: " I seem to remember that it was Warner, not Walter."

Jake: "Refresh my memory. Why did he want to throw out the mayor?"

Fritz: "Only the Lord knows. I don't think they even knew at the time."

Jake: "So did Walt -eh, Warner - do anything else after that?"

Fritz: "Not that I'm aware of. He just sort of faded out of the picture - except for that one on the wall. There are a lot of people like him around on any day of the week. One-shot artists who make a big splash of paint and then drop out with a lot of bills to pay for their dumb schemes."

By now both men were losing interest in the whatever-happened-to-Warner story because there wasn't much else they could add to it. Moreover, they figured that in this instance the picture on the wall was hardly worth a thousand words.


Hugh said...

In your story, does the picture of Warner have him wearing a clown suit and a big red nose?

Jacques Chirac said...

Two things are for certain, they will not be talking about the author of that wonderful movie "MOOSE" or your two failed books.

BTW, does it count as a book if nobody buys it or reads it?