Richard e Hill - a Writer's Journal

1983 - The Election Everyone Won



 When we grow older in years

Holidays have more tears

Recalling what was . . . . will no longer be

Images you cannot see

Things you cannot hold

Remain in the heart

Engraved upon the soul


Los días Festivos

Cuando crecemos en años

Los días festivos tienen más lagrimas
Recordando lo que y fue ... y ya no sera

Imágenes que no puedes ver

Cosas que no puedes sostener

Permanecen en el corazón

Grabados sobre el alma.




Joe Louis versus Barack Obama

Joe Louis was hope before Martin Luther King, change before Jackie Robinson, the greatest before Ali, patriotism before Colin Powell and the embodiment of Black pride before the Movement.


When Joe Louis won, we all won. He showed that racism was beatable and survival in a world that was White was possible. He symbolized migration from the South to find opportunity in the North before Mexican immigration garnered attention and jobs. Crowds would gather to catch a glimpse or percance shake the hand of The Champ. He was our rights and our lefts using these powerful hands to pummel his way to the pinnacle of the sports world, dominate the media, and show that being born Black was not a ticket on the back seat of a crowded bus traveling on the bumpy road to irrelevance.


He overcame the transgressions of Jack Johnson and the  divisive rhetoric of Marcus Garvey to reignite the torch carried by Frederick Douglass. Lacking the genius of Carver, the elegance of Ellington, the humor of Foxx, and the charisma of Adam Clayton Powell, but having the support without quota of Blacks joining hands to reach across the great continental divide of separate but unequal to the opened minds and hearts willing to embrace a common way. Joe Louis was the people's Champion.

A comparison with Barack Obama? Barack Obama is Joe Louis.


Falling Limbs 9-11-01

    World pauses as Liberty’s tallest tree bends remembering

     Two fallen limbs lost to fateful fading Summer’s long shadow

     Universal multi-culture collective prayers and hymns

     Reflectively rue this paring of limbs

     When tyrannical birds of prey severed branch and twin

     Collapsing into terrifying abattoir

     Challenging our resolve, way of life once more

      Diametric forces from within and afar melded in Freedom’s melting pot

      Tree nurtured by interfaith unity resumes majestic stanch to resolve, atone

      Knowing, we are one, but not alone


                              Richard e Hill San Diego CA USA, Baja CA MX



The Election Everyone Won

In December 2010 Richard M Daley surpassed his father Richard J Daley as the longest tenured Mayor of Chicago. This record would be extended into 2011 to end when he leaves office not seeking reelection. This has been a turnabout for the man who finished third in the 1983 Democratic Primary Election behind, Mayor-to-be Harold Washington, the first Black Mayor and then incumbent Jane Byrne, the first female Mayor. Wherein the Harold Washington legacy to ”the City of big shoulders” was a conscience, Jane Byrne gave “the City that works” culture and class ---- as for Daley Two, “consistency” comes to mind.

On 22 February 1983 a group of drinkers were enjoying the perquisites of being residents of the clout laden Marina City high rise complex in downtown Chicago ---- a habitant of powerbrokers, executives, celebrities, retirees, the fast track, and those who aspired to be in these categories. The “happy hour” waterhole in this complex was in a capacious restaurant overlooking the Chicago River. In the lounge area there was a bar height four feet in diameter pedestal table where a clique of regular patrons held forth for topical discussions or use as a staging area. “Porterhouse” a postal service executive, “Carry Out” a headhunter and “Hot Dog a technology consultant ---- residents who were among the few minorities patrons of the bar or in the twin silo shaped buildings complex---- were having lively discussions with customers at the bar and in the adjoining restaurant. The topic du jour was the Primary Election as the polling places were now closed and the results by precinct were trickling in being reported by local media on the TV screens. “Lox” a well heeled, connected entrepreneur had just entered and motioned to the bartender to refresh the drinks for the six patrons at the bar and the group at the pedestal table. His partner Prime Rib added, “No need to watch returns now; this baby is not going to be delivered until late tonight”.

Lox agreed as he stopped at the table to pat Hot Dog on the back complimenting on his per usual meticulous attire, “Looking sharp Slick”.

Streetwise Hot Dog recognized Lox was waiting to be encouraged to expound on the election; asked “How’s it going to play out Maestro?”

Lox responded on cue by unfolding a bar napkin, drawing a rough outline of the City with a platinum Mont Blanc pen, taking a sip from his just arriving red wine delivered by a zaftig, mini-skirted waitress, squeezing her hand while extending a crisp ten dollar gratuity and smiled broadly as she brushed her ample cleavage against his arm while gutturally whispering her gratitude. “It’s like this; Janie’s (Jane Byrne) areas will get out early and these polls will close on-time (as he pointed to areas on the sketched map). She will need super numbers to carry her home.” He paused dramatically and looked around the area before continuing, “Not going to happen.”

A patron at the bar interjected, acknowledging his gift drink, “Too late to ply me with booze; I’ve already voted”.

Prime Rib delivered a guffawed accompanied rejoinder, “We knew how you would vote and that you could be had for a drink.”

After the laughter subsided, Lox continued, “Richie Daley is a big time closer and his count will be late and large, but not enough to pass Janie; she’s really pushed hard.” He pointed to the pro-Daley old ethnic neighborhoods on the map.

Another bar patron chimed in, “You mean that broad is getting back in?”

Lox held up his hands to silence the growing murmur, “Didn’t you hear me the first time?” “And I repeat, it’s not going to happen. Eddie will pull too many of her votes.”  Alderman Ed “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak, the head of the Cook County Democratic Party and supreme wheeler dealer had financial support across the City, but this prowess did not necessarily convert into voting numbers as most of his biggest supporters preferred to be clandestine as he crossed party, social, and quasi-legal barriers. “The one to watch is Harold Washington. The turnout has been heavy today and he has the finances, all those new registrants; plus all those snoops watching the polls as well as the independents and do-gooders that are turning out big. Then there’s those freaking tacos (Hispanics) who suddenly have papers and are practically being escorted on burros to the voting booth. They are solid. Hell, I don’t understand what they saying half the time, but I know how they are voting.”

Buffet Raider, another bar regular vociferously expressed his disdain, “You mean, we’re going to get a freaking ----, he stopped the apparent forthcoming racial slur as 6 feet 4 inches 250 lbs Porterhouse rose from his stool at the pedestal table joined by ominous glares from Hot Dog and Carry Out. Buffet Raider restructured his words in a manner reminiscent of a cartoon character that would reach out and grab his uttered offensive words from the air before they could be heard, and then continued, “I’ll wait; the commentators say it’s too close to call. To me that means Daley and The Machine big time.” Buffet Raider’s discomfort increased as Seafood, the dignified television anchorman joined the pedestal table after casting an aloof belittling glance towards him. Seafood had a commanding presence and captivating voice making him the paradigm of TV newsmen.

Hot Dog spoke in mock subservient tones, “Lordy me; you mean we gonna get invited into the big house?”

Prime Rib roared in laughter before replying, “Don’t play that oppressed minority card here. Not with your lifestyle! Whose side are you on anyway?”



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