I saw Philadelphia's Mayor-Elect, Michael Nutter today around lunch time.
Well when I say I saw him, I don't mean we had a power lunch together to sort out the present ills of Philadelphia, or even its' future goals. When I say I saw him, I mean exactly that. I saw him on 13th Street standing outside some store a few stores away from the adult book store and across the street from the gay movie house. (Does anyone actually watch movies there?)
The Mayor-Elect was surrounded by the 3 or 4 mayoral lackeys that you usually find around a mayor. You know the type, clean shaved and dressed in 3 thousand dollar suits. Looking for all the world as if nothing could touch them now. Standing as if all their hopes and ambitions were about to be met.
I walked towards Mr.Nutter and I noticed people would go up to him as he spoke on his cell phone and shake his hand. I assumed that they were congratulating him on his recent victory. I kept getting closer and closer to him until finally we were at each other side, an arms length away from one another when I turned my head, looked in a store window and kept walking. I had places to go, people to see. Shady? Well I don't know.
This was not the first or even the second time that I have acted this way with the Mayor to be. There was some street celebration earlier this year, the Jazz festival on Broad St. I believe, when he and his entourage walked up to where I was standing. People around us congratulated him on winning the Primary. I merely turned my back and tried to listen to the music.
It wasn't that I was sore that as city council man he was responsible for putting the ban on cigarette smoking in bars into effect and now, if I were so inclined, I would have to stand out side and smoke, looking like one of those dogs you see tied up outside a grocery store. It wasn't that I had kept a grudge from 14 years earlier when I had applied for a job at his office and have never to this day received an answer. No, I'm not upset. In fact I really want him to be successful in turning the city around. It's just that I don't know him; and what is the point of speaking to a man if he will forget who you are within 30 seconds?
So if any of you out there know me and knows the next mayor of Philadelphia, introduce us. What harm will it do? I swear I wont speak about smoking, lost job opportunities or grudges. Promise. I wouldn't embarrass you.