Please, spare us all the media-orchestrated hand-wringing about how the Providence Preservation Society has chosen to add the name of our former mayor, the Bud-I, to its Hall of Fame, as one of 50 individuals and groups who made giant strides in preserving historic buildings in Our Little Town.
The BeloJo’s Easy Ed Achorn devoted his Tuesday column to wailing about the criminal mayor being included on the list and what a dark mark this is. He noted near the beginning of his screed that the Urinal is also on the list of the 50 inductees. Guess what! They both belong there. We don’t think that the state’s largest newspaper should be ignored because it was on the wrong side in the Dorr Rebellion or supported discriminatory practices during the 1800s and early 1900s (ask some local Irish-Catholics or Italian-Americans about how their ancestors fared with the “Protestant Journal”).
Of course, the Bud-I’s is a mixed legacy, but pretending that he achieved nothing is the same as conveniently ignoring the history of his wrongdoing. It’s a complex world, Ed Achorn and other critics of this move, so take off your black-and-white glasses.
Out of Keef’s tree
In a week when the Iraq war grinds on, recent immigrants to the US march, and the US Supreme Court decides that Anna Nicole Smith can fight on in her epic battle to get the sugar daddy fortune, Keith Richards still manages to take the top spot at Casa Diablo.
Yes, we know the man is “indestructible.” The AP wire report that ran Sunday in the New York Times even uses that very word in its lead to describe the Rolling Stones’ guitarist. We also tend to agree with the assessment that, if there is a thermonuclear holocaust, all that will be left on earth will be certain species of insects and Keith Richards.
It is still unwise for a 62-year-old man — even Keith Richards — to be climbing palm trees and hopping onto a personal watercraft (if, indeed, the report on his hospitalization was accurate). Good luck and a speedy recovery, Keith, but please, stay out of the trees.
P&J shill for the locals this week, with a couple of books worthy of our devoted readers’ attention.
One is by our friend M.J. Andersen, a frequent contributor to the BeloJo’s op-ed page. Portable Prairie: Confessions of an Unsettled Midwesterner is a fine collection of stories about growing up in and then out of South Dakota, while always feeling a pull back to her birthplace. Better men, including Garrison Keillor, have praised it.
We wouldn’t live in South Dakota if you paid us, but M.J. can take you on a little mind-tour of the area, and describe getting over the culture shock of going from there to Princeton and then Brown, and settling down in Massachusetts. While it is an autobiography in mufti, it is well worth reading, even for a Vo Dilunduh. It is now available in paperback, so git it.