View from the Cheap Seats: Leave It to Beaver isn't on the radio

My wife’s a Bay High graduate. She was born and raised here and we live in the house she lived in when she was in high school.

She brought me here for the first time in 1975, just after our wedding (sounds like she brought home a puppy, doesn’t it?). After 20 years of moving all over the world with the Air Force, we were both delighted to move back to Bay in 2001. We felt like we were coming home.

Bay is the sort of place that makes me drive around town with the Leave It to Beaver music playing in my head – I can just imagine Wally and the Beav walking home on Wolf Road after school.

I was naive enough to assume June Cleaver was the mayor and Ward ran the insurance office on the corner. That’s what Ward did, right? Insurance?

But soon we developed a concern, and it was a big enough deal that I felt compelled to call Mayor Cleaver’s office (sorry – Debbie’s office) and ask to speak to her honor about the issue. She told me to skip right on over, so I did.

Before I’d warmed the chair and turned down coffee (it was never offered), this guy named Gary Ebert “happened in.” From that moment, Debbie never said another word. She just sat there with a stony, unpleasant look on her face, rolling her eyes. The discussion was all Gary and me and it was clear my view was getting me no place.

June (errr, Debbie) didn’t even say goodbye as I left. So much for June Cleaver. I was terribly disappointed. My visions of a wise and helpful mayor were on another TV channel and it hadn’t made it to cable.

That atmosphere has continued for the past 8 years. In fact, I don’t believe Debbie has said a single word to me since.

Several days later, I got a call from a guy named Jim Scott. He’d just been elected as a city councilman-at-large and heard I had a problem. Listen to what I said: I didn’t call him – he called me.

He came over to my house and sat in the living room and listened. He did a lot more listening than talking, and didn’t even mind when our beagle Maggie kept asking to be hugged. He even hugged her. 

He was at the house for a long time and when he left he fully understood our point of view and pledged to take it into account. How refreshing. 

Jim and I have been friends ever since. We haven’t always agreed on things, but I’ve found he holds his opinions genuinely, but manages to keep an open mind. He’s always willing to discuss any issue. When I learned he was running for mayor, I was excited. He’s the kind of mayor we need.

Some people claim I have a one-sided view of the Scott/Sutherland race for mayor.  They’re right, and I’m not ashamed of it, either. There are good reasons for my outlook and I’ve tried to highlight a few of them in this column. Jim has no future political ambitions. He just wants to help Bay be a great place to live.

It’s no secret who I’m going to vote for. The wife says I should write about something else to “keep my column fresh.” Maybe she has a point, but right now we’re less than two weeks away from an important election.

And lately I’ve been driving around town pressing the “search” button on my radio and I can’t find that Leave It to Beaver theme music anywhere. Maybe I can find it if I get satellite radio. Or better yet, maybe it will be there when Jim Scott gets elected mayor.   

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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 6:52 PM, 10.20.2009