I posted this letter in the Sarasota Herald Tribune on Oct. 14, 2012
“I live in the Sapphire Shores neighborhood on the north end of the county. I finally made it down to the Democratic Headquarters to pick up my Obama and Fitzgerald yard signs that I proudly displayed on the corner of Bay Shore Rd., a well traveled thoroughfare. As I pounded them in I remembered what happened four years ago. Several days after their appearance they were ripped to shreds, stuffed in my mailbox and burned. That’s vandalism, but I didn’t call the police. It surely wouldn’t happen again, I thought, as a friend and neighbor drove by waving and calling,” They’re too close to the road . Somebody’s gonna steal em.” I laughed and waved her on.
Two days later she proved right. They were gone, as were most of the Democratic signs in the neighborhood. It was a raid. Okay. First I called the Democratic headquarters and they told me to call the police dept. This time I did. I was directed from place to place and finally told I needed the front desk. After holding for 20 min. I called back to the non-emergency number. The woman was pleasant, but said keep trying. I did for almost an hour, when I called her back again just to let her know I couldn’t get through, she took all my information about the theft and said she’d pass it on. “Did you leave a message?” she asked.
“That wasn’t an option.”
‘Try again later. They must be awful busy.”
“No. Why don’t you try to get through?”
She actually called later and left a message saying she couldn’t get through either and why didn’t I try the next day.
What? This is really a non-emergency number. I sat down and picked up the Sarasota Herald Tribune and began reading Tom Lyons article, A non-emergency and phone etiquette. What a coincidence! I never called the police back, and they never called me or came to my door; the options she gave me.
You’re right, this was no emergency, but it is a sad state of affairs. Tom Lyons, things are getting worse.”
The day after my letter came out in the paper, I went down to Keith Fitzgerald’s U.S. Senate campaign headquarters to pick up more signs, this time placing them closer to my front door. Alas! Gone again. I was getting nervous, but I forgot about it in the frenzy of last minute politics and packing for a trip to Costa Rica. I whistled down to the mailbox the next day and found another political postcard. This one was different and scared the shit out of me.
Because of the creepy and threatening nature of some nut calling himself Bat Masterson, and me inane and too stupid to get out of the rain, I figured it was time to get the press involved.
Sarasota Patch a local online newspaper broke the story which was then picked up by ABC Channel 7 News, and headlined the evening news the night before and day of the election. Both stories went pretty viral because of the odd and scary possibilities.
I believe I played a small but crucial part in re-electing Barack Obama President of the United States of America. Yea!!!!!
I’d like to apologize for my costajill website being down for awhile, but it’s all fixed now. Please check back to my last post – the next episode of my memoir Life and Deaf. And keep reading.