(Is it just me, or does it look like that little kid is trying to pepper spray President Clinton?)
Mom sent me a newspaper clipping from Lantenengo County the other day that I read with great enjoyment and amusement.
It seems that shortly before the Pennsylvania primary, a U.S. President visited the Region for the first time since Richard Nixon in 1968. The day was March 29 and the occasion was a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Guntown, a stone’s throw from Mountain City and one of the 11 towns and patches that comprise Mountain City Regional school district (how can you expect to beat Gibbsville in football if you don’t create a mega-district for the purpose of forming a virtual regional all-star team?).
Okay, now if you were paying really close attention, you might have wondered, “Since when is there a St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 29? Isn’t St. Patrick’s Day around two weeks earlier?” and you would have been correct. But this is the Region. Seems this year that St. Paddy’s Day fell during Holy Week (actual Holy Week, not the first week of buck season; that’s the other Holy Week). Back in the Region, our local religious leaders are powerful enough to switch around national holidays to their liking, so St. Patrick’s Day was moved two weeks ahead.
Being that President Clinton, as well as all the major candidates for President and their surrogates, had probably already marched in about a dozen other St. Patrick’s Day parades on the actual St. Patrick’s Day weekend, this opportunity was one that could not be missed, although I can imagine the telephone conversation:
“Mr. President, are you available for a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Pennsylvania on March 29?”
“But St. Patrick’s Day is over.”
“Don’t quibble. You’re the guy still claiming your wife won the Michigan primary even though everyone agreed to not even appear on the ballot.”
Thirty thousand people poured into lowly Guntown; quite a feat considering there are barely that many people residing today in Lantenengo County. “Mouche” McNelis (now there’s a coal region name for you) arranged for the President to be greeted to a heart-healthy meal of perogies, as well as the two greatest pizzas in a town known for its pizza: Centiole’s and Marrone’s. I only pray he was not asked to judge between the two because it might have required enough diplomacy to bring peace to the Middle East.
Members of my family make fun of me for talking so much about food whenever I speak about the region, but the fact that President Clinton’s culinary greetings made front and center in the local news reports of the event support the fact that back home, there is not much else that matters more than food, and I have the stomach to prove it. And like me, President Clinton was offered generous plates of carbs, carbs, and more carbs, ’cause back in the Region that’s how we like it.
Hillary carried Pennsylvania and I’m sure it had everything to do with Bill volunteering to put on an extra 10 pounds while visiting Guntown. They said that Pennsylvania was tailor made for a Clinton win and I believe that is true. Have you ever taken a good look at Obama? That man’s way too skinny to appeal to coal crackers. If he’d have come to Guntown, we could have fattened him up and made it more of a horse race.