Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Thanks for what has come — and left

In the spirit of the season, things to be thankful for, politicians to turkeys.

1. We can be thankful for "change."

2. Election over, we also can be thankful that the word "change" is no longer lobbied about like a pingpong ball until it has no discernible meaning in the English language.

3. Given that election, we can give thanks for at last disproving the theory that we are an America so furtively and deeply racist that we would never put an African-American in the Oval Office.

4. And who isn't thankful for the glorious distraction that was our Rays this year, rocking the Trop, beating Boston, making it to the World Series. Afterward was like waking up from a very good dream.

5. Thanks to Tallahassee, where sometimes our Legislature actually does good, like the older driver vision test law and subsequent drop in fatalities of drivers 80 or older.

6. Thanks too, to our special Pinellas beaches hurricane mojo that kept the bad storms off our coast one more season.

7. Local politics to be thankful for: In case anyone had a gnat's eyelash of a doubt about booting Brian Blair from the Hillsborough Commission, Blair pitches a post-election hissy using an ugly hypothetical involving AIDS and the man who beat him. And with that, he shows us once again the true face of a politician soundly ousted. Thanks for the memories, Brian.

And by the way, who says activists have no sense of humor? A few helpful ones showed up post-election bearing packing boxes for Blair.

8. We can be thankful embattled Hillsborough Elections Supervisor Buddy Johnson got the votes counted — okay, a couple of days late, and, oh, wait, there's that extra batch of absentees — on his way out the door. Thanks, too, for a great exit line to remember his strange tenure by, when he said, "You may not have seen the last of Buddy Johnson."

9. We should be thankful to have made it to a holiday all about being thankful, even in the current state of the world, a holiday of tradition but also one that evolves. In our house, tradition means great quantities of God's perfect food, mashed potatoes, and also a turkey properly roasted, none of that brining or frying or other sacrilege.

But it's also rice and gravy for the Southerners at the table, pasta for the Italian grandpa, something fancy involving sweet potatoes, pears and a food processor for the food snoots.

I have not yet dared challenge tradition on behalf of the vegetarians among us by adding a Tofurkey to the menu. But, oh, how tempting, if just to get a roomful of people saying "Tofurkey."

10. Thankful, these days? Jobs evaporate, and economic news goes from bad to worse, and still we find it in ourselves to care about a guy in Pasco County sent to jail for a yard not sodded.

Strangers rally to make it beautiful when he comes home. He is overwhelmed, and so are we.

Some of us even care enough to rally for the fate of wild chickens in Ybor City.

We care about an old bridge between St. Petersburg and Tampa, given over to cyclists and walkers and runners, and finally too old for that, even. Maybe we care because being able to cross the waters that separate us seems a fine thing some days. We don't seem to stop hoping we can fix what ails us around here.

And did I mention mashed potatoes?

Thanks for what has come — and left 11/26/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 1, 2008 1:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries

    Blogs

    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  3. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.
  5. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.