Sunday, April 22, 2018
Politics

Brooksville's King Day parade lacked only one thing: enough spectators

All things considered, the new incarnation of Brooksville's Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade was a big success.

A couple of a marching bands didn't show up, but the ones that did played their hearts out. And maybe nobody played harder than the crowd favorite, the band from Sligh Middle School in Tampa.

Brooksville native Maulty Moore served as the parade's grand marshal, and he dressed grandly, too, in a blazer of Miami Dolphins aqua; as every Brooksville resident should know, Moore, a graduate of the old Moton School, played for the team in its Super Bowl seasons of 1972 and 1973.

Otherwise, Moore was about as down to earth as a former professional athlete can be, willing to take off his Super Bowl rings and let you feel the heft of all that gold and explain how the Dolphins dominated the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl after the 1973 season — by running right at the dreaded-but-undersized Purple People Eaters on the defensive line.

Paul Douglas, president of the Hernando County branch of the NAACP, sat next to Moore at a table in front of Brooksville City Hall, telling the crowd about the history of the civil rights movement, which was more than appropriate because Douglas lived a good part of it.

Only the third of the epic, King-led, Selma-to-Montgomery marches in 1965 covered the entire distance. Douglas, then a student at nearby Tuskegee Institute (now University), was part of the crowd that staked out the Alabama Capitol building in Montgomery on the night before the successful final march arrived.

It was good to see Brooksville well represented, with City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha and Mayor Kevin Hohn both on hand.

So was Billy Healis, the local Walmart executive who brought the company in as a sponsor and helped revive the Brooksville King Day parade tradition, with a few changes: recruiting the school bands and establishing a new route up Howell Avenue to City Hall.

It's not just a logistical change, but a symbolic one. Along with the backing of the city and a major company, it's a long-overdue sign that mainstream Brooksville — white Brooksville — recognizes that King Day should be a celebration for the entire community, not just the black community, and that King is not only an African-American hero, but an American hero.

The only disappointment was that more people didn't show up to honor his legacy. The crowd seemed a little sparse, especially compared to the throng that shows up for the city's annual Christmas parade.

And, because white people were in a definite minority, it would be nice, especially, if more of them showed up next year to honor King's legacy.

I know. Lots of people spend Memorial Day at the beach rather than listening to patriotic speeches and the playing of taps. We all have things to do on our days off and chances are good that — if we don't work for a bank or the government — we didn't even have the day off.

Also, Healis and Douglas said, many people in the community didn't know about the parade, partly because the organizers didn't start putting it together until about three months ago.

That will change, Douglas said: "We start working on next year's parade tomorrow."

So, go ahead and mark it on your calendar.

 
Comments
Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

Trump says he doesn’t think personal lawyer will ‘flip’

WEST PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he doesn’t expect Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer and fixer, to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen’s business dealings. Trump, in a series of tweets fired from Florida o...
Published: 04/21/18

Vive la France: Trump hosts glitzy White House state dinner

WASHINGTON — Now it’s President Donald Trump’s turn to pull off the ultimate charm offensive. Wined and dined on multiple state visits during his tour of Asia last year, Trump is paying it forward and celebrating nearly 250 years of U.S.-French relat...
Published: 04/21/18
Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe that’s just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Published: 04/21/18
Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

Ex-FBI deputy director ‘disappointed’ in Comey comments

WASHINGTON — Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, is "very upset and disappointed" by comments made by his former boss James Comey that contradict his account of a disclosure to the news media, McCabe’s lawyer said Friday. "Andy has at all ...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

Carlton: Mayor’s race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. It’s what we do in Tampa.

The one thing you can say for sure about electing a mayor in Tampa is you can’t really say anything for sure.Historical proof: A couple of elections ago, Harvard-educated hometown-boy-gone-to-Washington Frank Sanchez was going to be our next mayor, h...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine bra...
Published: 04/20/18
Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

Castor ends speculation: She’s running to be Tampa’s next mayor

TAMPA — For months, Tampa political aficionados have speculated: Will she or won’t she?Does Jane Castor, the city’s first woman police chief and presumed heavyweight mayoral candidate, really want the job? Asked and answered. Castor filed paperwork T...
Published: 04/19/18
Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

TAMPA — President Donald Trump has tweeted "trade wars are good, and easy to win."Don’t believe it, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told Tampa business and political leaders on Wednesday."We share more with you than with anybody els...
Published: 04/19/18
Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

Hernando clerk of the court announces resignation to run for judicial seat

BROOKSVILLE — Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Don Barbee this week submitted his resignation — effective Jan. 7 — to run for an open circuit judge seat.Barbee, who is in the middle of his second term, said he made the move "with a tremendo...
Published: 04/17/18
Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Poll: Democrats’ advantage in midterm election support is shrinking

Democrats hold an advantage ahead of the midterm elections, but a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that edge has narrowed since January, a signal to party leaders and strategists that they could be premature in anticipating a huge wave of victorie...
Published: 04/16/18