Big Lead Sports Bar


Governor Rendell Visits Our Church Festival

For the past several years, my Dad volunteers my brother and I to assist him in manning the Philly Cheesesteak booth at the St. John's parish festival in Perryopolis, PA.

The Perryopolis Circle: site of the original Mardi Gras before it migrated to New Orleans

Perryopolis is what some would call a quiet, sleepy town, about an hour south of Pittsburgh. There's not usually too much to get excited about, other than when the gas station added a McDonald's a few years ago, and the weekly Perryopolis Flea Market, one of the East Coast's Premier Spots for shady merchandise. The city's homepage features news as hard-hitting as "Bingo on July 19" and "More Bingo on July 30". The most distinguished alumnus of their high school is current Grand Rapids (Arena Football)
QB Chad Salisbury.

Chad Salisbury: as many championships as Peyton Manning

Hopefully I have painted the picture for you: it is not a place to find much hoopla.

So we are manning the 2-8 PM shift at this year's fair on Sunday, July 16, and we hear the news: Governor Ed Rendell is going to make an appearance! The festival is abuzz...what will Rendell be doing? Playing the chuck-a-luck wheel, in support of gambling that will be coming to our fine state? Buying a chance ticket on a Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XL throw rug? Maybe even buy one of our Philly Steaks, given his Philadelphia roots, for a photo op? Well, no, no, and no.

Ed Rendell signaling a first down

Governor "Lansky" (as he is called on a daily basis by ESPN Radio 1250's Mark Madden) showed up shortly after 3 PM, following the Official Ed Rendall Governor Bus. He was wearing a parking-cone orange shirt, which I was able to capture on my camera phone, only to be reminded of the fact that I haven't yet mastered the art of transferring camera phone pictures to the internet.

The Rendell bus: eating away Rendell's campaign fund in gasoline costs.

He was immediately bombarded by well-wishing Democrats of Fayette County, and posed for several pictures while in the church hall. He then proceeded outside to the food gauntlet, a Murderer's Row of festival favorites like funnel cakes, garlic pasta and halushki. Rendell's iron will was able to pass on everything. He moved at a brisk pace down the aisle, and approached the cheesesteak booth. Would this be our face to face with the Governor? The man that from many vantage points appears to be a shill for Harrah's Casino, a Penguin-killer and Philadelphia fan at the same time? No, he actually walked right past our booth, and over to the hip DJ spinning polka music. He asked the DJ to play the
Pennsylvania State Song , which, of course, this guy did not have. So the DJ took the liberty of choosing another song: The Steelers Polka of the 70s. Harmless selection by the DJ, right? Well, not when you consider who Lansky's current opponent is...a certain integral member of that team:

If this were 2006, this play would have been challenged. And Tom Landry would have lost the challenge. And Tom Landry would have cried the entire offseason.

And that, my friends, was a statement louder than any one we could have made. Rendell quickly walked away, boarded his bus, and probably visited the next church festival on his route, this time adding a request of no implicated Lynn Swann references.


Steeltown Mike said...

The hip you know if he worked for a radio station, or if that was just his own little exhibit?

mondesishouse said...

Something on the AM dial...the exact number is escaping me.

Anonymous said...

Too funny.

Anonymous said...

"Governor Lansky"

That's funny. My wife thinks he just plain looks like a hood. I can't make up my mind whether he looks like a guy who would have you capped or the guy who would be ordered to do the job, but he wouldn't have a moment's moral indecision either way. (And if you're reading this and take offense, governor, my name is David Littlefield, and what are you going to do about it? Huh? Nyah-nyah! Pllllltttttt!)

Anonymous said...

Agreed, bucdaddy, with everything you say about "Governor Lansky." I've always said he just LOOKS like a crook ... an old-style big-time, cigar-smoking, crooked deal-making in a smoke-filled backroom, bagman-recipient machine politician. Turns out, it appears that first impression was dead on, so to speak.