Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another Neighbor, Senator McConnell. Karen Was Someone's Little Girl.

Dear Senator McConnell:

“The American People” voted overwhelmingly in favor of President Obama’s agenda so many of your comments confuse me. Remember that election in November, 2008? What did you think "The American People" were trying to tell you when they booted your party out and voted President Obama in? Many of us are unhappy because he allowed your party of no to obstruct and to water-down what he did manage to accomplish but that does not mean we would prefer to have you in charge. That is just faulty logic.

This recent statement from you clearly indicates that you still don’t accept the fact that your party lost, and suggests that you want to forget that your real neighbors in Jefferson County did not elect you.

“I know it’s become fashionable in some quarters to refer to Republicans as ‘the Party of No.’ But if we regularly voted for things we opposed, we wouldn’t be worth much,” he said. “The American people wouldn’t have anywhere to turn if the party in power gets carried away. And it’s clear to me at least that most Americans now believe the party in power got carried away.”

As usual, no one can possibly believe that you have a clue about what “most Americans” are thinking, or how many are living, even in your own neighborhood. Until I see some sign that you are catching on, I will continue to introduce you to your neighbors. Today, I present Karen. She was someone’s little girl.

Karen has a room on York,

a far cry from the mansion she lost on Winter.

Maybe it isn't far.

Three miles, give or take,

seen differently by car, bus, or foot.

It's far enough she can't walk over to look at it any more.

Truth be told,

it wasn't ever a mansion

except in Karen's heart.

It was an investment

to the man who scarfed it for a song at auction,

and remains a source of irritation

to the renters who pay a small fortune for it now,

getting little in return for their money.

It was a cry, for sure.

That part was true and never changes.

Karen was someone's little girl. Had to be.

Mothers can't run out before the baby is born,

so she belonged to someone for a few minutes

no matter what happened later.

Like all little girls,

she came into the world with innocent eyes

and a spontaneous smile.

Maybe the investor got what was left of those at auction too.

With or without joy,

Karen was someone's pride at some point.

Someone clapped when she took her first run across the room,

and noticed when she strung her vocabulary into a full sentence.

Surely, Miss Gray patted herself on the back

for implanting the multiplication tables in Karen's hard head,

and Johnny Rogers puffed his chest

over distracting her from them.

Ah, yes, Karen was someone's crush.

She attracted plenty of attention

from the football player who shared her table in biology class,

and the big eared boy on the bus.

And there was that driver at the moving company

where she answered phones after graduation,

who couldn't keep his eyes off her.

She might even be someone's unforgettable first love.

She thinks she was someone's wife in the seventies

He might have died,

or wanted her dead

and he might still dream about her smile.

Speaking of smiles,

she smiled a lot on Winter,

when she was someone's neighbor.

She waved from her chair on the porch,

took soup over when anyone was sick,

shoveled Mr. Turner's steps,

and made a quilt for every baby born on the street.

She didn't get to smile the day she left.

Her friends weren't out there

when she sorted through her things at the curb

to gather what she could carry,

but she would smile the next time she saw them.

She walked back to Winter as long as she could,

because babies aren't born on York

and there aren't any porches.

She would walk back to Winter to look for smiles,

if she could still walk

She smiled a lot when she still had teeth,

and others smiled back.

She had teeth when she still had insurance.

Teeth and glasses, and allergy medicine

so her eyes and nose weren't so runny, and red.

Maybe she's glad she doesn't have glasses on York,

so she doesn't know when people don't smile back.

She had insurance when she still had a job.

She was somebody's valued employee for thirty years

and has a pin to prove it.

Well, she had the pin

until she lost it on the curb on Winter,

but sometimes she still has memories of the job she loved.

She had a job when she still had her health,

or at least when she still had the strength

to pretend she had her health.

She was someone's inspiration

when she ignored her pain

and continued to work

for her insurance and smile.

The doctor got that

long before the investor came along.

She was someone's friend

when she still had health and a job

and teeth and a smile.

She was everyone's friend.

She loved.

She cared.

She was someone's savior,

everyone's champion,

a crusader of causes.

She is someone's cause now.

She is someone else's sin.

Since someone criticized me for posting only negative things, I tried—really tried—to find some feel-good stories about what you’ve done to help people like this neighbor I introduce today. Didn’t find a thing. Darn. But, to please those who want positive news, I’m including a few links to recent articles I found about Congressman Yarmuth’s involvement in local projects.

Center for Women and Families breaks ground on new apartment complex

Giving Back, Congressman Yarmuth donates congressional salary to local charities

Mortgage Help for Kentucky’s Unemployed [“Thousands of Kentucky families have been hit hard by the economic downturn, struggling to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads,” said Congressman John Yarmuth, of Louisville. “Ensuring these families can stay in their homes isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s critical to our economic recovery.”]

Congressman John Yarmuth Announces $3M for St. Bartholomew Senior Housing

Looking forward to bringing in Lori soon,

Sandy Knauer

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