I saw one of my buddies yesterday. Actually, I saw his car first. It's a beat up little compact decorated by several thousand bumper stickers. It's been that way for years. If you peel one off, the damn thing might fall apart. He's selling it, by the way.
His name is Bernie Berg. Remember him? He ran for Congress several years ago. His slogan? "Berg for Congress - the Lesser Evil." He got about 23 votes. Yesterday, the Lesser Evil was positioned strategically at the corner of 13th and Northampton during rush hour in Easton, a one-man demonstrator.
Clad in colorful Bermuda shorts and Pirates baseball cap, Bernie was having a hell of a time! His sign accused Exxon of war crimes or something. Whether horns signaled approval or derision, Bernie would respond with his clenched fist salute and a great smile.
Bernie Berg was one of my co-plaintiffs in several lawsuits against Northampton County, so I gave him a call. I've been feeling kind of blue and he always cheers me up. But as much as I enjoy talking with Bernie, I like his answering machine much more. It's always a treat. Yesterday, I got lucky. Bernie's answering machine message started off in Spanish and then informed me I had reached "Camp Bernardo," located in the "belly of the beast." Sometimes he also has different bird calls.
When Bernie called back, he told me he's been doing these one man protests for some time now. You may have seen him yourself because he's all over the place. One day, he'll pop up in Allentown. Next day could be Bethlehem. When I asked him why, he told me he's so frustrated by our government and Iraq that he has to do something. "Sure beats pulling out an Uzi." The Lesser Evil says things like that. Many years ago, he was actually a priest in New Orleans who had trouble preaching the party line.
"The tide is turning." That's another thing Bernie told me. If he tried his one-man demonstration in 2001, he believes someone would "yank my head off." These days, he's getting a lot of thumbs up instead.
That's a good sign for Bernie, and a good sign for this country.
So if you're out and about and see a one-man protestor in a Pirates baseball cap, say Hi to Bernie. But don't buy his car.