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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No, I Am NOT Headed to Tehran

During Desert Storm, I was an artillery gun chief for a self-propelled howitzer in the U.S. Army Reserve. We were based in Stockertown, and we were never attacked, so we must have been pretty good. When there was a call for volunteers, I proudly stepped forward.

There was a going away party and I listened to a few speeches about what a great guy I was and then I was off to Burlington, expecting to be in Saudi Arabia or someplace really hot in about a week.

A day later, I was sent home. Brass told me they needed noncoms like me here in case my entire unit was mobilized. I was probably just too damn old. But the next day, when I walked in the courthouse, I earned my combat badge. Some people claimed I just made the whole damn thing up. Others just laughed at me. I still hear about it to this day.

Well last night, Angle conned a few people into thinking I was going away again. He fooled me, too, telling me he had to meet me for "something big."

"Should I bring my camera?"

"It wouldn't hurt."

Angle had arranged a surprise birthday party. Knowing no one would come for that, he conned people into thinking I was leaving the LV to blog in Iran. A bunch of them quickly kicked in the dough for a fancy new Gateway laptop. It came in a box with a nice picture of Ann McHale, claiming "Nice blogs finish last."

I ran out with the laptop before anyone could realize I'm actually staying to fight all the Mullahs here. Now I'll be able to blog during council meetings, snapping pictures with the web cam. Imagine how happy this will make them!

When I opened the box, a letter fell out. It was from a former Reibman era official, who used to delight in throwing me off the courthouse roof.

"When Ron told me you where leaving the Lehigh Valley, I couldn't wait to forward my donation to help defray your moving expenses. Best money I've ever spent.

"I often dreamed about the day you would leave the Valley, but I always presumed it would be upon a rail.

"Good luck in Tehran leading the 'Freedom Blogger Movement.' They have an amazing and surprising amount of media freedom over there, so I can only encourage you to criticize the current regime with the same elan and enthusiasm you have heretofore reserved for Joe Long.
"I'm sure Joe would encourage this as well. Don't forget to include a couple quips about Mohamed.

"You'll be huge, I promise.

"Now get the hell out. - XXX XXXXXX

"P.S. I told Councilman Angle that I couldn't be at your dinner because I was out of town. The truth is, in fact, I am using this event as a diversion while I plant explosives in your car.

"P.P.S. Keep laughing, motherfucker. You know you're going to check under the seats when you get out into the parking lot."


Anonymous said...

Why the love affair with the guy who mastermined the decisions of the Reibman Administration you dispise.

You can't have one without the other. Are you genuine or are you a bullshiter.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's easy. It boils down to one word - respect. There are people I can't respect even though I agree w/ 99% of their philosophy. There are some I admire even though I disagree w/ them on almost everything.

During the Reibman era, there were some very good people on Council, people like Greg Zebrowski, Marilyn Lieberman, Carol Cuomo and Joe Brennan.

We could disagree intensely about policy or the relative merits of a bond, but would always respect each other. Greg Zebrowski could blast me in a news conference as a "nattering nabob" but would always listen to me and treat me with respect. Those council members looked for areas of agreement. They did not get personally caught up in all the bullshit.

Even Glenn Reibman, for all his flaws as exec, was a true gentleman. Jim Hickey is probably the most brilliant county administrator I've ever seen. And every county exec needs a hatchetman. He can also be outrageously funny. But I never said that letter was from him.

Hickey and Angle could roll around Northampton Street, jabbing each other. But when the meeting is over, it's over.

The current crowd has not learned that lesson.

Anonymous said...

whose birthday? yours? rons? not sure.

Anonymous said...

"P.P.S. Keep laughing, motherfucker. You know you're going to check under the seats when you get out into the parking lot."

i could totally see the monkey farting hatchetman saying this.

Bernie O'Hare said...

So could I, but i never said that letter was from him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"whose birthday?"

It was mine, but that was last week.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that your old computer be donated to the NOrthampton County Historical Museum. It can be put right next to the desk where Thomas Penn signed the charter incorporating Norco County.

Anonymous said...

O'Hare please go to Tehran with your new laptop. You could send back updates. Your smart, insightful way of covering news would be welcome.

A travel tip. When you get to Tehran, just run through the streets and throw a few rocks, it's an old custom. Don't worry they will love it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks for the tips. I was thinking of setting fire to the Ayatollah's beard as a practical joke. I hear those Mullahs have one hell of a sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

Now we know Angle and Hickey are part of the O'Hare pay to praise posse.

Who are the others? Smart investment. Bribe O'Hare with a new computer and get mancrush coverage for themselves ans or their pol's.

Very smart on the part of the group.

Who said Pawlowski was the King of P2P. Hell, you got a new laptop out of the deal.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Other than Angle, you have no idea who was in that group. I promised Lamont I wouldn't breathe a word.

But you're right. I am a slut.

Anonymous said...

You have always talked about Hickey throwing you off the roof. Of course it was Hickey, don't be such a drama queeen. Try to remember your own crap.

This must have been bankrolled by the Stoffa gang with a contribution from Dent.

It is no secret Hickey has a guy for Executive and wanted Stoffa to win.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Many people have thrown me off the courthouse roof. I never said that letter was from Hickey. And if you call me a drama queen one more time, I'll start crying.

Anonymous said...

"It is no secret Hickey has a guy for Executive and wanted Stoffa to win."

he clones them in his basement from the body parts of other county execs.