There was a time when Americans didn't look, sound nor act like mass-produced human items. When American myths were based on last stands, including that most famous victory in defeat, General George Armstrong Custer and his 275 7th Cavalry soldiers trying to fight off 5,000 Sioux and Cheyenne warriors at the Little Big Horn.
Like him or hate him, there were no other Americans like Custer and he did it all himself, with Civil War heroics, genuine brave deeds, without the aid of an agent, an image consultant or a rich daddy or even a richer granddaddy (Hey there, a shout out to the lame duck of all lame ducks, President George W. Bush).
This strand of bullheaded, right or wrong, actions-speak-louder-than-words stuff is not totally dead. I was reminded of that the other day when I read about the death of Edith Macefield.
Edith was the 86-year-old woman who refused to leave her lifelong home in Ballard, who refused to cave in to developers who first tried to buy her out, then intimidate her.
Developers eventually built around the quirkily lovely old woman, who in the finest American tradition said no to jerry built condos and easy cash and stayed put.
Macefield reportedly said, no to $1 million of developers' money, and eventually died in the same home where her mother had died years earlier. Many folks, appalled at the Fremontization of Ballard, yet another Seattle neighborhood trading unique for interchangeable, made a hero out of Macefield.
According to those who knew her, Edith rejected that label. She just didn't want to make way for a huge health club and yet another Trader Joe's. She will be missed.
* An outfit I won't miss are the low-rent, Seattle Nothing-Super-About-These Sonics, and their carpetbagger owner from the heart of red dirt, red dust, red state Oklahoma. Owner Clay Bennett can stand in as the exact opposite of Macefield.
Despite scads of emails telling his fiends he would be moving the Sonics to Oklahoma City, a place not on anybody's 100 greatest cities lists (we on the other hand make quite a few of those lists), he told an open court last week that he really wanted to stay here but just couldn't make it in ramshackle KeyArena. And like our own Paul Allen before him, he wanted us to pay for his new digs, taking corporate welfare to new heights. The team hasn't been any good for years and the ticket prices are so high you could look around KeyArena all night and never see a kid who actually hooped it up on a local playground.
I'm for forcing Bennett to honor his contract with the city though, keeping the lame duck losers here for two more years, then laughing as they leave town, still in last place.
Bennett and his ilk are everything this city is becoming, a poorer and poorer approximation of New York City without the vibrant street life and genuine multi-cultural energy. Macefield was a reminder of what we once were-a friendly, hard-working, equalitarian, live-and-let-live town.
So unlike those who want to Save "OUR" Sonics, or those who want to steal them away, I say sentence them to two more years, and if KeyArena gets empty enough, maybe even Bennett will scout the playgrounds and bring in some deserving young hoopsters to watch a few games for free, since he's already losing money and going broke and all.
And let's not forget in this saga that Bennett wouldn't even be in position to take this team away if Howard Schultz, another carpetbagger who has changed Seattle for the worse, hadn't sold them in a fit of pique because we voters wouldn't build him a new arena either. Maybe Howard was saving his funds to open 6,000 Starbucks on Mars, since there is now one of his shops everywhere else in the galaxy except maybe heaven and hell.
I wouldn't mind if Howard packed up and left, too. I drink coffee at Ladro, Uptown and Zingaro's anyway.[[In-content Ad]]