Maxinista: One, Two, Many Maxines
Okay, CH. Ready to take flight. Been in to do my job, haven't I? Unseat the Maxinistas, out the phonies and curmudgeons & baggage-istas left over from the Lloyd Wells Originals & Tennis Club Creepos and wannabes . . . did we do it? Up to you to say . . . I've said my piece (more than said it, according to the Granny Caucus & CH Booster [Dina "Single Mom" Hitchcock] & Henry D [Mark "Braveheart" Keintz]) . . . but just a few more hiccups, a summing up, some emendations, if you please . . .
After Ron Recko and a 9th Ward Dem leader with a sudden case of shyness engineered the great SOC election victory a few weeks ago, and worked like field hands to get the ballots into the box, so to speak, the Other Side - consisting of Actionistas Jeremy Heep and a leather-clad Ms. Hitchcock, the Regis and Kelly of the post-Maxinist Chestnut Hill right, decided to drive a wedge into the winning SOC "party" by isolating Jane Piotrowski, an Actionista whom Recko & Co. wanted to draft as Social VP, by calling on her to turn down the appointment and show solidarity with her neocon pals . . . Then Hitchcock and Heep began whispering into the ears of Granny Caucusers Virginia Mallery and Mary Anna Ross, to push the candidacy of Janine Dwyer, the former "neutral" president and touchy-feely Dr. Phil fan and hair salon entrepreneur, who was more than willing to be drafted for the job, even though she hadn't run. The Grannies were trying to promote Janine anyway, in a series of quiet meetings toward the end of the campaign, because they strongly objected to the "wild" Recko and the even "wilder" Ed "Furniture Guy" Feldman - the latter seen as Chestnut Hill's Rasputin - on the grounds that he talked so fast, long and far above their heads, that they couldn't answer him . . . What would happen if those guys got power?
Hitchcock and Heep (hereafter HH), knew that the Grannies were sisters under the skin, who blew a lot of smoke about "free press," "quasi-government," etc. but who really represented the old WASP-supremacy, exclusionary dream of Chestnut Hill as a standard for the few to aspire to - a kind of monetary safe-haven that had turned over the years into a Big League Complex - after all, Chestnut Hill and the Main Line communities had been founded so 19th century Philadelphia social burghers could get away from all the Jews, Italians, Germans, Irish, blacks and Poles piling into the city, and dragging their nasty poor people's diseases behind them . . . You can still see smidgins of these attitudes today (people are much more PR-minded, but give themselves away) - Recko is Polish, Feldman a Jew, Shoshana Bricklin, who couldn't get arrested by the SOC-party biggies despite pleas to join their slate, is also a Jew, and none are "aesthetically pleasing," as one Granny told me years ago. She allowed that I wasn't either, but had "risen above [my] background" and "educated myself." "Six degrees of separation, dear," I replied, and mentioned how Frankie Smacks, the Germantown Ave. Italian barber once told me he'd been aced out of some major CH booster's award back in the 70s by Lloyd Wells himself (who then saw that his wife, Ellen, who was editing the Local, got it). "I don't believe it," the matron sniffed. "I think you're being paranoid." I then recounted how Lou Aiello, a former Wells body servant, had tried to poison me against printing a friendly front page story on Smacks in the Local, by alleging Frankie had run an informal brothel above his barber shop, when he came home from WWII. (He and a buddy used to ask their girlfriends over on weekends to jitterbug to Benny Goodman). "Oh, I don't believe it!" the matron repeated. (Lou is currently asking for a desk at the Local, so he can replace Joe Pie as AA spy.)
But I digress. HH are good politicians, as that stuff goes. They were fracturing SOC, already riding on fragile tectonic plates. The Grannies didn't trust Jim Foster, the SOC coordinator and Mt. Airy businessman, because he was "too bossy." They thought Lawrence Walsh was nuts, because he'd get excited at board meetings where obvious lying and mendacity were flying like black Maxinista flags; they hated Feldman for his retro Abbie Hoffmanism (Ross, the sergeant-at-arms of the GC, was always shushing Ed in public, because she and her friends were organically offended by his hamishness.) Thus HH tried to promote Janine Dwyer's presidency, because they knew she was malleable. She'd backed the infamous "Civil Code" in 2000, the Magna Carta of Chestnut Hill hypocrisy, which discouraged the naming of names in letters to the editor of the Local, and in public meetings(!), yet mysteriously maintained it was for "a free press;" she'd double-crossed Andy Ross in throwing her vote behind Mark Keintz for chair of the Local Management Committee that year, back when Keintz was seen as a rising star, and Ross a leftover from the Betsy Masters era . . .
Next HH directly called the sainted Anne Spaeth, the self-referential Ross, and the wifty Mallery and persuaded them to back Janine, on the grounds that Ron Recko, the natural candidate for president coming off the SOC victory, "didn't want to do it anyway" -- a convenient opinion, dashed to the floor as soon as Ron smelled what was going on. He talked to the Grannies, Janine and HH firmly, and though both Hitchcock and Heep were inclined for a few days to vie for high office themselves, despite their 19-to 5 thumping in the election (they'd gotten Foghorn Sullivan to expiate on how close the vote percentages were, and Carol Cope to burp about how "no mandate" had been established for SOC), they soon saw they didn't have the muscle to foul up the SOC victory, and withdrew, snarling and snapping over their shoulders. Suddenly, Recko was president.
The Action Alliance wasn't done yet. Maxine tried to pack the ridiculous Publishers Committee with "free pressers" like Cope and Joe "Shovels" Pie (two sources allege he once warned Recko that if he [R] turned out to be Sniper, he'd get a shovel to the side of the head), but the move unraveled, and the Publishers Committee, the instrument of the Local's sad decline, is itself scheduled for demolition.
Maxine can’t give up, though. She engineered the payment of an illegal $3200 fee to her pal Sanjiv Jain for renting the first floor of 8431 Germantown Avenue, the CHCA's real estate misadventure, under heavy opposition fire; she tried to force an "institutional" member onto the board, to give Actionistas an extra vote, but the move was tabled by Recko, a source said, who caught Stuart "Don't Read the Blog" Graham, Piotrowski, the "turncoat" new Social VP, and Tia Burke trying to arrange the thing in the foyer of the Library (where Max had switched board meeting locations from Hiram Lodge last week to discourage public attendance, one of her oldest tricks).
Not even the symbolic turning over of the gavel from Max to Ron went smoothly. Stewie Graham, dressed for a funeral in a black double-breasted suit, showed up carrying a dozen yellow roses and wanted Recko to present them to Maxine in a gesture of respect and continuity. Ron was polite but firm in declining that honor. So Maxine claimed the gavel was locked in the trunk of her car, which couldn't be opened, and so borrowed another from the Rotary Club, which had to fill in for the real one . . . It didn't bode well . . .
When she finally relinquished her presidency, Maxinista went to the back of the room, then gradually faded away. But the front of the room was filled with her sisters and daughters - Tia Burke, legs sprawled defiantly, rolling her eyes at President Recko's opening statement, curling her finger in her hair; Carol Cope, smirking knowingly; Dina Hitchcock, with the hard-labor look of one of Quantrell's Raiders; Pam "Boom Boom" Waters, her face a mask of asperity . . . When Recko asked for questions, none of them had a word to say.
All right . . . that's it; just laying the record on the line to enliven tomorrow's Phone Mafia prattle . . . no reason to go on with this. You don't get it anyway . . . 'Enquirer writing' one genius barked on Tuesday. The Enquirer, pal, wouldn't let me use the word 'emendations' . . . But who cares, right? The good guys won. Yet another Local editor coming up shortly, and old Virginia crooning in the background, despite having sold him out two months ago . . . The bad guys folding their wings and hanging upside down in their bat caves, sending out sonar probes in anticipation of the next ill wind . . . which Stewie Graham & his gal pals are already generating, you can be sure . . .