Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Peace, love and Lou

It's hard to assign enough glee to following scenario:

I'm sauntering around the 2009 Hessler Street Fair--Cleveland's longest and most venerable celebration of patchouli-soaked tie-dye-clad peacenik hippie-ism--when I see a luscious man in a uniform.

"Lou!"

"Erin!"

Of course I immediately lunged towards him and embraced him.

Lou Pumphrey is a tireless protester of all things violent and a fierce defender of all things life. Unlike the hypocritical nincompoops who vote "pro-life" with one hand and support the death penalty with the other, Lou supports all life, in the womb, in Iraq or in the slammer.

There is no bullshit about Lou Pumphrey.

For instance, the uniform he's wearing in this picture is the same one he was issued 41 years ago by the United States Army upon his honorable discharge after a year's tour of duty in Vietnam. Now dig this: it fits him perfectly--I mean perfectly. Not one button on that jacket is the slightest bit strained.

Lou pens letters to local editors frequently and has responded to my Rainy Day Woman column more than once. He loved my corn chowder but didn't care so much for my musings on abortion. But that's okay. Lou and I can love on each other no matter how fervently we disagree.

And really, what girl doesn't love a man in a uniform?

* * *

Since there's so much love in this post already, let me sprinkle it with a just a few more love links for good measure:

Lou's first person accounting of how an Irishman was barred from the Cleveland 2009 St. Patty Day parade.

Photos of the 2008 Hessler Street Fair.


The Funny Times, the paper where Lou works.

11 comments:

Slowly But Surly said...

Re: "pro-life" & death penalty

These are two different issues; one has to do with protection of the unborn and the other justice for crimes by an adult.

One can be critical of one or both, but I'd argue that you're mixing apples and oranges here.

Anavid Readings said...

I love "Unlike the hypocritical nincompoops who vote 'pro-life' with one hand and support the death penalty with the other, Lou supports all life, in the womb, in Iraqu or in the slammer."

LOL! That made me laugh out loud. Very cool. And I love the word "nincompoops" - haven't heard anyone say that in a while.

I like Lou. :)

Anonymous said...

I love Lou! i am so lucky that he's my Dad! I will never be able to bestow enough thanks on him for all he has done for me and simply for being my great Dad

John Ettorre said...

To me, he's most notable for firing off hundreds of letters to the editor over the years, strongly expressing his views. That's an important form of citizen journalism, and no one in Cleveland can hold a candle to him on that front.

Louis said...

With all due respect to my fellow anti-choicer--Slowly but Surly--I'm afraid I must disagree with his contention that connecting capital punishment and abortion is like comparing "apples and oranges."
The late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who headed the Archdiocese of Chicago at the time of his death, spoke about a respect for life as being akin to a "seamless garment," noting his opposition to capital punishment, war and abortion.
The strongest thread in that garment linking abortion and capital punishment is that in both situations a person in a position of power is exercising complete dominion over the life of a defenseless human being, to the detriment of that individual.
I do not believe our Creator placed us on this earth to take the lives of our fellow human beings, regardless of their place of residence, i.e. in utero or ex utero. We have intellects. We have the ability to resolve personal, social and political challenges by embracing non-lethal choices--appropriate courses of action for a society that considers itself civilized.
Slowly but Surly is not writing about justice. He is writing about revenge. Justice would be to allow the capital offender to wake up every morning for the rest of his life and see nothing but grey bars and grey walls to remind him of why he is where he is.

Finally, thank you John Ettore for the wonderful compliment.

Lou Pumphrey

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Lou,

Welcome home, brother.

Al

Alan J. Dover
Major, U.S. Army (retired)
Veteran
Operations Desert Shield and Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)

Erin O'Brien said...

Hi Al and John and Surly and Lou and Anavid.

Hi child o' Lou!

Slowly But Surly said...

Louis,

It’s interesting that you jumped to the conclusion that I'm 'anti' choice.

The death penalty = revenge? I suppose that I’d agree that’s part of the story, but I think that is the conclusion of a long line of thought that starts with the question, what is the right punishment for a given crime? Just when is it permissible to take another’s life?

Anyhow I didn’t post to stand up for one side or another, but to point out what I believe is in logical inconsistency in a statement. One may sharply disagree with being pro-life/anti-choice and pro death penalty, but people holding these positions isn’t necessarily nincompoops.

BTW: I'm just Surly to my friends ;)

John Ettorre said...

Lou, how nice to bump into you here, since I haven't bumped into you in person in many years. But thanks to our friend Erin, I feel at least mildly re-connected. Be well, amigo.

Toby said...

I love you and I love Lou.

Louis said...

To John Ettorre...

Yes, John, we met way back in the '80s when I was a reporter for the Catholic Universe Bulletin and you were working in JCU's public affairs department, if memory serves.
Thanks, again, for the compliment.

Lou Pumphrey