COMMENTARY: Just sayin’

Blog This

Robert La Valle Blog ThisNow that we know that the country wants a Washington outsider, and any Joe (or Don) can become president, why not any Bob? It’s not that I’m looking for something to do; retirement has been wonderful.

But in the event that our newly elected commander and his sidekick should suddenly become indisposed, I’d be glad to step up to the presidential plate.

First of all, you’d have to understand, I’m no Donald Trump, nor would I try to be. His shoes are far too big and expensive, so chances are the entertainment-filled, media feeding frenzy would have to change its diet or starve.

Sorry, America, but having been a “good boy” my entire life, and vegetarian for the last half, I offer no sexy intrigue, glitz, glamour, or even dirt to chew on.

Besides some speeding violations, my closest encounter with the law was an IRS audit during my first year of teaching. At the same time, Mr. Trump and his father were busy fighting violations of the Fair Housing Act, discriminating against humans with darker shades of skin from living in their 39 New York City apartment buildings.

My audit was as surprising to me as it was for my accountant, the junior high school math teacher where I taught. Stu swore it was all good, but the IRS claimed that I failed to properly substantiate some itemized teaching expenses. I just wanted to save as much of my $10,000 first year’s salary as possible, and like a “good boy,” I learned.

From that point forward, despite Stu’s intuitive wisdom, I pledged never again to exaggerate, and moving forward, paid every bit and probably far more than my share of taxes, which, of course, the American public would be more than welcome to peruse should the need arise.

Mentoring children to play instruments my entire professional life has hopefully left a few with an added appreciation of music, but unless you consider our jazz band’s superior rating at the Lake Compounce musical competition, I offer very little in the sense of achieved, celebrity status.

And there were times when I lost my patience, but as far as I know there are no clandestine, videotaped episodes to be found. I’ve been married only once (without any extramarital activity), enjoying the same woman’s company for what is soon to become 40 years.

During more youthful folly, in the late 60s and early 70s, I can’t promise (like Bill) that “I never inhaled,” but I did intentionally trail slightly behind the guys in the band (much older than myself) to secretly spill out my beer during our nighttime after-practice neighborhood walks.

In more recent years, I have smuggled (online) and enjoyed some very nice contraband Cuban cigars, but along with the trend, those days are gone. There was, however, another illegal international trade deal that I made back in 1996.

While spending two weeks in St. Petersburg, Russia, at an international music festival, chaperoning my musical son, who was 12 and performing at the time, I made a business deal behind closed doors in the back room of a gift shop by paying for a couple of government-issue Russian sailor shirts with American money. But that didn’t make Russians my friends.

So you see, I’m no angel and therefore no better than Donald Trump, except for one thing — my hair. Although it continues to gray, it’s all there.

You may reach the writer at [email protected]

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