East Side West Side All Around the Town

Sadly the new Broadway play ‘Groundhog Day’ is going dark which is Broadway speak for, it’s all over.  This was a Musical based on the famous movie of the same name that starred Bill Murray.  Theater goers said the music was good and Act One was good but Acts Two and Three, well, they seemed like the same day, all over again.

Seth Baron over at the City Journal is wondering if former President Barak Obama, The Smartest Man Whoever Was or Will Be President of The United States, decision to live in D.C., is a nefarious desire to be a “Shadow President”.  And, we’re kind of wondering if that is not a racist idea?  “Shadow President”, get it?  There hasn’t been much or any hue and cry over Seth Barron’s column.  We seem to be the only ones who have even noticed.  Guess we can say that once you’re out of office, you’re out of town.  Even if you still live there.

Not to be left behind or out of the latest fad, the destruction of Confederate Civil War monuments, Mayor Wilhelm, Wilhelm is looking far and wide for anything he can smash.  Unfortunately for him, New York City is way above the Mason Dixon Line and there doesn’t seem to be any.  But Mayor Wilhelm, Wilhelm is undaunted.  He’s created a committee to see if anyone can find any.  Smashing things must be fun.  Especially old things, that seem to exist so pigeons, can do something creative with their poop.

What he did find is a little marker on Broadway that indicates that Marshal Petain was given a ticker tape parade back in 1931.  If you ever come here and walk up lower Broadway, you will see these little markers on the sidewalk that commemorate all the ticker tape parades like the ones given for the Yankees, the Giants or our original Astronauts.  But you have to keep your head down and look hard or you’ll walk right over them and never know.

So who was Marshal Petain?  Was he some evil Plantation owner turned Confederate Commander?  Did he lead one of the Alabama Brigades at Gettysburg?  No Marshal Petain was the French Commander in Chief during World War I.  He was very instrumental in turning the demoralized French army around and leading it to victory with the rest of the Allies.  He was so instrumental in the Allied victory that New York gave him our best thank you, a ticker tape parade up Broadway in 1931.   A decade later when the Nazis overran France in WWII, they used the then 84 year old Marshall Petain, to make the Nazi occupation of France seem legitimate.  Some say he was old and senile and didn’t realize what he was being used for.  Others say he was a vain old man, who liked being a, somebody again.  When France was liberated, Marshal Petain was tried and found guilty of treason, stripped of all his military ranks and he later died in exile.  And now thanks to Mayor Wilhelm, Wilhelm, the little marker that commemorated Marshal Petain’s parade is gone.  And the image of Marshal Petain riding up Broadway in an open car, with crowds cheering and ticker tape falling all around him like confetti from heaven, will be gone from your mind too.  If it ever was there in the first place.  But we can all sleep better at night now.  Justice has been served.

We couldn’t put this column to bed without hearty congratulations to Derek and Hannah Jeter on the birth of their daughter, Bella Raine.  We have no doubt that Bella Raine, will have great hands, a smooth disposition and a lot of class.  God Bless.

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Don Frankel

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