Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Candy De La Snootie Patootie Demands Four More Supine Years on the School Board of Ceremonial Green-key Pushers

Snooty Patootie de La Tootledum Candy Olson Demands Four More Useless Years on the Board

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Candy Olson still lives in South Tampa, but she lives in a condo north of Swann behind Cinebistro. Most South Tampa snobs wouldn't be caught dead living north of Swann in a condo.

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Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 7:28 PM

Candy Snooty Patootie de La Tootledum Olson wants to inhabit District 2's school board seat four more years. That would boost her tenure to a whopping 20 years of doing nothing at all to help schools and students and doing everything possible to cement the administration and board's thuggery in conducting the schools as an outback knockoff Mafia franchise.

The school board represents a species of volunteerism done free by citizens in many parts of the country. Taxpayers, however, pay school boards in Florida. When the local board had boosted its salaries to ten thousand dollars more than teachers', I approached Dr. Lamb and Candy Snooty Patootie de La Tootledum at a political meeting to tell them they should be ashamed of themselves to make more money than teachers. Dr. Lamb lowered at me from his 300-pound bulwark of body fat and let fly a stream of invective at my head. Candy looked on with approval but remained mute. Unless Candy de La Tootledum is in the safe precincts of the board's sacred stage, she has the guts of a butterfly. These two taxpayer parasites stalked off in offended dignity with Dr. Lamb's leaving greasemarks in his tracks.

To volunteer for service of some sort is good citizenship. But Candy's volunteerism ranks excessive. It bespeaks pathology.

Candy's history on the board Web site confirms that she has suffered from life-long metastasizing volunteerism. You name the community organization, and Candy's been a member--from PTA president to the Mayor's Beautification Committee--to little effect in the latter activity, to be sure. There are two dense paragraphs of volunteer entries in her Web history.

There is not one paying job cited. Candy De La Tootledum has not worked day one in her life to support herself and establish a Social Security account by her own efforts. This behavior is antediluvian.

No job means Candy is the apotheosis of the superannuated society matron and Junior League bandage roller (junior to whom? I have always wondered). Contemplating her life is like finding a rare sort of trilobite from eons past.

Flo Kennedy said that every woman is one man away from welfare. Candy typifies the truth of this epigram as her sad if risible marital history shows.

Let's turn to the man on whom dependent homemaker Candy depended: friend husband. The depended-upon husband is the fly in the ointment in Candy's saga of runaway volunteerism and no paying job. After Candy had achieved her 60th year, her marriage turned into a kind of comic "Can You Top This?" that would render the woman's situation sad were Candy De La Tootledum not such a disagreeable full-time dependent homemaker, obsessive volunteer, and feckless board member.

The story of Candy's bizarre divorce must have been a godsend to chew over and cherish in group shadenfreude by the Ladies Who Lunch at the Palma Ceia Country Club. It's just delicious to this species of cormorants to see the downfall of one of their own. As the gossip seeps out into the arteries and ventricles of South Tampa's pitiless information network of such catastrophes of personal grief, there is barely repressed jubilation. That's my impression. Pity is not in many South Tampa matrons' grammar.

I got this divorce story in dribs and drabs in visits to my old Beach Park neighborhood. It seems that Candy's former husband, who presides over a bankruptcy court in Sarasota, joined a men's gay choir. Lo, he in that environment had a tardy epiphany about his sexual orientation. The judge came out, announced it to the world, and pronounced himself never happier after a blitzkrieg divorce from Candy.

I know the extant story sounds like an episode of "Days of Our Lives" gone wild, but such bizarre things happen. It has happened to better women than la Candy. Ariana Huffington had a similar experience, had the same two daughters as has Candy De La Tootledum. Ariana's spouse was a handsome California millionaire who ran for the Senate. Arianna helped the louse in his campaign. His gay orientation surfaced during the campaign from hostile research of an opponent. Ariana, beautiful, brilliant, and resilient pulled her socks up and started "The Huffington Report" online. It is wildly successful--I always check it before the New York Times; Huffington is now a respected guest on all the big TV political shows.

Candy, in contrast, has schlepped around the school-board during her domestic agon and shown definite signs that now in recompense her dumping by a guy who switched sexual orientation, she plans to retaliate against the citizens and hang on for dear life to her board position as anchor in the shifting sands of her existence.

Woe betide. Woe betide the schools. Woe betide the taxpayers, Woe betide anybody who knows Candy's sorry record on the board. Woe betide the souls who care even a little bit about education. President Obama says he wants to do something to improve education. I have a suggestion: spirit Candy away from the school board of Hillsborough County. That would cause a bump upward in the education meter.

One must say that Judge Olson picked a hell of a time to come out. Candy is 62, so he must be in his mid to late sixties, not the age at which to begin a new gay dating life. Old guys seldom get hit on and invited to rendezvous in gay bars. Old gay guys deserve pity except for one who has dumped a wife after two children and many years of marriage to announce a new sexual orientation and live the life of it to the full, never having been happier.

Candy De La Tootledum is a well-enough looking woman, especially for 62. She looks younger than her age, I believe, although my long-distance vision from the back of the board room is not reliable. She must have been attractive 30 years ago, when such a kick-in-the-dependent-homemaker-teeth as her husband just pulled on her would not have been the blow that it is now.

As to her appearance, for a while Candy had what appeared to be a large lump in her abdominal area that made Lee R.N. fear that ascites had struck, not a good sign for anybody on or off the school board. I think the abdominal lump has diminished. I hope so. I have to check this perception when I can next drive from the beach to attend a board meeting. I don't like Candy, but I don't wish ascites on her--nor a husband who flips sexual orientation on the cusp of his dotage. She doesn't need ascites to add to her comedown.

Ariana appears invidiously compared to Candy, who wants to run yet again for the school board, on which she has done nothing for sixteen years and now aims to round out this non-activity to twenty barren years on the board post divorce. It's a forlorn status for her and an even more forlorn prospect for the schools.

Candy belongs to the Athena Society, the ostensible purpose of which is to advance women's status. I knew the founder, Nancy Ford, now deceased, so spoke there when we feminists were working our hearts out to get the ERA passed. The Athena women, headed by Nancy, wanted to do something to advance the ERA, but they were too scared to attempt the smallest gesture because they feared opponents of women's rights would call them "unladylike."

Opponents would have indeed and would have tacked on worse names than "unladylike." When they called us NOW (National Organization of Women) "unladylike," we harridans riposted with ramping up the insult to calling the men sexists sufferers of ejaculatio praecox and the women colluders Washed-out Aunt Toms.

I think the Athena women want to do something to boost women's status and rights at the present time, but they are still too scared to be called unladylike and eschew contact with such as National Organization for Women rowdies for being exuberant, unladylike ragtags (I founded Tampa NOW over forty years ago). We fought the establishment: picketed, chanted insults, and made the Police Department open its ranks to women by ratting it out to the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Athena club's terrified behavior during ERA days deserves and gets my contempt for these timid sisters' cowardly behavior.

I am sorry to be frank, but I must speak as I find.

I can give this advice from this experience: When in doubt, be unladylike. Never hesitate to be a shrike.

To give Nancy credit, she did give a notable ERA reception when she used to live in Beach Park in an old Spanish house on the water. Some Hollywood stars were there. One hit on my old man, who forty years ago was as handsome as Paris of the Iliad, the one who ran off with Menalaus's wife, Helen. Helen became the famous Helen of Troy, who "had the face that sank a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Iluim" according to Ben Johnson. Don't ask me who Johnson is. It will be on your next pop quiz.

A feminist take on Helen's alleged responsibility for the Trojan war is another instance of a woman's being blamed for anything that men are too puisne to take responsibility for. Everybody knows that Eve was framed. So was Helen. The guys just wanted an excuse to go to war and blamed it on Helen. We women have caught on to these men's rackets.

I confess I don't believe Athena doyennes have a deeply held belief in women's rights. They have settled into being second bananas and resent other women who have not.

At the podium speech at Athena years ago, as my eyes swept the room, I tapped into the sisters' value system when I got the impression that Athena doyennes were too busy checking out my attire to listen to my exhortation on the ERA. I was badly dressed in off-the-rack Sears and Roebuck. The only thing that saved me was my ancient Chanel purse from my collection of these old jewels of elegance and éclat. The Athena robots cudgeled their not-considerable brains to figure out how a woman could wear leather-upper shoes with man-made soles and carry a classic to-die-for Chanel purse. My dears: that's what's called fashion sense. Some of us have it; some don't.

Candy De La Tootledum was not a member of Athena in the long-ago beginning before the standards dropped. She got an invitation to join only after the Athena sisters adopted more flexible guidelines and began recruiting women based on the number of volunteer organizations they had joined.

Candy's dependent homemaker status means that she would not be eligible even for Social Security were it not for her out-and-about erstwhile heterosexual-now-gay spouse. When sexists insist that women have equality now, the fact that their dependent homemaker status does not ensure women Social Security accounts in their own name strips that false assurance down to the lie that it is.

Candy's former spouse and newly minted homosexual willow-the-wisp, utter clod that he is, was graceless enough to announce after the divorce that he had "never been happier." He had stayed hetero long enough to beget two daughters with Candy. I have seen one: a perfect beauty who, I heard, went to Harvard. How will the husband explain his actions to his daughters? What would you want to bet that the Athena Society would not be confident and compassionate enough to invite as member a woman from a dissolved marriage that featured such a bizarre divorce? The chances are zilch.

Ms. Doretha Edgecomb, another board member, by the bye, is a member of Athena, I understand. Woo. Woo. Racial integration is a big step for the Athenaettes. I bet the way Ms. Edgecomb got into Athena was by not doing one thing for blacks in her board tenure. I think she's there to cement her daughter's administrative job, which she doubtless was not qualified for. Jobs go in ROSSAC to the least qualified relatives, sycophants, and buddies of La Elia. She will also do a green-button-pushing board member such as Doretha the favor of hiring a no-talent kid for a bloated-salary administrative sinecure--although I bet the hiring of Ms. Edgecomb's child took place on the watch of Earl the Pearl Lennard, that jewel in the crown of superintendency now ensconsed as supervisor of elections by Crist. The internal auditors in the county better be on the q.v. for accounting irregularities on Le Lennard's watch. Buddy Johnson may begin to look like the soul of discretion in comparison if they don't.

I hope those surficial Athena cats don't kick Candy out for her husband's foolery. That would be the final straw to her social pretensions--already badly deflated by losing her South Tampa house and having to move into a condo. In the South Tampa lexicon of values, living in a condo is déclassé. My dears, it just is.

The reason I speak with such authority on South Tampa mores is that my family lived in Beach Park for twenty years when our four children went to Grady, Coleman, and Plant. When they all moved away, my consort of 55 years on August 29 and I moved to our vacation condo at Madeira Beach. It's about a quarter as big as our old Beach Park house, but the beach birds are friendly.

I have observed the board for more than two years after my buddy Bart Birdsall, then a teacher, later a media specialist, became the target of one of Superintendent Elia's cooked-up Professional Standards charges. Bart who is gay, protested then-Commissioner Ronda Storms's diminishing gays' library rights. Bart did this protesting on his own time with his own emails.

This unfair charge happened shortly after Elia got the superintendent's job, acquired not by merit but by stealthy political maneuvers in which, I am sure, Candy De La Tootledum acted major player. I infer Ms. Elia wanted to strut her new power and to give vent to her festering homophobia with Bart's cooked-up charge. During the processing of this charge Bart discovered Kipley's habitual lying. And I discovered her ridiculous footwear. She wears plastic see-through shoes to work.

Bart and the mother of a gay son at Hillsborough had been trying without success for a long time to get the board members to start a program or to bring in some speakers about the harassment and abuse of gay children in the schools. One boy told Bart he felt like committing suicide. Jane and Bart begged members of the board in vain to deal with this problem. Candy was particularly sneaky about her cowardice on this gay issue. Bart believes her children were open minded on the gays, so Candy didn't want to show her prejudice to them. She would pretend to be sympathetic and willing to do something concrete, but then she would slither away from Jane and Bart and fade into board inactivity, which inactivity board members are now howling about not being paid for if Senator Wise's bill passes to lower their wage to the $29,000 that legislators get for part-time work.

I judge that $29,000 is still way too much for the somnolent, green-button pushing androids of the board. That activity sums up their "work" for the schools. Their other activity is the drain on tax dollars for their flying around the country at government expense on supposed education missions from which they come back non-improved and even less willing to do the background reading their job requires to be a good board member. Susan Valdes, current board chair, spent $50,000 in one year on her board joy rides while the poor children of the county could not afford supplies they needed to do class work.

Susan's mantra is that she is determined to "save every penny of taxpayer money." I have heard her say this with a straight face a half dozen times. Susan is either shameless or dumb. Probably both. The board members also gad about the Bay to attend trough-style government-funded pig outs at pseudo community-improvement hoedowns where people who haven't read a good book for thirty years pose as patrons of learning. They discuss only such political twaddle as who's running for what seat when so-and-so's term limits kick in.

When term limits cut short a political life-timer, sending the panicked culprit seeking another office for which to run, we see the musical chairs of Bay Area incestuous political ring-around-the rosy: not a dignified sight. The trouble is that we don't have term limits for school board members. Then Candy would be long gone. I don't think the legislature considers the school boards serious enough on which to impose term limits.

These trough pig outs don't help board members' exacerbating weight problem. They wax fatter and fatter. Dr. Lamb is a waddling heart attack or stroke on the brink of happening. The board does not sponsor programs for the children's nation-wide obesity problem that First Lady Obama now tries to fire up. Its doing so would call attention to board members' own obesity problem. The only board member in normal weight range is Pole Girl Falliero. Being fat would cut into her dominant pursuit of finding more "mentors" on site in her board work.

The only times that Candy De La Tootledum Olson speaks occurs when she gets the urge to natter in endless monologues that have nothing to do with board business. I remember one puzzling subconscious train of thought she reeled out of nowhere concerning the depth and width of her reading. I doubt she reads any challenging stuff. I have never heard her mention Thucydides or Finnegan's Wake. Nor has she quoted from De Profundis or the Areopagitica.My bet is that she counts as deep reading Playgirl and Good Housekeeping. But that she reads at all highlights how little other board members read. Two have no college degrees--April Griffith and Susan Valdes. I warrant the last book they read was primer Dick and Jane in Down the River Road. This lack of education entitles one to ask whether they can claim interest in Hillsborough County children's education when they had none in their own.

One issue that fires Candy's imagination involves her demonstrated hatred for teachers. I don't know from where this antipathy emerged or why. She has done so much volunteer work for schools--she was even a class-room teacher's helper--that one would infer she liked teachers. Maybe she envied them their captain-of-the-ship authority in classrooms. All Candy's manic volunteering suggests a diagnostic of a stab at self-worth and a desire for power of some sort.

Teachers are powerful people in the classroom. I always walked into a class with secure knowledge that the students might not like to learn about possessive before the gerund or to interpret the humor in the gravediggers' scene in Hamlet; but I knew that standing in front of the blackboard at the head of the class made me the most powerful person in the room, the one that sets the agenda. That knowledge came in handy when class cutups and defiers of authority tested teacher to see if she were tough enough to keep things orderly for education to go forward. Was she? She was. So we faced down both grammar and Hamlet in my classes.

A teacher that grasps the power of the role and uses it can keep order. She will not let disorder take over in the first place. When they see they can't rattle a teacher, students settle into the power equation of a classroom and start to pay attention to the lesson.

Candy La De Tootledum betrays her dislike for teachers by her podium conduct. I have seen her and Elia smirk conspiratorially at some discomfort that teachers have suffered. Olson praises from her board seat the despicable enemy of teachers Linda Kipley, sycophant head of Professional Standards who gleefully carries out Ms. Elias plots to trap a teacher into a Professional Standards charge for some miniscule instance of departure from the "rules" or to set up a "Watch this teacher so that we can pin something on him or her with the threat that firing follows."

These tactics terrify teachers. This terror shuts them up. That shut-down of teacher comments is the purpose of threats of Professional Standards charges. The latter was root in Steve Kemp's recent case. He had a blog. That's a sin in a teacher who becomes magnet for a heat-seeking Professional Standards charge. Blogs give information unscrubbed by the Community Affairs office. Blogs blab what really happens in ROSSAC. The administration and board hate blogs and teachers who have them for their outing of the ROSSAC crooks' behavior.

Jennifer Pole Girl Falliero, when not scanning the landscape for "mentors," actually wrote to the Times editors and demanded that they have a censor 24-7 on duty to spot and delete all negative references to board members and administrators. This is the quality of the minds that sit on the board. Ms. Falliero took an oath of office to protect the Constitution but violates the First Amendment every chance she gets. Falliero is a Constitutional barbarian who wouldn't know a Constitutional provision if it came up and bit her in the nose.

Insight into the board and administration's crooked hiring protocols turns up in the career of Linda Kipley. Kipley, who has a home-ec degree (I am not making this up), instead of being fired as she should have been for flopping as Hillsborough High principal, got a promotion to head of Professional Standards that pays perhaps $140,000 to $150,000, more than double her principal salary. The job description of head of Professional Standards states that the position requires a master's degree in an appropriate subject. The we-are-an-equal-opportunity-employer board said nothing about the administration's not advertising the job (Lennard's incumbency), cheerfully violating Title VII and the equal-opportunity provisions of federal grant recipients. Kipley's case confirms teachers' mantra that in ROSSAC administrative practice if you mess up, you move up.

Rumor says that some teachers refused to go into an office conference with Kipley without a tape recorder: it seems Kipley lies compulsively. In his experience with Kipley in the false Professional Standards charge laid on him, Bart Birdsall complained about Kipley's mendacity. Bart says that Kipley lied constantly.

However, in ROSSAC, fluent lying is a big asset, a BFOQ, in fact. Everybody in the ROSSAC bunker lies. Some do it better than others. Deftness in this skill accelerates advancement.

La De Tootledum Olson once waxed indignant because I complained about Kipley's shoddy background for a job making $140,000 or more a year and suggested along with criminal justice and psychology that philosophy was also a good major for the job. Olson saw nothing wrong with Kipley's home-ec degree for head job in Professional Standards, but she condemned my philosophy suggestion with marked hauteur, which she practices in the mirror. We can be sure that Candy wouldn't know Spinoza or Kant from Adam's house cat. And Aristotle and Hume don't need Candy's support.

I am indignant at such a creature as Kipley's being principal at my old high school. When I was there along with Jan Platt and Dick Greco, Mr. Vivian Gaither, Latin scholar and gentleman, was principal. Linda Kipley could not interpret a sentence of Latin if her life depended on it. Whipping up hollandaise she does. She also lies. And she takes sadistic pleasure in using Professional Standards to trap, terrify, and punish teachers. May cow dung be rained on her head and may her fields lie fallow. And may she get cracks in all her plastic baby doll shoes--especially the pink ones.

Things get worse than moving Kipley from one job at which she had flunked into a better job because she had flunked at the first job but got a higher salary at the second, for which she lacked qualifications and without advertising the job. (Are we all together on the logic the previous sentence just expressed?)

Ms. Elia ordered Kipley's husband hired into an accounting position when he had only a high school diploma and no accounting experience whatsoever. The job description cited an accounting degree and experience as prerequisites. My review of the job seekers' applications revealed that four had accounting degrees and excellent experience histories. My analysis: competent applicants lost the job to Mr. Linda Kipley because of the service his wife supplies Ms. Elia in trapping teachers into Professional Standards charges. Such jobs-program feints by Elia with Candy et al's approval is why there is such shallow talent and such dearth of acceptable degrees in ROSSAC. The taxpayers do not get their money's worth. And Elia uses this technique constantly instead of advertising jobs and hiring competent people. The board, and especially Candy, cedes Elia this perquisite.

Does Candy look at the applicants' histories as I, a mere citizen, do? No, she revs up instead her next soliloquy on some bee in her bonnet and ignores job applicants' histories. Do other board members Griffin, Falliero, Ethridge, Lamb, Kurdell, and Falliero review job histories of board administrative hires? No, they are too busy signing up for tax-paid political hoedowns via board airline trips to parts unknown in the entertainment capitals of the country under apocryphal aegis of board business. Such is the life of the Hillsborough County board of public leeches.

Did I say yet that Kipley wears see-through plastic babydoll heels to work and flaps around in them up hill and dale? Very tasteful. Very professional. Not only is her ethics corrupt, but so are her shoe aesthetics and sense of business attire. Did I discuss Kipley's shoes before? I did? Never mind. The subject is worth repeating and condemning.

I should add in passing that Candy does not like me. Why I cannot understand.

De La Tootledum Candy used to attack me from the podium when I was walking back to my seat after comment, but she has abandoned that ritual and has graduated to cooking up things to deprive teachers of rights to annoy teachers' supporters such as I in the audience.

A recent example of this skullduggery is her obvious arrangement of a on-board-site pas de deux with Attorney Gonzalez to misinterpret the HB 669 bullying law so that it does not apply to teachers and staff. Anybody who can read the English language can see that HB 669 applies not only to students but to staff and teachers too. Go to http://www.bullypolice.org/fl_law.html and judge who's covered for yourself.

I witnessed the board-podium production on the deliberate misinterpretation of bullying law HB 669, Candy's setting up the law's gutting with the ever-compliant Gonzalez. His specialty is bending the law to fit prejudices and whacko ideas of the board. This, not legal skill, is what keeps Gonzalez the most overpaid attorney in Florida: $275,000 a year.

There's more: After two years of observation, I infer that Gonzalez doesn't always read vital board back-up literature, especially the fine print at the end of contracts. Nor in the HB 669 case does he even read the law itself. That's a tiresome duty for amateurs who don't have the art of twisting laws to fit board members' wishes. However, with or without background data, Gonzalez delivers ad hoc opinions in a testosterone baritone larded with macho conviction on any law that the board wants him to squeeze into the shape that supports extant prejudices.

Gonzalez was especially accommodating on Candy's maneuver to cut teachers out of HB 669 protection even though he betrayed no sign of having read HB 669 when Candy La De Tootledum Olson pressed him to misinterpret it to eliminate teachers from its coverage. One noted that as Candy asked him whom the bill covered that he was thumbing thorough the law with an inquisitive look on his face, the short notice setting him to scan for some word or phrase he could twist into excluding teachers.

Maybe you object that I could not know for sure he had not read the law. I protest that I could infer so from the history of his past behavior. Besides, I was a teacher for 28 years. Teachers know when a student has not read the assignment: the knowledge is intuitive and infallible.

Candy wanted the anti-bullying law to exclude teachers and apply to only students. If it applies to teachers as well--and it does--then they will have a weapon to use in defending themselves from the anti-teacher attacks of the Professional Standards office, which is bullying personified.

Noted for the record is my open-government request for Professional Standards charges filed against both teachers and administration. I got a stack for cases against teachers; I got zero for cases against administrators. What does those data mean? They mean that teachers, never administrators, get Professional Standards charges.

Setting up her Big Board Scene, La Olson asked Gonzalez if the bullying bill applied only to students. Her inflection made clear that she wanted teachers excluded. She then swept the board-room audience with a maliciously triumphant gaze. Caught unprepared in the spotlight, Gonzalez riffled through a copy of the bill that Olson had probably just provided him and stuttered an opinion larded with many umms and ahs, assuring Candy and the world that House Bill 669 excluded teachers and staff.

Although Gonzalez had barked comments in praise of HB 669 in a previous session when the board announced its obligatory adoption of punishment machinery for the bullying law that the state Education Commissioner Smith required, I don't think Gonzalez had read the bill then or subsequently until Candy alerted him that she wanted him to say the bill did not cover teachers. I recall at the meeting announcing schools' responsibility for implementing the bill that Gonzalez said how that it would be woe betide to anybody who violated the law and blah, blah, blah. He is a method actor: Gonzalez aims for believability while lying through his teeth.

The ironic double-dealing behind all this show biz board ballyhooing of the anti-bullying bill suggests that the baord had been yearning for a bullying bill all the time while Jane and Bart chased board members, begging and pleading with them to do something about bullying in the schools. There was no mention in the board production embracing anti-bullying that people like Bart and Jane had lobbied for antibullying. Bart had long lobbied Candy Olson on gay bullying. She knew about Bart's and Jane's efforts to get some antibullying activities going in the Hillsborough County schools like those in the Dade County schools. Candy can invent reasons to praise Kipley from the board podium, but she can say nothing good about people who want something she does not approve of. Why couldn't she have said, "This bill will be a bonus to Bart Birdsall and Jane--------, who have long worked for bullying abatement." Know why Candy can't do that? Meanness. No class.

To help Bart and Jane's efforts to get anti-bullying activities going in the schools, I had chased a senior practitioner of the art of lying, Earl the Pearl Lennard, down the hall at a political meeting in 3-inch Manola Blanicks. I caught up with the rascal to hear him glibly pledge himself to get the outside speakers on preventing harassment of gay children. He didn't, of course. He lied.

This anti-bullying saga mounted on HB 669 shows how the administration and board spend their time. Caught in flagrante, they quickly erect an alternate universe with bells and whistles and razzle dazzle to cover their tracks and put them on the glide path to getting past what they have or have not done while assuming credit for something they had in fact opposed. This pattern of deceit and its cover-up is what ROSSAC counts adroit administration. This is what the taxpayers pay those bloated administrative salaries for.

Bart Birdsall inquired of the NEA brass about the bill's coverage since the CTA guy hadn't bestirred himself to do so, already being on a first-name basis with Le Gonzalez and tip toeing into the usual union position of beddy bye with the board and administration.

Where do these CTA double agents come from? Mattel must turn them out in three colors, all heading for the administration-board sleep-overs to betray teachers' interests. For this collusion teachers pay $500 a year out of their meager salaries. Call in the Teamsters is my recommendation. That outfit has more gumption and a less cozy relationship with management than does the CTA.

The NEA guy told Bart (I have posted the comment on "Casting-room Couch") that if Gonzalez's interpretation were continued as board policy that if some teacher or staff member filed a charge under the bullying law that when the administration denied the charge and went to court, the judge would probably rule against Gonzalez's restrictions. The judge's ruling would clarify the bill definitively. Gonzalez would love that razzmatazz. He would get court pay on top of his regular $275,000 a year. A court case would suit Gonzalez just fine because he gets paid win or lose as the Erwin case shows

Lennard and the board let Gonzalez set up his own salary arrangements himself to milk the maximum amount of money from taxpayers because the board and administration eschewed doing their jobs of defining his salary conditions in a contract as they would have done or would now do if they cared about extortion of tax dollars. They don't. Tax money is not real money to them. Across the bay, Pinellas School Board has a contract with a lawyer for a full-time job with contracted duties spelled out. He gets $175,000 a year, one hundred thousand less than Gonzalez. God forbid that some board member or Ms. Elia showed concern about wasting tax money and had a salary survey done to show what other entities pay their board lawyers and a review of board-lawyer contracts across the state. For the administration and board, it's easy come, easy go with the public's tax money despite their mantle of "saving every penny of tax money."

This ugly little scenario on the board stage to cut teachers out of the protection of HB 669, directed by Candy La De Tootledum but approved by all the board, reminds that she has always supported the Abu Ghraib Professional Standards tactics against teachers along with other board members. She nor any board member has ever asked for a review of the Professional Standards office's practices that result in a steady stream of charges against teachers but never administrators. No Professional Standards charge emerged on the pubescent boys' administrator Toe Cracker at King High. But the cooked-up charge by Special Needs supervisor Smiley against Steve Kemp went straight to the Professional Standards docket. The office egged on by La Elia grimly pursued it with relish despite the sheriff's dismissing it.

When a parent threatened to sue the Board unless a psychological examination of the Foot Cracker occurred, the administration had an in-house psychologist examine him. Everybody knows the psychologist would face firing had he or she found the King High administrator guilty of acting out his foot fetishism on King young male students. The psychologist probably was not state-accredited anyway for such diagnostic work. The Toe Cracker should have gone for examination by a bona fide outside psychiatrist if the board really wanted to find out the presence of any psychological illness depicted in his toe-cracking propensities. The board didn't want to know. A parent, not the board insisted on the ersatz examination done. So much for the board's constant comments on their devotion to the safety of students. Lies. More lies.

Board members pretend not to know what's going on in the Professional Standards gauntlet that savages teachers. This feigned ignorance is to protect their deniability, but they know well what the score is and approve of it. This game includes Candy's smirking participation, of course.

Board participation in administration skullduggery reminds that the board gave Mr. Doug Erwin no help whatsoever when he reported graft and theft in ROSSAC; moreover, the board went along with Earl the Pearl's campaign to make people think that Mr. Erwin was crazy so that nobody would believe Erwin's report of theft-and-graft ROSSAC activities. Failing at convincing people that Erwin was crazy and to be ignored, Lennard and his thugs tried every way they could to fire Erwin and take away his pension. These are not nice people in the administrative bunker. Nor are those on the board.

When Erwin came to the board for consultation and help, Candy, instead of asking him, "What are your concerns, Mr. Erwin?" jumped on him right away and said in her best Wicked-Witch-of-the-West voice: "You'd better have solid proof of your accusations, sir." Then she flashed here yellow fangs at him.

What makes me think that the crimes Erwin outed started at the top and included some of the for-show-pretending-to-be-oblivious board members? The graft and theft money went to top operators is my conviction. That circumstance alone is the reason the shut-Erwin-Up efforts came from the top.

Mr. Erwin despaired after the mauling he got from administration and board of getting any help on site since Dr. Lennard had all his thugs--including those on the board such as an enthusiastic Candy--lined up to gut and hang out to dry the man who reported theft and graft. Erwin's despair finally led him to file a Whistleblower lawsuit against the board, win it with a jury that did not believe a word of the board and administration's lies, and exited the state for Georgia with his settlement. Tax money paid for the board's and administration's crimes against Erwin and democracy: $165,000 settlement to Mr. Erwin, $34,000 to Tom Gonzalez on top of his self-set $275,000 salary for part-time work--all coughed up by oblivious taxpayers. When Gonzalez and co-counsel approached the judge after his ruling to complain that Erwin's settlement was too much, the judge told them the settlement would have been higher had Erwin had better lawyering.

Erwin's settlement was less than Gonzalez's yearly bloated salary.

Highlighting her particular rancor against teachers and putting the administration's interest before students', Olson for sixteen years has let the schools' teachers', students', and public's wellbeing go to hell while pushing the green button on the podium for any cockamamie scheme Elia drums up that cements board and administration's power and lack of accountability. Olson has never objected to Elia's schemes' planning's going on behind closed doors, loaded onto the Consent Agenda conveyor belt, and trundled past an inert board that has interest and energy enough only to push the green button to give whatever Elia wants the go-ahead without discussion in the board forum so that the public can understand the mismanagement of the schools by the few people who inhabit the board and administration. C and D students fill the board and administration. These academic sluggards always head for administration because that's where the money is while the A an B students go into classrooms. There the A and B teachers experience the C and D students' lording it over them from their administration power base. The Professional Standards is objective correlative of this situation.

The public discerns none of this. The board and administration hide their skullduggery in the ROSSAC Star Chamber out--way out--of the sunshine.

The administration horde, with its sleazy degrees in Romper Room areas at the periphery of academe, is not above buying a graduate thesis to further the outrage of stupidity at the helm. I wrote a crisp letter of rebuke to the University of Florida president for his thesis committee's allowing James Hamilton a "PH.D" when he didn't know the difference between "your" and "you're." A sample of his writing shows that fifth graders know more about form and development of a piece of writing than "Dr." Hamilton. When I had asked this old pretender at a political gathering what his thesis was about, he said that he couldn't remember. My view is that he didn't write it is why he couldn't remember what it was about. I also harbor doubts about Dr. Lamb's doctorate. I want to do a forensics on his thesis before I credit that doctorate's validity. My well-considered theory is that anybody as dumb as Dr. Lamb could not research and write an acceptable thesis for anything but an online diploma mill.

There was an accord in the backstairs of whispered administration politics to give the superintendent job to Elia because she would not interfere with board perquisites, Candy was I doubt not in the forefront of pushing Elia to the head of the pack in the superintendent "search" and protested with languid indignation that anyone would suggest that Elia's hiring was a fix. The collusive board lowered the Ph.D. requirement to Elia's bachelor's; it accepted as ok the lack of prestige of her degrees and her paucity of administrative experience. What little she had was only in-house and flawed. From that sole administrative berth, Elia overbuilt classrooms and missed a real-estate scam going on under her nose that a St. Petersburg Times reporter walked in off the street and spotted. This poor performance was not prime experience except for a post for which the fix had been in for months.

The board members had the gall to put out a "nation-wide" ad to cover their tushes so that people would think that they enacted in selecting the superintendent the fallacious legend stamped on everything: "We are an equal-employment-opportunity employer." Lies and fraud were what the taxpayers and school system harvested from this corrupt board group's selecting the superintendent. The board saved their perquisites but afflicted the schools with Elia's flawed administration. Candy, one has no doubt, was a key player in the fraud.

This faux ad cost taxpayers' $35,000. I call that not only lying but graft as well. Taxpayers paid to protect board jobs and perquisites. And these are the people who are supposed to lead the schools so that the students learn not only academics but also morals. As Shakespeare's Miranda said, "Oh, brave new world that have such people in it."

I reviewed the applications for superintendent; Maryellen Cuss 'em Out Elia was least qualified. Ensconced, she now makes $300,000 a year, $47,000 of which she steals with board complicity from teacher's work in raising student scores. Earl the Pearl Lennard began that rip-off in his superintendent tenure, and Elia continues it as if this theft were venerable policy instead of cheeky parvenu crooked innovation.

One must report that Elia has poor public-relations skills at school and at home. Lately Elia has used a school attorney to menace her South Tampa neighbors to stop their complaining about a tacky tin roof that she has installed on her house, work begun before she got a permit. That lawyer arrangement looks like conflict of interest to me. The board has not noticed it, of course. They have not questioned Elia's judgment and ethics.

Candy De la Tootledum never let out a bit of protest when Elia forced teachers to inflate grades to make Elia look better with state education bureaucrats. She was mum when Elia impulse-bought the Spring gimcrack program that had failed in other venues. The bauble cost millions of tax dollars, but Elia had not checked in with the teachers or the board for confirmation. So innocent of information was board member April Betty Boop Griffin that she piped up with the suggestion that the board have a workshop to discuss the purchase post purchase. Betty Boop Griffin had not grasped the fact that Elia had bought the program when an uproar erupted because of the solo decision. Yet in her campaign patter, Griffin claims that she has "held the administration's feet to the fire." Griffin is either lying or delusional. Or both.

Betty Boop Griffin's ignorance about what is going on in the schools and which information she must master to be a competent board member are typical of the whole board. Its members don't do their homework; they don't read the background material; they don't hold the administration accountable. They don't question Elia or administration ever about the details of hires for bloated-pay jobs. They don't insist that job descriptions, applicants educational and experience qualifications, and the names of the people who make application be put on the board Web site with hyperlinks to data about applicants' work history and academic performance.

This obscurity represents hidden government at its worst. Citizens pay the bloated salaries; but they don't get government in the sunshine on the process for picking the people who get the job. That open government would cut into Elia's jobs racket.

If just one board member insisted on government in the sunshine, this insistence would provide impetus to begin open government for citizens. Citizens could see data and board decision-making online and could question the buddy appointments Elia makes that have filled the administration with marginally qualified and outright dumb denizens making bloated salaries while teachers often work a second job to make ends meet. When these meagerly qualified, not-ready-for-prime-time hires can't manage ordinary supervisory tasks, the board calls a pricey consultant that flies in to teach the obtuse, overpaid administrator how to do his or her job with flash cards. Such was the transportation meltdown. The expensive consultants flew in, did a quick look-see, said to put the buses all in one place and get scheduling software--not deep stuff, then flew out, leaving a whopping fee behind. Dumb administrators cost the public not only their bloated salaries but also money to pay consultants for unprepared administrators' ignorance in mishandling these ill-gotten jobs.

Elia's jobs program costs taxpayers money. Candy has never protested it. She is too busy talking up how lucky Hillsborough County is to have such a genius as superintendent and so cheap. Candy's putative deep reading must not have included the nationwide rip off by the administration layer in the schools.

Then there's Candy's irrepressible and irrelevant board soliloquies to endure. She indulges in disquisitions that have nothing to do with board business and everything to do with Candy's using a captive audience to augment her self-esteem, which must be in the pits.

These tedious stream-of-consciousness monologues act as props for Candy's frail ego. Candy needed to get a job and earn a paycheck in her working years. Then she would think better of herself and not bore people out of their minds with her bizarre soliloquies.

Earning one's own money and paying one's way for a change do wonders for a dependent homemaker's self-esteem. It's not too late; Burdines will still hire a 62-year-old former board member to sell undies.

Candy needs to leave the board for her own and the community's good. Such as she is an anachronism and an impediment to schools' progress. La Candy needs to get a life not involved with taking up space on the board that a more alert, more engaged, more intelligent person could fill to benefit the schools. Candy's obsequious comments on how lucky the county is to have Elia as a $300,000 "bargain" shows she has no grasp of the national shakedown of the administrative thieves who boost their salary demands over the previous occupant's already outrageous salary and get it from unsophisticated boards such as Hillsborough's, which don't do any reading beyond the county lines.

Some of La De Tootledum Candy's demerits on record:

· Despite Tom Gonzalez's not being a particularly competent attorney much less an excellent one, Candy joins other board members in letting Tom Gonzalez draw the highest salary of any board attorney in the state--$275,000 a year---while he moonlights for USF and probably other clients. He got the job without equal-employment opportunity protocol of advertising for competition, rather merely with a handshake with Dr. Lennard. That ol-boy ritual violates Title VII and the schools' federal contracts' equal opportunity provisions. Tom knows these data; his firm is a labor-law outfit that rips off workers for management. But he affirms that the equal-opportunity laws and contract provisions of government funds don't apply to schools. This is as untrue as his claim that HB 669 doesn't cover teachers. He says that no-bid contracts are also legally hunky dory. He has one. That's why he is a no-bid contract supporter. These amount to fallacious claims from his getting his job with a Lennard good-ol-boy handshake with no competition whatsoever. Tom's hiring is a textbook case of how to violate the equal opportunity laws of the country and get the highest board-attorney money of any board lawyer in the state for doing so.

· The board has never had personnel head Valdez do a salary survey for the Gonzalez job and has let Gonzalez set his own pay and conditions of employment with no contract in writing according to the Community Affairs office. The board seems satisfied with Gonzalez's psychological and political skills of letting the board members signal what they want a law to say so that he can distort the law to suit their prejudices.

Such was his misinterpretation of HB 669 bullying law to exclude teachers and staff because Candy asked him to make the law coincide with her dislike for teachers.

· Candy is also a promoter of no-bid contracts. The last one that Griffin, when she first came on the board and had a smidge of courage asked to be pulled off the rolling Consent Agenda for discussion, went to a former administrator only months after his retirement. Carol Kurdell joined by Candy lit into Griffin for "being disloyal to the staff." Griffin didn't have the spunk or the brains to shoot back that she was representing the public, not the staff. The board killed the motion to deny this contract 4-2, with only Griffin and Valdes voting against the no-bid contract to a former administrator. This vignette was the last evidence of courage in Griffin; terrified by Kurdell's and Olson's attack, she thereafter joined Elia's drone squad on the board, those of the green-light knee-jerk faith. Tom Gonzalez delivers with a straight face the "legal" opinion that no-bid contracts are swell and legal. He's sheltering his own.

· Olson is also ok with the hiring racket that is one of the superintendent's perquisites. Elia hires buddies, sycophants, and hangers on into bloated-pay jobs either extant or invented. She invented a job for her old buddy "Dr." Hamilton for $65,000 a year; she should have fired Alafia Elementary's Smith for non-performance but instead invented her a book-depository perch for $60.000 a year, the same pay she got for the principal job at Alafia that she could not do. The only requirement for a bloated-salary administrative job is that the person crawl on his or her belly to Elia.

Elia is a small, dumpy little dictator with a voracious appetite for praise and admiration--usually coerced because she can hire and fire at will thanks to the state school law.

I suggested that jobs be listed on the board site hyperlinked to candidates' application and history. The board members looked at me as if I were crazed. I don't know whether this response came from their not knowing how to use computers or from self-interest. Lamb and Ethridge's children have administrative jobs. I would have loved to see the other candidates' qualifications in those incestuous hires exposed on the Web.

I bet the two board children were at the bottom in qualifications but at the top in the jobs racket the superintendent runs. If you can hire and fire people at will, that's power. And there is nothing Elia relishes more than raw power. There were rumors in the past that she penned up underlings in her office and cussed them out to a faretheewell. I wrote her to inquire about this rumor; and when she didn't answer, I asked her up front during citizens' comment time during a board meeting. Still no answer from Elia; but maybe she has stopped cussing out the underlings in her office because I have not heard any rumors of Elia's cussing out people since. If Superintendent Potty Mouth starts up again, I will bring the matter up again. It's like teaching dangling modifiers to freshman English students: you just keep repeating the lesson until they learn the material.

· La de Tootie Candy sees nothing wrong with Cuss 'em Out Elia's coercing teachers into inflating student grades to make Elia look good to the school bureaucracy even though this coercion did not help students raise their SAT scores to get into a good college, and it diminishes teachers' sense of professionalism. But whatever Elia wants, Elia gets with board mindless green sign-off punching approval. I believe that if Elia put a request on the Consent Agenda for her own nuclear deterrent, that the board would stamp it green in a nanosecond and bill the device the taxpayers.

· And then there is the matter of the infamous Cuss 'em Out Elia multi-million-dollar Spring gimcrack impulse purchase without discussing it with the teachers who would have to implement this tax rip-off tinker toy inflicted on them by fiat. So contemptuous is Elia of the board that she did not even bother to check in with it was my inference since the never-astute Griffin proposed a workshop to quell the outcry after the fact because of the Spring's unilateral purchase. Candy was examining her cuticles during the hullabaloo Spring protest and got through the uproar by hanging out determinedly in la-la land.

· Over two years ago the first board meeting I attended was the one at which the teachers surmounted their terror of a Professional Standards charge and dismissal if they spoke out. Teachers turned out to the point of SRO to protest Elia's imposing on them the extra class to solve her budget problems with no notice to the teachers so that they could comment. The board did not rebuke Elia as it should have done for the lack of notice to teachers. Dr. Lamb, then chair, opined that he believed that teachers' applauding each other's remarks violated Roberts Rules. And this man holds a valid Ph.D.? Aw, c'mon.

· Elia trotted out her patented excuse for such barbarous administration behavior by saying that she "had to work on better communications"; that worn formula was the same excuse she used when parents turned out en masse to protest her not holding the promised meetings on the redistricting made necessary by her building too many classrooms when she held the building supervisor's job, her one claim to "experience" on her superintendent's application. La Elia got no rebuke from her bosses on the board then either. Candy was mum.

· The reason, I infer, for their lack of rebuke is that the board members don't believe they are the bosses of Elia but that she is their bosses. They don't act like her bosses. And Candy's sycophancy toward Elia is embarrassing. If she had worked and had a Social Security card in her name, she wouldn't be so servile to Elia is my wisdom on this situation.

I think Candy La De Tootledum Olson's most repulsive quality as a board member is her snootiness and seeming belief that she is an aristocrat because she lived in South Tampa. I use past tense because her exotic divorce made her lose her South Tampa house and now live in a condo God knows where.

I encountered the South Tampa soi-disant aristocrats when our family lived there for twenty years. I am a Georgia Southerner. When one of my genealogy-crazy aunts asks if somebody be from "a good family," she means was the family origins begun in the 17th century when many of the English nobles fled Cromwell's Reformation to the states on the seaboard. Many settled the Southern states along the coast of our new country. The South Tampa "aristocrats" did not originate that far back. They were mostly, I judge, latter-day progeny of sharecroppers from the poor South, who made the trek to Florida, got a house in Beach Park, where land was cheap then, and set up as newly coined "aristocrats."

The settlers in Beach Park today are parvenus, many from the North, who buy the little cottages of retired postal workers, knock them down, and build immense, vulgar lot-line to lot-line behemoth imitations of libraries, put plastic flowers in the foyer, two giant gargoyles at the front door, and set themselves up for aristocrats. Such behavior represents the bravado and vulgarity such enterprises in ignorant social climbing produce. Candy is from Massachusetts, but she fits this profile, and the necessity of her moving to a condo when she lost her house in divorce must be, I infer, galling to her own manufactured sense of aristocracy. Such is life. Tut tut.

To my way of thinking, Candy's worst quality is her snootiness and air of being superior to most of her District 2's constituents. To hear her speak, you would never know that her district includes some of the area's poorest, most needy of the school population: Gibsonton, Palm River, Progress Village, Riverview. Too much of these areas is James Agee country.

The James Agee Country of Much of Candy's District

I would bet my collection of old Chanel purses that in her sixteen long years on the board, Candy has never ventured out of South Tampa to visit these areas, check in with the schools, even talk to some of the people on the streets: not one time, not ever. She is too socially insecure, too insular to do what a good board member would do: get out and about among the populations she represents. I bet in all of her sixteen sterile, narcissistic years on the board, she has never stirred out of South Tampa into some of the areas in which children can't afford the supplies to participate in class work whom Susan Valdes deprives with her $50,000one year splurge on board travel.

Any board member representing this district worth her salt would see that her district's children had those supplies. She could find the money in the board's wasted travel budget and demand it for those children to buy supplies. She could speak up from her board seat and shame the other board members into yielding their joy rides' cost to the children who need supplies to participate in class. Susan Valdes's obscene $50,000 for one' year's travel would furnish a lot of children with supplies in Candy La De Tootledum's James-Agee district.

But Candy won't touch the problem. She lacks the social aplomb and an innate sense of responsibility and pity to do anything for these poor constituents. Poor children without school supplies are not aristocratic accoutrements in Candy's value system. She's like Marie Antoinette, who, when she looked out the window and saw starved Parisians rioting for bread, said, "Let them eat cake."

For the last several campaigns Olson has lucked out in attracting only young male opponents. Bart Birdsall ran against her and lost; then a senior from Plant ran against her and lost. Now Emmet Negrete, who graduated from Blake and attends USF, I think, runs against her.

I am glad that Emmet is running; it will be good experience for him. I will send him a donation. He believes he has discovered some statistical flim flam in No Child Left Behind I recall that he told me. Emmet will wade hip deep in statistical generic flim flam throughout the school system that Candy Olson has participated in inventing against public benefit in favor of the private benefit of the wall-to-wall crooks that have taken over the administration and the school board of Hillsborough County, of which Candy is a participating captive in a kind of institutional Stockholm Syndrome.

Here's a slice of the James Agee country of Candy's ignored constituents:

Palm River Elementary School 0 public 2 " shapes="_x0000_i1040" width="58" border="0" height="14">B 13 Clair-Mel Elementary School 1.0 public 2 " shapes="_x0000_i1041" width="58" border="0" height="14">C 15 Bing Elementary School 1.8 public 3 " shapes="_x0000_i1042" width="58" border="0" height="14">B 15 Kenly Elementary School 2.0 public 3 " shapes="_x0000_i1043" width="58" border="0" height="14">C 14 Oak Park Elementary School 2.2 public 2 " shapes="_x0000_i1044" width="58" border="0" height="14">C 14 Desoto Elementary School 2.6 public 4 " shapes="_x0000_i1045" width="58" border="0" height="14">A 10 Creative World Causeway 2.8 private --- " shapes="_x0000_i1046" width="58" border="0" height="14">--- --- Ippolito Elementary School 2.8 public 2 " shapes="_x0000_i1047" width="58" border="0" height="14">C 18 Frost Elementary School

Candy has paid no attention to the poor children who attend these schools. None of these poor children's parents belong to Ye Mystique Krewe, the Yacht Club, or any of the flossy South Tampa garden clubs. So they are non-persons to Candy. She considers their children ciphers. They are not on her radar.

Oddly enough, De La Patootlededumdum volunteered for the Spouse Abuse Center the Spring and for the Abused Children outfit. Candy likes her suffering-masses contact sanitized; she uses them as entries in her bloated list of volunteer litany. It's template dependent-homemaker PR. She's a practitioner of show-biz compassion. We know the breed well.

One of these poor-children schools was my grammar school sixty-one years ago: Kenly. I was a Depression baby. This was the time when people did not say, "Oh, joy! Another baby." They said, "Oh, Lord, another baby. How are we going to feed it?"

My family moved from Georgia to Florida so that my father might find a job. He did as a boat builder. My daddy was a great carpenter. In Camden County, Georgia, where I was born, Daddy made for all the children who died in the county their caskets as Christian duty. Mama lined them with pink or blue satin. He also played the violin, which he called "the fiddle," and could make a post laugh. My daddy was bright and witty. I got my sense of satire from him, polished by reading Aristophanes, Juvenal, Chaucer, and Swift. When we had no food, Daddy would go out and shoot squirrels; Mama would make squirrel and rice. We children would cry because we didn't want to eat the adorable squirrels. Mama would pick out the squirrel meat and give us the rice. "Here," she would say, "eat this rice and stop crying."

Mama and Daddy's marriage was a love story. He came home with a friend to Hazlehurst, Georgia. Mama was the spoiled daughter of a farmer who owned a big piece of the state. My grandpa couldn't write, so his diminutive wife signed his business papers. He was 6'3"; she was 4'11". They had nine children. Then grandma took to her bed for the rest of her life. I think it was her way of birth control. Grandpa slept in the old slave quarters a quarter a mile from the Big House. Grandma slept on her bed in a big bedroom with a huge fireplace. We grandchildren slept all around her. We were there while our parents were on the roads looking for work. Most of us slept on pallets on the floor; three or four of us could squeeze onto grandma's bed with her. We inevitably wet the bed. My Uncle Brown, who had hare lip before skillful surgery came on the scene, never married, took care of Grandma, and played the piano. Uncle Brown would say, "Ma, these youngins are pissing out your bed again" in a bedroom heated by a huge fireplace that managed to load the atmosphere with pee-pee effluvium so that the room smelled like a giant urinal, thanks to us pissing tots. Grandma would say tranquilly, "Then just turn the mattress over, son, and all will be well."

Our family was poor when it first moved from Georgia to Six Mile Creek in Tampa, not one of the posh addresses. Going to Ybor City in Daddy's old Chevrolet was an adventure for us more stirring than visiting the shops on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

We children went to Kenly and then Franklin and finally Hillsborough.

Poor means you don't have enough to eat, not a posh house, and no dental care. The miracle is that I had such good teeth that I made it cary free until I entered nursing school at 19 and met my first dentist.

Kenly was the school for us poor children. It remains in that role. The snotty Candy does not mention that she is its board member. To associate with the poor, the halt, and the lame would embarrass this values-deficient aged, divorced snoot. She pretends that the poor schools in her district do not exist. But they do; we did. We all existed. We still do.

Kenly always had good principals with good values. They would sit down and talk to the poor parents in their shoddy clothes and cracked shoes about their concerns for their children. Poor people, I believe, are more concerned about their children than rich people; that's the impression I got when living in Beach Park. where parents often neglect children to attend to their social whirl. What Candy and her ilk do not understand is that poor parents are as keen if not more so for their children's wellbeing and progress as are rich parents.

I grew up in the poor Six-Mile-Creek area of Tampa; but I didn't stay there. My parents preached the value of education. So I graduated from Hillsborough High, went to nursing school in North Carolina, passed my state boards, and nursed in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Minnesota, and New York. My board scores were high enough that I had universal reciprocity, which meant I could nurse in any state in the union without retaking the boards.

My Hillsborough High history teacher, Mr. Seevers--my favorite--wrote my parents pleading with them to send me to college because I "should do something that complemented my 'fine mind.'"

Mr. Seevers was right. I should have gone to college, not nursing school, out of high school. But college was too expensive for my parents then. Mr. Seevers is one of the teachers who Adams said "affect eternity." He sang at my mother's funeral.

After nursing for fifteen years, I quit that profession, went back to school first to Columbia in NYC, where we then lived with our four children under five, and got my bachelor's degree three years later summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa at Queens College with four small children clinging to my skirts in and out of libraries. I went on to graduate school with full scholarships. I had been pretty much Wonder Woman in getting my delayed education so that when a student came through my office when I was professor at HCC and said he or she couldn't get a degree for this, that, or the other excuse, I would respond, "Why in the hell not?" I never have sympathy for excuses; I have encouragement for solutions worked out and carried through. My values are American values. They are the ones that got us from the East Coast to the West Coast.

And not only did I live in South Tampa for twenty years when my family returned to the area, a world away from the Kenly grammar-school environs, I have visited Istanbul, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Berlin, the Scandinavian countries, Egypt, Yemen, Singapore, Italy, Alaska, Hong Kong, Greece, etc. Our experience in life complements our imagination and intrepidity.

I plan to make an appointment with the principal of Kenly to give me a tour of the school these decades later. I still know where all my classrooms were: those of Ms. Mcpherson, Ms. Roberts (two homerooms with her), Ms. Pishney, Ms. Lewis ; Ms. Byron: they people my pantheon of childhood heroes. How I loved and revered them and still do.

I don't want a creature such as Olson--who sneers at poor constituents in her district such as was I--who never visits them, who does not want to even acknowledge them to be a board member's concern, and who shrinks back from these urchins' contaminating her--to represent them and their childhood wellbeing in the schools.

I get the proper comment on Candy De La Snootle De Tootle De Fiddle-de-de comes from Hamlet: "Fie, fie upon her!" The cursing was much classier in the sixteenth century. Much more elegant than, "You're one," and "You're another one, and so's your old man."

There have to be better alternatives than Olson. I would vote for her young opponent, Emmet Gonzalo Negrete, if I could. His name sounds redolent of melting-pot candidate: English, Hispanic, and French. Emmet has a bee in his bonnet about faked statistics for FCAT I think it is. The young man has but tipped his toe into the water of faked statistics, sex, lies, and video tapes when he approaches the perilous ROSSAC minions who would kill their mother to keep power over the schools and all the perquisites thereunto.

I hope one of Elia's hired assassins does not do away with Emmet in her mad ambition to occupy the superintendent throne in perpetuity, the which mad ambition makes her favor Candy Olson, never loath to do Elia's will and to continue the evil protocol of the present administration.

Watch over us, God, Buddha, and Mohammed. We need your holy muscle power in the coming struggle for disrupting the board hegemony by the ne'r-do-wells who presently hunker down in board seats and don't give a damn about education.

Oh, Great Intergalactic Spirits, let us have a new and pure board member of District 2, one who has our children's and grandchildren's wellbeing in the forefront, unlike the greedy ambitions of current corrupt administration and corrupt board of bottom feeders.

Pax vobiscum, folks, and carry your rabbit's foot and vampire-repelling cross always when near the school board ROSSAC building. Whip out that vampire-repelling cross if you see Candy de La Tuttle-de-dum-dum approaching and say, "Back! Back! fiend" in your most stentorian voice. Then dial 911. lee

Candy La de Tooteldum and Her Objective-correlative Snooty Dog, Fifidefifidedumdum


Anonymous said...

Hey Lee, I always love your stuff. Keep at it. They're pretty much all lazy if not corrupt...
however, the proper quote is "Is this the face that launched a thousand ships..." and appears in Marlowe's Faust, rather than Ben Jonson.

From a former Hillsborough County English teacher.

Anonymous said...

You say she is a "well-enough looking woman," but I disagree. She's ugly as sin and looks like she swallowed a basketball, yet has toothpick legs and arms.

Anonymous said...

What took Candy's husband so long to figure out he was gay? He probably went to public restrooms and parks for sex. Married men who have gay tendencies do that. Candy better get herself tested for STDs!

Anonymous said...

Kipley's husband must be younger and a boy toy or something. What real man doesn't have a real job? What real man depends on his wife to pull strings so he can get a little accounting job. Sounds like a good-for-nothing boy toy she has to force to go work. He probably wants to lie on the couch and eat bon bons. Kipley must have gotten sick of it and demanded he get a job, and he couldn't, so she had to pull strings to get him one and make sure he worked.

Anonymous said...

You wrote: "...Gonzalez delivers ad hoc opinions in a testosterone baritone..." More like a high tenor who has small balls or was castrated.

Anonymous said...

Candy does go on and on and on, yet when others want to talk, she shuts them up!

Anonymous said...

You mention graft among school board members. Joe Newsome, a former school board member, supposedly had school district purchased plants on his property, yet the common thief has a school named after him.

Anonymous said...

Candy Olson still lives in South Tampa, but she lives in a condo north of Swann behind Cinebistro. Most South Tampa snobs wouldn't be caught dead living north of Swann in a condo.

twinkobie said...

Thanks to the former English teacher who corrected me on Ben Johnson (Jonson?). How I miss the faculty lounge, where you went in with an error on your tongue and came out after a tongue lashing from other faculty. lee

Vox Populi said...

awwwwww, lee. you made me cry. You're such a touching human being and your altruism is very evident. Thank you. We grew up poor because my father was murdered in what was called an accident but my Grandfather gave us all private school educations. By hook or by crook. I actually sat there and learned unlike many others.
If Emmet knows the fcat is cooked he should also file an ethics complaint. I will vote for him and so will five others. RUN EMMET RUN !!