Marion Barry: My Mayor For Life

If you don’t think Marion Barry is funny you need to leave immediately.

I lived in the Washington, DC area for 47 years. Marion Barry was the mayor the entire time. Still is and always will be.

Slow to give an inch and quick to pull the race card, Hizzoner is the ultimate Piece Of Work.

Most of the country remembers him being caught by the FBI smoking crack on hidden video with a woman not his wife. Many remember him subsequently being reelected as mayor.

But, other than local residents, few know of Marion’s myriad additional escapades, including being found by police, alone in his Jaguar, at 2:00 a.m., in the parking lot of an abandoned industrial park, near the banks of the Anacostia river, with “a white powdery substance” on the console.

I wonder how many picked up on ironic name of his ball-crushing fourth wife: Cora Masters Barry. Didn’t work out.

A classic: While driving home from a holiday party December 18, 2006, Barry was pulled over by U.S. Park Police for “driving too slowly” and then arrested for operating a vehicle on a suspended license. He claimed his license problem was simply a clerical error, accused the police of racial profiling and threatened to sue. That’s my man.

Here’s a short list of other adventures in Barryland that occurred in just the 14 months preceding that incident:

  • October 28, 2005: Pleads guilty to not filing taxes for four years
  • January 3, 2006: Robbed at gunpoint in crack-infested neighborhood
  • January 11, 2006: Tests positive for cocaine just eight days after the armed robbery
  • September 11, 2006: Arrested after running a red light and refusing to give a urine sample

My favorite Marion Barry story took place in May 1995.

His buddy “Reverend Burruss,” was running an illegal after-hours club out of his home on 12th Street, NW. DC Police raided the joint and found the mayor among the revelers. The Rev denied that he was running a club even though a line of people holding tickets wrapped around the block. Inside was a fully stocked cash bar along with a live band slapping out some bumpin’ Hip Hop. Not an illegal nightclub, just another house party in Chocolate City.

Not to be outdone by the Rev, Mayor Barry explained that he was not there partying. “Like anybody else,” he intoned “I just stopped by a friend’s house to change clothes and have a sandwich.”

He’s one of a kind, my Mayor for Life. I miss him terribly.

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