Short Cuts

The kind of guy that could win it is a "pipefitter guy" like retired Congressmen Bob Young. A white man or woman could win, Warren says, particularly if he or she has blue-collar roots and union backing. That said, Warren thinks Lacy Clay "is the front-runner," though it's not a lock. Bosley, or someone else, could win.

"Lacy Clay could actually lose, for a lot of reasons, but one reason is that by far most of the district is not in the city," says Warren.

So the political career of Bill Clay will end with his son trying to follow in his footsteps, though the trail is through different terrain. Back in 1947 when Norman Seay first met Bill Clay, the goals were more basic, the stark realities less subtle. "That's how Clay and I became acquainted," recalls Seay. "We were fighting in the Congress of Racial Equality, trying to open all of the doors -- public accommodations and employment. As a result of that, we became friends."

At that time, African-Americans "couldn't eat in the cafeterias. That was true with Stix, that was true with the five-and-dime stores, that was true with the drugstores. There were no eating facilities except for Woolworth's downtown, at Sixth and Washington. You could stand up and eat food at that counter," says Seay, who along with Jordan Chambers, Fred Weathers and Leroy Tyus was one of the city's first black Democratic committeemen.

"We were striving for recognition for first-class citizenship for African-Americans, that was the goal," says Seay, who managed Clay's first campaign for elected office -- alderman from the 26th Ward. "That was just a vehicle, when Clay ran for alderman."

Now the vehicle is in need of another driver, preferably someone who isn't just looking for a ride but someone with a sense of direction.

FLOTSAM & JETSAM: With the new cable-TV rate increases, one of the most bogus comments published was that many callers to TCI cable were put on hold for less than a minute. Guess they don't count busy signals. As the crackpot genius Peter E. Parisi said once on his ill-fated KWK overnight radio show, "TCI" stands for "Try Calling In."... True to the talking-head caricature that Patrick Emory is, the Channel 30 news reader was unfazed when his voice-over about Congressman Bill Clay retiring was accompanied by video of a white man being wheeled out on a gurney from Jefferson Arms. Patrick just read through it and acted like nothing was out of the ordinary. Considering it was KDNL, maybe he was right.... How bad was the Cardinals loss to the Padres last Wednesday when the bullpen walked five batters in the ninth inning to hand San Diego a 7-6 win? On the star-of-the-game show, Mike Shannon resorted to interviewing Al Hrabosky, a bullpenner from a previous decade.... OK, the Blues season is over, even though much white space will be covered in the daily sports section on postmortems (just why does Chris Pronger deserve an "A-minus" and not an "A" for his season?). But the NBA playoffs are on, and because St. Louis is a former ABA town, right-thinking individuals should be pulling for an all-ABA final, featuring the San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers. Oh, if only the Spirits of St. Louis had survived.

Contributor: D.J. Wilson

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