If you only read the Dayton Daily News of old about me, or caught me on broadcast TV you would probably think of me a lot differently than the people who know me. I am my father’s son- people either love me or hate me, there isn’t really a middle ground. Agent provocateur, insurgent, linchpin, rabble rouser, harbinger of the revolution or jerk, gadfly, idiot, dufus, moron have all been thrown my way at one point or another.
For years, it didn’t help that someone, for almost 10 years, was anonymously sending out really bizarre letters all over town to people in high places and putting my name and return address on them. I posted about what I called the “Wacko Mail” after a hometown (Celina- in case you didn’t know) girl told me I was the wacko who was sending her boss mail (she worked for the Downtown Dayton Partnership). The author was finally caught and promised never to do it again, but, considering many people used to think I was the author the damage had been done.
So, I put up a post inviting people to “testify” for me on camera. Had no clue who’d show up or what they would say. Some people aren’t comfortable on video and required some editing. But, this video required none. One take- 5 minutes and 2 seconds.
Brad Proctor tells the story of how we first met- when I was going door-to-door campaigning in my first run- for mayor- in the race where Turner and I first crossed paths. Ironically, his friend Mark Shaver- was the city inspector who caused me to have my first run-in with the city over my garage doors in the historic district. There is one correction- I’ve only run for mayor one time, the rest of my runs were for commission and congress.
Brad does share that being honest in Dayton, publishing this blog, questioning those in power is detrimental/dangerous to my livelihood. My political speech has gotten me arrested, turned friends against me when I’ve questioned their meal tickets, polarized people and made the prospect of working with my firm considered riskier, no matter how good the work we produce or how competitively we do it. Those of you who have trusted me and my firm (The Next Wave) and taken the risk, I am indebted and grateful. And to Brad, who just left his job at Tech Town where he has been working without pay for the last year in order to keep paying his staff of two who were let go in January, I am also grateful for your candid speech on my behalf.
I’ll have a few more of these to post before the primary. We’re still looking to do more, so if you are interested in talking about how I, or how this site, esrati.com, has impacted your life, or the community, we’ll be happy to come out and film you.
And, just for kicks I thought I’d add a few personal things about me that you may not know to each of these:
- I don’t drink alcohol, coffee or tea. My favorite indulgence drinks are Virgils Root Beer (made with real cane sugar), Orange Julius, and Chocolate malts on rare occasion.
- I still play ice hockey- defense, in the Huff-N-Puff league at the Kettering Rec. It’s a 30 and over, no checking, recreational league. PizzaBill who comments here, was the one who got me to strap back on the skates about ten years ago, for which I’m very thankful.
- My first job was working at a small family owned “Stereo” store- when I was 12. I began working there because I played the sax and needed a way to play cassette tapes from my sax teacher, the very talented Art Blazer. I don’t play my sax very often anymore, but I love music and have a pretty big record collection (yep vinyl) of mostly jazz and blues, but I also love Motown. Favorite artists outside of jazz and blues are Buckwheat Zydeco (who I became friends with when we swapped building his first website in exchange for using some of his music for the South Park Soliloquy video I did for the neighborhood) J. Geils Band, Steve Winwood, James Brown, Joe Jackson, Seal, Lenny Kravitz, Macy Gray, Joss Stone, the Beastie Boys (instrumental only), Erika Badu, The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Dread Zeppelin.
Now you know me better.