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May I introduce you to great writing? An endorsement.

A while back I wrote a post about Heather Walker [1] and how she ended up dead in a trash can. It wasn’t one of Dayton’s shining moments. It was a story of how a community had failed a child, where the police didn’t even deem her disappearance worthy of an investigation until the body had started to rot.

Today we still have no answer on who killed Heather Walker specifically, although we should all feel a little responsible for her death.

A comment on that post introduced me to an incredible journalist. Something that this town sorely lacks. Larkin Vonalt has a moniker as rare as an Esrati, with as many people assuming that Larkin is a he, as they assume me to be Italian. Her writing is a gift. If you need proof, read her post on Heather Walker: https://athousanddays.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/the-lost-girl/ [2] (the original blog that hosted this was removed- this is Larkin’s reposting).

I appreciate being around smart people. I try to collect them as my friends. And while I consider Larkin to be both, I’ll say that I believe her journalistic integrity would stop her from writing an endorsement of me if she felt it would compromise her art. I’ve read endorsements before, and I’ve sat through the interview process.

This isn’t the kind of endorsement you read and just go with the flow, this is one that makes you smarter, makes you think, and may actually sway a few people both ways. I know I’m not perfect, but, when it comes to writing, this endorsement may be the best thing you’ll read today.

Here is the set-up to the part about my campaign.

This is how David Esrati works. He wants to fix things. In ad agency parlance, he’d be The Idea Man. He has a keen sense for what might not be working quite as well as it could, and he has ideas, not just for better widgets, but for better schools, better economies, better government. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. First to address the matter at hand:

David Esrati is running for City Commission.

via The Thinking Man « a thousand days [3].

I suggest you read some of her other posts and add her to your feed reader. After reading most of what passes for writing online, it’s nice to be reminded of what the bar should be. Larkin has been nominated for a Pulitzer at least once. She is one of the many things about Dayton of which we should be proud. We are a community rich in talent, except in who we choose to lead us.

Maybe this election day, we’ll move the needle just a bit in the right direction and start our journey toward a healthy community.

Feel free to comment on both sites.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed [4]! If you wish to support this blog and independent journalism in Dayton, consider donating [5]. All of the effort that goes into writing posts and creating videos comes directly out of my pocket, so any amount helps!
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Aw shucks, David, I feel like in some Mutual Appreciation Society.  Thanks for all the kind words. ( As for the nominations… they were each  for a body of work, and there were two, one in 1999, one in 2000. ) I’ll do a little more cage-rattling as the election nears– there’s plenty to be concerned about riding on the tails of this one. Nan Whaley is dangerously naieve, Joey Williams is dangerously neutral. When there are only 4 Commissioners, it is his moral and ethical duty to vote on each and every issue.  And then there’s the business of only 4 Commissioners. In the little town of Livingston, MT (pop. 6000) we had five commissioners, plus a mayor. Most cities this size have much better representation– the Priority Boards (whose function is poorly understood) don’t make up for this terrible shortfall. 


This note is addressed to Larkin.
To understand David, you really need to read my book. It’s free on this site.


Hi David’s Dad–
(Steve, right?)  At our first meeting, David encouraged to download your book and read it, and I did. I read it again last night as I was finishing up the piece. It is a galvanizing read. It was very interesting (to me personally) to read about the sharp contrast between Celina and VanWert. My own father  (1937 – 2005) grew up in Montpelier, a tiny railroad town in the NW corner of Ohio. (I believe  he died of cancer from the herbicides he sprayed on the Wabash RR tracks in the summers when he was home from college.) I am 9 months older than David, so there were many similarities in the climates of our childhoods.  David’s ethnic background has played an important part in the man he has become, but I could not find a place to easily include it.  I understand that you and Mrs. Esrati  may be moving to Dayton in the not too distant future, and I sincerely hope we will have the opportunity to meet. 
Kind regards,
Larkin Vonalt

Frank Coleman

Great read!