“Bertram’s Christmas Ode”

By (his brow-beaten, unpaid collaborators) Cynthia Rickard & Robert Mcferren

(published over his objections)

Everyone in Youngstown liked Christmas a lot,
but Bertram who lived on the North Side did not. 

Bertram hated Christmas, the whole Christmas season
Now please don't ask why, no one quite knows the reason 

It could be his eye patch is pushed in too  tight
It could be his head isn't screwed on just right

More likely, he’s missing the columns he wrote
About lawmakers and presidents he would emote

So he gathered them up, forcing colleagues to pick
the ones to preserve for all time in a book
They picked Jimbo, Michelle, Bull Moose and the Valley
A chief justice and wiretaps and John McNally

Barra and Tressel, Ryan, Ungaro
Obama, the Donald, GM and Cafaro
Iron Mike, Mike DeWine, Pelosi and Palin
The Clintons, the Bushes, Dukakis and Reagan

McCain and Mike Bloomberg, John Kasich and Sherrod
Cleveland judges and agents, some bishops and Dellick

Strickland and Turner, Romney and Tablack
Portman, a prince, Mickey Mouse, Mickey Monus 
Wellington, Winbush, ICE, Al Adi
BCI, YSU, FBI, Mitt Romney

Brier Hill Jimmy and Cadillac Charlie,
Strollo and Bernie, Terlecky and Ernie

Mob meatballs, l’il Joey, the Crabs and canaries
Jeff Riddle and Turnage, Watkins and Hoerig

The Dinsios, Pinto, Violi, Terlecky
Jeep Garano and Infante, Potts and Belinky

Antonini, Sciortino, Philomena and  Greene
Turner, Gerberry, martians, Loree

Betras and Binning, Meacham and Chance
Rimedio-Righetti, Traficanti  and Dann

Ludt, Moliterno, Kimble, Adair
Vukovich, Voinovich, Rusu, Engler 

Niser and Lordi, Carney, DeGise
McKelvey, Maluso, Mustafa Ali
Tikey and Kubic, Wyatt and Scotty
Rosenbaum, Gains, Jay Williams and Kobly

Tito and Petro, Evans, Tom Noe
Clingan and Lyle, David Tod and Tom Carney

Sweet and McCloud, Ritchie Davis, Magee
Kolisar, Fingerhut, Householder, Sweeney

Palermo, Romero, van Brocklin and Rich
DeMarinis and Reardon, Wardrop, Fergus

David Duke, Kathy Miller, O’Connells, O’Nesti
Pelini and Jacobs, Licata and Fahey

Sferra, Geletka, Dutton, DeLuca
Mohip, Tutela, Hathorn and Stohla

Jesse Jackson, Bob Kroner, McLaughlin, O’Brien
Morford and Armour, Lynch  and Lyden

Chiu and Meshel, Welsh and DeJute
Bernard and  Bozanich, “Bart DeSalsa,” Ron Stoops

Hartzell and Mo Man, Waite and Garea
Armstrong and Bulgar, Blackwell and Fuda
Blair, Flask, Polivka, Cartwright, Khawaja
Cochran, Macejko, Kale-Pesta, Dave Johnson

Reese, Cantalamessa, Anderson, Taft
Palmer-Fernandez, Ulbricht, Habat

Wilson and Husted, Sherlock, Sauline
Conventions, elections, wins and defeats

Tillerson, Gillibrand, Cruz and Finan
Smith and Kamala, DeGross and Simpson

Leathers Slappin’, Mike Morley, Bob Fitzer and Beto
John Boehner, Montgomery, Zachariah and Petro
Gilbane, LaTourette, Angelo and Mandel
Womerization, Stoudt, and Alexander
Cordray, Doc Memo, Jennings, Gutierrez
Stankowski, McDonald’s, Sammarone, Tillis 

Katzmann, a DQ, a large flock of geese
Valley cops, secret meetings, Espy, Mill Creek

And as Christmas drew near, Bertram drove out of sight 
Mailing every last book, wishing all a good night. 
Cynthia Rickard
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