Temas Especiales

04 de Jul de 2022


A politician sets an example

Only a few days ago, I wrote about the need for public servants to lead by example. At that time I was referring to the driving habits o...

Only a few days ago, I wrote about the need for public servants to lead by example. At that time I was referring to the driving habits of everyone from deputies and presidential courtiers, to truck drivers and cops. The reaction from readers was positive and supportive. But on the day that it was published, and even more gratifying example was set by our exiting mayor, Juan Carlos Navarro.

It was reported that a teen aged son had been stopped by the police while driving the wrong way down a one way street. His first act was to tell the officers that he was the son of the mayor. Fortunately that didn’t wash. To the errant driver, more was to come, with a statement from his father that he should be treated like any other offender. Now that is leading by example.

It just happens that the subject of one way streets is high on my radar at the moment, as last week, while exiting my buildling was hit by a car traveling the wrong way down the una via.

The driver hung around long enough for a security guard to call the police, and for me to take down his licence plate number (441818) He then decided it was time to leave and jumped into his car, a black Nissan Almera, reversed up the street and disappeared. A call to the Transit Police produced the information that there was no point in them coming to record a collision without the other driver, and I should report to a local police station.

Another wait for the insurance assessor, and off to the local station, only to be forwarded to the National Police Headquarters in Ancon, a visit to several offices in the sprawling compound, and finally the report was filed. I was to wait two weeks, and then go to Pedregal to see if they had found the man who left the scene of the accident and was probably uninsured. An insurance broker informed me that without a declaration from the court that the other driver was at fault, I would end up paying the deductible. Just another day in the big city.

Memory Lane. The last week in June and the first in July are memorable weeks in the tennis calendar. That’s when the Championships take place at Wimbledon, in the country where lawn tennis (originally spharistike) was invented. Royal tennis dates back centuries early and is still played at exclusive clubs around the world, including Queens where Andy Murray triumphed recently, the first Brit to do so since Bunny Austin in the 30’s. Austin was the player who introduced shorts to the tennis circuit. Murray is now trying to become the first home bred player to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. This is where the memories kick in. Fred was a colleague and friend, who wrote the introduction to my first tennis book. When his professional career ended he launched a successful sportswear business, and became a legendary broadcaster for the BBC.

One year, while watching a game of the current top pros, Rosewall and Laver, Fred turned to me and said: ”Do you know why I never wore shorts?” I replied “No”.

“Well they couldn’t beat me in longs. What chance would they have if I wore shorts.”A few minutes later he smiled, and said: ”Not only was I the greatest player in the world. I was the greatest B.. S...er” (