Mark Bunker/Loren Westenberger returned to speak Clearwater Meeting

18 Aug 2001

Tonight, the team of Mark Bunker/Loren Westenberger returned to speak at the Clearwater City Commission Meeting. I would like to thank Barb for suggesting a topic for tonight's comments. It was a theme which I believe has some importance.

What I found interesting tonight is that Loren Westenberger was prepared for my comments. When I entered the room, I saw him on the other side of the room in the back of the crowded auditorium. There was a full house with standing room only at first. Lots of awards were given out and finally a few seats opened up right in front of Loren. I thought about sitting down but I would have been breaking the 10 foot rule.

Loren had no such concerns.

When they asked for comments from citizens, I waited to move into line. I waited for about five minutes while others spoke. Then I decided to cross the room to get in line. Immediately, Westenberger raced over to stand right behind me in line making sure he would be able to respond to my remarks.

Rob Surette, the city's attorney was seated right near by. I considered mentioning to him that Westenberger had come within 10 feet but he wouldn't care.

Finally I spoke. A little nervous because I figured my remarks could never fit into three minutes and I was sure I'd get buzzed but I got everything out. I thought about adding "And now I await the rebuttal of Mr. Westenberger" but instead said thank you and left the podium.

I was very delighted to find that the packed auditorium gave me a very warm round of applause...with the exception of Mary Story.

Westenberger spoke and this time identified himself as "a minister." He did the usual song and dance about Nazi Germany and the KKK but my favorite moment was when he said that the crowd had just seen the face of religious bigotry and it wasn't very pretty. I may not be Brad Pitt but I didn't think I looked that bad.

After he finished his remarks and was leaving the podium, I said loudy enough to be heard but not disturb the next speaker, "Scientology minister." A very large segment of the crowd went..."Oooooh"...and nodded there heads in understanding.

This is true.



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