Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Trenton, My Trenton: Mack stars in "The Dot Matrix"

Did this come off a dot-matrix printer from 1986?

TRENTON -- Jun King Walker called Tony Mack on Saturday and raised a little bit of sand with his fellow Mercer County Gentleman. Respectful business. But stern business. Business colored by anger and frustration. See, Mack is the mayor of Trenton, and running the city is his business. This city belongs to Tony Mack. But business in this city is business as usual, the kind of business that embarrasses everyone.

Case in point: Jun gave the city about 7 weeks to deliver certificates to present to this year's class of Mercer County Gentleman at tonight's ball at the Princeton Hyatt. Seven weeks. In the meantime, Jun, as chairman for this year's Gentlemen's Ball, made the rounds to other influential people. Went to Gov. Chris Christie. Went to Jersey Congressman Rush Holt. Went to Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann. Went to the New Jersey Legislature. Went to the Mercer County Freeholders. All of them returned certificates that were clean and pleasing to the eye. In other words, professional. You can see examples of every certificate below. Including the one Tony Mack's flunkies produced. It's obvious that specks of dust were on the photocopier. The border on some of the certificates were faded. It may as well have been a certificate that a third-grader gets for finishing 7th in the school spelling bee. Worse, Jun said, was the way Mack's administrative staff handled the request, which they got in mid-April. In late May they hadn't fulfilled the request and asked Walker to email them the information, again. Only a few days ago did Jun get a manila envelope with the certificates. And that's when he got pissed off.

And that's why he called Mack yesterday and told the mayor he would not be presenting the 18 Gentlemen in this year's class anything with the City of Trenton seal on it because " ... they are far insufficient. They're photocopied certificates from the City of Trenton that didn't even have the name of the event listed correctly," Jun told Ton on the phone. Both of them were a class of '84 Gentleman. "It would look really poor to give them photocopied certificates. I would like the City of Trenton to be represented much better. Those men deserve original certificates with binders. I'm not going to embarrass myself as a Trentonian nor you as a former Gentleman with something that looks like they did it at home and run off on a copier that looks like it needs to be cleaned."

Here are certificates (click to enlarge) that Mercer County Gentleman will receive tonight:


Office of the Governor (outside)



Office of the Governor (inside)


U.S. Congress (outside)


U.S. Congress (inside)


Mercer County Freeholders (outside)


Mercer County Freeholders (inside)


Ewing Township (outside)


Ewing Township (inside)


New Jersey Legislature (outside)


New Jersey Legislature (inside)


City of Trenton (outside and inside)


Tony Mack's stamped sig. Check out the faded border (bottom right)






Here is Jun's phone call to Tony Mack: