Scratch Harry Baals off your list

Folks, I know I vented a little about that Variety article back there, and I’m sorry if I brought you down, but now I’ve got something to share that makes it all worthwhile.  The city of Fort Wayne, Indiana recently solicited suggestions for the name of a new government building, and the runaway favorite was former mayor “Harry Baals.” Harry Baals is extremely popular in Fort Wayne.

Harry Baals is the runaway favorite in online voting to name the new building in Fort Wayne, about 120 miles northeast of Indianapolis. But Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy said that probably won’t be enough to put the name of the city’s longest-tenured mayor on the center.

The issue is pronunciation. The former mayor pronounced his last name “balls.” His descendants have since changed it to “bales.”

“We realize that while Harry Baals was a respected mayor, not everyone outside of Fort Wayne will know that,” Malloy said Tuesday in a statement to The Associated Press. “We wanted to pick something that would reflect our pride in our community beyond the boundaries of Fort Wayne.” [MSNBC]

Kudos to MSNBC for not only reporting this delightful story, but for making the first three words of the headline the deliciously visual “Scratch Harry Baals.”  Simply divine.  I like to imagine Mayor Harry Baals slinking up to the podium on the day of his resignation and telling the assembled press, “Well, it looks like you won’t have Harry Baals to kick around anymore.”

You’ll never believe this, but I couldn’t find any more pictures of Harry Baals.  Aw, I wish every story was about Harry Baals.