Former Flint mayor Don Williamson has been a seemingly endless source of material for Flint Expatriates over the years. There were the random firings of competent city employees. The useless "crack down" on baggy pants. Don't forget the time he used city workers to mow his lawn. And the very expensive plan to help the local economy by installing a drag strip on a city street. Of course there was the pricey lawsuit that the city had to settle after the mayor had a paper carrier arrested at City Hall. Oh yeah, what about the cop who got canned for daring to talk to the local media. Let's not even mention all the money the city lost because of Williamson's creative approach to the Genesee Towers situation. For his swan song, the convicted felon asked the cash-strapped city for back pay when he resigned to avoid a recall election.
Given his service to the City of Flint, it's only fitting that Williamson be honored with a statue. After all, Flint's other great leaders like Billy Durant and C.S. Mott have their memorials. It seems Williamson agrees and has erected a golden effigy of himself surrounded by a pride of protective baby lions at his new palatial estate outside Flint.
A reader stumbled upon life-size icon on recent trip home and passed along this report:
I get back to Flint a few times each year, visiting family. In fact, my wife and I were there last weekend visiting her dad in Lapeer. Travelling back towards Flint via Davison Rd, we ran across an interesting sight. First of all, I should say that my wife's fancy new Garmin GPS flashed a "point of interest" on the screen as we approached the little crossroads berg of Elba. It showed a large area to the north of Davison Rd called the "Patsy Lou refuge" (not really sure if it said refuge or estate or something else). Needless to say that got my attention. No more than 1/2 mile west of the Elba crossroads (near Potters Lake), we were more than a little surprised to see the main entrance to what is obviously Don and Patsy Lou's grand plantation. It is a work in progress, but leaves no doubt that it goes for quite a long way north of Davison Rd. Of course, this alone wouldn't cause me to think of Flint Expats; it was the life sized bronze stature of the Don himself that caused me to write this note.As you can no doubt tell, the Don was standing tall and portly, greeting visitors. Anyone reading Flint Expats for any length of time is surely aware of the special place Don Williamson has with the readership, so I couldn't pass up this opportunity to contribute to the cause.Is it just me, or does The Don's statue resemble the tribute to another controversial, strong-willed leader?
Kim Il Sung