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Ex-mayor's prized umbrella gone since council meeting

Cecil Bradbury's gift from his wife disappeared from City Hall Dec. 12. If it's brought back, there will be no hard feelings.

By ANNE LINDBERG, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 12, 2003

PINELLAS PARK -- Calling Sherlock Holmes, Columbo and Hercule Poirot: The former mayor's umbrella is missing, and he wants it back. No questions asked.

The citywide alarm was raised at the end of Thursday's City Council meeting. Council member Sandra Bradbury, at the behest of her father, Cecil, made a plea for the return of his blue and white bumbershoot.

The umbrella's been missing since the Dec. 12 council meeting, the last of 2002. It was pouring that night, and Cecil Bradbury left his umbrella just inside the east side door of City Hall while he attended the meeting. When he left, it was gone, but a brown umbrella was leaning against the wall.

The missing umbrella is very special, council member Bradbury said. Her mother gave it to her father, and it's a large umbrella, not one of the small folding ones that can fit in a woman's purse.

The size matters, Sandy Bradbury said, because her father, at about 6 feet 4 inches tall, needs a big umbrella.

But the umbrella was truly special because it had been personalized: Her father had attached one of his last business cards left over from his mayoral days.

City Council members didn't take Cecil Bradbury's plight seriously.

Current Mayor Bill Mischler turned to police Capt. Mike Haworth and kidded about sending out an all-points bulletin for a "1998 blue and white umbrella."

Haworth responded, "Will a sketch artist be necessary?"

Then Haworth pretended to be talking into his shoulder radio, saying, "Hold on, I'll just tell dispatch now."

Council member Ed Taylor asked, "Is there a reward?"

Sandy Bradbury replied, "We can probably think of something."

Taylor: "Then they'll bring it back."

Mischler said the moral of the story is, when someone brings an umbrella to City Hall, he should keep an eye on it.

After the meeting, Sandy Bradbury said the umbrella could be returned to the front desk in City Hall, "no questions asked."

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