Best Thing About Having a 68-Year-Old Mayor

Stories About D.C. History
At 68, Vince Gray was 32 years older than the last new mayor. Supporters tout his maturity; foes call him a grim throwback. But one way the old guy’s ascent is good for everyone is that the spate of soft-focus biographical stories looked back to a bygone Washington that’s been almost forgotten amid recent battles between new, gentrified D.C. and antique Chocolate City. Gray was raised in a town still run by bigoted southern congressmen; he fought his way through segregation in such unlikely places as a George Washington University frat house. Like Gray or hate him, he’s a walking reminder that local history didn’t begin with the entrenched Barryites fighting arriviste reformers. In a time of demographic change—and where the newest newcomers tended to favor Gray’s vanquished opponent—an awareness of that history is a nice thing.
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