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Why didn’t you ever tell us? After reading you all for years, I had less respect for Marion Barry than the lowest critter in this here burg. Wrong. I watched him hold a meeting last week at the Duke Ellington School in Georgetown. The neighborhoods surrounding Georgetown University wanted him to lower to three the maximum number of students residing in the group houses (“Crowded House,” 5/30).

He doffed his jacket over his white shirt, petted his forehead like Satchmo, and took over. He listened, interrupted as soon as he grasped the point, asked the salient questions, and was as expert and intelligent as any good leader. What’s more, it was evident that he really liked people, whether they were fussbudget neighbors, callow youths, or university reps.

And he was nicer to the women, whatever their ages, than most Washington males. Polite, indulgent, patient, respectful. A Southerner, for sure.

An amazing guy, and as I told Westy Byrd on the way out, I’m gonna vote for him!

P.S. Funnily enough, I had already written this when someone called to say I had been quoted in your paper making a crack against the mayor. It’s true, I did, but that was before I went inside and heard him. Even then, I recall rapidly saying, “But don’t print that!,” which was the most challenging gauntlet I could have thrown down. Sorry, Mr. Mayor.