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UPDATED: Coppola caricature reflects merchant's displeasure with 'Paint the Town'
A caricature of Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola portraying him as a gangster posted in the window of the Morningside Bakery on the eve of last weekend’s “Paint the Town” event drew the immediate ire of the project’s supporters, while others who opposed the project used it as an opportunity to vent their frustrations.
The caricature was drawn by Brad Rudd who with his wife, Amanda Rudd, owns and operates the bakery.
It depicted a large-nosed gangster with money moving from a radio into his packet, and with a hole in his shoe. The face resembles noted mobster Al Capone, but with a closely cropped beard like that worn by Coppola.
The cartoon also takes a swipe at Paint the Town organizer Delilah Rene, since the gangster is listening to a radio is set to the station over which her show is broadcast.
The name on the bottom reads “Larry Coppona,” which is an intentional reference to Capone.
Amanda Rudd said the drawing was initially posted as a protest to the city posting signs on Friday saying that Bay Street would be closed on Saturday.
The signs were by law to include the whole day, even though the closure was only scheduled for a few hours.
“This drawing was meant to be a voice in conversations that were being ignored,” Rudd said. “Now they have been brought to the forefront.”
Coppola spent Friday morning visiting each downtown merchant clarifying the situation.
He first saw the drawing when he visited the bakery during those rounds and initially laughed it off, but later said he was “puzzled and extremely disappointed” by the drawing.
While the poster was in place during Saturday’s preparation, it was inconspicuously removed on Sunday.
If it was still in place it would have been within the sight line of the largest group of gathered volunteers, adjacent to the stage where live music was presented.
Rudd declined to explain the timing and circumstances of the drawing’s removal.
According to Rudd, the drawing represented “Lary snapping his fingers to the sound of 106.9, and the fact that whoever has the money calls the shots.”
She said that the drawing "is part of our rights of free speech, which we can use if we feel that no one is listening."
In an effort to soften the blow of lost business, Rene placed a bakery order with Rudd to feed the volunteers on Sunday.
Rudd first accepted then canceled the order, saying, “It wasn't worth it to come in here on Sunday to do the order since it was small and we weren't going to get any other business all day.”
Rudd said Rene paid for the order with a credit card, and the charges were immediately reversed.
Rudd, who is normally closed on Sunday, objected to the poor communication and the closure itself.
“I lose business every time they close the street,” Rudd said. “This hurts me because I have bills that I need to pay every week.”