One of Us: Jim Kenney

Illustration | Andy Friedman

My name is … James Francis Kenney.

I grew up in … South Philly, at 3rd and Snyder. Mummerland.

I wanted to grow up to be … an actor or a lawyer. I guess I’m both.

I decided to run for public office when … I became insane. I’m kidding. I had to make a career for myself. I was working for Vince Fumo, I was getting to a certain age, and I wanted to do more public service.

One thing I miss about Old Philadelphia is … the Broad Street Bullies. I loved every one of them. Read more »

One of Us: Conservative Firebrand Christine Flowers

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Christine Marie Rachael Flowers. That’s my confirmation name. My mom got the idea crossing the Christina River. I’m glad it wasn’t the Schuylkill. My dad wanted to name me April, but my mom said with a name like April Flowers, I’d end up on a marquee at a burlesque club.

People call me … Chris or Christie or Christine or four-letter words.

I grew up in … Logan and then Delco, around the corner from Tina Fey. We have two things in common and nothing else: where we grew up, and the fact that we think Pica’s is the best pizza in the country. Read more »

One of Us: Nicole Marquis

Illustration by Andy Friedman.

Illustration by Andy Friedman.

My name is … Nicole Yvonne Marquis. My name is super French, but my mother — her name is Yvonne — is Puerto Rican. My dad is half French, half Italian. I grew up in … Elkins Park. I’m a Philly girl through and through.

When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be … a neurosurgeon. My best friend wanted to be one, and I thought that was great. Of course, she actually became a neurosurgeon. Read more »

One of Us: Jay Wright

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Jerold Taylor Wright Jr. I’m named after my father, and it’s also my son’s name.

I was raised in … Churchville, Bucks County, just outside Northeast Philly. These days, I live in Berwyn. It’s beautiful. I’ve got horse farms around us, and great privacy, but it’s just 25 minutes to the airport and 15 minutes to work.

My worst subject at Council Rock North was … chemistry, but I was really good at psychology. Read more »

One of Us: Erin Elmore

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Erin Maryn Elmore. It’s pronounced like the county near San Francisco where Sausalito is. My parents were there when they were pregnant and said it was the most beautiful place they had ever been.  Read more »

One of Us: Kenny Gamble

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Kenny Gamble, although sometimes people call me Mr. Huff.

I was born … at Philadelphia General Hospital in 1943, and grew up in an apartment in South Philadelphia at 15th and Christian. First floor rear. We had a big dog named Curly.

after the jump »

One of Us: Fergus Carey

Illustration by Andy Friedman.

Illustration by Andy Friedman.

My name is … Fergus Carey, but I play the role of “Fergie” in the City of Philadelphia. Fergus was a wise and sexy king.

I live in … Bella Vista. Everything’s on my doorstep.

I left Ireland … in 1987 and moved to Houston. I only lasted a few weeks there. Hated it. And then I came to Philly. Read more »

One of Us: David Morse

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … David Bowditch Morse, after Nathaniel Bowditch, the father of modern navigation. He was a relative from the 1800s and a remarkable guy.

I am a … father, husband and son, most importantly. More obviously, an actor.

I live … in Chestnut Hill. We’ve been here for quite a while — since 1994. It’s lovely. Read more »

One of Us: Herb Lusk

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My full name is … Reverend Doctor Herbert Hoover Lusk II. But since I met the Pope in September, my friends are jokingly calling me the Archbishop of North Broad.

I am … the proud pastor of the Greater Exodus Baptist Church at 700 North Broad Street.

My childhood was spent in … Memphis, and I left when I was 13, the year Dr. King was assassinated. Mother sent me to Monterey, California, to keep me out of mischief.

When I was 12 years old … I wanted to grow up to be a pro football player and a preacher of the Gospel, and because of God’s favor, I was able to do both.

I came to Philadelphia … in 1976, drafted by Dick Vermeil to be on the Eagles.

The most memorable game I ever played … was 1977, against the Giants. I registered over 100 yards and two touchdowns, and I became the first NFL player to score and then kneel in the end zone and pray.

I met my wife … in my father’s church, 38 years ago. The best place to find a wonderful lady is in church.

If you’re having me for dinner, please make … some oxtails and rice. If you’re gonna do fish, let it be salmon, poached. Just don’t make eggs. I’m allergic. I mean, you can use a little to hold a crabcake together.

If the TV is on, I’m probably watching … news. I usually take a 30-minute dose of CNN and another 30-minute dose of Fox News. I like hearing both sides of the argument.

The best movie ever made about church … has got to be Sister Act.

When I look at the kids of Philadelphia today … I see a serious crisis in education. Without proper education, the children will be stuck in poverty, crime and aimlessness.

I decided to be a preacher … because it was the best way for me to effect change in the lives of people, particularly those who are easily forgotten. In the African-American community, a pastor is more than just a guy who preaches. He’s a psychologist, sociologist, counselor.

The next presidential election is … confusing.

When I met the Pope in Philadelphia … I was extremely impressed with his humanity. And his willingness to admit that he’s a man. A great man, a holy man — but in the end, he’s still a man.

I didn’t walk in October’s Million Man March … because of the man at the top of it, Louis Farrakhan. He is a well-intended man who has the potential to help but an even greater potential to mislead. As my daddy always told me, a fish stinks from the head.

The first concert I ever went to was … James Brown, Memphis, 1967. It was unbelievable. J.B. was the best.

One bad habit I can’t break … is sleeping just five hours. I’m never going to sleep more than that. People sleep too much. It’s overrated.

My favorite character in the Bible is … Shamgar, who is said to have delivered Israel with an ox goad. He started where he was, used what he had, and did what he could. Most people seem to think that their location speaks to their destination. He didn’t allow that to happen.

I hope my tombstone reads … “Here lies a man who did everything he could to make the world a better place.”

Published as “One of Us” in the December 2015 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

« Older Posts