In looking through old postcards, I came across one of the many forgotten figures in history: Louis Napoleon (Napoleon IV). The only son of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie, he was only fourteen when he accompanied his father to the front during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. The French were humiliated by the Prussian Army and the Imperial Family escaped to Great Briton to avoid capture; when his father died two years later the boy was proclaimed Napoleon IV and head of the House of France, which for all intents and purposes ceased to exist. After attending British military academies Louis Napoleon was promoted to an officer in the Royal Artillery and begged his mother and their protector, Queen Victoria, to be sent to Africa to serve in the Zulu War. He was never supposed to be put in danger, but the young man wanted to prove himself and exposed himself to direct combat. In May 1879, at the age of twenty-three, he galloped into battle only to find himself overrun by the Zulus and he was speared to death, the only head of a royal house to fall in that manner.
Today, Flamingo Park will be overrun by the gay community in the first Out in the Park party, sponsored by many local businesses and our dear mayor, Matti Bower. Despite the impact the gays had in bringing this town out of the slums of the seventies and eighties, no official events--not even a Gay Pride parade--is held here. Much of the blame lies at the feet of the complacent, but Matti pushed us out by making her first mayoral committee a gay advisory board; Leo saw her drive by today and she stopped her vintage Cadillac and shouted that she expected to see us. My baby has to work today, but I will stop by to say thanks to our friend.