by Diana Nelson Jones/Oct 27
Everyone has his reasons for wanting to keep his neighborhood library. Harold Keller of Beechview recently discovered the benefit of being "a hop skip and a jump" from the branch on Broadway Avenue.
For the past year and a half, Harold has performed a one-hour comedy monologue on PCTV as Traci the Trailer Trash Girl. It airs on Friday at midnight. He dresses in a wig, a black tunic and too much make-up playing Traci and has developed a cult following.
The satire is "not about literacy it's about ignorance," he said. "I make fun of everything and everyone. When I realized I had fans, I went to the library to set up an e-mail account so I could hear from them." (The e-mail will be shown on the screen during his show starting in November.) "People have pasted me on YouTube," including a group of teen-agers who have videotaped themselves watching the show and commenting on it.
Without the Beechview branch -- one of five the library board proposes closing -- he won't have easy access to his fan base.
A former housekeeper at Kane Regional Hospital and a former worker in a state store, Harold is living on Social Security and finding his niche on TV, the Internet and at the library.