Even though James Island Mayor Mary Clark lost her bid for re-election, her place in the history of the island is secure.

Depending on an upcoming ruling, the town of James Island may be a permanent entity. If so, credit her hard work. If the town is shot down yet again, the independent political bloc that has formed over the years as a result of her labors will persist regardless, and she can take credit for that, too.

I don't expect the mayor just to sit there on the porch sipping lemonade. She'll be involved with various activist causes pertaining to the island in a manner pro-actively self-determining rather than assuming an attitude of passive acquiescence.

Since I'm taking a little time off, the easiest thing for me to do is let readers take over for a while.

Connie Gilbert forwards some very useful material to help me understand one of the world's most inscrutable mysteries: the true meaning of "Womanese."

For example, she says, when it comes to women's personal ads, the following may be helpful in translating various words or phrases:

--Forty-something actually means 49.

--Adventurous … promiscuous.

--Athletic … looks like Olive Oyl.

--Average looking … like Medusa.

--Emotionally secure … just plain nuts.

--Fun … annoying.

--New age … earthy.

--Outgoing … loud and obnoxious.

--Voluptuous … Morbidly obese.

Moving away from personal ads and more into the realm of everyday conversation:

--Yes actually means no.

--Maybe … no.

--We need … I want.

--I'm sorry … It's your fault.

--We need to talk … You're in trouble.

--Do what you want … You'll be in even worse trouble.

--I'm not upset … Of course, I'm upset, you dope!

--My, aren't you attentive tonight … You're so predictable!

All right, guys. You're not getting off scot-free here. Some of your phraseology is fairly easy to translate:

--I am hungry actually means I am hungry.

--Nice dress … great decolletage.

--Those shoes don't go with that outfit … I'm gay.

--I have a headache … Damn that cheap stuff!

Now, on a far more serious note:

The beloved sexton at St. Philip's Church, Ike McPherson, died unexpectedly a few weeks ago after a brief illness. Laura Wichmann Hipp attended his funeral and makes several observations, included here in part.

"Ike was loved by each person at St. Philip's, where he worked for 15 years without ever missing a day of work until he went into the hospital. Everybody felt they were his personal favorite.

"As aptly said in one of the many eulogies, he could walk with kings nor lose the common touch. He was there every day of the week and Sunday mornings too, providing not only smooth operations, but personal comfort.

"We felt he was Jesus to us with flesh on, delighting in each one of us with our own particular quirks and foibles, making us feel known and appreciated. He could get the most glum to laugh at themselves and not take church life too seriously. The joy of the Lord was his strength.

"No job was beneath him. He could assess any situation and quietly address the need, keeping his head while all about were losing theirs. He could trust himself to get the job done without drawing attention to himself, making allowances for the doubting of others.

"I invite you to visit Ike's church and you will see where he got that exhilarating Spirit, which the whole neighborhood of St. Philip's on Church Street and all of Charleston will forever miss."

Edward M. Gilbreth is a Charleston physician. Reach him at edwardgilbreth@comcast.net.