Peter Graves and his anti-leaf blower agenda
Graves was a radical civic reformer.
In 1996, while Mission: Impossible was #1 at the box office, the former star of the TV version was in Los Angeles City Hall taking care of what really mattered. Far away from the glitz and glamour of the movie screen, Graves wasn't afraid to roll up his sleeves to duke it out with the bureaucrats and lawmakers making our lives more difficult. And if you're impressed by Tom Cruise doing his own stunts, just wait until you get a load of what Graves was up to.
That summer, the box office wasn't the only battleground, as LA was home to one of the fiercest fights in local government history. Decades-old tensions came to a head in the gladiatorial arena of the council chambers. They were there to settle a score. Only one controversy could cause such calamity as to rouse an aging Peter Graves from his slumber: the Los Angeles City Council was meeting to discuss a possible ban on leaf blowers.
The world can rest peacefully every night, knowing that retired actor Peter Graves — he of not only Mission: Impossible, but also Airplane! fame — was on site to speak on the matter.
"Leaf blowers are bad," said Graves, succinctly, in a manner fans had grown to love. Although any further words would have been redundant, Graves continued, elaborating as it pertained to gas-powered gardening tools in residential areas.
"They call them leafblowers, because, indeed, they do blow leaves around and around and around," said Graves, still sharp at 70 years old. "But, they also blow other things around."
Peter Graves represented the people, and he was there to ask the questions we were all thinking about.
"Are we going to put masks on our kids?"
"In some areas of the world," said Graves, at the podium, "Plants, flowers and trees, and their arrangements together, have deep religious and philosophical meanings."
The Los Angeles City Council upheld those very same values in a 9-4 vote that banned leaf blowers.