Dog day Sunday afternoon
ON WEEKDAYS, Kelvyn Anderson runs the city's Police Advisory Commission. Its four staffers are charged with civilian oversight of a police department of about 6,000 officers.The ratio is more balanced during Anderson's Sunday strolls through his Cedar Park neighborhood: He's walking two dogs that are so well behaved that his oversight seems almost unnecessary.
"All the little dogs seem to bark at them, but nothing fazes these dogs," Anderson says of his 7-year-old golden retrievers, Clifford and Albert, who walk down Baltimore Avenue with their flowing manes as if they own the place.
For Anderson, 54, fall Sundays mean fantasy football (four leagues) and beer from Dock Street Brewing Co.
"It's $10 growler day," he says. "I'm a porter fan."
But his pooches aren't into growling. A mutt starts chirping in their faces en route to Clark Park, but in their Zen state, neither seems to notice. A pedestrian who was expecting a furry clash is wowed by the retrievers' mellowness.
Clifford and Albert are brothers that Anderson's family rescued from a shelter in Maryland. They're popular with seniors at the Renaissance Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center on Chester Avenue. And around town, in general.
"They actually like people better than they like other dogs," Anderson says. "You don't see many golden retrievers in the city. People are like, 'What kind of dogs are they?' like they're from another planet."
"They're his sons," Anderson's 13-year-old daughter, Lydia, says as he's walking out the door.
"Because I secretly wanted sons," he jokes.
Anderson, a Pittsburgh native, took a winding road to the Police Advisory Commission, where he was named executive director in January. He's worked for Tom Foglietta, the late congressman, and as a reporter at the Delaware County Daily Times. He's also done private surveillance and had a late-night jazz show on Germantown's G-Town Radio.
In the 1980s, Anderson was drawn to Philadelphia by, among other things, the opportunity to see the Sun Ra Arkestra when the legendary jazz ensemble was based here. Decades later, he doesn't regret the move.
"I got everything I need within a block. Beer, bicycles, coffee, gourmet ice cream, cool people," he says. "There's a real good buzz in the air."
Clifford and Albert appear to be smiling. Or do all golden retrievers look that way? Regardless, it's doubtful that they'd quibble with their owner's assessment of their stomping ground.
- William Bender
Chillin Wit' is a regular
feature of the Daily News that spotlights a name in the news away from the job.
On Twitter: @wbender99