“When you have a disability, knowing that you are not defined by it is the sweetest feeling,” Kenyan wheelchair racer Anne Wafula Strike, from “In My Dreams I Can Dance”
Protesters from Everybody Counts, a disabled rights group, picketed outside a building in Portage where the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) was meeting. Former Lake County sheriff Roy Dominguez, an Everybody Counts board member, recently informed NIRPC of his group’s opposition to a participation plan drawn up by the agency’s transportation planning committee, in particular the inadequate attention to bus service for disabled people. Upon observing protest signs, skittish Portage mayor James Snyder requested a police presence, something demonstrators Leonard Sullivan and Teresa Torres thought unnecessary, unwarranted, and demeaning. On the recommendation of board members Anthony Copeland and Karen Freeman-Wilson (mayors of East Chicago and Gary), the board tabled the controversial plan, Post-Trib correspondent Carole Carlson reported.
Caitlin Johnston, a reporter in Tampa, sought info about her recently deceased dad so I sent her the History of IUN Shavings issue that contains excerpts of an interview I did with him. Still in high school when Barry was afflicted with Alzheimer’s, she replied, “I received the book today. Reading my dad's excerpts, hearing little anecdotes in his own voice, was so meaningful. Thank you for sharing. I grew up around the university, so hearing about Bob Lovely, Gary Martin and countless others was a blessing as well.” Steve McShane subsequently found the actual audiotape of the 2003 interview, and Tome Trajkovski is copying it onto a CD that I’ll send to her. In his autobiography “Valor,” Roy Dominguez mentions taking Sociology classes from Barry and described him as an excellent lecturer who challenged students intellectually and prepared them well for the rigors of academic life.
Continuing my correspondence with Vice President John Applegate about having a viable on-campus summer program I wrote: “What I'd really like to see next summer at IU Northwest is about a dozen Threshold Courses geared primarily (but not exclusively) to incoming freshmen. With seed money, perhaps from your office, a coordinator could solicit innovative proposals from various departments on interesting topics and choose the most promising ones. If successful, ‘Threshold Summer’ at IU Northwest could be a model for other regional campuses. Years ago, IU President Tom Ehrlich had committees explore the concept of Threshold Courses as part of a possible core curriculum for freshmen, but not much came of the idea, which I thought had potential. IU Northwest no longer prints a schedule of classes, and on the Internet it is easier to access online summer courses than regular ones. Some money needs to be set aside to publicize summer courses, especially to visiting high school seniors. Even Bloomington or IUPUI students could be made aware of IU Northwest's Threshold offerings. One reason the campus is so deserted and that summer attendance has fallen is due to the idiotic class hours. Most offerings are two days a week from 8 to 11 a.m., 11:30 to 2:30, or 3 to 6. Who wants to start class at 8 in the morning or at 11:30 and miss lunch? These hours might have made sense 20 years ago but if the times were 9 to noon, one to four, and five to eight, people would have time to eat properly and, if they had two classes in a row, not be rushing from one to the other.” Applegate suggested I share my ideas with Vice Chancellor David Malik.
Anne Balay sought advice on photo shoot locations that would show her with steel mills in the background. That’s a tough one because mill officials discourage visitors. When the Post-Trib wanted a similar picture of me, the photographer took me to a high point on since demolished Cline Avenue Bridge with Inland Steel Company in the background. Mike Olszanski told me that both Jim Balanoff and Eddie Sadlowski used that spot in 1977 for campaign photos. The best I could come up with were various beachfront locales.
New Archives intern Elizabeth LaDuke is taking Anne Balay’s summer Women’s Studies class that I will be auditing. Prior to enrolling in one of Anne’s classes, she had been used to receiving A’s from other professors on English papers by presenting a single perspective but initially got lower grades from Anne until she came to investigate issues from multiple points of view.
New Republic reprinted a 1960 heated exchange between novelist John Updike and movie critic Stanley Kauffmann, who panned Kim Novak, playing an adulterous wife in “Strangers When We Meet,” as being “capable vocally of only an unvaried strangulated hush.” Updike, “sick and tired” of Kauffmann’s “absurd” criticism of Novak’s “tone of voice,” claimed that moviegoers love thesbians who “remain triumphantly themselves” rather than Method Acting devotees. Kauffmann was “not a bad critic,” he concluded, but rather “an inverted one: the opposite of everything he says is true.” Kauffmann replied lamely that Updike seemed to view “a film theater [as] a kind of steamy bath or opium den to which one goes for a faintly wicked and figuratively supine little debauch.”
Under pressure the Boy Scouts reversed a century-old policy and will accept gay boys but not as adult supervisors or scoutmasters. Homophobes expressed outrage, and LGBT groups are not satisfied.
In Discovery Charter School’s Spring Concert Becca and James were in the Glee Club and James was also in Advanced Band as a percussionist. Both had solos and showed off dance moves. James did an amazing “Ma Na Ma Na” scat in a Muppets medley. The finale was a rockin’ version of “Footloose.” Afterwards Raymond Joseph, whose daughter Violet was in Glee Club, said hello. While taking classes at IUN, he worked for the Gary Planning Department and tried to obtain materials from City Hall for the Archives that were in danger of being destroyed. He’s worked the past six years as Parks Planner at the Porter County Parks and Recreation Department.
Ten years ago Ray Joseph kept a journal, excerpts from which I published in my “Ides of March” Shavings. He recalled with nostalgia following Grateful Dead tours for three years and backpacking in Oregon forests before becoming a full-time student again despite holding down an “almost full-time job.” He wrote: “Sometimes I need to realize how lucky I am to have a supportive wife and beautiful daughter. Not everyone gets to go back to school ten years after he graduated. I am hoping to get a teaching degree and do something I like for a living.” A later entry reads: “I was lucky enough to spend the day with Violet Ann, 16 months old and one of the inspirations for continuing my education. I can’t remember life without her. I want job security and a bright future for my family.”
I talked with Phil about his Red Wings fan taking a 3-1 lead in their series with the Black Hawks, who moved to Chicago in 1926 from Portland, Oregon, where they had been known as the Rosebuds. During World War I owner Frederic McLaughlin, a coffee magnate, had been a commander in the “Blackhawk” Infantry Division and chose that nickname for his hockey team. Chief Black Hawk of the Sauk had also played a prominent role in the history of Illinois. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup three years ago, defeating the Flyers, and I was a Red Wings fan as a teenager when we lived near Detroit, so I won’t be distraught if the Hawks lose the series. Meanwhile Pittsburgh won its series over Ottawa, inspiring nephew Bob to write Penguins star Crosby: “Hey Sid, this is my son ‘Crosby’ named after you. We are huge fans and he is going to grow up knowing you are the athlete he is named after. Pretty cool. Would love to meet you one day and or have a signed stick for his room. We watch every game together.”
above, Crosby Lane; below, Alissa and Josh
Alissa and Josh had breakfast with us and caught a limo ride to O’Hare, embarking on a 16-day European vacation that will take them to Amsterdam, London, Paris, and a seaside village near Lisbon. I told them about visiting Macau while it was still a Portuguese possession and admiring the distinctive Portuguese architecture. Josh having read up on Portugal, he told me about the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, which killed tens of thousands and, combined with fires and a tsunami, destroyed most of the city’s buildings. In a photo the limo driver took of them, a Penske truck Dave Elliott rented is in the background. Sadly my good buddy is moving back to Virginia now that his fiancé has been cremated. One of Josh’s friends quipped that somebody will have to move the limo before they take the truck to the airport.
Gaard Logan resigned after seven years as a Tacoma Art Museum docent because she and Chuck are moving to San Francisco. I told her of nephew Joe’s impending visit and she knew of his stepfather, liberal Seattle Councilman Nick Licata. Our classmate Pete Drake is passing through Indiana in two weeks and wants to have lunch with me.