“The sense of security more frequently springs from habit than from conviction, and for this reason it often subsists after such a change in the conditions as might have been expected to suggest alarm.”
George Eliot, “Silas Marner”
Mary Anne Evans, who adopted the pen name George Eliot because, she said, she wanted her novels to be taken seriously
He was the best administrator I’ve known and also the most unconventional. He hated meetings, especially when nothing consequential was being discussed, and frequently walked out of them, sometimes closing the door hard enough to convey his disgust. He was known to raise his voice and alienate adversaries, but he got things done. IUN’s art gallery owes its existence to him. Induced to run the Division of Education after a dean’s retirement, he asked me to teach a Methods class to History majors after the professor suddenly resigned a week before classes started. I demanded an extra $3,000 to bring in a dozen successful area teachers, many who had been my students, and he came up with the money. He hailed from New Mexico and returned there yearly. Everyone expected him to move back “home” when he retired, but he had fallen in love with Miller Beach, the mostly liberal, racially diverse, gay friendly Gary district by the southern shore of Lake Michigan. He bought a town house, had his coffee daily at Marquette Perk, stayed active in Rotary, jogged along the beach, and was in my bridge club. His partner was IUN’s Dean of Student Affairs, whose husband didn’t like cards. He would host, and she would bring dinner or desert. In his bathroom was a jacuzzi with men’s muscle magazines nearby. One day he decided to sell his car and put a sign on it. A man pretended that he wanted to buy it and bludgeoned my friend when he refused to let him drive off before making sure the check cleared. At a memorial service someone from Chicago showed up and claimed to have been my friend’s lover for several years. Some in attendance were angry, but I was happy that he had found a soul mate in his life during a time when he was lonely and needed one.
In “Gary’s First Hundred Years” I wrote about my friend’s murder, which occurred on July 17, 2002, near Marquette Park and not far from the Mayor Scott King’s residence. Lamar Ricketts, the 32 year-old intruder, casually drove off with the car he had wanted. Neighbors had heard a disturbance and called police, but they did not go inside the town house, and my friend subsequently bled to death. Former student Todd Clibourne, at the time on the Gary police force, helped apprehend Ricketts. On the day after the attack, I wrote, “Corporal Clibourne was en route to a funeral detail in Merrillville when a dispatcher described the stolen vehicle. Outside the church, he spotted a car matching the description and took off in pursuit. Clibourne recalled: ‘The suspect pulled right over. He was coming back from Taco bell, where he had put in an application for employment. Here he’d murdered someone in cold blood and then didn’t resist.’”