Friday, August 17, 2018

Rituals

“We associate the ritual with a major life passage, the crossing of a critical threshold, or in other words, with transformation.” Abraham Verghese
The “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, is dead, felled by pancreatic cancer.  Former Star Plaza Theater CEO Charlie Blum recalled Franklin’s many performances to packed audiences in Merrillville.  Because she hated to fly, Blum sometimes arranged for a limo driver to transport her from Detroit. Her demands included no air conditioning in the dressing room (it being bad for her vocal cords) and to be paid in advance in cash.  Blum would deliver the considerable sum of money to her dressing room; she’d carefully count it and stuff into her purse, which she’d take with her on stage and place on the piano.  Declining Blum’s offer to keep the purse in a safe, Franklin would say that having it within sight was motivation for putting on a good show. “The King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis Presley, and the “Sultan of Swat,” Babe Ruth also died on August 16.
On September 16, 1909, President William Howard Taft attended a Chicago Cubs home game at West Side Park.  When he stood up to stretch in the middle of the seventh inning, the fans joined him.  He did this again the following year in Washington, DC, and a ritual was born, the seventh inning stretch, celebrated at Wrigley Field to the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”  The Cubs won 10 games in 1909 but lost the pennant to the Pirates. They won 104 games again in 1910; this time it was good enough to get them into the World Series. Unfortunately as the regular season was coming to an end, second baseman Johnny Evers broke an ankle and missed the World Series, won by the Philadelphia Athletics in six games, as 31-game winner Jack Coombs pitched three complete games in six days.  It was the “Last Hurrah” for the Cubs dynasty featuring the double play combination of Tinker, Evers, and Chance.

For a journal assignment Alison Cruz wrote about a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama, and spending Easter at her aunt’s:                                          
  Background:When I was just 3, my Mom decided to take me and leave my Dad, who was from Mexico and had very strong traditions which often caused issues with my Mom. They wanted different roles in the marriage and also had with financial issues. We moved in with my Grandparents in Chesterton until my Mom graduated and got a job. In the middle of my third grade year, my we moved into a house in Valparaiso with a man I call my Stepdad, but my Mom never married him. They subsequently had three children together. I started becoming best friends with a girl named Emily who wore plaid high top Converse sneakers and had crazy curly hair. We’d have sleepovers, and she still to this day is my best friend. She still has the piece of paper with my name and phone number that I gave to her in third grade. Throughout high school I got good grades, played volleyball, spent time with friends, worked, went to proms and homecomings, and was involved in student council and general clubs. I spent a year at IU and then moved back home and went to IUN to pursue an Education degree. A year ago, I moved into a townhouse with 2 other girls I work with at Ricochet Tacos in downtown Valparaiso. I’ve been there for 3 years. I’ve met most of my friends, my roommates, and my boyfriend there.    
 March 23, 2018:Today I took my Mom, my brother Ryan, and sister Kamryn to Gulf Shores, Alabama. It’s their spring break so I took a week off from school. This is the 4th year they’ve gone but only my second time. My stepdad and brother chose not to go. We left Valparaiso at 5 a.m.  My Mom drove us through Indiana and I drove the rest of the way even though I didn’t get much sleep the night before. We arrived at our rented condo around 11 p.m.  It was on the beach, and I could hear waves from right outside our door. As we were walking up the stairs, Ryan tripped and scraped his face up. It looked painful, but he laughed so then we all lightened up. We unpacked the car and then I got some much needed sleep.                              
 March 24:Mom ran to the grocery and I threw my bikini on and took my sister outside. We laid our towels out on the sand and put tanning lotion on but, in my case, not enough. I have really dark complexion but this winter lost it all and was really pale. I went in the water periodically to cool off; even though it was only in the mid-70s, the sun was hot. I fell asleep and an hour or so later took my brother for a walk along the shore. Afterwards, we went in to shower and get ready for dinner. I. WAS BURNT. I have never ever been so sunburnt before.  At the restaurant my legs seemed on fire. I ordered shrimp, oysters, and crab legs and later bought aloe infused lotio        
  March 27:It was too cold for the beach, so we went to a brand new amusement park. Everything smelled like fresh paint, and the handful of rides were mostly for little kids.  My burn is pretty much gone.       
 March 29:We had beach days yesterday and today, but the riptide was crazy so I had to be close to my brother and sister while they were boogie boarding. Afterwards at an outlet mall I bought a nice leather bag and wallet but otherwise just browsed around. 
  March 31:I drove for 13 hours straight with only four stops, itching to get home, having missed my friends, my boyfriend, and my own bed. Everyone was ready to get home. We were home around 8. I couldn’t wait to crash . Right after my boyfriend arrived, a roommate came home and filled me in on all the drama from work. I can’t wait to sleep tonight. 
Alison (above, right) and friends, Jan. 2, 2018
 April 1: My boyfriend and I woke up and watched a few hours of Broad City,my favorite show, about two girls in New York who are really funny and kind of vulgar.  Then we went to my Aunt’s for Easter. Each year we have an outdoor egg hunt for the kids.  The lucky ones find the gold and silver eggs filled with money. I was always the one to find the golden egg, so now I am the one who hides it.  I put it inside of a bird feeder. It stumped them until someone gave my sister a big clue.  Since it was April Fool’s Day, my Mom had put rice and beans in the gold and silver egg. My sister found both but gave the silver egg to my brother. When they discovered what was inside, my sister was shocked, and my brother threw the rice at us. My Mom ended up giving them the money and explaining that it was only a joke. 
Harvard Square Hookah
Ivory Jones’s journal mentioned hanging out at a hookah bar.  There are several such lounges in Northwest Indiana, where patrons share a water pipe for vaporizing and smoking flavored tobacco.  The ritual started in India, spread to the Middle East, and has become popular in American college towns and multicultural areas. They are generally exempt from smoking bans.
  March 15:I had McDonalds for breakfast on break. My shift there is from 5 am till about 11 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. My usual task is to make drinks and take orders on the headset for the drive thru. Today the line was literally all the way to our entrance.
  March 16:Friends and I decided to go to the hookah bar and play some Uno. We had a really nice time but I didn’t get home around 1 am and have to be at work at 5. 
  March 17: My feet hurt and I smell like French fries. After being pretty hung over, I worked about 10 hours because the new people don’t know how to do anything and my manager begged me to stay. I feel like I am going to pass out.
  March 18:I hung out with my dad watching football. We had a couple beers and talked. It was a chill day. It’s been so cold; I can’t wait for it to warm up out, so that I can finally show some skin and wear shorts. 
  March 19:My boyfriend and I had a sleepover at his place. My parents are strict and do not want my sister and me to smoke, go out too late, or have sex. I’m over 18 and pretty much do all of the above, but I do respect them and don’t come home smelling like smoke. I also usually lie about where I’m going when I spend the night with my boyfriend. 
 March 20: My workout routine is to walk about a mile on the treadmill and then work on my abs and arms. It helps to relieve stress and get my body ready for summer. 
 March 21:I had a bad break-up, so that sucks really bad but I’m not going to let it get me down. I lost about 5 pounds in a few days, but I know I’ll bounce back and will be eating again soon. It’s hard to feel independent after being with someone for 6 months. 
  March 22:I’m definitely still depressed. I’ve been catching up on The Walking Deadand trying to eat. My mom told me to stay busy and just do things that I love and I will slowly become myself again. I have been talking to other guys to keep my mind off my ex. I am too young to be wasting my time upset over this. 
  March 24:I played a little Fortnite on my Xbox. I started back in August and within a month it seemed like everyone was playing it.  You can play with friends online and it’s addictive but annoying. 
  March 25:Work was stressful; we had a couple buses show up full of travelers. People were throwing t trash on the floor and not cleaning up after themselves. I don't understand how people can be so rude. Anyway, I’m at a party right now in a hotel. It’s Girls Night, and we got three rooms to play drunk Uno and drink shots and coolers. 
   March 27:My head hurts from last night. We had so much fun and didn’t even leave our rooms. There was a pool, but we were just too drunk to go down there. Now I have the worst hangover and have been in bed all day. A couple days ago, I found out that my ex had a terrible accident and got thrown out of his truck. I texted him, and he responded but didn’t want to be with me. This feeling sucks. I have been doing everything possible to move on. It's hard to love someone who doesn't feel the same as you.
  March 29:I’m having eggs and sausage that I cooked for me and my dad. My mom usually works mornings, so I cook for my dad. I need a hobby. I used to be in orchestra in high school but I haven’t played my cello in so long. It used to be my outlet to kept the stress down when I was dealing with school work.
  March 30:I worked 8 hours and it actually wasn’t bad. I enjoyed pouring coffee for the older customers. It took my mind away from thinking about my personal life. 
  March 31:I worked another 8-hour shift. My managers love me because I’m pretty much the hardest work there and make few mistakes. I want to be a teacher, so I need to have patience and control my anger if somebody is rude or disrespectful. 
  April 1:Every Easter my dad and I watch the Ten Commandmentsand the story of Moses in Egypt. I love the movie even though it’s so long and the quality is horrible. I still love the message it sends out. I’m a youngest child and sometimes my dad feels like we’ve outgrown him. So I try to keep traditions, like watching this movie with him. He’s been wondering why I’ve been so depressed lately. I can talk to my mom about that but don’t want my dad to know.
  April 3:I’m planning on going to Wisconsin Dells with my sister and some friends. I can’t wait to just get out of Indiana for a week and not work and just chill by a pool.
  April 4:I haven't smoked in a few days and don’t miss it, so I don’t think it has a hold on me just yet. My parents think I have a blog because they see me typing on my laptop every day.  When I explained about the journal, they started referring to it as my diary.  Come to think of it, that is sort of what it is.
 April 6:I feel like an old lady sometimes because I work so early in the morning.  Most young people work at night.  I don’t mind working with the older people because they are diligent and don’t play on their phones or stand around. The main drawback is getting up early after going out on Fridays or Saturdays.
  April 7:My ex and I used to get sonic and watch a movie and cuddle all night and it’s hard to believe that it’s all over. I do wonder if he is thinking of me. I really miss him and it feels good to type it instead of keeping it in my mind. I would literally do everything to cheer him up when he was down and couldn’t find work. I would give him gas money when he had none, but men are users and don’t care obviously. I don’t want to dwell on this subject but that’s why I’ve been so depressed.
 April 8:I have another ex-boyfriend that still talks about me and I don’t get why. I don’t understand men and why they treat women like toys. I just want someone that would love me the way the way I love them.  My generation just wants have sex and think that’s love, and not just the boys anymore, girls too. I don’t want to have sex with a boy I just met.  Our music is filled with songs about being mistresses and not having commitment. 
  April 9:I’m just in such a dark place that it’s scary. I feel so alone when I’m surrounded by those I love.  I can’t allow friends and family to see me so torn down. I don’t even feel like myself. I’m thinking about how worthless I am. I know in a month or 2 I will be happy again, not fake happy either, really happy.
  April 11:I love music by Adele and Sam Smith. It is so relaxing and I can listen all day without getting tired of them. 
  April 14:I decided to sleep in and got a friend to work my shift. I have to take my dog to Petco for a bath  He’s like the smelliest dog ever, like I’ll wash him and then he’ll take a nap and wake up smelly all over again. I love my dog though, he is kind of a therapy dog to me. He always wants to be in my bed with me and cuddle. My dad used to hate dogs, so our whole family was shocked when he allowed us to get one. Now he loves him, too.  My mom’s birthday is coming as well as Mother’s Day so I need to order her some things.
  April 15:I like to drink Mike’s Hard Lemonade, I don’t like beer at all, it’s so gross. I just realized that I like never watch TV, only shows on like Netflix or Hulu.  I don’t even turn on the TV unless I’m playing Xbox. 
  April 16:I got my mom shoes, a jean jacket, and a bracelet and earrings. My mom is super spoiled so hopefully she likes what I got her and she doesn't chew me out.  My dad gets mad at me for ordering stuff online because he feels like it’s unnecessary. 
  April 21:I had work and, oh my God, was I tired. I only got about 3 hours of sleep because I had gone out with my friends.
 
Ivory Jones
On the cover of “Hurrah for Liberals” by James A. Haught (which the author’s sister-in-law Helen Booth lent me) are Frederick Douglass, Margaret Sanger, Martin Luther King, and five Presidents: Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, TR, FDR, and LBJ.  The book contains a quote by former Minnesota senator Al Franken, pressured into resigning when a couple incidents of stupid behavior toward women surfaced dating back to his days on Saturday Night Live. Franken asked: “Does the mainstream [press] have a liberal bias?  On a couple things, maybe.  Compared to the American public at large, probably a slightly higher percentage of journalists, because of their enhanced power of discernment, realize they know a gay person or two, and are, therefore, less frightened of them.”
Helen Booth also lent me a December 1928 issue of National Geographic, which featured an article titled “Renascent Germany” and over 40 pages of advertisements for such products as Campbell’s Soup, Gillette razor blades, Prudential Life Insurance, and National City Bank.  Holland-American Line touted luxury Mediterranean cruises starting at $955, and Chrysler offered roadsters starting at $1065, while Dodge countered with a touring car for just $995.  A land company selling plots in Chandler, Arizona, near Phoenix made this pitch, leaving out that temperatures often exceeded 100º in summer:
  Chandler, Arizona, where winter is one continuous June; max. temp., November to March 63º to 74º, favorite wintering place of leading Americans – statesmen, authors, capitalists, business men; all year crops; unusual opportunities for farmers, dairymen, orchardists, orange grovers, and men with capital; hotels and other lines needed.  Come, make money, and add 10 to 20 years to your life.
Chandler had little more than a thousand residents in 1940 but the population has since ballooned to a quarter-million.
 IOHA officers; photo by Donald A. Ritchie


The Oral History Association August Newslettercontained an article by fellow University of Maryland PhD Donald A. Ritchie about the IOHA conference in Jyväskylä, Finland, as well as a photo of its newly elected officers from Australia, Brazil, China, Finland, Iran, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, and the United States. Ritchie wrote:
 Under the theme of “Memory and Narrative,” sessions ranged broadly, dealing with subjects from immigration to pandemics, civil rights and gender identity.  This year being the centennial of the Finnish civil war, speakers introduced the international audience to memories of events in the host country. Finnish history was represented in memories of wars in song, Finnish design and the circumstances of sharing a border with Russia.  With more than 20 hours of sunlight a day at Midsummer, delegates enjoyed a leisurely boat ride on a Finnish lake, dinner on an island, music and a sauna followed by a plunge into the lake, for those who chose.The meeting was a testament to the spread of oral history internationally and to the vitality and versatility of its practice.
Ritchie will be chairing a session in Montreal that I’m participating in, put together by Anne Balay, who is about to embark of a book tour for “Semi Queer” that will include a talk at IU Northwest.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Bonehead Play

“A dispute historic in baseball, which enriched the language with two exceedingly forceful words, ‘bonehead’ and ‘boner,’ arose over whether Frederick Charles Merkle did or did not touch second base.” Mark Sullivan, “Our Times”
As a baseball historian, I knew about the bizarre conclusion to the 1908 National League season, when a make-up game between the Cubs and the Giants was necessary to decide the pennant due to 19-year-old Fred Merkle’s “bonehead” baserunning mistake. With the score tied in the bottom of the ninth at New York’s Polo Grounds, Giant shortstop Al Bridwell hit an apparent game-winning single, sending Moose McCormick home from third.  On first, Merkle saw fans swarming onto the field and ran into the dugout without first touching second base, a common practice in those days. Cubs second baseball Johnny Evers, however, noticed the gaffe and brought it to the attention of the umpires.  In fact, in a recent game against the Pirates the exact thing had occurred only there had only been one umpire, Henry O’Day, who missed what happened so the rule wasn’t enforced.  Largely because of the fuss Evers put up at that time, two umpires were assigned to the Cubs-Giants game, including the one who’d failed to see what happened against Pittsburgh.  According to David Hinckley, details of exactly what happened are hazy, “lost in the mists of time – mists that closed in rapidly”:
  In most accounts, Giants pitcher "Iron Man" Joe McGinnity dashed from the first base coach's box to intercept the ball Art Hofman threw back to the infield and fling it deep into the stands. That was that, McGinnity figured, except Evers was still yelling. If that ball was gone, he wanted another one. Eventually he found one. Some say it was the real one, ripped away from a fan in the stands by little-used relief pitcher Rube Kroh. Others say it was another ball, relayed to Evers by shortstop Joe Tinker and maybe even third baseman Harry Steinfeldt, in a bizarre alternate version of the Cubs' famous Tinker-to-Evers-to Chance double play combination.
  Whatever the ball's origin, Evers secured it, touched second base and asked the umpires – R.D. Emslie at second base and Henry O'Day behind the plate – to call Merkle out on a force play, which would nullify McCormick's winning run. Emslie, who fell to the ground avoiding Bridwell's single, said he didn't see whether Merkle touched second and therefore couldn't make a call. O'Day said he did see and no, Merkle did not touch second. Therefore, yes, he was out. 
Hall of Fame umpire Bill Klem, known as the “Old Arbitrator,” who officiated games for 36 years beginning in 1905, decried the decision as “the rottenest” he’d ever come across.
Prior to the playoff game a week later, “Iron Man” McGinnity, who wasn’t scheduled to pitch that afternoon, attempted to pick a fight with Frank Chance, hoping that both would be ejected; but the ruse didn’t work.  The Cubs went on to defeat Giants ace Christy Mathewson, 4-2, setting off a riotous aftermath, as described by David Rapp:
  The bad feelings ran so high, acknowledge a New York paper, that “the Chicago men were bombarded as they left the field, kicked, and reviled.”  Hundreds of rabid fans took to the field, growling and out for blood. Tinker, Sheckard, and others took hard knocks to the head, while someone slashed Pfiester on the shoulder with a knife. Another hooligan chased down Chance from behind and delivered a wicked chop across his neck.  The blow broke some cartilage and temporarily snuffed out his voice.
  When the team made it to relative safety in their dressing room, the doors barricaded, armed guards had to stand outside to hold the mob back.  The Cubs eventually were secreted back to their hotel in a patrol wagon with two cops inside and four more riding the running boards.  They hustled out of town that night for Detroit, site of the upcoming World Series, by slipping out the back door and running down an alley, escorted by a swarm of policemen.
The Cubs went on to defeat the Detroit Tigers 4 games to 1, their last championship for 108 years. Chance outplayed future Hall of Famer Ty Cobb, garnering 8 hits to his 7 and swiping 5 bases to his 2.

Baseball historian Trey Strecker wrote about another unfortunate incident involving Merkle in the deciding game of the 1912 World Series against the Boston Red Sox:
  Fred was poised to be the hero when his single in the top of the 10th inning scored Red Murray from second to give the Giants the lead. The bottom half began with Fred Snodgrass' infamous muff in center field, allowing pinch-hitter Clyde Engle to reach second base. After Harry Hooper flied out and Steve Yerkes walked, Tris Speaker hit a high foul near the first-base coach's box. Though most observers agreed that it was his ball, Merkle backed away when Christy Mathewson called for the catcher, Meyers, to make the catch. The ball fell to the ground, giving Speaker another chance, and this time he slashed a long single to right that started the Sox's winning rally. In New York, the headlines the next day read “Bonehead Merkle Does It Again.”

Sports writers employed “bonehead” during the NBA playoffs when Cleveland Cavalier J.R. Smith grabbed an offensive rebound in a tie game with seconds remaining and dribbled away from the basket rather than attempt a shot.  Even more egregious was Michigan All-American Chris Webber calling time-out with 11 seconds remaining in the NCAA championship against Duke when his team had none left, resulting in a technical foul and loss of possession.

Bridge Bulletin used this Larry Sherman letter under the heading Déjà vu?::
  I was called to a table at a game I was directing. North said someone had scored on their line.  East then chimed in that they had already played this board.  I tried to clarify whether East-West had played this board at another table.  North then realized that the handwriting on the traveler line was her own.  They had played the same board twice at thistable with a different contract and a different result.  That was a first for me.

In duplicate Dottie Hart and I finished with a 57.29 percent, good enough for third place and half a master point.  My only bonehead move came after Dottie opened one No-Trump and the person on my right bid 2 Diamonds.  I held 5 Hearts but just 7 points and using a transfer system would have said 2 Diamonds had my opponent not beat me to it.  I bid 2 Hearts and Dottie, believing that indicated a five-card Spade suit, responded 2 Spades.  When I bid 3 Hearts, she raised to 4 Hearts and I got set 2.  What I should have done initially was double 2 Diamonds. Then when Dottie bid 2 Hearts, I could have passed. On another hand, I got high board holding 6 Hearts, including the Ace, King, Queen, 5 Spades to the Queen and 2 singletons. I bid Hearts 3 times while Dottie kept passing and the opponents bid Clubs and Diamonds. Dottie had only one Heart, but a lucky 3-3 split enabled me to make the contract. Last week in a similar situation, a 5-1 split proved disastrous and resulted in a low board.

Bridge opponent Helen Booth mentioned having been a neighbor of Post-Tribuneowner H.B. Snyder, who committed suicide by walking into Lake Michigan.  Snyder’ss wife socialized with Heywood Braun and other members of New York City’s “Smart Set.” She’d write Post-Trib“Travel” columns about her trips abroad. Gary Mayor George Chacharis nicknamed Snyder, his arch-enemy, the “Duke of Dune Acres.” IUN professor Garret Cope’s parents worked for the Snyder family as cook and chauffer.  Helen lent me “Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious Murder and Madness” by her brother-in-law James A. Haught. The title seemed particularly relevant given the horrific headlines about atrocities committed by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania and subsequent church coverup. Haught signed the copy, “From a total heathen.”
 above, Christy Mathewson; below, Fred Merkle
Baseball goat Fred Merkle was an avid bridge player, often partnering in the New York clubhouse with Christy Mathewson, born in Factoryville, Pennsylvania, a graduate of Bucknell (my alma mater), and winner of 373 games during a stellar career.  Mathewson enlisted in the army during World War I and was accidentally gassed, resulting in tuberculosis and an early death in 1925 at age 45.  He was buried in Lewisburg Cemetery near Bucknell’s campus, known in the early 1960s as a “make-out heaven.”

Bonehead was the name of a children’s TV series that ran for three seasons on BBC beginning in 1960 and featured a dim-witted trio of crooks, Boss, Happy and Bonehead. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

All in Good Humor

“These are the saddest of possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
         F.P. Adams, “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon”
In 1910 New York Evening Mailcontributor Franklin Pierce Adams, a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, penned a couplet for his “All in Good Humor” column that was destined to become, next to “Casey at the Bat,” the most famous baseball poem of all time. The Cubs had just defeated their archrival New York Giants, thanks to a rally-killing, shortstop to second to first double play. At the behest of a copy editor, Adams added six lines, making use of a medieval Italian word – gonfalon -  meaning a banner or flag:
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double-
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
F.P. Adams in the 1920s was a charter member of the Algonquin Round Table, matching wits with the likes of Dorothy Parker, who once said, “One more drink and I’ll be under the host,”  and Robert Benchley, who quipped:“I know I’m drinking myself to a slow death, but then I’m in no hurry.” Adams once defined middle age as “when you are too young to take up golf and too old to rush up to the net.”  Hard to imagine that golf was once considered an old man’s sports.  F.P. Adams probably never dreamed that thousands of fans would pay to watch 43 year-old Tiger Woods finish second to 28 year-old Brooks Koepka in the hundredth annual PGA Open.
Baseball’s first matinee idol, according to David Rapp’s “Tinker to Evers to Chance,” was Michael “King” Kelly, who during the 1880s led the forerunner of the Chicago Cubs, the White Stockings, to five pennants. A charismatic showman and vaudeville performer during the off-season, Kelly was the first sports celebrity to sign autographs for fans.  He invented the hook slide and inspired the 1889 hit “Slide, Kelly, Slide.”  Prints of a painting showing Kelly sliding head-first into second adorned countless Windy City saloons. A catcher when not playing the outfield, he kept up a line of patter to distract hitters, a favorite tactic of my old Porter Acres battery mate Omar Farag, whom I ran into at Miller Sunday Market, carrying a bouquet of flowers.

As the contestants on Jeopardy’s 2017 Tournament of Champions, a summer rerun, were introduced, one covered his eyes, the second his ears, and the third his mouth, referencing the 3 wise monkeys who embodied the proverb, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”  Nobody knew Final Jeopardy, the state capital since 1805 whose first four letters were the same as the state’s last four letters.  Answer: Montpelier, Vermont.  Final Jeopardyin this week’s initial college Tournament of Champions was: which twentieth-century U.S. president was inaugurated twice within 14 months?  Easy: LBJ. Two young folks (a math and a science major) got it incorrect, guessing TR and Grover Cleveland.

In Richard Russo’s “Voice” a brilliant but mute college student with Asperger Syndrome suffers a breakdown in an English seminar.  Nate, the instructor, is blamed for the incident and replaced in mid-semester.  Given Russo’s comic sensibility, “Voice” contains humorous asides, such as comparing a jealous husband to a neighbor’s dog who bit you once and acts like he’s still got more unfinished business.  And this: “Next year, in place of the Jane Austin seminar, he’d been offered a section of comp, an indignity that put him in mind of e.e. cummings’s Olaf, who from his knees declares there is some shit he will not eat.”  Sensitive Nate has an obnoxious brother, Julian, who calls him “Prof” in a pejorative manner (Nate: “How the word rankles”),uses words likeuncuntedand befucked to describe him, and is seldom right about anything but, according to Russo, never in doubt, much less self-doubt.  On a tour in Venice, Nate comes upon a so-called art piece that, in essence, is a half-ton of dirt poured onto the floor, which gay guide Klaus, whom Julian continually mocks, calls provocative.

“FOX and Friends” commentator and former Trump aide David Bosse told African-American Joel Payne, “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind.”  Payne responded: “I’ve got some relatives who picked cotton, and I’m not going to sit here and allow you to attack me like that on TV.  You better watch your mouth.” Just months before, FOX sports announcer Brian Davis was reprimanded for using the exact phrase to describe Russell Westbrook’s high level of play. And that was meant as praise while Bosse’s intent was clearly ridicule.
On the cover of Time: Spike Lee, director of “BlacKkKlansman,” based on a true story about African-American policeman Ron Stallworth going undercover to join the KKK. “BlacKkKlansman” stars John David Washington (Denzel’s son) as Ron Stallworth. It opens with a scene from “Gone with the Wind” and closes with the 2017 alt-white Charlottesville riot.  At times bitingly funny, like the 1963 Cold War critique “Dr. Strangelove,” the film, to quote critic Simon Miraudo is also “stunningly effective as a call to arms” – as is true of most all Spike Lee pictures.
Joaquin Phoenix assumes the role of quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan in the biopic “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” the title a punchline from a cartoon panel showing a posse coming across an empty wheelchair in the desert. Before he killed himself, Robin Williams was set to play the part in tribute to his friend Steve Reeves.  Disabled at age 21 due to an auto accident, Callahan employed a unique brand of “sick humor” in such publications as the New Yorkerand Penthouse.Callahan’s first published cartoon was of a panhandler holding a sign reading, “I am blind and black but not musical.” A subsequent one had the caption, “Refuse to have a nice day.”   In one depicting two cowboys in wheelchairs an old-timer draws a gun on the other and says, “This town ain’t accessible enough for both of us.”  New Yorker cartoonist Sam Gross recalled this Callahan anecdote:
  He was waiting for the light in his electric wheelchair, and some evangelical comes along and goes, “Boy, boy – believe in Jesus and get up and walk!”  And John looks at him and says, “I have five thousand dollars invested in this chair!”
 Sean Penn as Spicily
On TV I watched two Eighties comedies, “Back to the Future” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” the former with only mild interest and the latter with my interest piqued upon learning that it was written by Cameron Crowe.  Sean Penn played stoner Jeff Spicoli, whose character reminded me of Jam in “Detroit Rock City,” my favorite comedy of all time, along with “Fargo,” the Coen brothers darkly comedic murder tale.  While Roger Ebert called “Fast Times” a “scuz-pit of a movie,”it had its funny moments and the music was great, especially numbers by the Go-Gos, Don Henley, Jackson Browne, the Ravyns, and, of course, the Cars’ “Moving in Stereo” during the pool fantasy scene.

Former Cubs hurler Rick Sutcliffe, 16-1 during the memorable 1984 season, was in the broadcast booth prior to singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” He recently worked a game with Cubs 2016 World Series hero David Ross, who evidently takes frequent bathroom breaks.  One inning Ross got back late and Sutcliffe asked, “And what do you think of that, David?”Ross had no idea what he was referring to. Sutcliffe got a laugh, but I didn’t think it was funny.  In the rubber game of a series with Washington, Billy Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins sang during the seventh inning stretch. The Cubs trailed 3-0 in the ninth when Jason Heywood scratched out a hit and, with two out, Nationals closer Ryan Madson plunked two batters in a row.  Then rookie David Bote hit a 2-2 pitch into the bleachers for a walk-off grand slam. I immediately called Dave, who said he’d almost turned off the TV when Washington scored 2 runs in the top of the inning. Next morning on AM 670 Lin Brehmer played Vince Lloyd’s dramatic home run call, culminating with these words: “It has a chance.  Grand slam. Cubs win. (pause) Listen to this place.” Pretty moving.
High school friend Vince Curll sent me an article by historian William H. Thiesen that appears in the current issue of Sea History entitled “First Lady Harriet Rebecca Lane and the Cutters That Have Borne Her Name.”  The first Harriet Lane, commissioned for the Revenue Cutter Service in 1858 while Harriet’s Uncle James Buchanan was President, was an 180-foot side paddled steamer that fired the first naval shot of the Civil war in Charleston Harbor near Fort Sumter. Harriet Lane II was commissioned in 1926, designed to interdict whisky smugglers during Prohibition and later a Coast Guard air-sea rescue vessel.  During the 1990s Harriet Lane III helped rescue thousands of Haitian and Cuba migrants and is still in use, primarily in counter-drug operations but also, sadly, to catch Latin Americans fleeing from poverty and tyranny.
 USS Harriet Lane forces USS Nashville to show its colors in 1861

Harriet Lane III

I haven’t seen Vince Curll in over 50 years, but he obviously recalled that President Buchanan was my ancestor (great-great-great uncle).  His accompanying note indicated that his politics differed from mine, as he wrote: “In your own inimical way, feel free to use the enclosed material to exaggerate, embellish or create however you deem appropriate.  I have yet to encounter an avowed “Lefty” that allowed confirmable facts to interfere with the attainment of his target.  Lineage be damned.” I replied: 
  As you were my good friend and mentor in high school in the ways of the world, I must defend “Lefty” historians.  I believe our quest is for the truth, and where politics enters the equation is in the choice of subjects to research: poor people, minorities, immigrants, women, environmental inequalities, etc.  Most classmates that I’m in touch with are, lamentably, conservative, including Skip Pollard, Phil Arnold, Wayne Wylie, even onetime bad boy Pat Zollo.  That doesn’t prevent me from enjoying their friendship.  Chuck Bahmueller broke off communication with me after we argued politics at our thirtieth reunion (how sad).  Among the few liberal exceptions are LeeLee Minehart, a Peace Corps grad whose father was a Democratic officeholder, and Gaard Murphy, whom I talk with weekly and shares my distaste for our current administration.  
I’d like nothing more than to rekindle the friendship with Vince.  He taught me that it was more important to be yourself than to follow the crowd. In the late 1950s, while we were in high school, the swampland where Vince used to trap muskrats (I occasionally tagged along) became an industrial park.  One summer  the two of us made the rounds looking for employment and we got hired by the company that published the weekly Ambler Gazette to work the overnight shift once a week during the press run. In tenth grade, after I had my driver’s license, we double-dated and ended up on adjoining couches in my date’s rec room.  Vince seemed so self-assured, I copied his every move.

Friday, August 10, 2018

IUN Spring Journals

“A page of my journal is like a cake of portable soup.  A little may be diffused into a considerable pot.” James Boswell
 Joshua Reynolds portrait of James Boswell
Best known for his biography of Samuel Johnson, Scottish diarist James Boswell (1740-1795) once said: “A companion loves some good qualities which a man may possess, but a friend loves the man himself.”
Casey King, photos by Sophia Rapata
Artist, poet, and IUN Fine Arts major Casey King was on the Munster varsity swim team for four years.  Casey currently lives with his dad in the Robertsdale neighborhood near Whiting.  He swims weekly and enjoys skateboarding, cars shows, the beach, woodworking, and painting film sets.  He attended Columbia College in Chicago for three years and frequents Paul Henry’s Art Gallery in Hammond, previously P.H. Mueller and Sons hardware store.  Gallery owner Dave Mueller’s Thursday “Jam Nights” feature music, poetry reading, and a potluck meal.  Here are excerpts from King’s journal:
  January 20:Following the opening reception of the IUN Filters exhibit at Paul Henry’s gallery, I made my way to the South Lake Artists Co-op Recycle show at Wildrose Brewery in Griffith, which featured 53 pieces by 30 artists.  My three are screen prints on wood salvaged, with permission from the owner, from a pile on the corner of Hohman and Sibley in Hammond.  My concept was to pay homage to past architectural styles such as atomic,mid-century modern, and googie (Populuxe). A collector purchased two of my pieces, “Fast Fred’s Lounge” and “Workshop.”
 February 14: “Groove Painting #1” won honorable mention in the IUN Juried Exhibit.  Top prize ($1,00) went to Jennifer McGuire. Her screen prints will become part of the permanent IUN collection.
  March 3:I had three illustrations in the “Pen and Ink” exhibit at Union Street Gallery. I also exhibited at an IUN student show at Studio 659 in Whiting organized by David Arreola titled “Fiscally Unviable.” 
  March 18: Over the weekend, we celebrated my father’s birthday with appetizers dinner (pizza and salad) and cake at my grandmother’s house. Next day my father, uncle, and I ate at Superdawgs in Chicago.  The building is a step back in time and even has a car hop.  The hot dog is served with a green tomato and no ketchup. Today we ate at my father’s favorite Italian restaurant, Tufano’s, before attending a Blackhawks hockey game.  All in all, a good weekend.
  April 3:I was asked to submit work for the Aeon Gallery exhibition “Monkey Tree.” I attended with Sophia Rapata, who was also in the show.  John Jorgensen played an acoustic set in the Blue Moon Lounge throughout the evening.
James Lambing horsing around in 2014
James Lambing wrote about going ice fishing during spring break:
   March 13:While others head to warmer climes, I’m off to Wisconsin.  At 3 a.m. I hit the open road with a banana, a monster energy drink, and a cooler for all the fish I expect to bring back.  After a six-hour drive my uncle and I packed up the truck with a sled, beer, and an auger to drill holes in the ice.  For the six hours we were on the frozen lake, I felt all my worries melt away. We only caught ten fish but at least didn’t get skunked.
 March 14:I woke up to the smell of coffee brewing and nine inches of fresh snow outside.  The temperature is 18 degrees with a -10 wind chill.  There’s no phone service, which reminded me of simpler times.  We packed beer, peanuts, and leftover pizza and drove my uncle’s truck right out onto the ice, which was a lot nicer than walking. Later, I noticed a Toyota Camry parked near us; the door was slightly open, and a guy fishing from his car.
  March 15:On the way into town we picked up minnows for bait.  We each caught about 25 fish.  Right before we were ready to leave, I hooked a big one, and just as I pulled it through the ice, it split the hook and rolled back into the water.  Because the cold had shocked it, I was able to grab the fish out of the hole just like in TV fishing shows. I love it up here and never want to leave.  
  March 16:Our last full day in the north woods, the temperature reached 56 degrees, a heat wave compared to when we arrived. We tried a different lake and had no luck, so after cracking open beers and enjoying the spring-like weather, we called it a day. At a gas station my uncle bought a bottle of Fireball cinnamon-flavored Canadian whisky.  Back at our place we sat on the truck, opened beers, and passed the whisky bottle back and forth.  My uncle told stories about my grandparents, which were new to me since my dad doesn’t talk much about his past. That evening we had a fish fry feast.
  March 17:We headed for home at 6 am but stopped outside Madison where my uncle bought a used Cadillac. We went our separate ways, and I got home mid-afternoon.  After giving my girlfriend a kiss and hug, I lay down for a nap and stayed asleep for 8 hours.
  March 23:My dad called and told me that after I’d left my uncle, he put his Cadillac in a ditch, which tore off the front bumper and ripped off a headlight.  In addition he was hit with a DUI.  Just last week, he’d told me that in 40 years of driving – and doing stupid stuff in his youth – he’d never had a DUI.  He should have knocked on wood so as not to jinx himself.
 March 26:It’s been exactly one year since I quit cigarettes after smoking two packs a day.  I still get cravings that at times seem unbearable and have had occasional puffs, but I’m glad I made the decision.  I am hoping for many more  years of being smoke free.
  April 21:Yesterday was “Happy 4-20,” and I celebrated with munchies that packed much more of a wallop than I expected. First it made me paranoid, then groggy, and then I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and laughed at my reflection in the turned-off TV.  It had been ten years since I’d gotten high, and I think I’m good for at least another ten.   
 KayLee Thompson and Derek Cooper

KayLee Thompson wrote about her boyfriend, roommates, and dog:
 Background:In 1999, when I was 18 months old, my family moved from LaPorte to a house in Hobart that we inherited when my grandmother died. Beginning in 2003, my father suffered four strokes and finally died from a heart attack on New Year’s Day 2014. It took all our funds to pay for medications and hospital visits, and we received help from the local food pantry.  My mother was our rock, taking care of our needs. When I was 6, I broke my hip and destroyed my plates.  In eighth grade I was diagnosed as 50% deaf and have worn hearing aids ever since.   My hardships don’t define me but will always be a part of who I am.
  March 15:My new hearing aids connect to Bluetooth, which allows me to listen to music and answer phone calls.  Even so, I still prefer texts or emails.
  March 16:I have been at Mr. T’s Pizza in Hobart for 3 years and worked the closing shift.  I live in Portage with boyfriend Derek, his best friend and former metal band mate Leddy, and Leddy’s girlfriend Sydney, to whom I’ve become close; we are nerds and got matching tattoos, as did our friends Rachael and Megan, of the Harry Potter lightning bolt symbol. My nickname is Dobby, like the house elf in Harry Potter.   I got my first tattoo at 18, a snake, in honor of my dad whose biker nickname was Snake. I think tattoos are beautiful ways of telling a story and plan to have a bunny tattoo on my left foot in honor of my mother, nicknamed Bunny Girl by dad’s biker pals.  I’m thinking about getting a tattoo of Dobby.  Hopefully the tattoos won’t lead to problems when I become a teacher, as they are becoming more acceptable.
  March 17:Sydney had Sam and me crafting for her big wedding day.  We made masks for the photo booth, little candy boxes, and table centerpieces. Sam told a hilarious story about a friend getting her eyebrows done and being upset with the outcome. “The Asians took my eyebrows,”was the punchline.
  March 18:I listen to a wide range of music, from country to heavy metal,  My last concert was Chicago Open Air, which featured Amon Amarth, Godsmack, Slayer, Stone Sour, and the one and only Ozzy Osborne.  It was expensive and hot but amazing.
  April 8:At Mr. T’s our opening manager, Tricia, is respectful, understanding, and easygoing, in short a perfect role model, while our closing manager is lazy and no help to any of us.  We got backed up on dishes, and she just sat smoking and talking on the phone, causing Tricia to stay much later than 11, when her shift ended.
  April 9:On the way to IUN I came upon flashing lights.  The driver of an SUV, probably distracted on the phone, had rear-ended a truck at a stop sign.
 April 14:I got all dolled up for Sydney’s bachelorette party. When her sister Britney arrived with several boxes of decorations, food, and alcohol, we kicked Sydney out so we could decorate the house.  The wedding was superhero themed, and Britney bought everyone matching t-shirts.  The party started at 2, and we ate, drank, danced, and played party games, such as Yardzee with giant dice. At 5 a party bus took us to Medieval Times, where a knight on horseback threw Sydney a rose.  We all had so much fun.
  April 20:In December of 2015, we adopted Apollo, a black lab, from Hobart Humane Society.  His litter had been left at a gas station in a box.  Derek and I were working a craft show for my mother, and nearby the humane society had a booth to sell treats, collars, and leashes.  A man had a lab puppy with him and said the litter would be available for adoption in about a month.  We filled out the proper papers and were the first on their list on the day when the puppies went up for adoption.  A long line formed at the shelter, but we got first pick and chose Apollo, who proved to be an amazing animal, smart and loving.
 Two shots of Ariana Schiewer
Ariana Schiewer wrote about turning 22 and dealing with immature guys:
 January 10:I went go karting with friends. The karts go up to 60 mph. Carlos bragged that he was going to beat me.  Everything he does, he has to be the best at it.  I’m super competitive, too, and really wanted to beat him. None of my friends, myself included, believed he was as good as he kept saying.  On take-off, I put my foot all the way down on the pedal. BAD IDEA!! The go kart went way too fast, straight into a wall.  After that, I went super slow the whole time. Carlos and Taylor kept throwing me into the wall and acting like it was so funny. Carlos ended up winning and I came in last. If you think I’ll ever hear the end of that, you’re wrong. 
 January 17:I’m better at laser tag than most of my friends. Most important, I’m way better than Carlos. I was on a team with my best friend Annie and Carlos. We won three games.  In the lobby Carlos and Taylor started yelling at a guy who had kept insulting Annie and me. After the huge argument we turned our attention to the scoreboard. Carlos’ name appeared right in front of mine. OF COURSE! 
 January 24:At the movies I was with Annie and Matt. Carlos was supposed to join us, but nobody could get ahold of him. Annie and I were making fun of the movie, which ticked Matt off. Afterwards, Carlos claimed he’d been sleeping and didn’t hear his alarm.  Carlos is a known liar though, so I don’t buy it. 
  January 31:The whole time Annie and I were having our nails done she was texting with Carlos, and they were “joking” about me. It was annoying. After leaving the nail salon, we went to Red Robin for a hamburger and shake. Well, we both get sugar rushes very easily, and after half a shake, we both were bouncing off the walls. Everyone we were texting thought we were drunk, so of course Matt had to show up and make sure we were okay. Really, he was just coming to talk to Annie. He just shows up wherever Annie is all the time. 
  February 4 (Superbowl Sunday):I was planning to watch the game with Erik, Matt, and Carlos, but at work Matt said he just wanted it to be the guys. It was snowing and the roads were supposed to be really bad, so I decided it was best not to go. Well, then I got a text from Carlos and Erik, and I got talked into leaving work an hour early and joining them. When I arrived, Carlos was hanging half way out the window giving me the finger. I was secretly hoping he’d fall. He thinks he is so perfect all the time. Fifteen minutes later, a guy delivered pizza and pasta. Thank goodness, because I hadn’t eaten all day.  I forgot to pack a lunch and didn’t have money. We took bets and I took the Patriots, while they all wanted the Eagles. Loser was to be thrown in the snow from the window. Guess who lost? They didn’t actually  throw me from the window. I would have definitely broke something. Carlos and I started wrestling, because I swore I could beat him. Yeah, another bad idea. I was pinned in thirty seconds. It was a fun night. I started to feel like I was actually friends with this group of guys. 
  February 8:Annie, hosting video game night, texted me to come early. When I got there, Carlos was already on the couch with the game systems all set up and an extra TV. Then Matt started bossing everyone around.  He scolded Carlos and me for playing music too loud .  I yelled back, and Annie, as always, took Matt’s side.  
  February 9:Carlos, Matt, Annie, and I played in the snow for three hours and then went to Dunkin Donuts for hot chocolate. With wet shoes, socks, and leggings, I was cold the whole way home but had a great time. The minute I got home I jumped in a hot shower and went to bed for the night. 
  February 13:At the grocery, in sweats with no makeup on, I got a call to go to the movies. I drove home with the groceries and got ready in 20 minutes. I was running late but had to stop for gas. Being late gives me really bad anxiety. I got there five minutes before the movie and no one was there yet. I thought they were pranking me, but then everyone came running in. The whole time Annie talked to Taylor. I told myself not to go to a movie with them again. 
  February 21:Guess where I went? If you guessed the movies, you’d be right. I was next to Annie and on the other side was Matt and Carlos.  Matt said, “Rock, paper, and scissors to see who sits next to Annie. ”You have got to be kidding me! Are we in middle school!?  Well, Matt won and got to sit next to Annie. I almost grabbed my purse and walked out, only I just paid 11 dollars to see this stupid movie. The minute it ended, I ran to my car without a word to any of them. Later, when I told Annie how I felt, she claimed it was all in my head. Great friend. I could never stay mad at Annie though, so I knew in a few days everything would be fine. 
  March 1:Tattoo time!  My second. Beforehand, Annie and I had breakfast at Jelly’s.  After we grabbed a table and ordered food, Carlos appeared and said, “What about me?” Then Matt, Zach, and Erik arrived. I didn’t talk the whole time, so upset with Annie for inviting them without even asking me. Later she claimed she felt I’d be happy to see Carlos. Wrong!   It really had to do with her wanting to see Matt. After getting our tattoos, I calmed down but went straight home to catch up on homework.
  March 8:I lost Drunk, Stoned, or Stupid because I ended up with the most cards. Leaving Erik’s, I had to follow Carlos because I can never remember where we have to turn. Well, he decided to speed all the way home, perhaps because he was annoyed with me. Well, I tried to keep up and got pulled over, my first time ever. I was so nervous but got off with a warning. I talked to Carlos that night and he made me feel better about getting pulled over. 
  March 17:My whole shift was with Matt, Erik, and Carlos. At Jelly’s for lunch we got green pancakes for St. Patrick’s Day, kind of weird. We sat and laughed. When Annie isn’t around, Carlos and Matt actually talk to everyone and are fun to be around. Our waitress forgot our bacon. Since it took 30 minutes for our food to arrive, I told them to take it off the bill and it was fine. On the way back to work Erik was smoking. I start having coughing fits and hanging my head out the window; they all thought it was funny. 
  March 21:My brother is getting married. He’s been engaged for almost six years and has two kids. I hadn’t seen them since Christmas.  I used to live with them so it has been really hard on me. It was a four-hour drive; when I got there, my niece ran up to me and wouldn’t leave me the rest of the day. 
  March 24:I had been texting Annie almost all day, but at 7 o’clock stopped hearing from her. I knew something was wrong; two hours later she messaged me that her me mawpassed away, her last living grandparent. I packed a bag and headed over to her house.  Halfway there, Annie told me she’d decided to go over to her brothers’.  I texted Matt to see what we should do to help and he told me to stay out of it. 
  March 26:I gave Annie condolence cards and we had a nice long talk about her feelings and needs. 
  March 27:Today was the wake so I dressed up before leaving for school. I have only ever been to one wake and never actually saw the body. When Erik, Carlos, and I got to the funeral home, we instantly ran into Annie and her mom. They seemed fine, but I knew it would be a while before they felt okay.
  March 28: My brother’s family is in town, and mom volunteered me to stay at their motel room and babysit. I was upset at first, but my nephew and niece were really excited for me to be spending the night so I got over it.  Only a few hours away from turning 22, I always like to go into my birthday in a good mood. I went to the pool with my niece and nephew; after about 30 minutes of swimming, they were tired and fell asleep soon after changing into pajamas. 
  March 29: My mom decided we should take my nephew to an arcade. My niece played in  a toddler area while he got to play his games. Everyone kept apologizing that my birthday was ruined, but really I couldn’t have planned it better. My sister who lives far away even came to see me. 
  March 30:I had dinner with Annie to celebrate my birthday, and then we hung out with Matt and Carlos at the arcade. Annie asked her boyfriend Taylor if he wanted to come but he declined. Carlos decided that we should go play arcade games and leave Matt and Annie alone. Afterwards, they acted annoyed that we had disappeared, but if they weren’t so involved in each other, maybe they would have noticed. 
  April 9:I was hanging out with immature Carlos. Annie was supposed to join us but didn’t show up. Carlos made some dumb joke and started laughing so hard, everyone in the room was looking at us. He kept laughing for a good five minutes. I ended up leaving out of embarrassment. Then he kept calling for me to come back, which just drew more attention to us. 
  April 13:Carlos texted me to go see The Quiet Place with him and Matt. I was jumping throughout the whole movie and they kept making fun of me. It’s getting old.
Walt's in 1937 and 2010
Nicholas Campagnolo wrote about a Geology field trip to the Indiana dunes, reading “Game Change” for a course on the American Presidency, learning about William A. Wirt from Ronald Cohen in a Hoosier History course, working as a stocker at Walt’s Food Center in Dyer (which started in 1937 as a fruit and vegetable stand), organizing an NCAA “March Madness” office pool, attending an auction of items repossessed from home foreclosures, and playing his favorite slot machine, Swiss Riches, at Horseshoe Casino.  Campagnolo’s final journal entries described Easter weekend with family:
  March 30:On Good Friday my church passes out Easter eggs to be painted and returned for Easter mass.  For every painted egg, the church donates a dollar to charities that fight world hunger. The person judged to have painted the best egg receives a $100 gift card to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which my mother would appreciate.  I painted mine light blue and then added pink paint shaped like diamonds and a yellow stripe down the middle.
  March 31:After working until noon, I shopped to help my mother prepare for Easter. On the list were eggs, butter, parsley, cinnamon, bread crumbs, celery, tortillas, and an oven thermometer. It took nearly an hour to find everything and get through the long check-out line.  My next assignment was to devein shrimp for shrimp scampi while my mother glazed the ham.  I peeled potatoes until my hand was in pain and helped her prep several other items.
  April 1:When I woke up, my mother, an obsessive neat freak, was cleaning the kitchen and rest of the first floor. Arriving in the early afternoon were my grandparents, step-father’s grandparents, uncles, cousins, and one year-old Giovani, who smiled and rolled around on the carpet like a puppy playing with stuffed animals.  Giovani’s father is a professional meat cutter and his mother works part-time at Michael’s Craft Store. My mother and her 3 brothers reminisced about their childhood.  I ate so much I didn’t have room for the carrot cake and ice cream.  There were plenty of leftovers.   After the guests left, I helped my mother clean up; because we used paper plates and plastic silverware, it didn’t take that long.