Tuesday, May 31, 2011


In line at the grocery store, two young women didn’t have the Jewel discount card, so I asked whether they could use mine. The checkout guy said, “Sure, we’ll just consider you their grandfather.” How about “father?” I retorted. He apologized, and I said I was just joking and actually had a granddaughter their age. Still it was a wake up call.

Watched two good movies On Demand, “Lost in Translation” with Bill Murray going through a midlife crisis, and “Transamerica” with “Desperate Housewife” star Felicity Huffman doing an amazing job playing a person wanting to have a sex change to become a woman and going on a cross-country road trip with her 17 year-old pimp son whom she bails out of a New York jail who does not realize she is his father.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Steel Shavings, volume 41

I’ve been remiss with my blog because I’ve been laying out volume 41 of Steel Shavings, which will combine blog excerpts with student journals covering March of 2011. Entitled “Northwest Indiana Connections,” it will total 304 pages and sell for $12.50. To preorder, one can send a check for $15, covering postage and handling, made out to Indiana University and addressed to James Lane/History/IUN/3400 Broadway/Gary IN 46408. It is chock full of photos and should be out by the end of June.
Last weekend I interviewed 19 people at the annual IU FACET retreat. They also played a tribute to founder Eileen Bender that Aaron Pigors and I put together that was well received. Colleague Chris Young was inducted into the organization, and we had lots of opportunity to chat.
A couple weeks ago I was on Donald Evans’ radio show in Valpo. We talked about regional history and unions since the union rallies in Wisconsin and Indianapolis were in the news