Friday, October 25, 2013

Free Speech Week

“Free speech is the deadliest enemy of tyranny,” Hugo Black

It being Free Speech Week, IUN’s Communication Club held an Open Mike event at the gallery.  Steve Saricos, whom I know from Nicole’s Sixties class, read a couple interesting poems.  He’s also drummer and occasional bass player for Bandits in Pursuit.  One of their songs is titled “Voodoo Child.”  Two Black guys sang several soulful songs, reminding me of Fifties doo wop harmonizers such as Gary’s own Spaniels.  DeeDee Ige sat beside me and enjoyed the show.

Paul Lee, a scholar from Highland Park, Michigan, is researching Bobby Kennedy’s relationship with minority peoples and wanted info about the photo posted on my blog of RFK taken by Elmer Budlove at the Gary Airport in April 1968.  He added: By the way, I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your blog essays.   I hope that young persons are reading it.   They could certainly benefit from your historical perspective.”  In my reply I told Paul about a photo in Ray Boomhower’s book on the 1968 Democratic primary of RFK in an automobile with Richard Hatcher and former boxing great Tony Zale.

For Steve Spicer’s retirement party at Miller Bakery Café Dan Novakowski designed a cartoon portraying Steve that Pat presented framed to him during a brief ceremony.  Steve still works for Lee Construction one day a week.  His brother Jim retired a few years ago from Gary West Side, where he taught history.  Gene Ayers said his dad was 69 when he retired and he’s thinking about it more and more.  Toni and I chatted with Cindy Fredrick (who has more WAND materials for the Archives), Kate and Corey Hagelberg (who loved the Martin Luther King mural print I had framed for them), and other Millerites. Karren and Pat Lee ordered delicious food, first hors d’ourves and then three different entrees.  Four really cute youngsters attended, Spicer and Lee grandkids.

NWI Times reporter Jim Peters wrote about Jim Martz and Jere Kunkel, retired Fegely Middle School teachers about to work their last game as part of the chain crew for Portage football games.  They started 40 years ago when asked to fill in at the last minute and have been at it ever since, Jim on the chains and Jere as the box man who works the down indicator.  Martz used to jam at Bruce Sawochka’s house with Blues Cruise band members.  Bruce works Portage games as the clip man, whose job is to fasten a decive to the chain at the nearest 5-yard line.   If the chains are inadvertently moved, the clip indicates where they should go.  During first down measurements officials use the clip in placing the chains.  Martz told Peters he’s been spoiled having such a good view of the game “up close and personal.”  He added: “That’s the big thing I’ll miss, being so close to the action, hearing and seeing what’s going on during a game.”

Coming out of the Portage Theater, I heard someone shout, “Hey Jimmy.”  It was former bowling teammate Duke Caminsky with grandson Adam on their way to see “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.”   Maybe that’s the one I should have seen since “The Counselor” sucked, although it was a tour de force for Cameron Diaz as the villainous Malkina.

Arriving from IU Southeast via interlibrary loan was Bryan Burrough’s “Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-1934.” The book contains the famous “petting picture” with John Dillinger’s arm around Lake County prosecutor Robert Estill, as well as a photo of the bank robber under arrest in Crown Point.  Worried about his reputation above all else, the egotistical J. Edgar Hoover invented the story that Kate “Ma” barker was the masterrmind of the “Barker gang” after FBI agents killed this Florida grandmother with no criminal record.

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