Friday, May 29, 2015

The Places You'll Go

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”   
Dr. Seuss, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”
At James’ eighth grade graduation ceremony, the Discovery Charter School staff read “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” (1990) – a great choice and the final Dr. Seuss book before his death.  WReminding readers that “there is fun to be done” and “magical things you can do,” Dr. Seuss cautions them to “step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.”  These lines gave me a chuckle: “And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed).”
 James with Dave, Toni, Jimbo, and Tom

Among the 19 graduates honored during the outdoor program were the twins Savannah and Shelby Daily, granddaughters of Porter Acres softball teammate Sam Johnston, and Jayden Matthews, grandson of former Gary mayor Richard Gordon Hatcher, looking dapper in a white blazer and cool hat.  A mainstay in the band, glee club, and school musicals (including “Seussical”) for three years, James won the Outstanding Music Award.  I was pleased to introduce my namesake to my political hero.  James thanked me afterwards.  Friday the class was off to Great America, so they’ll miss a visit from Indiana School Superintendent Glenda Ritz. Both Discovery Charter School and Principal Ernesto Martinez were honored recently.
 Richard Hatcher with daughters Ragen, Renee and Rachelle
Hatcher hopes IUN will host a summer seminar on “Civil Rights – Then and Now,” comparing and contrasting 1960s struggles with present police-community relations.  He expressed outrage at New York police disrespecting Mayor de Blasio after he admitted ”giving the talk” to his biracial son on how to react – respectful and compliant - if stopped by cops.  WTF?   I’ve given the same talk to my sons.  When in office Hatcher’s relationship with city police was at times rocky.  One of his least pleasant duties was an annual review of the force; some cops didn’t bother to hide their animus against him. Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez had similar problems from holdovers loyal to John Buncich.  At one point Lodge 125 of the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) even expelled Dominguez – talk about petty.
Alissa and Miranda flew to Paris from Dublin and are having a ball.  Miranda latest Facebook posting includes 67 photos, many of Le Tour Eiffel.

Rachel Hartman’s journal discussed being an IUN student, doing field experience in Hobart, and planning a surprise party for her dad.
March 4:  As the Hobart students waited for school to end, some girls played a version of the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” games that have taken the market by storm. They took turns as the security guard against various animatronics. I could hear sounds that mimicked the game, as well as giggles, from the corner of the room.  At home I watched YouTube videos about the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” games. They had a very creepy ambience as well as many heart-stopping jump-scares.
March 14: My dad’s fiftieth birthday is coming up, so I talked my brother into coming with me to the party store to prepare for a surprise party. We bought a piñata, several joke gifts, and quite a bit of candy. Since I’m planning the whole thing, I told my brother that he needed to take a day off from work. He said that he’d have to talk to his superior, a person who doesn’t like such requests unless it’s important.  Getting a specific day off will be like pulling teeth.
March 25: I was up past midnight last night, so I wanted to send my dad a birthday message while he was working the nightshift to brighten up his day. I changed the lyrics to Anna Kendrick’s “Cup Song” about missing me when I’m gone and sang it to him. I fell asleep before I got a response back.  My field assignment was changed at the last minute. I was to assist the music teacher and given a clarinet to show students and have them try to play. It was a very long day.  My voice went hoarse, and I had a migraine by lunch, plus I heard SpongeBob references all day. To add on, this instrument shrieks loudly if too much air is sent into it.
March 26: I got up early to go over everything about the party at my dad’s girlfriend’s house. My brother got the day off, along with his girlfriend. I went an hour before them because I had to pick up food and the cake, decorate, and shop for my dad’s second birthday present. My brother and his girlfriend finally showed up, and helped me pick out the last gift.  We returned, and my dad’s girlfriend called him, making an excuse that her water pipes were leaking so he’d come to her home. When he got there, instead of entering the house; my dad started tearing off the skirting around her home. His girlfriend had to yell at him to come inside. When we surprised him, he wasn’t all that happy. He ranted and raved about having to get his tools and head out back outside to fix the skirting, then came back in just as grumpy as earlier. At dinner he didn’t eat much or open his piñata.  The mood did lighten up as the night progressed, but it still wasn’t what I planned.
 “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and the “Cup Song” were new to me.  I have always hated surprise parties, waiting endlessly for the guest of honor who, often as not, are not surprised, or if they are, then not pleased. 
Andrew Glidewell is hooked on flag football, fishing, and the video game Destiny.  An employee at Cabela’s in Hammond, he gets a discount on fishing rods, reels, lures, and other gear, clothing and footwear.  Andrew has also worked at Krazy Kaplans Fireworks.  His journal mentions women’s Ultimate Fighting bantamweight champ “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, a 2008 Olympic medalist in judo featured recently in Rolling Stone and quoted as saying: “I think it's funny when people think that because I'm a female athlete that I must be a lesbian. And I'm like, ‘No, I love men so much that I beat the fuck out of girls for a living, just to take them all out.”   A 2014 New Yorker article stated:
Rousey is nothing if not expressive. She smiles often, squinting so tightly that her eyes disappear. She cries easily, a girlhood habit she never outgrew. And before each fight she glares at her opponent as if she were getting ready to put a permanent end to a lifelong feud. After the fight, she is all smiles again, and usually unblemished.
Here are excerpts from Glidewell’s journal:
March 1: I put gas in my truck, a chore because the tank is messed up.  I have to pump slowly, so getting 20 dollars worth in the tank is time-consuming.
With 40 dollars in gift cards earned as a bonus for signing customers up for a Cabela’s Club Visa card, I got a hat and stuff for the new tackle box Trisha recently bought me.  I picked her up from work and we went to my grandparents’ house for Mexican food.  My grandma makes the best tacos, tostadas, rice, beans, and salsa.
March 17: For St. Patrick’s Day Trisha’s mom dyes all the dinner food green.  Trisha and I went to the marina by her house and made a few casts, hoping to get lucky and catch a fish or two.  It was very windy, especially by the lake.  We didn’t catch anything, but, as I always say, a bad day of fishing beats a good day of anything else.  We went to my Aunt Kelly’s.  She was born on St. Patrick’s Day, so it’s always a fun party.
March 25: Trish and I took my grandpa to Quaker State and Lube for wings since grandma had friends over for dice.  When we got back, she asked me to take her place while she took dessert out of the oven.  I had several hot rolls that allowed her to finish second and win ten dollars.
March 27: Burger King brought back chicken fries, so I had to get some.
March 29: WrestleMania 31 had amazing twists and turns.  The best part was when The Rock brought Ronda Rousey, his co-star in Furious 7, out of the audience to confront Stephanie McMahon and Triple H.
April: We are all athletic in my family, so, it being a gorgeous Easter, our day consisted of wiffleball, basketball, and ultimate Frisbee. Uncle Tom pulled out a map of Leech Lake in Minnesota, where we fish over the summer, and pointed out places should check out in our boat.

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