Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Go, Cubs, Go

“Well this is the year
And the Cubs are real
So come on down to Wrigley Field”
         Steve Goodman “Go, Cubs, Go”
USA Today photo by Jerry Dai

Not normally superstitious, I tried not to jinx the Cubs in their decisive game against rival St. Louis.  Down 2-0, pitcher Jason Hammel drove in a run and then Javier Baez, inserted because regular shortstop Addison Russell injured his hamstring the night before, slugged a three-run HR.  Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber also went yard as the Cubbies won a postseason series for the first time since 2003 (the year of Bartman).  Midway through the contest our power went out.  I listened on the car radio (announcer Pat Hughes made it worthwhile), and caught the final two innings at Applebee’s.  As a sign in the stands exclaimed, “Party Like It’s 1907,” the last time the Cubs won a World Series.  Some compared their getting by division rival St. Louis to the Bulls beating the Detroit Pistons in 1991 on their way to their first of six titles, but the Bulls with Michael Jordan had been quite good for several years while the Cubs had been awful since 2008.

Steve Goodman, a Cub fanatic who died of leukemia in September 1984, at age 36, wrote “Go, Cubs, Go” after General Manager Dallas Green criticized the lyrics of the self-nicknamed Cool Hand Leuk’s previous song, “A Dying Fan’s Last Request,” as too depressing.  Here’s a sample:
Give me a double-header funeral in Wrigley Field

On some sunny weekend day (no lights)

Have the organ play the "National Anthem"

and then a little 'na, na, na, na, hey hey, hey, Goodbye'

Make six bullpen pitchers carry my coffin

and six ground keepers clear my path

Have the umpires bark me out at every base
In all their holy wrath

It’s a beautiful day for a funeral,
Hey Ernie lets play two!
Somebody go get Jack Brickhouse to come back,
and conduct just one more interview

Have the Cubbies run right out into the middle of the field,

Have Keith Moreland drop a routine fly

Give everybody two bags of peanuts and a frosty malt

And I'll be ready to die

Jonathyne Briggs asked me to attend his class on the 1968 Columbia University uprising.  Student demands included ending contracts with the defense department and making an activities building available to the adjacent neighbors (i.e., “Gym Crow Must Go”).  When Sam Merrill, my adviser at Maryland, called a friend, a sit-in protestor announced, “You’ve reached the liberated History Department.”
 1968 Columbia sit-in
Frank da Cruz, arrested and suspended for a semester for participating in  Columbia sit-ins, wrote:
  Students had legitimate grievances and tried repeatedly to get through to the administration with no success. The University was complicit in the Viet Nam war (e.g. in the “automated battlefield” from which the Vietnamese continue to suffer to this day), and its behavior towards its neighbors was arrogant, patronizing, and bellicose. The University administration never appreciated its African-American, Dominican, and Puerto Rican neighbors in Harlem and Manhattan Valley.
  [The strike] was a case of students doing the best they could to stop the war in Viet Nam and fight racism at home, just as they hoped others would do in other places: in the streets, factories, offices, other universities, the military itself, the court of world opinion, and finally in the seats of government. At Columbia [as a result of the strike] classified war research was halted, the gym was canceled, ROTC left campus, military and CIA recruiting stopped, and (not that anybody asked for it) the Senate was established.

At Jewel a check-out clerk announced in the middle of bagging a customer’s groceries that his shift was over and disappeared, causing consternation on the part of the cashier.  I doubt he’ll last long.

During the CNN Democratic debate Vermont senator Bernie Sanders said, “The Secretary [of State] is right that the country is sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”  Hillary Clinton laughed and thanked him.  Then Bernie added, “Enough about the emails.  Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.”  What followed was a standing ovation.  Sanders certainly got the attention of Donald Trump, not above Red-Baiting, who called him a socialist-communist who wants to give everything away.  The 74 year-old Sanders dancing with Ellen DeGeneres on her afternoon show may have been a case, however, of jumping the shark.  In America senior citizens get little respect.

IUN Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Mark McPhail announced the appointment of State Representative Vernon Smith as Interim Dean of Education, replacing Pat Bankston, who evidently wore out his welcome after instituting austerity measures that, in McPhail’s words, “put the school on sound fiscal ground.”  No good deed goes unpunished.  Bankston reminds me of Richard Hatcher’s predecessor, former Gary mayor A. Martin Katz, a consummate politician who knew how to get things done.  When I interviewed Katz, he frequently requested that I turn off the tape recorder but remained cautious regarding what he said.  Interim dean Vernon Smith last year led a revolt against the previous permanent dean who had clumsily attempted similar measures.  The division was dysfunctional when I arrived at IUN in 1970 and has remained so from time to time since.  When Smith goes to Indy in the spring as the state legislature reconvenes, evidently Business professor Charlie Hobson will take over as interim dean.
above, Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda; below, Mtanmanika Youngblood

Vernon Smith and I are members of an Advisory Committee assembled by former resident Edwin Whitlock intended to revitalize the city of Gary.  Others include Mtamanika Youngblood, an affordable housing expert and CEO of Sustainable Neighborhood Strategies, Inc., and Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, UCLA professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies and CEO of SF Global.  Hinojosa-Ojeda founded the North American Integration and Development Center and authored “The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” published in Cato Journal.
Below, Izzy Young in 1960

Ron Cohen co-authored “Folk City: New York and the American Folk Music Revival” with curator Stephen Petrus for a 2015 exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York.  On the cover are Bob Dylan and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, devotees of Woody Guthrie.  Inside I found a 1960 Dave Gahr photo of Folklore Center owner Israel “Izzy” Young, whom Toni and I stayed with in Stockholm, Sweden, thanks to Cohen.  The caption states:
  His shop, centrally located in Greenwich Village at 110 MacDougal Street, not only sold books, records, and instruments, but also offered a place for folk singers to congregate, socialize, and perform informally.
photos by Yvette Marie Dostatne

At IUN’s Savannah Gallery Ann Fritz curated a photo exhibit by Yvette Marie Dostatne entitled “The Conventioneers.”  In 2002 at a dog show at Chicago’s McCormick Place Dostatni ran into bikers attending a motorcycle show.  That led to visiting conventions for clowns, pimps, furries, Korean dry cleaners, polka dancers, Abraham Lincoln presenters, and Cougars (women who lust after younger “Cubs”).  Dostatni, who is soliciting backers on on Kickstarter to publish “The Conventioneers,” stated: “People are looking for places they can fit in for two or three days, a pass to get out of their daily lives. . . with people who are like them.”  At the reception were Corey Hagelburg, whose parents have been McCormick Place playground equipment exhibitors, and Chancellor Bill Lowe, who marveled at the variety of conventions displayed.  I remarked that it would be difficult to take interesting photos at a convention of historians.  A couple dozen students were chowing down as they awaited a talk by 37 year-old Fine Arts professor Jennifer Greenburg.  Looking gorgeous in a retro type of way, she reminded me of former chancellor Peggy Elliott, at that age a member of the Education faculty. 
 Jennifer Greenburg
Trent D. Pendley’s “Toys in the Attic” (2014) takes place the Northwest Indiana dunelands. The jacket states: “This is the journey of Nathan Franklin whose family participated in the most vicious confrontation between environmentalists and industrialists over the Hoosier coast.”  At 792 pages I probably won’t read it.

Yale Research Fellow Anne Balay spoke at Sterling Library about interviewing LGBTQ steelworkers and, more recently, long haul truckers.  She mentioned that her dad, in the audience, once was a Yale librarian but lost his job after siding with striking staff.

Robert De Niro shined in “The Intern” as a wise, lovable senior intern at a company headed by a successful but insecure woman (Anne Hathaway).  Rene Russo played a massage therapist who gave him a hard-on rubbing his lower back at his desk – the only false note, I thought, in an otherwise well-done movie.  Reviewer Glenn Kenny called the scene groan-inducing.  Toni and I stopped at Jewel for lobster and steak, as Dave’s family was coming for dinner.

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