Monday, June 20, 2016

Longest Day

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”  Coach Jim Valvano
Phil Lane with Miranda, Alissa, Tori  and Anthony; photo by Delia Soto-Lane

"The Longest Day" (1962) was a rather over-dramatic account of D-Day with big-name stars of a half-century ago, such as Richard Burton, John Wayne, and Robert Mitchum, but the phrase also refers to the summer solstice that literally results in the occurrence of the longest day of the year.

On Fathers Day I got calls from Phil and Dave as well as granddaughter Alissa, who had her dad’s family over for spring rolls and the seventh game of the NBA finals won by Cleveland, led by “King” Lebron James, the series leader in scoring, rebounds, blocks, and assists.
In “Couple share lifelong love of Miller Beach” Post-Trib columnist Jeff Manes  reported that Judy Ayers donated cookbooks to the Calumet Regional Archives.  Judy told him:
              My mother, Barbara Neal, was the owner of Barbara's Cover Girl Beauty Shop for 40 years and her business was always on Lake Street. For most of those years, it was located next to Ayers Realtors where she rented her side of the store from Gene.
Mom's patrons, ladies from Miller, Gary, Ogden Dunes, Portage and Lake Station, sold their community or church cookbooks as fundraisers. My mother bought them to support her customers and their causes. In each cookbook there was the history of the church or organization. After every recipe was the name of who contributed it.
It was always fun to see the recipes friends and neighbors served their families. Many years later, the cookbooks and the names of the recipe contributors serve as reminders of the ladies my mother knew.

In 1922 N. Guy Ayers, Gene’s great-uncle, hung out a shingle to launch Ayers Realty.  Gene’s father Bruce joined the business in 1946 after serving in World War II.  Gene, like Judy a 1965 Wirt High School grad, said:
            When I was really young, we lived in Aetna. They hadn't yet built the 1950s Fifield-Aetna houses, so we lived on Aetna Street at the end of a sand dune. The Fifields took raw land and subdivided it into all those inexpensive homes that were built in that post-war era. Close to 70 percent of the houses in Miller were built from '46 to '66.
My father was in partnership with some people who were going to build a workingman's lakefront housing project where Bethlehem Steel (ArcelorMital) is now. It was going to be called Duna Beach, but Dad's partner became gravely ill and Duna Beach never happened.

At Tom Eaton’s for bridge Pat Cronin mentioned that she is in a knitting club with Judy Ayers.  Last year the group made a hundred caps for kids with cancer.  I finished second to Brian Barnes, who with wife Connie will host next month’s get together.  A great cook, Eaton served Bavarian cream cake.

At Primary Care to renew three blood pressure prescriptions, I learned that Dr. Ostroski's daughter is teaching in the Nursing Department at Valparaiso University.  I wonder if she’s met Chemistry professor Julie Peller, John Ban’s daughter, who who left IUN after getting screwed over for promotion by the old boy network.  I was tempted to suggest that Len  quit the rat race and see about becoming a professor at IUN Medical School.
Chesterton High School hosted a ceremony in honor of 2014 grad Mitchell Alexander Winey, who drowned in Texas along with 8 others in a military training accident when floodwaters washed their transport truck from what was supposed to be a shallow crossing.  Class president and captain of Chesterton’s soccer team, Winey was a West Point cadet.  During the ceremony Indiana senator Joe Donnelly remarked: “I will never make a better nomination or make an easier one than this one [to the military academy.]”

Funeral services took place over the weekend for many of the 49 victims of the terrorist attack in Orlando.  Because it occurred on Latin Night and approximately half of the dead were Puerto Rican, Attorney-General Loretta Lynch announced that the FBI is investigating whether it was a hate crime against Latinos as well as gays.
NWI Times photo by John Luke 
Members of the Pokagon band of Potawatomi Indians held a blessing to Mother Nature at the waters of Lake George at Festival Park in Hobart.  NWI Times reporter Chas Reilly wrote:
         The Potawatomi prayed for the healing of the water and those participating in the ceremony at Festival Park.
They used rattles and drums to keep time as they sang. During one song, a copper kettle filled with water was held toward the sky. The large crowd that gathered was later given water from that kettle to drink.
Bob and Rhea Laramie
I attended a party at Woodland Park for Portage High School grad Stephanie Laramie, who will be a freshman at Vincennes University in the fall.  Her grandfather, Bob Laramie, coached Phil on several youth soccer teams, and we reminisced about highlights from years past.  Bob knew the names of all 16 of his grandchildren and his 24 great-grandchildren, many of whom he introduced me to.  On hand was an IUN History major (Tyler) whom I knew from Jonathyne Briggs and Nicole Anslover’s classes.  For Fathers Day son Bobby gave Bob, a former steelworker, “Steel Giants” and said one of the authors had signed it, not Steve McShane but Gary Wilk, who had been at a booth with wife Nancy at European Market.
At the Democratic state convention in Indianapolis John Gregg was nominated to oppose Governor Mike Pence along with running mate Christina Hale, a Michigan City native.  East Chicago former judge Lorenzo Arredondo is the party’s attorney-generalnominee, and Glenda Ritz will seek a second term as superintendent of public instruction.

The Cubs swept the Pirates, and Anthony Rizzo pulled off an unusual play that I’ve long advocated.  On first with bases loaded and two out Ben Zobrist hit a grounder to deep short.  Rather than side, Rizzo ran to second in full stride and beat the throw.  He got tagged out overrunning the base, but the man on third, reaching home beforehand, scored.

Adam Hochschild's “Spain in Our Hearts” profiles American volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, many of whom were demonized during the Red Scare as "Premature Anti-Fascists." Robert Merriman, the son of a lumberjack, received a grant to study in the Soviet Union during the Great Depression while a grad student at the University of California.   One of his Economics professors at Berkeley was Paul S. Taylor, whose account of Mexican-American steelworkers in the Calumet Region Ed Escobar and I excerpted in “Forging a Community.”  Taylor’s wife was photographer Dorothea Lange.
Dorothea Lange; photo by Paul S. Taylor

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