Tuesday, April 23, 2019


“The foursome attempted to evoke the Zen-like closeness of artist and subject.  Might such representations of the wish to perpetuate intimacy express at once the confines and yearnings of the singular self?” Carolyn Burke, “Foursome: Alfred Stiglitz, Georgia O’Keefe, Paul Strand, Rebecca Salsbury.”
Foursome usually refers to golfers, as in this joke by author Bruce Lansky: “Some golfers fantasize about playing in a foursome with Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Sam Sneed.  The way I hit I’d rather play in a foursome with Helen Keller, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder.”  Foursome can also refer to group sex as in this proclamation by a character in a Jeaniene Frost fantasy novel from the Night Huntress series, who says, “I’ll become a swinger.  That’s right – threesomes, foursomes, and more.  Bones knows about a thousand chicks who’d love to hop into bed with us.  It’ll be kinky, we’ll get our freak on.”
 Stiglitz and his 1918 photo of O'Keefe
I’ve long been fascinated with photographer Alfred Stiglitz, a pioneer of modern art instrumental in photography coming to be accepted as a legitimate art form as well as a patron of  artist Georgia O’Keefe, his model, muse, lover, and wife.  For most of their marriage they lived separate lives with O’Keefe preferring to be in New Mexico, especially after discovering Alfred’s affair with another model.  Stiglitz preferred New York City and summers at Lake George.  I’ve read elsewhere that both had trysts with Rebecca Salsbury, but I’m not yet that far into Carolyn Burke’s book. I’m still in 1916 when Georgia was teaching in Texas and likely still a virgin but writing passionately to both Stiglitz and his protégé Paul Strand after meeting them at 291, Stiglitz’s gallery. To Paul she wrote: “I wanted to put my arms round you and kiss you hard.” To Alfred she described painting a self-portrait in the nude from reflections in the mirror, adding: “I couldn’t get what I wanted any other way.” He replied: “I’d like to kiss your body from top to bottom and then enjoy a long, long sleep – entwined.”

During the nineteenth century John Humphrey Noyes founded a utopian community, Oneida, based on a theory of perfectionism and the practice of complex marriage that permitted members to be sexually intimate with a variety of partners.  The 1969 comedy drama “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” was somewhat of a cop-out, as when the two couples finally share a bed together, the swapping does not advance beyond passionate kissing, at which point the action stops and the couples return to their spouses.  In recent times foursomes have experimented with living together as poly families. Kathy Labriola, a counselor who describes herself as involved in a polyamorous community, found that few such arrangements last for more than a year or two.  She wrote: 
  I’ve seen several households with a primary couple who add another couple and eventually end up as a threesome. It seems quite rare that all four people are compatible and flexible enough to handle the demands of a poly family, and eventually one of the four opts out. I’ve also seen some group marriages where two or even three of the partners stay together for many years but the fourth or fifth partners leave and are replaced by new people every year or so.  It’s certainly possible that there are successful foursomes or moresomes out there, but my data is empirical.
Photographer Cindy C. Bean noted on Facebook that I used some of her work in Steel Shavings, eliciting this reply from Diana Rudd: 
  So proud of you. Steel Shavingsis a marvelous collection of history of the region. Professor Lane was one of Jennifer's instructors when she attended IUN. One of the pieces he assigned her class to write focused on 1970, the year I graduated. She interviewed me for her paper and it was excerpted in a Seventies edition. I talked about the fluff of that year.. so many others contributed memories of the really important stuff.. Vietnam, the steel mills, politics. But even fluff memories have their place, I guess.

I replied: “Diana’s memories of Lew Wallace and downtown Gary in 1970 are historically important.”  She mentioned her post-prom party at Tiebel’s in Schererville (still in business) with the live band World Column and getting a 1962 blue Chevy as a graduation present. Here is an account of Diana’s first job after high school:
 I began as secretary for a two-brother legal team whose office was located in the old Sun Building at 475 Broadway.  I made a hundred dollars a week, not bad for someone with no prior experience.  I received a Christmas bonus equaling a week’s pay.  Relying on public transportation was inconvenient at times.  I had to drive to work on Fridays so that I could run errands. I began to feel unsafe after a rape occurred during business hours, two doors down from my office.  My days working in downtown Gary were numbered. My bosses seemed unconcerned with our safety.  There were two secretaries in our office, myself and a girl from Portage, who were expected to work alone on alternate Saturdays, finishing up work left over from the week.  When our bosses wouldn’t rearrange the schedule, I began looking for another job.
At her next job as a claims secretary, she met claims adjuster Henry Farag, who sang with the doo wop group Stormy Weather.  “They were cutting their first record at that time,” she recalled.  

Thanks to Marianne Brush, I purchased four third row tickets to see Dave Davies, formerly of the Kinks, at the Art Theater in Hobert.  Alissa and Josh came down from Grand Rapids, and son Dave completed our foursome.  Beforehand, we met Marianne and daughter Missy at Montego Bay Restaurant, which served Caribbean food.  Marianne knew the waitress and her husband, the cook and owner, who came out and greeted us. Everyone congratulated Dave on being named East Chicago Central’s “Teacher of Excellence.” Corey Hagelberg, also going to the show, stopped by our table to say hi.  It was a beautiful spring evening. We had time to stop by Green Door Books.  Much to my delight, it was still open and IUN Fine Arts major Casey King was inside, along with the owners.  Casey talked to our group about his work that adorned two walls.  Nearby was Tom Lounges’ Record Bin, which also included a small studio for Lounges’s radio show and a seating area for intimate live concerts.  I found a favorite Night Ranger album on vinyl, “Midnight Madness” (1983) that contains “Sister Christian” and “(You Can Still) Rock in America” but the price seemed steep at 18 bucks.
Alissa selfie and photo, below, by Sam Love
Dave and I had seen the Kinks at the Star Plaza over 30 years ago when he and brother Ray hardly spoke to one another but put on a great show.  Josh said that when he and his friends wanted to play the guitar, Kinks riffs were the first they mastered.  Looking grandfatherly at 71, Davies, on Rolling Stoneslist of all-time greatest guitar players, could still play and had a serviceable voice.  He seemed delighted at the enthusiastic audience and mixed in Kinks hits such as “Till the End of the Day” and “All Day and All of the Night” with recently recorded numbers. At one point he asked if a woman he’d met when he’d played in Merrillville was in the audience.  “I remember, she was from Hobart,” he exclaimed.  We all had a great time.  Though I didn’t see them, Sam and Brenda Love were in the house.  Afterwards, she posted: “Finally a concert where I’m not the oldest in the audience.”
 The Beths
Back at the condo, I played for Josh the Weezer song “Take On Me,” which we’d seen the band perform earlier in the month, and “Billie Jean,” also on the Teal album.  I introduced him to the Beths’ CD “Future Me Hates Me” after he said he’d been listening to Australian punk bands.  The Beths are actually from Aukland, New Zealand.
After having prepared breakfast for Alissa and Josh, Toni hosted a Spring Solstice dinner for Angie and Dave’s family, including her dad and  a very pregnant Tamiya - ham with all the trimmings plus mussels and scallops.  Everything was delicious. Afterwards, we played the dice game Qwixx and Pass the Pigs where you score points or get wiped out depending on how the piglets land. Before dinner I watched an exciting 76ers victory over the Brooklyn Nets, as Joel Embiid not only had 31 points and 16 rebounds but a key assist while falling to the ground to enable Mike Scott to score the game winner, a three-pointer from the corner.

I watched the first episode of a series called “Punk,” hosted by Iggy Pop, whose Detroit band The Stooges were pioneers of the genre.  Iggy claimed the Kinks 1964 song “You Really Got Me,” with its famous guitar riff by Dave Davies, was an early inspiration, the only Top 40 hit, in his words “worth a shit.”  The distortion sound came from Dave Davies slicing the speaker cone of his amplifier and then sticking it with a pin.  Iggy’s mentors were the Motor City group MC5, whose trademark song “Kick Out the Jams, mother fucker,” roused crowds to a frenzy.
CBS Morning Newsco-host Gayle King made one of six covers for Time’s 100 Most Influential People issue, primarily from staying calm while interviewing singer and accused pedophile R. Kelly.  Adorning our copy in the mail was Taylor Swift - seemingly a poor choice since she hasn’t recorded an album since 2017.  She was on a Timecover last year for suing a radio host who groped her ass; I suppose her image sells magazines and in any case. the choices seem pretty arbitrary. No literary figure made the list.  On the cover of New York magazine: Peter Buttigieg. A sidebar listed Mayor Pete’s favorite books; they include Ulysses by Irish writer James Joyce and Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  
A package arrived from the Abraham Lincoln Association.  Ken Anderson, a fellow book club member, gifted me a membership.  With a cover letter came a copy of the Association’s Winter 2019 journal, which contained an article by IUN professor Chris Young about the 1887 dedication of Augustus Saint-Gauden’s 12-foot statue of Abraham Lincoln in Chicago's Lincoln Park and its replica in London’s Parliament Square, unveiled in 1920.  In 1861 the 13 year-old Saint-Gaudens observed the President-elect standing in a carriage and bowing to a crowd of supporters. Four years later, he was among the thousands of mourners who viewed Lincoln’s body lying in repose at New York’s City Hall. Saint-Gaudens designed monuments to other Civil war leaders, including William Tecumseh Sherman.  His bronze of the Roman goddess Diana is on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump and proposed wiping out almost everyone’s student debt, causing IUN grad Amanda Marie Board (below, in middle), who recently passed the National Registry EMT exam, to write: “Okay, you may have just become my front runner.” I’m still for Klobuchar/ Buttigieg – or maybe Buttigieg/Klobuchar.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Mueller Report

“Attorney General WilliamBarr is not fazed by the demands of Congress. An aspiring autocrat like Trump, a would-be King of America, has at last found a man who understands his need for protection.” Ray Smock
 Robert Mueller and William Barr

After a 22-month investigation and 27 days during which Attorney General William Barr has withheld the report from the public and Congress in order to redact material he deems appropriate, the public finally got a look at the Mueller Report.  Trump has already declared “total exoneration” and Barr weeks ago issued a four-page brief instead of Mueller’s summary putting the best possible spin on things embarrassing to the President.  The primary Republican arguments seem to be that if Trump did things openly, such as pressuring officials to resign, or suggested actions that people under him ignored, these should not be considered collusion or obstruction of justice.  We shall see.

Here is an excerpt from Ray Smock’s essay, “The Barr Blunder.  Or is it a pattern?”:
   Who is William Barr and how has he managed so far to stonewall the entire federal government in his protection of the president? He served for about 18 months as George H. W. Bush’s attorney general back in 1991-92. He is a staunch conservative Republican with the typical views of the Constitution that come from places like the Federalist Society, where the “original intent” of the Founders should determine our views of the Constitution.
    Barr supported Trump’s ban on Muslims entering the country, the one the courts threw out. He claims the Founders didn’t think abortion was a good idea, even though they never wrote or spoke about the issue. Beware of people who tell you what the Founders said and thought unless you can find documentary evidence. Barr says Roe v. Wade is settled law and he was not going to challenge it. But given his views on abortion, why wouldn’t he find an opportunity to open this again, especially if President Trump wants this as a campaign issue in 2020?
    In his earlier stint as AG, Barr took a hard line on criminals and believed the United States, the nation with more people incarcerated than any other, should lock up even more criminals to deter crime. We have seen in subsequent decades the bitter fruit of his position with the massive expansion of incarceration and the rise of a private, for-profit jail system that depends on a steady stream of inmates to make it profitable. Whether we like it or not, this is the prevailing attitude of the Republican Party and most Republican senators, and even some Democrats seem unwilling to buck Barr’s hard-liner positions and his narrow view of constitutional law.
                                          IUN student Iris Contreras and Helen Boothe
above, bridge exhibit at IUN; below, Joe Chin bridge lesson
After a run of bad luck, Helen Boothe and I finished strong in duplicate bridge to finish slightly above average (53 percent).  She mentioned a clip on MSNBC where a Parisian reporter asked Pete Buttigieg a question about the Notre dame cathedral fire, and he answered in fluent French.  We bid and made a small slam, as, holding a Diamond singleton, I got the King of Diamonds to fall on my third lead from the board, making my Queen good.  Against a top couple I held 6 Clubs and 6 Hearts and was doubled in five Clubs.  I made an overtrick for top board. Googling Helen’s name, I came across these photos and an article entitled “Sharing bridge and Oral History” in the Unit 154 “Recap Sheet” edited by Kim Grant in Fort Wayne:
    Bridge players and an IU Northwest Oral Indiana History class have been paired together during this fall semester to share bridge experiences and Northwest Indiana days of yore in a weekly correspondence. The students’ journals will be filed in the IU Northwest Calumet Regional Archives as part of the bridge collection. Dr. James Lane is spearheading this unique plan to involve university students in the bridge experience and bridge players to become more familiar with Indiana’s past.  Joe Chin has spoken to the IU oral history students and has given them a beginning lesson about bridge. Joe’s lessons are sprinkled with humor and always have the participants enjoying his thoughtful and worthwhile presentations. We hope that some students will be encouraged to develop an interest in this intriguing game. We have seen several IU students coming to our games — shadowing their assigned partners from the bridge community.

In “Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments” Saidiya Hartman used the expression “bull dagger” to describe black butch lesbians.  From Sasha Goldberg’s paper at the Oral History Association conference in Montreal last October I learned that it was Southern slang for what some crudely call bull dikes.  Describing the “beautiful anarchy” on the corner of Seventh and Lombard in Philadelphia, where W.E.B. DuBois did field work for “The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study” (1899), Hartman wrote:
 Slick, fresh-mouthed boys, comely, buxom girls, policy runners, ne’er-do-wells, petty gangsters, domestics, longshoremen, and whores – the young and the striving, the old and the dissipated – gathered. The air was thick with laughter, boasts of conquest, lies bigger than the men who told them.  Idlers loud-talked one another in an orchestrated battle of words.  Pimps crooned, “Hey girl, send it on” to each and every woman under thirty who strolled by. Bull daggers undressed the pretty ones with a glance. . . .  Free association was the only rule and promiscuous social life its defining character. Newcomers refreshed the crowd; strangers became intimates.
 Diana Chen-lin (left) promoted to full professor, 2017

Leaving IUN’s library, I ran into Diana Chen-lin, attending a luncheon honoring faculty whose years of service were multiples of five, in her case 25 years – hard to believe.  Next year will mark 50 years I’ve been associated with the university. I told Diana that if I’m not invited, being officially retired, I plan to come anyway. Coincidentally, Diana had sent me this email earlier in the day:
 Thanks for the latest issue of Steel Shavings! I am going through it slowly and savoring the details about people I know and about the region. It was good to see Toni's picture--she looks really good! And it was good to see Ron Cohen mentioned. I am on a page where you were discussing Tiger Woods' second place finish in the Valspar Championship last year, which seemed to promise Woods would be making a bigger comeback, which he just did. I also found your quote on David Letterman very interesting, having watched Letterman on and off for years. I will continue slowly through the journal and enjoy the reading.
 Kerns at Lake Junaluska, July 10, 2016

Paul Kern, back in Florida after a cross-country drive to see son Colin in California, sent a much longer response; here are highlights:
  I enjoy the references to students from the early days: Jim Reha, Al Renslow, George McGuan, Fred McColly, Dan Simon.  They’re old men now.  I was sorry to see that Tom Eaton died. I didn't know him, but saw him often at Gary high school basketball games in the 70s. He stood out because he never took off his coat, no matter how hot it was in the gym. Lance Trusty was another person I did not get to know, but wish I had.  Every once in a while an event shakes me to the core. Phil turning fifty is one of those events
  McKinney Springs, where your friend Aaron Davis camped on his bicycle trip, is in the Big Bend National Park, our favorite Park. We went there twice and encountered bicyclers both times. Sanderson, where I lived for a few years (first through third grades), is nearby. It was a railroad town and when the Southern Pacific pulled the plug it no longer had any reason to be. Only a few railroad retirees are left. No Country for Old Men was filmed there, but I never watched it because I heard it was very violent. I did read Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy.
  I was glad to read that the Gary Public Library is reopening and sad to hear that Wirt-Emerson is closing. Is Westside the only public high school left in Gary? The gutting of public schooling in America is sickening to watch.
  Allow me to come to the defense of Maximilien Robespierre, not the “architect” of the Terror but, as the spokesman of the Committee of Public Safety in the Convention, it did fall to him to defend the policy, something he did very ably. In the 1950s, inspired by NATO, some American historians, most notably R.R. Palmer, rejected the contrast between the “good” moderate American Revolution and the “bad” radical French Revolution and argued that there had been an age of “Atlantic Revolutions” that had established modern western political values. He called Robespierre one of the great democratic prophets of the eighteenth century, pointing to his belief in equality, including for the slaves in the French West Indies (whom the French Revolution emancipated in contrast to you know who), his belief that democracy required some degree of economic equality that anticipated the modern welfare state, and his suspicion of representative democracy, insisting that elected officials had to be held strictly accountable to the people through frequent elections, recalls, etc. Without quite approving of the policy of Terror, Palmer and others pointed to the relatively small number of deaths and cautioned against exaggerating its violence.
  Vic Bubas may have started Duke's basketball greatness, but more important to the ACC was Everett Case who coached NC State from 1946 into the 60s. Case had coached the Frankfort Hotdogs to four Indiana state championships in the 20s and 30s before he went to NC State. He brought Indiana players to NC State, forcing arch rival North Carolina to hire Frank McGuire from New York and Duke to hire Vic Bubas (one of the Indiana basketball players Case had recruited to NC State) to keep pace.
  I'll have to warn Colin about the pick pockets in Barcelona. He and his girlfriend Kelly are going there for a conference in July. Like you, Colin has become quite the international scholar, having attended conferences in Ireland and Australia the last two years. It sounds like you and Dave had a great trip to Finland.  Reading in “Air” Keller's journal that she has a collection of manga reminds me that Chris had a large collection of manga also. When he graduated from Ohio State, he donated them to the library. They cataloged them as the “Chris Kern Collection.”
  You mention the specter of an unaffiliated historian at the OHA meeting and use the words ominous and tragic to describe the tight academic job market. Exactly. Chris is on a treadmill of one-year gigs and is beginning to wonder if he will have to pursue some other career path. No one wants someone in pre-modern Japanese in an atmosphere in which everyone is paranoid about enrollment. He starts a three-year non tenure track appointment at Auburn in the fall and if nothing pans out by that time it could be his last hurrah.
  There was this period of time during the 1970s when the old sexual morality embodied in the concept of moral turpitude had died but the new morality embodied in concepts of sexual harassment had not been born. You attempt to exonerate faculty who married students by saying that the students took the initiative but by today's standards the relationships would have been highly suspect.

Here is part of my reply: “Thanks so much for the comments about Steel Shavings.  It was great reading names I had not thought about in many years, like student Phil Oretsky and English professor Richard Hull.  I’m always interested in how your sons are doing.  I exchanged emails with Chris after the student wrote about manga. Thanks for telling me about North Carolina State coach Everett Case; I’ll have to learn more about him.  Interesting take on Robespierre; I planned to audit Jonathyne Briggs’ course on the French Revolution but he taught it on line, an unfortunate trend in higher education. Did I write about running into our old colleague Mark Sheldon on campus, dressed nattily as always?  He poked fun of my winter coat (“Are you going hunting?”he said); I replied, “Are you wearing a hat because you’ve gone bald?”  He took it off and was indeed bald.  Later I worried needlessly that he had cancer.
Because of bowling, I missed Billy Foster’s Senior College talk on Big Band vocalists and the film noir event at Valpo U that Peter Aglinskas hosts.  He’s showing “Nightfall” (1957), which co-stars the still lovely Ann Bancroft as a model whose life is in jeopardy after she gives someone wanted by hit men her address. According to reviews, “Nightfall” featured innovative work by cinematographer Burnett Guffey and the skillful use of flashbacks by director Jacques Torneur.  The Engineers won just one game but got free beers because we all struck during the fifth frame; I didn’t even know about that since it’s never happened to us before. Terry Kegebein, a Steel Shavingsrecipient last week, asked how I knew Game Weekend host Jef Halberstadt.  They worked together at Bethlehem Steel (now ArcelorMittal). He took my summer Sixties class 40 years ago and invited me.  I’ve been a regular ever since.
 art by Casey King; below, "Norman the Animal"
IUN student Casey King dropped by to pick up Steel Shavings, which includes excerpts from his journal about being an artist and and examples of his work.  When I mentioned the upcoming Dave Davies concert in Hobart, he said his work was on display right next to the Art Theater at Green Door Books (below).  I dropped by there on the way to bowling and was impressed with the variety and cleverness of Casey’s work. The used books all sell for a dollar, and I hope to drop in before the concert with Josh and Alissa. The owner is an IVY Tech professor.
 Bogazici University overlooking Bosporus
Former IUN Chemistry professor Atilla Tuncay joined Mike Olszanski and me for lunch at Little Redhawk Café.  During the 1960s Tuncay received a degree from Roberts College in Istanbul, renamed Bogazici (Bosporus) University in 1971.  I stayed on its campus 19 years ago while attending an International Oral History Association conference.  Each morning I’d walk down a steep incline, buy coffee at a MacDonald’s, and, seated on a bench, look out on the Bosporus Strait.  When a student, Tuncay said, he’d often see Soviet ships passing by from the Black Sea on their way to the Mediterranean.  Every so often a sailor seeking asylum would jump overboard and attempt to swim to shore.  At its narrowest point the body of water was just a few hundred feet wide.
Jeopardy champ James Holzhauer, a sports gambler, won a one-day record $131,131, breaking his own former total. Having accumulated more than $71,000 prior to Final Jeopardy, he could wager $60,000 without fear of being dethroned after nine days.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Mayor Pete

“The function of education is to teach us how to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of education.”  Martin Luther King
photo by April Lidinsky
South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg officially announced his candidacy for President.  On the strength primarily of his brilliant appearances on network news shows, the openly gay former Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan war veteran has polled third among the crowded field of Democratic hopefuls in both Iowa and New Hampshire, behind only septuagenarians Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.  On MSNBC Joe Scarborough asked Buttegieg to describe himself in a single word; “Millennial,”the 38 year-old replied.  A decade ago, Robert Blaszkiewicz, then working for the NWI Times, encountered him when he ran for state treasurer.  Robert told me to keep an eye of him, that he was really impressive and heading places.  Tom and Darcey Wade have read his book “Shortest Way Home,” and son Brady has been working for him without pay. Tom displayed lawn signs he hopes to distribute to supporters. Throwing his hat in the ring at a refurbished complex formerly owned by Studebaker Corporation before an overflow crowd, Buttigieg embraced his husband Chasten and gave him a kiss.  Tears flowed freely.
In “Mayor Pete has caught Republicans’ attention” Times columnist Brian Howery wrote that Vice President Mike Pence, pouncing on a moving statement Buttigieg made at a LGBT Victory Fund brunch, shamefully accused him of breaking a pledge to run a civil campaign and attacking the former Hoosier governor’s Christian values.  Poppycock!  Addressing his sexual orientation, Buttigieg said, “It’s hard to face the truth that there were times in my life that, if you had shown me exactly what is was inside me that made me gay, I would have cut it out with a knife.  If you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I’d have swallowed it before you had time to give me a cup of water.”  Then he added: “That’s the thing that I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand: that if you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me, your problem, sir, is with my Creator.”    

Brian Howery’s column cited these observations by Andrew Sullivan of New York magazine about the 2020 election, emphasizing the differences between Buttigieg and the White House incumbent:
 Trump would be the oldest president in history; Buttigieg would be the youngest at 39.  Trump landed in politics via his money and celebrity after years in the limelight; Buttigieg is the mayor of a mid-size midwestern town, unknown until a few weeks ago.  Trump is a pathological, malevolent narcissist from New York, breaking all sorts of norms.  Buttigieg is a modest, reasonable pragmatist, and a near parody of normality.  Trump thrives on a retro heterosexual persona; Buttigieg appears to be a rather conservative, married homosexual.  Trump is a coarad and a draft dodger; Butiegieg served his country. Trump does not read; Buttigieg does.  Trump’s genius is demonic demagoguery.  Buttigieg’s gig is careful reasoning.  Trump is a pagan; Buttigieg is a Christian.  Trump vandalizes government; Buttigieg nurtures it. To put it simply, Mayor Peter seems almost designed to expose everything that makes the country tired of Trump.
Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal, believing the political system is at a crossroads, put it this way: “As different as the two men are in most every way, Candidate Buttigieg might not exist without the example of President Trump, who shattered expectations and the old paradigms in 2016.”My dream ticket for 2020 include Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Mayor Pete, with whomever prevails in the primaries choosing the other as running mate.
Adra Young and Hobart H.S. students Brandon Marciniak and Tyler Schultz; photos by Kyle Telechan
Big doings at IU Northwest over the weekend.  Several motivational speakers appeared at a Youth Violence and Drug Prevention conference, including Indiana Parenting Institute COO Jena Bellezza and Northwest Indiana Heath Department Cooperative tobacco prevention coordinator Cynthia Sampson. Adra Young’s keynote address linked bullying and substance abuse.

Leaving John Will Anderson Library Friday afternoon, I noticed a job fair in progress involving area schools.  In the lobby were tables for Merrillville, Gary’s 21st Charter School (located across thestreet from the ruins of City Methodist Church), and others.  A greeter directed me to the East Chicago Central table in the conference center. Two comely administrators, who introduced themselves as Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Hogan, greeted me.  Both knew son Dave and raved about what a great, caring teacher he is. Mrs. Hogan, now a vice principal, is an IUN grad whom Dave mentored when she was in the UTEP program.  She recalled taking a course from me and reading a Steel Shavings article about a Region resident overcoming numerous obstacles.  Her son Carrington Frank is presently a student of Dave’s.  I gave both copies of the latest Shavingsand directed them to a section titled “Twin City” that contained photos of Dave with the E.C. Central  girls tennis team, league champs with a 10-2 record.  Also in that section were photos of NBA basketball player E’Twuan Moore, a Central grad, putting on a summer basketball camp.  Along with Kawaan Short and Angel Garcia, Moore was part of the 2007 state championship team coached by Pete Trgovich that defeated Mr. Basketball Eric Gordon and North Central, 87-83, in the exciting final.
 Lorrell D. Kilpatrick

IUN Minority Studies professor Raoul Contreras and Rene Nunez of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies hosted a two-day Participatory Democracy conference centering on the theme “Democracy is in the Streets.”  I missed the Friday evening events but attended a Saturday workshop titled “Active resistance of racial and social injustice” chaired by Dr. Patricia Ann Hicks and featuring Lorrell D. Kilpatrick, adjunct professor of Sociology and co-organizer of the Gary chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM).  On Twitter Kilpatrick describes herself as a Marxist Black feminist, environmentalist, and disability rights advocate.  Kilpatrick asked the several dozen participants their initial impression of Black Lives Matter.  Most decried police brutality but were less certain about such BLM tactics as stopping traffic.  When a person identified himself as half white, half black, Patricia Hicks explained that categories of race are meaningless and that we all share common ancestors. 

Kilpatrick made clear she didn’t want excessive speech-making or participants talking more than once until everyone had a chance to make their views known. That didn’t sit well with three men, one of whom spent ten minutes merely introducing himself as , among other things, an agent who booked strippers for the “Jerry Springer Show.”  He argued that activists should be addressing black-on-black crime rather than the police.  A second pontificator excoriated the justice system; a third claimed Moors were the first Americans and that pre-Columbian tribes deserved their land back.  While all may have had some valid points, Lorrell wisely did not let allow them to take over the agenda. 
Yu Zhang, second from left
During the workshop and at lunch I sat with Yu Zhang, a personable IUN actuarial science grad student who is taking a class with Raoul Contreras.  She’s been in the U.S. 13 years, speaks perfect English, has a three-year-old, and works at Methodist Hospital, both in Merrillville and Gary. She had not heard of Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish and told me that Yu can be either a male or female name depending on the pronunciation and inflection.  Googling her name, I discovered that she was part of a team, including Steven Rynne, Anthony Zuccolo, Jacob Jakubowicz, and Jillian Milicki, that competed last year in an international competition and out of 70 universities worldwide was the only U.S. team to reach the finals.  They called themselves the Redhawk (Pi)rates.
Angie and Becca; in audience Toni and Beth (right), Tamiya, Dave, Jimbo (below) 
At Chesterton H.S. Becca sang Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” at the Duneland Exchange Club Talent Show.  Since we skipped the primary and junior divisions, the program was a decent length and the dozen acts quite good, especially granddaughter Becca (it goes without saying).  My two other favorites were a dance group featuring Ellery Brunt, Barbara Holslaw (rhymes with Cole slaw), and Mackenzie Simmons performing to Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” and Ally Christian playing guitar and singing to “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones with drummer Colin Campbell accompanying.  Winner of the ACE (Accepting the Challenge of Excellence) Award was Elias Hanna, a Syrian immigrant who knew very little English when he started at Chesterton as a freshman.  By senior year he was making straight A’s in mostly honors courses and preparing to go to Icollegeand major in pre-med.  Coming up from Fishers, Beth brought me a delicious blueberry pie as a belated birthday present.  After the show, Dave and Tamiya Towns dropped in for pie and in Tamiya’s case Toni’s beef stew, which she had enjoyed at dinner.  Toni gave her a bowl to take home.
above, Elias Hanna; below, Guetano Givens on left at Ball State

While Mayor Pete’s candidacy was front page news, the Times Forum section contained a column by IUN Chancellor William J. Lowe touting the fiftieth anniversary of IUN’s Minority Studies program and the Black Student Union (BSU) members, including Jerry Samuels, whose pressure helped bring it about.  He cited present BSU member Guetano Givens, who persevered against numerous obstacles to receive a degree after six years.  In October 2017, Givens attended a Diversity Research Seminar at Ball State, where the keynote speaker, Angela Davis, bemoaned the nation’s unjust prison system. Last year Givens was with a group that visited Atlanta on the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination.
I spent a snowy Sunday afternoon watching the thrilling climax to the Masters tournament.  Tiger Woods entered the final round two strokes behind Italian Francesco Molinari and caught him when Molinari put a tee shot in the water and settled for a double bogie.  Another half-dozen players were within a stoke of the lead, including reining PGA champ Brooks Koepka.  The issue was in doubt until Tiger putted to within inches of the cup on the eighteenth green.  Listening to the crowd roar “Tiger, Tiger, Tiger”and watching him embrace his two kids and Thai mother was unbelievably emotional.  Afterwards, Koepka and several others who grew up idolizing Tiger waited to offer their congratulations.

Dean Bottorff posted these kind words on Facebook:
  Thanks to James Lane for the shout-out in the new edition of Steel Shavings. For those who may not know, Steel Shavingsis a publication by Indiana University that records the daily lives of those living in Northwest Indiana. Jim, ever the historian, publishes Steel Shavings that will be an invaluable reference for future historians who will want to understand the rise of America's industrial heartland cities such as Gary, IN, and the issues such places faced in the 21st Century. Unlike most historical references Steel Shavings will provide future historians an intimate view of everyday life of ordinary people. So if anyone in the 25th Century wants to know anything about Ann Bottorff’s role in a scavenger hunt, this is where he or she will find it. My personal thanks goes out to Jim for publishing this picture of me.

Arriving early for book club at Gino’s, I ordered an APA on draft and Jimmy the owner placed a plate of delicious mushrooms in front of me.  On TV was coverage on the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral ablaze, with its iconic spire collapsing.  With a stone foundation all indications are that it will be restored eventually.  Bar mates were speculating whether it was a terrorist act.  
 Barbara Wisdom and Rock Fraire
Barbara Wisdom’s excellent book club presentation on “A Slave in the White House” was succinct and thought-provoking.  We learned that it was Paul Jennings, not Dolley Madison, who rescued the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington before the British sacked the White House during the War of 1812 and that Dolley gave the diminutive fourth president piggy back rides.  All agreed that Dolley was heartless toward her slaves, even selling her faithful mistress of 30 years to enable her spendthrift son to buy a new suit.  At the conclusion of the talk I declared that as a descendant of Harriet Lane, I now proclaim her the best First Lady of the nineteenth century.  Learning I was related to President James Buchanan, Jim Pratt suggested I report on a book about him.  “There’s only one,”Brian Barnes quipped.