Let’s review. I started to write this blog to chronicle the death of radio. The reason for this is that I lived the death of trading in the pits of Chicago and I didn’t chronicle it. That would be good stuff to have, but I was too lazy to write it all down. Let’s not make the same mistake again.
Instead, the three or four of you get to follow the death of radio with me in real time. The thing is, there’s deaths of a lot of things going on all around us and for some reason I meander into those deaths sometimes. Too many deaths means what? Here’s what Kristin had to say yesterday in the comments section of this blog –
You see in the world how disrespectful we are to each other... even violent as is the case of the security guard getting punched in the face for checking on the guy. No one seems to value life anymore. We don’t need global warming or an asteroid to doom us. We already are doing it.
Kristin has a solid understanding of the middle of the night dread. To review, I went to sleep on Sunday night and the last thing that I read was that North Korea can now lob nuclear bombs at the west coast of the United States. That’s not a warm a fuzzy thing, so I woke up early on Monday with the dread.
“Here’s how my messed-up mind works,” a guy named Jason told me yesterday. “I read your blog and I thought – ‘Good thing I live in Chicago.’”
“Oh yeah,” I said. “Have you ever heard of the ‘jet stream?’”
The sense of dread can only really be felt by the chosen few, and evidently Kathy G. understands that.
Yes to everything you just said. How can I get motivated to plant pretty flowers in my yard when I have this heavy feeling of doom hanging over me? And I have to mostly hide it for fear of freaking out my teenagers. Got to keep them focused on the future despite my deep misgivings of what that may be.
Now I don’t want the three or four of you to get the idea that I walk around with the sense of doom in me all of the time. I tried to make it clear yesterday that one thing none of the three or four of you should ever do is read about North Korean missiles before bed. It is not appropriate bedtime reading.
Neither is Yahoo news about President Trump. Yahoo and every other news source is filled with with stories of Trump willingly passing classified information to the Russians. There are a lot of consequences to this, including once again Democrats bringing up the word “impeachment.”
There is a lot of fear about the Russians these days, so it’s not good for anyone to be passing them any kind of information. We fear the Russians. It’s palpable. However, I’m pretty sure that no matter how much you fear the Russians, you don’t fear them as much as Mrs. Chruby did in the 1970s.
The Chrubys lived next door to us. We shared a driveway. They had four kids. Lori, Leo and Tommy, who were all older than I was. And then there was Joey, who is my age. He’s the only one left. And that’s a story for Another Thousand Words.
Anyways, one day Mrs. Chruby was making lunch in her kitchen for some of us neighborhood miscreants. Her back was turned to us as she molded some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She was listening to the radio, a story about the pope coming to America.
And all of the sudden she turned to the three or four of us and said, with the most worried look on her face – “Joey, the pope’s coming to America. The Russians are gonna bomb us, Joey. The Russians are gonna bomb us.”
She kept saying it over and over as she plated the sandwiches and put them in front of us. Paul Roberts was there. He kept nudging me under that table, trying to get me to laugh.
“The Russians are gonna bomb us, Joey. I know it. I can feel it.”
“Ma, cut it out.”
The Russians didn’t bomb us, although that might have been preferable to some of the things that happened later in the lives of the Chrubys. Mr. Chruby, a steelworker who would sit in the backyard and spit tobacco into a clear jar, died kinda young. Tommy died at 15. Lori died, Leo died. The only people left are Mrs. Chruby, who lived through a ton of tragedy and now lives in Florida. And Joey, who calls me once in a while to make fun of me. I make fun back, and the Russians never did come.
It doesn’t mean they’re not gonna ever bomb us. But not right now. I’m pretty certain of that.
There is some local consternation going on also. Yesterday a press release came through on the fax machine (No, I’m making that up. That’s how they used to come in. Now they come in on email.) It was a press release about Jewel Food Stores trying to buy Strack & Van Til stores. You know, the 22 stores that are still around.
It seems that Jewel, a unit of Boise-based Albertsons, only wants 19 of the 22 stores. They don’t want the three Ultra stores in Highland, Merrillville, and Kankakee, Illinois. Jewel is willing to pay 100-million dollars for the 19 stores.
It sounds like a lot of money, and Jewel said in the press release that they will try to hire substantially all of the current employees that are left. But don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s just one bid for Strack & Van Til. Other bids could surface. Believe me, I know.
That’s because when we bought the radio stations in 2004, it didn’t go all that smoothly. At the risk of surpassing Another Thousand Words, Alexis and I had a deal with the bankruptcy court to buy WJOB and WIMS radio stations. And then, at the last minute, some guys showed up at court with a higher bid. Then the bidding process started and it cost us several hundred thousand more to buy WJOB and WIMS.
I’m wondering if that’s what might happen with the Strack & Van Til stores. There’s now a floor bid of 100-million (30 mil for the inventory and 70 mil for the stores.) If you ask me, that sounds kind of light. I predict that someone will see the value and step forward. We’ll see. You can watch the Facebook Live video I did on the breaking news of the Strack sale if you want. 3,000 other people did.
That should be it for this morning. Kristin and Kathy G., I hope that you can have a brighter day today. It’s only classified information that our president is reported to have passed on to the Russians, and the pope isn’t coming to America. So we should be safe for now.