It’s 8:46 on a Tuesday morning. Primary election day. Verlie Suggs sat with me. We analyzed the local races and argued about whether Congressional Democrats should continue to go after Trump for his taxes.
The big races today are in East Chicago, where incumbent Anthony Copeland is squaring off against John Agulera. In Gary, mayor Karen Freeman Wilson is up against eight different challengers, including Jerome Prince. In Hammond, 3rd district councilperson Anthony Higgs, who has been there for several terms, is being challenged by Hammond High football coach Barry Tyler.
As far as our election coverage tonight, we were gonna send out a TV/radio crew to cover the EC results. That is until the aggregation point for the results were moved to the campaign headquarters of the mayor. As you know, we are regulated to the hilt. It’s difficult to determine if you can or cannot broadcast results from a candidate’s headquarters. So we’re out in East Chicago. We’ll do the results from the WJOB studios, as always.
One of the things to notice is the interest in buying paid shows by the candidates. In the past, candidates almost exclusively bought 30-second radio spots. This time around, a number of the candidates bought paid 25-minute shows. This opened my eyes a bit.
It’s not a bad strategy, if you think about it. For a relatively small price, the candidate gets a 25-minute show that’s on:
- TuneIn app in audio
- Facebook Live (video)
- Apple TV
We’re finding more and more that candidates, businesses, towns and cities want their own show. They can share it to their facebook pages and put it on their websites. There’s a future in these shows. I just don’t know what that is.
Alexis and I attended several functions over the weekend.
Thursday evening – The “Celebration of Life” for Mark Porter, my friend since childhood who died at age 56. I have been saddened and a little on edge since I heard the news a couple of weeks ago. So have several other people. As a matter of fact, sitting in my office, alone, after doing a bunch of contested radio, I’m feeling the weight of his death. I hugged his mom, Barbara, and talked with her a while. My dad and old farts like Bob Paulson and Cheech Conway were there. His ex-wife Karen and daughters Olivia and Sophia performed gracefully. Some of the friends who came out were:
- Jon Pupillo
- Jim Colias
- Bill Baker
- Sharon Bryan (Tite)
- Sharon Mooney
- Bob Mitziga
- Steve Johnson
- Lisa Watson (Glowacki)
- Pat Watson
- Jeff Brant
- And so forth.
It was good to see all of these people. Mark’s older brother, Allen, and his wife Cynthia put the thing together, along with brother Gary. Good job all around. We will miss that fucker.
Thursday night - After the celebration of life, Alexis, Billy Baker and I wound up sitting in White Castles parking lot eating sliders next to a big tanker in which the driver was doing the same. Porter would have liked that scenario.
Friday evening – It was another celebration. This one, WJOB was one of the sponsors. It was a celebration of three people from East Chicago getting inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame:
- Bill Holzbach
- Stan Dobis
- Frank Thomas
It was also a fundraiser to pay for their hotel rooms and dinners while in Indianapolis. As you can see in the photo above, my stepson, Steve Holzbach, introduced his grandfather at the festivities on Sunday. It was a pretty cool moment and, if we knew how to plan things better, Alexis and I would have gone down to Indy to see it.
Steve, Alexis’s son, was a defensive end on the 1997 Griffith state championship. Bill, his grandfather, played for EC Roosevelt's state team in the 40s. It’s an odd arrangement, but we all get along. Alexis used to be married to Steve’s dad, also Steve. I’ll draw you a map one day so you can keep it straight.
Friday night – Alexis and I stopped at El Taco Real on Hoffman Street in Hammond. Alexis’s mom used to cook there and brought some of the recipes from Mexico. Alexis hosted and waitressed there in high school.
El Taco Real is a Region institution. On the wall there’s a picture of the founders, Ray and Esther Garcia. It’s in the 1980s. They're all dressed up at a big party at Taco.
“That was in their their heyday. Esther and Ray went out a lot,” Alexis said when she saw me looking at the picture. “Good times.”
Every other Tuesday, I go to lunch with Ray. He and Esther are older now. They don’t go out. The heyday passed, as it always does. Good people.
Saturday afternoon – NIISSA Derby party at the B. Coleman hangar at the Gary airport. We’re working to build a multi-agency coordination center at the Gary airport to deal with things like terrorism and natural disasters. Munster police chief Steve Scheckel is the main driver behind this, and he has recruited North Township trustee Frank Mrvan III and me to help.
It’s a helluva thing to try to build a several million dollar facility without any money, but we’re getting closer.
NIISSA presented Frank with the “David Capp Leadership Award.” Capp was the US attorney around here who was instrumental in getting NIISSA going. I blasted Capp on the air from time to time.
“I didn't agree with you sometimes," he told me at his retirement party. "But at least your were fair." His words came at a time when two different people were trying to sue me for something said on the air. His words helped give the strength to tell them to fuck off, which I should do every time someone wants to hinder free speech.
Saturday evening – Cinco de Mayo fest at Hammond Civic Center. Alexis and I drove through East Chicago to get there. It’s elections season, so there are huge signs for Copeland, Aguliera, Adrian Santos and others. No city, none that I have seen, does signs like East Chicago.
The Civic Center was all decked out with decorations around a Mexican theme. Alexis and I ate some amazing mole. The band “Together” with Mr. Flores leading played several traditional Mexican songs, along with Motown and a little blues.
Saturday night – Robin Salzeider’s 50th birthday party at The Room at Cuffs and Hoses in Highland. It was a studio 54 theme. People dressed up in disco outfits and puffy wigs. Alexis, my sister Jennifer, Maria and Timmy Peters and many others danced for hours. By the time we got home, my feet hurt and I felt like crawling into a hole on the side of hill and hibernating like a bear for the rest of the winter.
Rest of the winter?
Yes. Rest of the winter. It’s May 6th and outside the window where I’m writing to you at the Purdue Center, it’s raining and 44 degrees with a tough wind. This is winter weather in the middle of Spring. I wish it would stop. It’s torture. We need warmth and sunshine. That’s all for a Tuesday. Tune in tonight for election coverage with Dave Kusiak and Kevin Pastrick and Matt Reardon.