The doughnut and the milk.
You like to hang with ne’er do wells,
I am of that denoted ilk.
we watch me write and think
but do not watch me pee.
We peek through a side window
at what I put forth.
I show enough to bring
East or West or North.
It’s South we have to
It’s where it’s warm and wet.
I drink and smoke
and spit my gum,
No more writing do we get.
A pier, a tee shirt,
of these I am quite fond,
stop the madness, peace
not yet is there
The purpose eludes us
the reason precedes us,
a parrot on a stick,
the taunts, the murmurs,
a lonely little prick.
Sorry about the rhymes. They won’t go away. It’s like having allergies in the Fall until a frost destroys all that makes you sneeze. As soon as it gets cold, we get back to normal, geez.
Former vice president Joe Biden came to town on Friday to the Hammond Civic Center. He was there to stump for Indiana senator Joe Donnelly. I wasn’t gonna go. In fact, I had forgotten all about it until attorney Kevin Smith asked me after the morning show:
“You going tonight?”
“To the Munster football game?”
“No, to Biden.”
Oops. I had to forego a nap and head over to the Civic Center about 3pm. This prolonged an already prolonged radio day. I woke, per usual, around 3am. I may have even written another meaningless blog entry for the three or four of you. I forget.
I did my morning radio bit outside of the Strack & Van Til studios at Purdue Northwest. That was fun.
I’m starting to get an inkling of what it is I’m supposed to be doing. I don’t mean to be so blunt about destiny, but you can tell from a million words that I’m rather lost when it comes to purpose.
Sure, I have dedicated to the stated goals of:
- continuing WJOB radio
- starting WJOB TV
That’s what this blog is about. The three or four of you know this. But I also stand outside on Indianapolis Boulevard weekday mornings and talk to a window – Why? I look through the glass at a camera Jimmy Mullaney set up inside.
It’s fun. I like it. Sometimes, the Frito Lays driver rolls to a stop at the light at 171st. He looks confused.
“What’s this guy doing standing outside on Indianapolis Boulevard at 5:30 in the morning talking to a window?”
I wear a wireless lavolier microphone. It’s wired through my clothes. So is the earpiece. Sitting at the stoplight, the Frito Lays driver can’t see any of this. For all intents and purposes, I look like a construction worker talking to a window.
She just got back
He hates to go,
but he goes too.
To him, it’s just a
St. Joe, Three Rivers,
To him it’s a bunch of
She misses her mom and
dad when she’s low,
so off they go,
kids in tow.
They’re simple graves,
some dirt, some stone.
She keeps them clean.
They’re all her own.
Driving back, they
stop at McDonalds.
Mom stays in car,
rattled and bottled.
A sip, a swig,
it’s easy consoling.
His hand, his heart,
no longer patrolling.
Once home, the kids
fall fast asleep.
It’s done. It’s over
‘til next year’s weep.
Alexis and I went to the Notre Dame game yesterday. They beat Pitt 19-14. It was a beautiful drive across northern Indiana, sunny and dry. It stayed warm late into the Fall this year, so the leaves are a bit tardy changing colors. Still, there’s enough rust, burnt orange and yellow to make it worthwhile.
We parked at Holy Cross College and took a shuttle to the library building. From there, we walked with a ton of other people down a concrete path between the dorms.
“It really is a beautiful campus,” Alexis said. She would say this again on our way back seven hours later.
We met up with the Whelans, which is like saying you opened the back door and a tempest blew in. They get there early, before the lot officially opens. He’s in construction and they’re building the architectural building. That somehow gets him in the lot early enough to get a great spot and pick up power from an extension cord. He and Lori use this to heat up a crock pot full of chili from Schoops.
If you have never gone to a Notre Dame game on a pristine and cool October afternoon, then you should. There really is nothing like it. People park for miles all around Notre Dame stadium. Everywhere you go there’s people in leprechaun green or, believe it or not, Michigan blue. They’re almost all drinking.
If the three or four of you listen or watch the show, then you know that I make fun of Notre Dame. When we were talking about the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, East coast elitism came up.
“There’s nothing like that in the Midwest,” I said, “except of course at Notre Dame. The Midwestern headquarters for East coast elitism is 70 miles East of where I’m standing right now.”
There really is nothing like being from the East coast and looking down your nose at the rest of the country. Just as there’s nothing like going to Notre Dame and looking down at the rest of the world. But in the spirit of transparency, I must admit that during my five-years in California, the most raucous mavens I ever encountered were from places like New Canaan, Connecticut, and Brookline, Massachusetts. I have never been to these places, but I have been in them. In addition to wealth and upbringing, they bring with them a call for the wild.
Alexis and I sat diligently through a reasonably entertaining Notre Dame game and 3.4 million commercial timeouts. Going to a Notre Dame game isn’t like going to mere mortal college football game. You spend a lot of time looking at football players milling around at the 30-yard-line. They, like you and me, wait patiently for the network and the university to do business.
After the game, we lollygagged in the parking lot until it got dark, then made our way across campus to the car. We were one of the last cars left in the lot, so it was surprising as hell that there was still so much traffic. Alexis fell asleep before we reached the Toll Road.
I listened to the Red Sox and Astros in the opening game of the ALCS. I picked it up on an AM radio station out of Boston. You can get a lot of good thinking done driving down the Toll Road after a Notre Dame game listening to playoff baseball.
And what I came up with is this – I am an independent. This realization is somehow mixed in with the search for a reason as to why I stand outside on Indianapolis Boulevard talking to a window. I listened to Joe Biden say something along the lines of:
“When Donald Trump was elected, Barack and I got together and said – ‘let’s give Trump a chance.’ George Bush did it with us. We figured we’d do the same.
“Then Charlottesville came along. And all bets are off. It’s time to fight for the principles on which we this country was founded.”
I stood on the press stage with CNN, NBC and the rest of them. We had a pretty good view of ole Joe. You could see firsthand his resolve.
“It’s time to fight Donald Trump and take back this White House.”
Now these are not exact quotes. I could stop writing to the three or four of you and broadcasting students 50 years hence and go to the WJOB Facebook page. That’s where the video that I took of Biden’s speech is. But I don’t like to stop what we’re doing until I’m done.
After Biden’s speech at the Civic Center, I had to go back to the WJOB studios to check on high school football coverage. True to course, there were issues. It really is like learning how to fly a plane to try to stream a couple of football games in video. A camera operator didn’t show to the Hobart at Lowell game. We had to do it with one camera. And the Internet was bad for the Hanover Central at Griffith game. You could listen to the audio, but every once in a while the picture froze. The announcer, Brandon Pavlina, made an excellent call of an interception return while all you could see on the screen was a ref placing a ball. Oh well.
With thoughts of Joe and football follies, I went home and picked up Alexis. We had dinner at the bar at Giovanni’s, one of our longest-held clients. Alexis had shrimp scampi and I had lake perch. We talked with a few people. At 9:30, Alexis got a text from a fairy godmother with Notre Dame tickets.
“Yes we can,” Alexis texted back.
We hightailed it home and settled on the couch. We watched Donald Trump give a speech at a rally somewhere in Minnesota or Montana. He said something like:
“We’re going to stomp on the faces of Democrats with golf spikes.”
So there it is. I can’t help but think of the broadcasting students 50 years from now who stumble across this blog. They’re like –
“Did politicians really talk like that?”
Yes they did. They do. It’s a divided world. You’re either a Democrat or a Republican… or maybe a Libertarian if you like to smoke pot. Independents are few and far between. This brings me to the window on Indianapolis Boulevard.
As the three or four of you know, WJOB has been since 1924 and hopefully always will be quintessentially a local radio station. I learned the craft of local radio from Julian Colby and Judy Grambo in the 80s. I ply that trade today. It’s based on:
- talking about local stuff
- broadcasting high school games
Do those two thing and WJOB shoulders on. So why in God’s name do I go out on Indianapolis Boulevard and talk to a window about national stuff?
I don’t really know. One day it just came to me that there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in the world and maybe a couple people would like to hear about it from a Midwestern perspective. That’s how I originally conceived of it.
But after watching Biden live and Trump on cable, another mission is hovering above my left shoulder. It hasn’t landed yet. I don’t know what it is. But I think it has something to do with just coming out and saying it –
I am an independent. Leave me alone.
I don’t know where this will lead. For a long time, I have in a mealy-mouthed manner made fun of Democrats and Republicans. They’re both frothing for power. They’re easy targets.
But who is it that I am talking to?
When I point out the hypocrisies of Donald Trump, Democrats snicker. For the longest time I made fun of Democrats as blind followers of Barack Obama.
“They partake of the magic dust.”
Now, it’s as if we went from one savior to the next, Barack to Donald. If that’s the case, then who am I talking to?
Maybe when I’m making poking at Trump, I’m talking to the Democrats. And when I poke at liberal buffoonery, I’m talking to the Republicans. It’s confusing. Maybe I’ll find a purpose. Maybe not.
But if there is a purpose, I hope it comes soon. It’s October. Soon it’ll be November, December, January. It’ll get blustery outside the Strack & Van Til studios. I will have to bundle up to get the words out. It better be for a damn good reason. That’s all I got to say.