I stumble fall shuffle
Again and again
Another week of radio about to upend itself. Today Kylah gave bloom to the normally staid WJOB studios. She's seven months old with trance-inducing eyes and in constant motion. She sat on her mother's lap and chewed on her chewy toy. She grabbed the microphone, took a bite of the wind screen. She raised her hands, smiled, smelled the headsets.
Kylah's completely bald with a perfectly-shaped head. That's what chemotherapy does to you. And in a short while she'll be going in for what's called a Tandem Stem Cell operation. She'll be in the hospital for three and a half months. First they kill all of your stem cells with radiation and/or chemotherapy, and then they introduce your own stem cells, the ones they took from you at birth.
And then everyone prays. Evidently the cancer is attached to her liver and in other parts of her dainty little body. That's what neuroblastoma does to you. I sure as hell hope the three or four of you go to Kylah's fundraiser on February 27th at the Wicker Park Social Center. Also, if you want a dose of extraordinary beauty and reality all in one, look at the picture below of Kylah in her pink sweater. On her mom's lap. Smiling.
Look for your keys
.... It's Thursday night so tomorrow Alexis comes on WJOB with me. We do that on Friday mornings. We go on the radio together. Sometimes we joke around and sometimes we take on serious issues. And sometimes I chew food and open my mouth and show it to her while she's trying to make a point. I'm trying to throw her off her game, to make her stumble fall shuffle. But it never works. She keeps on speaking. There's a reason she's a good attorney. She doesn't laugh when you show her your chewed-up food.
Tomorrow, we may talk about the judges' race here in Lake County, Indiana. There's a judge George Paras, who holds court in civil cases. He got elected six years ago through the old switcheroo. He and the former judge, Lorenzo Arredondo, drove to Indianapolis and a couple minutes before the deadline, Judge Arredondo withdrew his name and Mr. Paras put in his name.
It's either a dastardly or genius deed, depending on how you look on it. It's genius in that by not telling anyone that they were gonna employ the hidden ball trick, no one really had the time to get it together enough to run against Mr. Paras. As a matter of fact, only one guy sniffed it out and he put his name in and lost anyhows.
As it was explained to me by an irate lawyer - "No one ran against Lorenzo Arredondo out of respect. He used that respect against us. He deceived us by filing to run and then at the last minute trying to hand the elected judge position to a person of his own choosing."
It gets even juicier. Now, six years later, this Judge Paras is running for re-election. And you can bet your bippy that people are gonna run against him. And by people, I mean Marissa McDermott.
She's the mayor of Hammond's wife, Marissa is. So now you have this big political hullaballoo brewing in which it pits the mayor of Hammond, Tom McDermott, agains Judge Paras's best of friends, Sheriff John Buncich. It really is pretty good drama.
So the reason that Alexis and I will most likely talk about this in the morning doesn't really have that much to do with politics. It has to do with women. Politics, shmolitics. But women - what rhymes with women? Swimmin, shimmin, trim in?
Search all you want
But no meandering
On Sunday, a local columnist Rich James, who used to work for the competing paper The Post-Tribune but doesn't anymore, wrote an article that seemed to suggest that Marissa, as a woman, couldn't come up with an original thought to save her life. Which, by the way, her life was kinda rough at the start in that she spent her first three and a half years in a Polish orphanage. Here's the lead in Rich's column:
McDermott ego fuels judicial challenge
Marissa McDermott wouldn’t be running for Lake Circuit Court judge if she weren’t married to Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr.
No, the thought never would have crossed her mind.
But she is a candidate, and this is about as political as the judiciary ever gets.
McDermott is challenging respected jurist George Paras...
By the way, here's another four-liner that I thought of a few minutes ago.
It's the age-old battle of the sexes rearing its ugly head. When you tell women that any really big idea they might come up isn't valid because it's really probably their husband's really big idea... then you got a problem. Like the time Alexis walked in to buy our first new car 20 years ago.
Should we wait for your husband?
No. Why would we do that?
Alexis is upset from the women's angle. And rightfully so. She is the majority owner of WJOB, and, as everyone knows, the real boss. A lotta people, and by "people" I mean men, can't comprehend this. It just works better for us. That's all I can say. And if you have junk instead of not junk then you may not ever understand why.
Here's another four-liner I thought of a few minutes ago.
Why no new golf clubs?
She just wouldn't listen.
Politics. So what about it? We're going in to a primary season and I'll have to talk about politics. It's inevitable in local radio. And that can be tricky. In the end, I've never been able to articulate all that well my own political views, whatever they are. Mostly, I just like to watch the game. It's really interesting if you stand close enough to see the fear in everyone's eyes and the zany, desperate things that people do to get elected.
It's crazy. And if you treat the whole political game in Lake County, Indiana - the Corruption Capital of America, the place where a wanted John Dillinger could roam freely - as something that's interesting and deserves to be watched, then you might get something out of it.
This reminds me of a friend who went on vacation with his family and another family. The second family bickered and bickered. Eventually, my buddy's wife couldn't take it anymore and started to complain about the constant back-and-forth amongst the parents and children. My buddy counseled her:
Hey, sometimes you just gotta sit back and enjoy the entertainment.
That's about as good advice as any when it comes to analyzing the formations of Lake County politics. This laissez faire attitude isn't unique to my buddy who went on a trip with a bickering family. We'll have to turn to the master for more guidance. And the "master" be Jean Shepherd, he of Christmas Story fame who once graced the elegant airwaves of WJOB. Here's Shep from Excelsior, You Fathead.
When I talk about the world around me, it isn’t because I don’t like the world around me or I am complaining. I am wondering about it. That’s two different things. And wonder only comes out of involvement. They do not exist separately. The day I cease to wonder about the world around me, that’s the day I go into the insurance racket… don’t assume Shepherd is sitting here complaining. No – Shepherd is marveling, as a matter of fact – I find it a fantastic thing that we are involved in.
That explains it better than I can. But I did write a four-liner a little while ago that helps in determining a life philosophy towards the church.
Ban the changers, no
That's a Biblical reference, in case the three or four of you are dozing off at this late hour. Actually, you could consider it an early hour in that we've crossed the threshold into Friday morning. The above is a reference to a quote I read a little while ago in Excelsior, Fathead, the biography about Shepherd's life. It's a quote from one of Shep's many radio broadcasts on WOR in New York, long after he left the comfortable yet rugged confines of Hammond, Indiana.
"If you ever really were going to chase the money changers out of the temple, daddy, there would be no temple anymore."
Talk all you want
Just don't be a bore.
Good night... er, Good morning. See you on the radio in a little while.