4:47am on Friday.
It's still the week leading up to the presidential primary in Indiana. There's word that Bill Clinton's coming to the area on Sunday, and murmurs that Donald Trump is also. That's unfortunate in that Alexis and I are scheduled to get up on Sunday morning to drive three and a half hours to Bloomington to see nephew Craig play for IU against Northwestern in baseball. Alexis said it best yesterday.
"This is embarrassing. He's my nephew from my side. And yours on your side - and we've never gone to see him play college baseball?"
First, Andy Qunell came in to sit with me on the show from 6 to 6:45. He's the chair of the Munster Republican party and the treasurer for the county Republicans, so of course we talked only a little of the Republicans criss-crossing Indiana. Andy, true to course, preferred to spend his time calling Hillary a "liar" and an "enabler" for her husband's marital transgressions. He got so hot at one point that he stood up and pulled the cord out of the headphone splitter. It's good to have people on the show who are passionate. But it's not good to have people on the show who are gonna ruin your equipment.
Andy sat for 45 minutes, Then it was time for rapid fire JED. At 6:50, coach Pishkur came into the studio. He just celebrated his 900th win as Andrean's baseball coach. Also, tonight for the first time, an alum of the Andrean baseball program is gonna start a major league baseball game. That's Sean Maneia, the big left-hander. I may even sign up for the MLB package on Comcast just so I can watch.
Mane's pitching for Oakland at home against the Astros. I don't know the young man, and can only remember seeing him pitch one time in a Regional game in high school. But I did go to a bunch of Oakland A's game while a student at Berkeley. Sitting on the old concrete blocks in left field drinking beer that we snuck into the park because we couldn't afford ballpark prices is one of my favorite soft spot recollections of going to college. Or not college, as it may be, in that often I cut class to attend. Oh well. Do you think I'd be writing 30-some years later about sitting through another lecture on Shakespeare? Prolly not. Sometimes you just gotta step outside the boundaries.
Pishkur and I talked about Maenea and other kids who came through his program, including Luke DeBold. He died at the age of 29 after starring at Andrean and at the University of Miami baseball. As a Babe Ruth coach a zillion years ago, I watched my stepson Steve serve up a fastball to DeBold that he hit, I swear, 400 feet as a 13-year-old. Gone too soon was Luke DeBold. You could tell that Pishkur was kinda tearing up inside his cheeks a little while he was talking about Luke.
Pishkur also unceremoniously asked me how many times I had gone to see my nephew play baseball for Indiana this year - "Isn't he like leading them in all offensive categories. You know, he might get drafted after this year."
"No, Dave, I haven't seen him play yet this year. Yes, I know, I'm a bad uncle."
As I ended with Pishkur, the attorney general of the state of Indiana, Greg Zoeller, was on the line. We talked about robocalls and the IRS scam that criminals are using to dupe older Americans out of money. And we talked about the Cubs rooftop fundraiser next week. A few years ago, Zoeller was in the WJOB studios and he saw the flyer for the rooftop fundraiser - "What's this?" - and ever since he's been coming with us to the game. It's a lotta fun, standing on a rooftop watching the Cubs and drinking beers and stuffing yourself with chicken sandwiches. Zoeller comes back every year, and not that he'll ever read this blog to nowhere - it's for the three or four of you, remember? - but thanks Greg for supporting the cause.
As I finished up with Zoeller, Star Jones was on the phone. Yes, that Star Jones, the one from The View. She was calling to stump for Hillary Clinton. As a matter of fact, I opened the interview by thanking her for calling in to show her support for Secretary Clinton and to tell us about it. And Star corrected me.
"I'm not just a supporter. I serve as a surrogate for Secretary Clinton."
Oops. You can tell that Star is used to putting Midwestern radio hosts like myself in our place. Later, at dinner, Alexis said to me:
"I'm glad that Star Jones called out Donald Trump on your show. He is saying things that are misogynist and racist and that's gotta be pointed out."
Star talked about all the reasons why Hillary would make a good president and why Hoosiers should vote for her on Tuesday... and then I brought up when she was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump.
"Geez, JED," the three or four of you may be thinking. "You prepared well for the interview. Good job."
That's not the case at all and you know it. I don't even really know who Star Jones is, except for vaguely remembering the name. Google, m-------cker. That's what you use. While I transitioned directly from high school coach to celebrity apprentice, I looked her up on Wikipedia and there she was. Good picture. Hot, Star Jone is.
Star said that she's been a friend with the Donald for a long time, but that he's "misogynistic and racist" and some other bad stuff that I can't remember. In the span of half hour or so, my three guests all got their dander up. Andy Qunell almost turned over the broadcast table during a tirade about Hillary's a liar. Coach Pishkur got pert darn sad at remembering Luke DeBold. And Star Jones started spewing cut-downs of Donald Trump so fast that it was getting hard to follow her.
That's what you want, I suppose - Passion, in whatever form it may surface.
And it surfaced during the next interview, the one with Lake County Sheriff John Buncich. I don't have any more time to tell you about it, but know that Buncich is pretty pissed off about how it's going down in the race for Lake County Circuit Court Judge. His buddy George Paras is running against Marissa McDermott, the wife of Hammond's mayor. Buncich is the head of the Democratic party around here and he bemoaned the divisions in his party coming about because of that hotly contested race. He did have a sense of humor, though, at the end of the show.
"As always, I love you, Tom McDermott." Even the Sheriff knows that, in the end, it's just a show. A radio show in the middle of America during primary season. I better go right now and do another one.