Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Notes from the Kids Table

I am too old for the Kids Table, but I still like to blow excessive bubbles of milk through my noise and over my plate of turkey, stuffing and spuds in a fit of uncontrollable laughter.   I do so with my mind's eye and the black and white cartoons that flash through my male brain, interrupting thoughts and sentiments of great pith and moment. " So, you voted for McCain and Romney, Mr. Democrat, . . . there's some green bean casserole on your lapel . . . there now you got it Cuz . . .so tell me what do you think about all the Republican blockage of the President's programs?  Huh,  Hey, what are you five?  Quit making bubbles.  Grow up!  Jesus."  Another one bites the dust.

Thanksgiving is one of the best and most American of Holidays.   While it may be sophisticated  to deny God's part in our lives most days of the year, this Thursday celebration of God's protective hands over all of us should strip us down to basic human humility for a couple of hours anyway.

I read a column by one wag in the Chicago Tribune, asking that Thanksgiving be eliminated ( as means of mocking people who value Christmas),  "Thanksgiving is a dam keeping our Christmas joy pooled up in December. In the immortal words of famed actor and Christmas enthusiast Ronald Reagan, "Tear down this dam!" 

What a dashing flourish of ironic penmanship, Rex!  Comment sophistiqué, salope!

Thanksgiving is for everyone,  especially those folks who will begrudge others their better angels.  Thanksgiving is not as secular a feast as the sophisticated laddies would demand.  In fact, though the Ensemble intelligent will roll their eyes at genuine sentiment, prayer, the sanctity of a mother's womb, they will nevertheless show up at the heaping festive board and glutton-up with the rest of us, like they were going to the chair in Pre-Ban Death Penalty Illinois.

That is why the roads, rails and the ramps at airports are packed with people.

I thank God every day, (except those hours when I am not completely absorbed with my own grudges, resentments and disappointments), for the old lungs full of air, good food in my innards, a raised ranch roof and insulated walls for warmth, three beautiful and talented,giving children, the memory of their sainted mother, a massive family somewhat tolerant of my excesses and native cynicism and a purposeful job that makes a difference to hundreds of people other than myself.  On Thanksgiving, more so.  I include my thanks for opportunities to be a better friend, son, brother, colleague, teacher, citizen and even a better foe.    I thank God for those who fundamentally disagree with me, but do so with grace.  The hard part is dealing with the graceless.

Celebrate the love of those closest to you, those far from you and those fundamentally in opposition to everything you believe and hold dear.  God's hands are on all of us.  Keep us Safe. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Joseph Epstein Raises PT 109 - Camelot: JFK Viagra, or Pantagonia?

Tough guys take on the tough jobs and no one is tougher than America's Montaigne - Joe Epstein.  A good writer can dazzle, but a great writer turns off the dazzle in favor of the light of truth.  Some of us just can't handle the truth, that is why mortgage debt relief commercials, male chemical Lazarusian priapism pills and cable news networks are all the rage.

It is tough to face the truth of laying on one's back & arse with a flat-screen remote in one chubby mitt and a Walt Mart sized bag of Gluten Free Cheetoes in t'other is no way to avoid Dunlap's Disease.*  It is the same with the old noggin.  There is such a thing as cerebral cellulite. Ah, the appetites:  Gustatory and Sexual! Eat some and get some, fellas! Blubbery boys can also bloat and  devolve into flaccid impotent meat bags, only restored by blue pill popping.

We are what we eat and we most certainly become what we read, or accept from news readers. As far as acute minds go theses days,  the old kitchen drawer is chock-full of kinch-like flatware, but nothing that could slice a boiled peach.  People will read only the point of view with which they are most comfortable - why prepare a good wholesome meal, when you can Micky D?

Minds and souls require vigorous exercise and stimulation and not of the solitary unwholesome form taken by devotees of porn sites.  Dining is not gluttony and eros must be guided by agape.

Joseph Epstein writes for rigorous minds and last week's surfeit of empty Camelot Calories clogged American intellectual arteries and packed on the discernment lard.  I cried when JFK was killed by LHO. Hey, he was one of my tribe.  So was Roger Touhy. So was Senator Joe McCarthy.  Kennedy was the President.  Since 1963, Camelot and the madcap Kennedy clan have ballooned into cosmic fog sin shriving shenanigans. Last week was the 50th Anniversary of the Dallas Assassination of JFK.  I avoided the memorial festive board of Camelot treats, like a fat man facing a wedding in a fortnight.

Instead, I sampled some wholesome JFK fare from Joe Epstein and my pallet remains cleansed and my intellectual breath is just minty fresh.  I am also as randy as badger!  I could, by God,  date the females of Finland!  Read this, and you too will get taller thinner, witness dramatic hair growth (sans ears and nostrils), understand that 'This is Age of Getting Things Done Even With a Naturally Flaccid Johnson Bar, Son!' -

The specialty of the Kennedy administration was public relations, image-making—and an image, it is well to remember, is the thing that is not really there. The Kennedy years, or so we were endlessly told, were American Camelot, years in which culture had come to Washington, elegance to the White House, good looks and intellectual brilliance to the Oval Office. Intellectuals swooned, the higher media drooled. Think Charles Collingwood following Jacqueline Kennedy around the White House, enraptured as the first lady, in her best Miss Porter School whispering lisp, modestly explained how in her redecorations she had elevated the joint above the low standard of those pathetic philistines, the Eisenhowers.
Of course it was all baloney. None of it could withstand close scrutiny. When the scrutiny came it revealed that Jack Kennedy didn’t quite write the book, Profiles in Courage, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. The reality behind those touching photographs of his picture-perfect children cavorting round the Oval Office was their father bonking movie stars, mafia molls, and adolescent interns in the upstairs bedrooms.
The rest of the Kennedy family was scarcely better. The father, the founding father as he was called in the title of a book about him by Richard Whalen, had a dodgy financial past, was a major-league philanderer, and on balance didn’t find Adolf Hitler all that bad a sort. His brother Bobby was a bully who had worked for Senator Joseph McCarthy and, once he had power on his side, was able to make even Jimmy Hoffa seem sympathetic. The youngest brother, Teddy, later to become a great liberal hero, failed badly at Chappaquiddick, letting a young woman drown before endangering his own political career. As for the widow Kennedy, after a decent interval, she did what the cynical Gore Vidal said she was always about anyway, and went for the money in marrying the monstrous Aristotle Onassis. Such was the reality behind Camelot.
The murder of JFK created mythopoeic mandates in which our neo-centennial America marinates. At the end of the last century the post-mortal JFK was forgiven every sin of commission and ommission, which set the table for President Obama washed blameless in womb and at the Presidential podium.  BOH is JFK without the bother of shedding the mortal husk.

Pondering that might put one off his feed and perhaps, render that soul impotent.  The only remedy is stock up on some Joseph Epstein and devour great prose wrapping even greater wisdom.

I did! Viagra for the brain-pan.  Yeah!  That's what I'm talking about! Go Cat, go!  Hey Chickee! How about some PT 109! Four hours???  Shoot I can go Six!!!!!!!  This is the Age!!!!!

* Dunlaps disease - When your belly done laps over your belt.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Value of a Season within a Lifetime - Leo Alumni President Rich Furlong '59

Photo: T. Hopkins is the Allstate Insurance/Comcast Sports Athlete of the Week.  Congrats!

Chicago Catholic League Tony Lawless recipient Theodore Hopkins, Jr. and his mother with Coach Mike Holmes. 

Perspective requires focus.  A scoreboard tells the score and only sometimes the story.  Leo High School lost a football  to a great team on Saturday. In fact Leo lost to two other great teams this past season -Mount Carmel and Bishop Mac.  Leo also defeated 10 great teams, especially the last three it faced in the IHSA Class 1-A playoffs.

Saturday's loss to Lena-Winslow was tough.  Tough is what being a Leo Man is all about.  A tough man can take it.

Here are some words from a very tough man - Rich Furlong Leo Alumni President Emeritus and Class of 1959. This is perspective.

Leo A True Winner:I didn't need the newspaper to tell me on Sunday morning that the Leo Lions had lost a football game in the state semifinals. I had witnessed the game in almost sub human weather conditions the day before in Lena Illinois. Lena was the better team on this day and deserved to win the game and for that I congratulate them and wish them the very best in the state finals. However make no mistake about it the Leo Lions are winners. 
Leo Wins, every May when it graduates 100% of it's seniors as it has done for over the last half dozen years.Leo Wins, at the end of it's school year when 93% of it's students proceed on to college or the trade school of their choice.Leo Wins, when men such as Bob Foster and Dan McGrath never forgot where they came from and come back to take on the monumental task of running a school with a legendary history but dwindling enrollment.Leo Wins, when it is determined that ACT scores among Leo seniors are nearly two points higher on an average than the senior averages at CPS top 10 charter schools.Leo Wins, when it's football team with far poorer facilities races thru the football playoffs and reaches the state semi finals against schools with superior facilities. Leo Wins when it's track team which must practice in the hallways wins 8 state track championships again over schools with beautiful outdoor track facilities. Leo Wins when it's basketball team wins one state title and on quarter final finish while playing on a sub sized third floor gymnasium then having to branch out into full size arena's in the playoffs. Leo Wins when every year over 600 graduates turn out for the annual banquet. Every year there are men from over 7 decades at those functions all remembering and reliving their great Leo memories.Leo Wins when it turns out over 260 golfers for their outing arguably one of the biggest in the Chicago land area.
Leo Wins when it was recently learned that the school was in need of buses to bring students into the school. That problem was solved with the initiative of one caring and generous alum and hundreds and hundreds of others who kicked in enough to buy two buses.
Leo Wins, when young men from the track team are invited to the golf outing to sell Leo memorabilia and the spirit fostered amongst these young men and the older, 50,60 and 70 and 80 years old alums is priceless.
Leo Wins every time someone walks into the school and a young student walks up to them and politely extends a hand exchanges a firm handshake, introduces themselves and asks how they can help them.
Leo Wins when times such as yesterday when almost 40 Leo Men took a charter bus and went the 150 plus miles to support the football team. Nothing unusual about that  except half of the men were white and half of the men were African American . The friend ship shared on that bus is unmatched. Leo men do not see black and white Leo men only see Black and Orange.
So in conclusion Leo is a winner , always was , always will be.
I Love Leo High School
Rich Furlong '59 

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Letter to the Leo Lions as They Strive Toward the Football Finals

Leo Men are a special breed. They live and breathe Courage and Commitment/Deeds Not Words.  They are always present, living and deceased; in the neighborhood, or around the globe.  Tomorrow the young Lions will face the Panthers of Lena-Winslow up at the top of the State of Illinois.  It will be fierce cold.

Warming the air will be hundreds of Leo Alums arriving in car caravans, or on the chartered buses leaving from St. Xavier University in Mount Greenwood at 10AM.  These brawny stalwarts packed the stands at each step the Lions' paws scratched toward the IHSA Class 1-A Football Championship.

At a crowded Father Perez Knights of Columbus Hall on Wednesday Night, Alumni Pres. Dan Stecich and the Alumni planned Saturday's trip up-state and to State.

This morning, I found an e-mail sent to President Stecich from a 1960 Leo Grad and West Point graduate.  Read this

From: Roger
Date: November 21, 2013 2:41:19 PM CST
To: Alumni President Dan Stecich
Subject: The LEO Game

I am writing from Richmond, Virginia and I wish that I lived close enough to join with you and other grads.  I would certainly be at the game.  If and when you have the chance, please tell the team and coaches just how proud I am of these LEO men.

In 1962, while a plebe at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, I sat a few yards from General Douglas MacArthur as he gave a speech about "Duty, Honor and Country."  On an earlier occasion, the General had written "Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that upon other fields on other days will bear the fruits of victory."  As with Leo men before them, the young men on this team will move on to careers and families with the strength of character formed with a Leo education and as strengthened on the playing fields.  

Good luck to them in the game and in life.

Roger W. Frydrychowski, Esq.
Leo Class of 1960
Richmond, Virginia

Facta Non Verba!  Go Lions!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lincoln's Furniture or St. Peter's Rock.

St. Thomas More

“Rather, we expect that further efforts will be undertaken by plaintiffs’ lawyers or by others to use the redefinition of marriage in Illinois as a cudgel to infringe on rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion on the part of Illinois citizens who conscientiously oppose homosexual relations as gravely wrong and sinful. In other states where marriage has been similarly redefined, forceful and repeated attacks have been waged against such individuals, religious groups or associations, and business owners.  At Thomas More Society, we are prepared to defend the free and untrammeled exercise of sincerely held religious beliefs and the right to advocate freely against homosexual acts by those who adhere to Church teachings and Biblical principles. Americans’ preeminent and paramount rights of free speech and the exercise of religious liberty must prevail.” Thomas More Society

Pat Quinn signed the Gay Marriage Law, yesterday, on  Abe Lincoln's desk.  There was no possible way that this law would not pass the Illinois House, after the Illinois Senate sent a Valentine Card to the fortunes behind the Marriage Equality Movement.  

Civil Unions was never going to be enough, because enough is not a feast.

I supported civil unions, but I fundamentally object to the redefinition of marriage and that is all that happened yesterday.  It was not a Sexual Selma Moment, nor was it a Gay Gettysburg.  It was political power play pure and simple.  If you disagree with this redefinition of marriage, then you are a legal and political target.

I do not take particular pride in my sex life.  It is what it is.  I take pride in the care of my children in honor of my vows to their departed mother, whom I married in the rites of the Roman Catholic Church and according to the laws of the State of Illinois.  I am widowed.

Engaging in sex outside of marriage is a sin, for which I must make penance after Confession.  This I believe.  I believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation.   Pat Quinn signed away my beliefs.

A pair of gents, or brace of gals, no matter how loving and committed to one another, can never procreate.  Can't have kids. Adoption has nothing to do this.

I wish gay couples every happiness and hope that they will return the sentiment.  So far, I am just not feeling it. Rather, there has been a constant misreading of Cardinal George and Bishop Paprocki in the same media that covers for the political, cultural and economic  train wreck that is Illinois.

I await the displeasure of those who wish me and mine no earthly good.  That does not bother me a jot.

Lincoln's Springfield desk was hauled to UIC Center as part of panoply surrounding Pandering Pat's penmanship, yesterday.  That's nice. It was as artificial as the parsing of Pope Francis.

I am not overwhelmed by furniture.

I'll stick with the Rock of Peter.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Leo Alumni and Friends: How To Get to the Football 1-A Semi-Finals at Lena-Winslow HS! Practice and Win a Bunch of Games

It's a two and half hour drive; bring some snacks.

Here are some directions from the South Side, using Leo High School as a starting point, to Lena-Winslow HS for Saturday's IHSA Football SemiFinals.

Here is Google Map:

Driving directions to Lena-Winslow School District
This route has tolls.
7901 S Sangamon St
Chicago, IL 60620
1. Head north on S Sangamon St toward W 79th St
79 ft
2. Take the 1st right onto W 79th St
1.2 mi
3. Turn left onto S State St
207 ft
4. Slight left onto the Interstate 94 W ramp
0.2 mi
5. Keep left at the fork and merge onto I-94 W
1.6 mi
6. Merge onto I-90 W/I-94 W
15.6 mi
7. Keep left to stay on I-90 W, follow signs for Interstate 90 W/Kennedy Expressway/O'Hare/Rockford
Partial toll road
67.0 mi
8. Take the Interstate 39 S/U.S. 51 S exit toward Rockford/U.S. 20
0.5 mi
9. Merge onto I-39 S/US-51 S
2.7 mi
10. Continue onto Hwy 20 W/US-20 W
46.3 mi
11. Turn right onto W Galena Rd
1.5 mi
12. Continue onto E Lena St
0.3 mi
13. Turn right onto Fremont St
Destination will be on the right
410 ft
Lena-Winslow School District
401 Fremont St
Lena, IL 61048

Here's Directions from Morgan Park, over by 107th & Rockwell what's my house.-

Driving directions to Lena-Winslow School District
This route has tolls.
107$% S Rockwell St
Chicago, IL 60655
1. Head south on S Rockwell St toward W 108th St
0.4 mi
2. Turn right onto W 111th St
2.8 mi
3. Turn left onto S Cicero Ave
1.7 mi
4. Merge onto I-294 N via the ramp to W Suburbs
Toll road
18.7 mi
5. Take the Interstate 290 W exit towardRockford/U.S. 20/Illinois 64
Partial toll road
1.4 mi
6. Merge onto I-290 W
14.5 mi
7. Take the I-90/IL-62 exit toward Algonquin Rd/IL-53 N
0.6 mi
8. Keep left at the fork, follow signs forIllinois 62/Algonquin Rd/Interstate 90 W/Rockford
0.4 mi
9. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for I-90 W/Rockford
Partial toll road
0.5 mi
10. Keep left at the fork and merge onto I-90 W
Toll road
50.4 mi
11. Take the Interstate 39 S/U.S. 51 S exit toward Rockford/U.S. 20
0.5 mi
12. Merge onto I-39 S/US-51 S
2.7 mi
13. Continue onto Hwy 20 W/US-20 W
46.3 mi
14. Turn right onto W Galena Rd
1.5 mi
15. Continue onto E Lena St
0.3 mi
16. Turn right onto Fremont St
Destination will be on the right
410 ft
Lena-Winslow School District
401 Fremont St
Lena, IL 61048
Here's What Jack Farnan '63 has to say about avoiding construction.

" . . .  been thru Lena several times on way to Galena....
taking I-90 with the construction can get you stuck on the road for an hour if there is an accident.
It is better to take I-88 to I-39 and then the US 20 Bypass around Rockford and US 20 Bypass around Freeport
Also if you check the aerial photo of their stadium using the IHSA bracket link you’ll see there are very few seats out there."

N.B. Remember -Behave on the sidelines !  Leo is already playing the Lena Panthers, the clock and the Referees.