Thursday, April 30, 2015

Walkin' Dan? Not a Fan.

It’s a long, long way to go. His body’s tired, but not his soul. He’s a winner walkin’ home." -A Winner Walkin' Home: The Ballad of Dan Walker

My Dad always said, " The only people to smoke a corncob pipe were Dugout Doug MacArthur, Walkin' Dan Walker and Granny Clampett; two were creeps and one a pretend Hillbilly."

Image and Substance matter.  A man in work clothes should be doing tough manual labor, otherwise it is only make-believe dress-up time.

The late Dan Walker was the very model of modern preening politician of both political parties. Props and sound bytes and compelling narratives turned Walker into the Populist Progressive Democrat, now all the rage. Dan Walker set the table for  political grifters like Forrest Claypool, Mike Quigley, Jan Schakowsky, Rod Blagojevich, and GOP darlings like Bruce Rauner, Aaron Schock and Senator Marque Kirque. These types who " . . .shout and scream, I'll kill the king, I'll rail at all his servants" and drink deeply from the public trough. Colorful Populists  have never been my cup of strychnine.

Dan Walker belongs to the ages.

The ages had their advent when Dan Walker put on his costumeImage result for governor.daniel walker walk thru illinois instead of his daily wear.

Image result for governor.daniel walker walk thru illinois

Image and substance?  They only match up when deeds glue them together,

Dan Walker was a talented man, a WASP princeling, an Annapolis 'ring-knocker' and shameless opportunist who litigated against organized labor as counsel for Montgomery Ward, or smeared cops with broadest of social engineering brushes, or used First American Savings and Loan as his personal piggy bank with equal relish and entitlement.

Dan Walker donned blue denin, work-boots, clenched a foot-long corn cob pipe in his magnificently maintained teeth, grew his hair to Bobby Kennedy lengths, tied a Howdy Doody bandanna around his windpipe and gave the people of Illinois their first taste of  political bullshit - and they swallowed it ever since 1972.

1972 marked the end of the Democratic Party when it was high jacked by Abner Mikva, Patricia Harris, Bill Singer and America's foremost grifter adept - Jesse Jackson.  Cook County delegates elected by the people of Cook County were uncommitted to any candidate.  George McGovern and Patricia Harris encouraged the looting of delegates, which also set the table Michael Shakman's destruction of the Cook County Democratic Party and his reaping of millions of dollars through Shakman Decrees.Walker wrote the script for every grifter who wanted a place at the public trough with words like Reform, Machine, Boss and Change.  Richard J. Daley was a competent, hard-wrking, ruthless and loyal public servant and he never heard the iron bars close his day. Walker has and so have many other Populist Reformer Firebrand Change Agents.

Dan Walker's costumed jaunt of 1,197 miles trough Illinois resonated with Illini who read little, but pray " They are All Crooks!" like it was the Memorare.  Folks narrowly gave Walker his opportunities and have continued to swallow tons of bullshit, organic, whole, and very Green. One term and everything was changed by Magic Dan Walker.

I never acquired the taste.

Dan Walker belongs to the ages . . .and that ain't necessarily a good thing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

We IS US; Them is US: US Is Silly! White Dweebs for Justice

 <span class=meta>Courtesy M. Dartise Johnson</span>
One of the benchmarks for being a Chicago Street Guerrilla is poor eye-sight, bad haircuts, way too much self-esteem and pink skin.

I talked to my Leo Men in van on the way to school this morning about last nights ISO SRO Taking Back of The Streets in Solidarity with Baltimore.

They remarked on whiteness of this the political theatre on 35th Street.  They can all feel very good about their feelings; it sure beats the hell out of actually doing something to make things better.

I'd expect no less from Chicago's elite as the hit the street.

Chicago, where bullshit is king and Rahm is the Mayor.

2100 BC - A Lesson from the First Epic Poem

Scratching something on a porous surface allows people who pass by know that we were here.  Making uniform marks to match oral sounds, we call letters. Formimg letters to make words written on something is said to be writing.  Words put into the best order is said to be literature. Exactly what that best order happens to be is matter of judgment.

Before we write most of us utter, grunt and eventually speak. Even those afflicted by enormous physical challenges manage to give voice.  We go from imitating sounds that seem to get us what we want and what we want to keep to expressing more sophisticated verbal activities, like making other people respond to our mouthings.

As we get a little more polished in forming speech, we eventually arrive at story telling, or singing songs.  we share our existence with others.

Considered the oldest written epic poems, the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh is said to be our oldest human expression of thoughts and reactions to living.

Like contemporary Mesopotamia, where ISIS rolls over human history and beings, times were tough in 2100 BC, BCE.

The King of Ur, Gilgamesh was a serial rapist and slave-driving 1%-er. Actually, he two thirds god and one third human and therefore had no truck with less mortals.  He had Barack Obama's ego on steroids.  Gilgamesh raped women and put males to the task of entertaining their king with impossible athletic challenges, or completing public works projects.  He so bad that pagan gods were moved to create a hairy-assed thug who would rival Gilgamesh on his worst day -Enkidu.

Enkidu was a wild man tasked by the gods to slow-down Gilgamesh's cruelties.  The two brawled and as in the case of most such juvenile rivalries became fast friends, like former Catholic league football rivals, or boxers,  and turned their baser instincts against more formidable foes than the citizens of Ur.

They climbed the Cedar Mountain and kill a giant and later the Bull Ishtar, sent by the goddess her self because because Gilgamesh refused to give her a tumble in the sack.

Eventually Enkidu is bumped off by the very gods who sent him and this lead Gilgamesh to turn from his sinful and back-sliding ways to a search for the meaning of life.

He goes from oafish misogynist slaver to thoughtful philosopher king. How about that?  The epic of Gilgamesh predates the Bible by more than 1,400 years.  Called the Gateway to the Old Testament, this Sumerian poem tells human beings not be savages.
ISIS didn't get the message. In fact ISIS thugs are destroying the very tablets on which Sumerian culture is written.  Hitler burned books.  PC schools bowdlerize Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.  In fact, one might think that the only works in world literature were written by second rater Toni Morrison, or Truman Capote's gal-pal Harper Lee.   Literature has been savaged.

Savagery is with us always.  What are we doing about it?  Schools no longer teach virtues - too judgmental.

Literature is as important as the NBA, or Bruce Jenner's choice du jour.

Organizing For Mayhem - Thank Your Activists

Ferguson?  Off the grid.
Baltimore?  Flames out for now.
Chicago?  Sampling the latest offering of  bouse de vache.

Chicagoans swallow more bovine leavings than other urban denizens in this great Nation of ours.  Chicago is one hick burg.

I pick up young men from Englewood, Little Village, Grand Crossing and Bronzeville every morning.  My day begins here at Leo High School in North Gresham, at about 4:15 AM and at 5:45 AM I start up the van and head on my route.  I travel the meanest streets in Chicago with nearly a dozen of its best young people.

Last night at 6:30 PM was obliged to leave my house in Morgan Park, while my realtor conducted a showing.  I walked north on Western Ave. for the next 45 minute.  I greeted neighbors, white, black and Mexican. One proud black man was getting his Pings reshafted at Klees.  George works for PNC bank and lives in a bungalow at 109th & Hoyne. His kids go to Clissold Public School and play T-ball at Kennedy Park.  He got a pretty good deal and they replaced the grips.  Like me he had not been Text-message by the International Socialist Organization (ISO), or CPUSA. George is not a nit-wit.  He is a mortgage expert and proud black man.

Last night, I was treated to another steaming serving of Chicago-style bouse de vache with all of the trimmings! 

No where in this report are the details of the organizing that went into this public event on 35th Street where I pick up the students from Bronzeville every morning.

This show of solidarity and artifical rage just might result in the desire effect - a mob of feral youth tipping over the Leo pulling me from the drivers with hearty blows, kicks and gauges and setting this vehicle on fire -in Solidarity with Baltimore, Ferguson, Oakland and cities near you.

Keep swallowing the bouse de vache!  It might not end racism, but sure gives a bunch a pasty, bespectacled white kids something to feel good about.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Leo Alumni Banquet 2015 -Leo Man of the Year Dan McGrath '68

The Lexington House is the Home of Leo ReUnion - Begun at the La Salle Hotel in 1955

                                  The 50 Year Jubilee Class of 1965
          My Buddies Bill Murphy, John Linehan and John "Moose" Gilmartin
                                               John Linehan and Chris Burris
      Man of the Year and His Bride -Dan and Joanne McGrath
                         Emerald Society Piper Calls the Classes In
           Leo Class of 1967 - Cousin Mike Hickey and Mitch Miller . . .Mike McCann
                               WWII Heroes Jack Schaller and Don Hogan
                              Piper Calls Up Hall of Fame Inductees
                Jack Hogan Stopped the Wermacht at the Battle of the Bulge in 1944
                                                                   Leo Jubilee Class of 1990
       Man of the Year Dan McGrath paid tribute to Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. & Leo 2012

Jim Corbett '52 was Leo's Left Handed Quarterback Who Mentored Hundreds of Lions
        The Foe Shall Feel the Lions Might and Spirit of Our Teams Attack!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Battle Creek Catholic Ninnies Bow to Pressure and Offer Weasel Words of Re-Welcome to Cancer Hero 12 Year Old Rose McGrath

After no end of 'consideration and prayer' and no doubt gallons of "Uh-Oh!" soaking Father John's  undies and Spring-weight black gabardine's,  The Policy People of Battle Creek Catholic Schools have this to say:

"After much consideration and prayer, and in consultation with Mrs. Marcy Arnson, principal of Saint Joseph’s, we have decided to invite seventh grader Rose McGrath to return to our school as soon as possible.  We will continue to work with her and continue to provide as many accommodations that will help her during the remainder of the school year.
"We remain convinced that the accommodations provided over the past months were extensive, appropriate, and compassionate. It is unfortunate that the coverage of this issue has been greatly distorted both in the media and on social networks. We hope and pray that moving forward we can do so with mutual respect while providing continued privacy for our student.
"It is due to those privacy issues that we are not able to give a full account of the many hours of dedicated thought and loving efforts that the teachers, staff, and principal did in order to try and ensure Rose was able to progress in her studies so she would be able to succeed while managing her remission. We remain very happy that Rose’s health has improved.
"As we did before, we will continue to work closely with the McGrath family and invite them to take advantage of the accommodations throughout the remainder of the school year.  Our focus has been, and remains on the well-being and academic success of Rose."

That's nice, Father, distortion* can make a mess of things. Sorry you soiled your britches, but at least the McGrath Family and the little girl who battled cancer have had at least one of the nails, you clowns hammered into their cross,  removed.

Oh, and Father ?  After much prayer and consideration, Hop up and Kiss My Irish Ass!

* Getting caught.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Policy - The Place for Cowards Even in Catholic Schools

Rose McGrath beat Cancer and Was Expelled from a Catholic School Because too Many Absences. Catholic  Grammar School.?  A sick child?  I would give Rose McGrath a Leo High School Diploma! So would any real Catholic teacher.  Catholic "Educators" are gultless mediocrities.

Any Catholic School Superintendent, or Principal who hides behind these words -" It's Our Policy!" - needs to be shown the door.  Catholic Schools will continue to close, so long as they ape Public Schools.

Here is an example of Policy kicking the Gospels of Christ and the Jesus portrayed  in them squarely in the nuts.
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A young girl who has just finished fighting the biggest fight of her life has been dealt another blow.
In August 2012, Rose McGrath, of Battle Creek, was diagnosed with leukemia.
But last week, her family received a letter in the mail that would turn her world upside down.
The letter addressed concerns regarding Rose's attendance and academic performance, and stated that Rose had been dismissed from St. Joseph Middle School.
"I didn't do anything wrong, but they still got rid of me," Rose said.
Rose McGrath is beside herself.
She's been with the Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools all her life, but attending school got difficult when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012.
"Even though she's now done with her treatment you still have a very long recovery process because you've basically just put two and a half years of poison into your body. you're not recovering overnight," said Rose's mother Barbara McGrath.
The McGraths say despite all of the obstacles, Rose was on track to pass her core classes.
Now, just shy of the end of the school year, they say she's been pulled from the one place where she felt normal.
"When I'm at home, I'm sick, I don't feel well; no one else does that. But when I'm at school I'm like everyone else," Rose said.
According to the letter from St. Joseph Middle School, Rose was dismissed because she could not meet academic or attendance standards.
Rose attended 32 full days this year.
Gee, would that keep St. Joseph's School from being a Blue Ribbon Award Winner?

Catholic schools are not Public Schools run by PC ninnies, John Dewey Drugged Fat Heads and Godless Parses of Narratives, unless, they are run by policy cowards.

Catholic Schools should be all about the kids - especially, a little girl being mauled by cancer.  

I have taught for forty years and I have seen mediocrities who could not manage a classroom full of Honors Students for three minutes rise to Administrator Certificate Power Policy Overlordship.  They have matched stupidity for stupidity with the worst Public School in America. Why, because the mediocrity adopts a Zero Tolerance Policy for every waking moment in the day and avoids taking action, making a decision, or treating an individual as Jesus would treat them. They (mediocrities) should not be in authority. They are credentialed cretins.

  • They have the State Certifications and Licenses! (B EFFing Deal!)
  • They pray off of Xeroxed Copies
  • They attend leadership workshops
  • They could not name three students in school with a cocked and loaded Glock at their temples
  • They ascend the Diocesan bureaucratic ladder after each and every screw-up and disaster
  • They Are Never Accountable, because they are never challenged by people who should know better
Policy is for cowards.

Policy allows incompetence.

Policy is Smarm Prose for People who can not diagram a sentence.

Here is Policy -Image result for rose mcgrath battle creek catholic schools
"These were extraordinary circumstances, but so many accommodations were made we felt eventually it became a point where we really had to help Rose, by being able to make sure that she was getting the assistance that she needed and to learn," said Father John Fleckenstein, with Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools. ( emphases my own)

Get off the cross, Father.  A better Man knew what it was all about.

Oh and Father John?  Hop up and kiss my Irish Ass!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Man Who Shaped Francis Cardinal George: Jean Jacques Olier (1608-1657)

Jean Jacques Olier

One evening, Cardinal George asked me to bring two students from Leo High School up to the Cardinal's Residence in Lincoln Park, in order to pray with and for them. Leo High School's student population is 97% African American; these two young men were white and from Canaryville. Both young gents had very tough home lives and I'll leave it at that.

Cardinal George called me every once in while to ask about the status of certain young men whom he knew to be challenged. One African American sophomore had been shunted off to nine different foster homes and sat on the edge of life as a Gangster Disciple.  The Cardinal managed to lift this kid off of that razor's edge. These two white boys were freshmen at the time and had acted out enough at school  to indicate volcanic home lives.

The Cardinal's Residence has been and shall continue to be, in the Chicago and national media, portrayed as some kind of 1%er Xanadu and described as 'lavish.'  That is pure nonsense.  It reminded me of any  successful immigrant's  family home: clean, tidy, simple and proud. The well polished hard-wood floors creak. The media made my Cardinal's home into something opulent to point to as an anachronistic touchstone in  its arguments used to attack the Catholic Church, be it ordination of women, Gaza Flotillas, redefinition of marriage, abortion, or attacking School Choice. Bullshit is King in Chicago.

The Residence is a nice rectory with a lot of chimneys and that is all. Lavish?  My broad manly ass.

Well, the media won that one.  The Residence built and maintained by Catholics will go away. The Nuns who worked with Cardinal George lived in a convent behind the Residence and they are real people who will now be tossed out and eventually put their love and talents elsewhere and fade from Chicago's flabby memory.

That night when me and the guys visited?  They were not taken by any opulence, but hospitality. Two boys learned what a woman's love is all about because of the Polish nuns who work with George and the spirit of a 17th Frenchman who served as the Cardinal's model.

These are two teenagers who had been ear-bombed with abuse and pummeled with all manner of neglect, including abandonment.

The boys were greeted by the wonderful religious women  like they were favorite nephews. The ladies are members of The Albertine Sisters. The boys were treated to home baked treats and tea served in lavish cups.

Cardinal George wore a sweater and his clerical collar and welcomed the boys.    Cardinal George took the brace of tattooed youngsters into a study  and I was dismissed.  The sliding doors closed and the three of them laughed loudly . . .about me, I'll bet.

I walked around and looked at the portraits of Chicago's great Archbishops, Feehan, Quarter and Mundelein, the icons and the statuary. One simple wood carving  I did not recognize*.  It was a wood carving of a 17th Century Frenchman.

After about forty minutes, the Cardinal and the guys reemerged from the study. I asked the Cardinal about the wood carving.  " That is Jean Jacques Olier.  He is not a canonized saint, but I have very special attachment to his life and works.  Read up about him, Pat," was this great teacher's advice.  I did.

Jean Jacques Olier was a 17th Century man of Christ.  He moved easily among Kings and Counts and lived with people swimming in the gutters.  A first rate intellectual and fierce man of action, Jean Jacques Olier opened seminaries, orphanages, asylums and organized soldiers and notorious street duelist to combat the plague of dueling -street violence, or sword violence, depending upon whether one has Chicago values, or not.  Olier fought equally. the heretics and orthodox fanatics within the protection of the Church

To know Francis Cardinal George, one needs to add an understanding of the man who served as his historical and spiritual model to the compelling narrative of the kid with polio who became a bishop.

Cardinal George was no hair-shirt.  He was a genuine Chicago tough guy - a guy who can take it.  A guy can take anything, as long as he honors the virtues that endure. Those virtues are learned through a piety and a dignity shaped by other persons.  Persons like Jean Jacques Olier.

The two kids had their lives oiled and comforted by Cardinal George, but what they took away from the Cardinal's Residence on north State Parkway was a bag of baked goods and the love of great women. That was all either one of the boys talked about - the women who treated them like they were meant to be treated in their lives - Jesus, living in Mary.

They can thank Cardinal George and a 17th Century Frenchmen for that introduction to love.

Cardinal George prayed this every day.

O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in your servants, in the spirit of holiness, in the fullness of your power, in the perfection of your ways, in the truth of your virtues, in the communion of your mysteries. Rule over every adverse power, in your Spirit, for the glory of the Father. Amen. Jean Jacques Olier, S.S. (1608-1657)

* Correction:  the wooden carving is of St Eugene de Mazenod who founded the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1816. I got onto Jean Jacques Olier with the Cardinal by some other icon.  My bad.  Thanks to the sharp eyes of Tom Zbierski. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fast Pitching! The Game Killed By Nintendo and i-Phones

The last time I played Strike-Out/Fast Pitching was in the late 1970's in Ottawa, Illinois at the old Shabonna Elementary School.  My Buddy Charlie Olson and I were clearing out his late-father's house and selling items.  It was hotter than twenty- two rats making love in a pair of old knee socks and we took a break. After a guzzling a couple of quarts of Rhinelander, we decided to play 'fast-pitching' at the school across the street from Charlie's Pa's house.

There was a nicely chalked box already there.  We grabbed a bat and rubber baseball that was as pock-marked as a teenage boy and  called 'play ball!'   Charlie was and remains a superb athlete and could bring the heat.  I am a spaz - nevertheless, when Charlie burned one low and outside SAMAAAASH!!!!!!!!! That sonofabitch sailed for what seemed . . .a few minutes and   the rubber missile sphere shattered upon reaching the sub stratosphere!  Thus, ending the game. " Hickey!!!!!!!"

So ends my glory days.

I played fast-pitching all over the south side as a kid.  We had a dried up cholera infested viaduct ( now) sealed up with concrete) at 75th Place at Wood under the Metra tracks.  Both walls were chalked by the likes of Jimmy Shea, Al McFarland, Maurey Lanigan, Larry Fiscelli, Terry Smith and the Walsh Brothers.  Mostly we played at Clara Barton Elementary and on rare occasions the Hamilton Dairy Barns at 75th Place and Paulina.

Every surface of smooth concrete was a PlayStation.

One rarely sees little guys playing fast pitching, or little girls chalking Sky Blue patterns on sidewalks.

Chicago author Dennis Foley has a movie about to be produced and shot in my Morgan Park/Beverly neighborhood.  It called Old Bob: A Story of Hope. Dennis uses the chalk box as art work for the yarn.

Younger persons will be lost on the meaning.  Drive-bys, Nintendos, I-phones and adult inspired organized fun have permanently damaged a child's ability to play, it seems to me.  Innocence demands active imaginations and electric gizmos do not help and neither do needy adult supervisors living their shallow dreams through kids.

I vote for more pick-up baseball, football and chase games organized by the kids themselves.  I am blessed to watch the little girls and guys in Morgan Park play sewer cover rules baseball at the corner of 108th & Maplewood, but rarely see it going on anywhere else.  And I get out alot.

So do others.

Chicago architecture critic Lee Bey wrote a wonderful piece for WBEZ a while ago that explains the game of Strike Out aka Fast Pitching.
"So seeing two on a single wall in one day caught me by surprise. I didn't even have my camera with me. I had to make do with my cellphone cam.
"In Strike Out, a pitch inside the box was a strike, but a hit was judged a single, double, triple or homer, depending on the distance the ball traveled after leaving the bat; there were no bases for the batter to run. If the ball was caught on the fly by the opposing team, it was an out. If the pitcher caught the ball on a single bounce, it was an out.
"The building was an important part of the game because you needed one with a flat brick, concrete or limestone surface with enough mass to absorb the energy of the fast pitch, yet return the rubber ball without enough velocity to reach the pitcher on a strike. And no glass near the box. Strike Out was great way to play baseball without having 18 people. A team could be as few as one to four players.
"I was wearing a suit and had my baseball-loving daughters (two teens and a 'tween) with me when I photographed the Strike Out box. Maybe I'll double back one day with a rubber baseball to see if my 44-year-old arm has the stuff, still. Just gotta remember to bring the shoulder ointment."

I'd love to see our young people give the thumb-dummy addiction a rest.  I'd love to see kids get out and play. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Apostrophe Chicago - Shootings and Shut Up.

I was at Leo High School for a couple of hours yesterday.  I left around 3PM. When exiting the Sangamon Street (west side of school) door, I heard at least six seperate CPD buzzers and sirens and saw CPD cars and SUVs shoot west on 79th Street.

This occurs, if not daily, all too frequently.  The cars of the 6th District sweeping past Leo High School and shortly St. Sabina's Faith Community, operated by Rev. Michael Pfleger.  I'm not a fan.  Father Pfleger is a political minister who has harmed Leo on more than one occasion, in my opinion. He has his agenda.  I have mine.

What brings this up, is a conversation I had shortly after leaving Leo with a guy who lives not too far from me.  He happens to be a very devout liberal Catholic and Democrat.  He wears his heart on his sleave and looks for his heart on mine, as well.  I mentioned that I had just come from Leo and noted the parade of squads and TAC unit vehicles.  He told me, " Oh there was a shooting at 79th & Wood Street."

I used to pass many hours on that corner in my teen and early college years.

My friend a Catholic who wants the Church to be Unitarian Universalist added, " Thank God for Father Pfleger, Huh?"

" How so?"

" He does so much good over there."

" How so?"

" He does"

" How? Killings go on. Hookers crowd ladies trying to get downtown to clean offices away from the bus stop at 83rd & Racine every morning. People in the two flats are looking for work Pfleger Industries is doing just fine, but everyone I talk to is bearing the cross. ."

" He raises awareness of gun violence!"

" I think everyone is pretty aware of guns in the hands of soulless thugs. Forty shootings since Friday, Brownie.  This one took place on my old corner hang-out. "
79th & Wood Streets 1969

" Oh, wow.  Still demanding to live the white flight fanatsy of the Old Neighborhood?"

"How does that follow?"

" Well you hate Father Pfleger. I can see that.  That is obvious."

" You have some powerful eyes, there Brownie.  Didn't you live at 77th & Aberdeen?  Father Pfleger could use some of your time, treasure and talents."

" @#$%, You! Man. You are @#$%^ing Bigot."

"  I get that alot.  Great seeing you, Brownie! See you in church. Keep Hype Alive, My Bro!"

Some opinions are not allowed. This, I know.  And I really could care . . .less.  The shooting had nothing to do with Pfleger, but Brownie needs to goad.  Goads of this stripe generally go un answered.  Perhaps, I should swallow my gum and move on?  Nah.

Life is too short and bile builds up.  Never allow a counter wind-up to go un-used.

The thing is Brownie will initiate similar chat in no time at all and similar scenario will unfold.

Actually, I will not see Brownie in church,  because we attend different Catholic parishes.

A robust dialog grounded in the purest of spirits always makes me tingle up a storm.

Terry Sullivan Jazz Happenings Up-Coming Dates & Artists

At the request of Jazz lover and patriot Seb Costin and all other of my contemporaries who eschew Twitter/Facebook & whatnot. I post this. 

Jazz Diva Terry Sullivan Jazz Happenings -upcoming dates and featured artists:

Coming Concert Performances – Terry Sullivan

Sunday, May 3, 2015, 3:00 pm
Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church
250 Woodside Road, Riverside, IL
(Desplaines Avenue and 31st Street)
with pianist Bobby Schiff and bassist Stewart Miller
Free will offering
Saturday, June 13, 2015, 5:00 pm
St. John’s Episcopal Church
3857 N. Kostner, Chicago
with pianist Tom Muellner and bassist Stewart Miller
Sunday, July 12, 3:00 pm
Sunday Afternoon Jazz Supper Club
Pianoforte Foundation
1335 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
with pianist Tom Muellner and bassist Larry Kohut
Tickets @
“Supper” can be had at Kurah Mediterranean Tapas Restaurant (1/2 block south) before or after the show. Mention the Pianoforte Jazz Supper Club for a 15% discount.
— with Terry Sullivan Jazz Happenings.

TJ & The Cardinal 2012

Thomas(aka TJ) Ph------ has his arm around Cardinal George's shoulders in a 2012 photo I took celebrating the Cardinal's visit. Thomas is at college and Cardinal George is at home with Christ.

At Leo in 2010,  He was Thomas.  At St. Cajetan's, prior to admission to this rock of manhood on 79th Street, my daughter and her pals called their classmate TJ.

TJ?  Like he was right out of some Disney Afternoon Special and wore Bev Rat Northface clothing and accessories.

Thomas was what PC educators might call . . .willful.  Here at Leo, we'd say JUG fodder at best . . .usually a pain in the ass. It was during Thomas'  freshman year that my daughter informed me that one of her classmates from St. Cajetan grammar school, a largely white Catholic elementary school in Morgan Park, was attending Leo.

"Dad, do you know TJ?"


"Yeah, TJ Ph-------!  He's real funny and was Jack Collins buddy"

I know a Thomas Ph------!  Wait.  Thomas, Mr. Y'all Street Ph-------is TJ?  TJ?"

That was all I needed.

I am, like Thomas aka TJ, a dedicated . . .pain in the ass. Like TJ. . .er Thomas, I needed an epiphany.  I got mine from Father John Gavin O.S.A. in 1966.  I was mopping the locker room as punishment for one of my recent academic, or social crimes and misdemeanors, when the red-headed athlete priest wandered in reading his Divine Office in full Augustinian habit.  He closed the breviary and smiled brightly, " Hickey, you know how you always are?"

" Yes, Father."

" Don't be that way."

With that, he opened his tract and walked quietly away.  I was a chang . . .modified man.

Thomas was bright, funny, tardy, absent and any where near an occassion of sin, In short, Thomas was for his freshman and sophomore years at Leo High School a typical Leo guy.  He was the diamond in the rough, the first draft, and unlicked cub, who, after several metaphorical lickings, chin wags with his elders and betters on his way to becoming a superior young man.

It helped to know of Thomas's BevRat sobriquet. The next day shouted out my friend Thomas in the act of 'just playing!'


His blood went cold, in the manner of all men caught out in the hard truth of whom they really be.

" How you know that?"

"Clare told me. Well, Lookee here, White Boy!  You wear FUBU here and about, or do you really wear Northface, a rolled brimmed green White Sox Cap and watch Hannah Montana?  Man, it'd go hard on a gent who is all Cheef Keef and such."

"Please, Mr. Hickey don't let that get out. Man, I'm Thomas!

"And so it shall stay under the following conditions . . ."

You see, these kids need street cred, even though they are far from street.  Their families send them to Leo High School to avoid the street and all that it stands for, but the kids still need to get here from Roseland, Grand Crossing, Englewood and Canaryville.  They pass gang territories and need to put up a front. Or, they think that they do. All they need is to believe in themselves.

All they need to do is be a good guy. Respect women, the elderly, their faith, their traditions and the rules.

Thomas remained a scamp, but a great guy.  He was a fearless D-Back for the Lions and a great boxer and his GPA shot up to where it needed to be for college.

Watch Thomas on this video.  He is boxer in the dreds wearing black gear. BTW - Leo boxing coach Mike Joyce is a cousin of Cardinal George.

Thomas is a sophomore at Missou, now. After an epiphany, Thomas was on his way.

In 2010, he sidled up to Leo President Dan McGrath at an open house where eight white boys attended with their folks. " Mr. McGrath, we going to get all those white boys?"

President McGrath, replied, " Well Thomas, it won't be for lack of trying,"

" Good. This school needs some diversity!"

We got it. White boys and Mexican kids thickened the cultural stew at Leo High School and Thomas was the most open-handed greeter in his junior and senior years. He took the lead in making these urban pioneers welcome.

In 2012, Francis Cardinal George spent the day with the Leo gents.  We do not put on a dog and pony show.  Take us as we are! Cardinal George had a ball and graced our boys. Thomas plunged in to make Cardinal George as welcome as flowers of May.

Thomas is at college, but visits every time he is home.  Cardinal George is a home with Christ and visits Grace upon this wonderful school for tender-hearted tough guys. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Beauty and the Priest - Leo Board Member Tamara Holder and Francis Cardinal George

 Great souls by instinct to each other turn,
Demand alliance, and in friendship burn;
A sudden friendship, while with stretched-out rays
They meet each other, mingling blaze with blaze.
Polished in courts, and hardened in the field,
Renowned for conquest, and in council skilled,
Their courage dwells not in a troubled flood
Of mounting spirits, and fermenting blood:
Lodged in the soul, with virtue overruled,
Inflamed by reason, and by reason cooled,
In hours of peace content to be unknown.
And only in the field of battle shown:
To souls like these, in mutual friendship joined,
Heaven dares intrust the cause of humankind. Joseph Addison The Campain (1704)

I took this photo of Cardinal George and lawyer, advocate, Leo Board member, Fox News Legal Analyst and easy on the eyes tough Jewish Chick, Tamara Holder in 2011 at Leo High School.

Tamara Holder no longer lives in Chicago full-time, because her talents require that she spend more time in the Big Apple, where she works for Fox News and runs a sports analysis site, as well make stand-up comedy appearances.  Tamara continues to offer legal, financial and marketing advice as a member of Leo Advisory Board.  Tamara is Jewish and proudly practices her faith.

In May of 2011, Francis Cardinal George became the first Archbishop of Chicago to visit the young men of Leo High School, since George Cardinal Mundelein blessed the corner stone this school on 79th & Peoria wing of the school in 1926.

Our Advisory board consisted of Irish and African American males blessed by God with talents and faces for radio, until Tamara accepted Leo President Dan McGrath and Board Chairman Bob Sheehy's challenge to serve.  Immediately our Board's looks improved.
Tamara meets Cardinal George:  in the backdground from the left Big Shoulder Fund Tom Zbierski, Advisory Board Chair Bob Sheehy and Leo Hall of Fame Alumnus and Teacher Bill Hession.

Cardinal George and Tamara took to one another immediately - both are very smart, honest and good-hearted persons.  Joseph Addison had it right - great souls by instinct to each other turm.

These pictures make me smile at a very sad time.

My Neighbor is Home with Christ- Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.

Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.
Saint Patrick

 No man lived for Christ like Francis Cardinal George, O.M. I., Archbishop of Chicago.  I witnessed this simple, but tough, priest.

Cardinal George had a powerful intellect, but never allowed his gifts to smother questions, doubts, or take advantage of the follies of other people.  He was not a big shot and therefore never became a media darling.

He was tasked by our Church to lead a huge and very combative Archdiocese that had lost a favorite shepherd in Cardinal Bernardin.  Upon assuming his duties, Cardinal George knew that he had a tough act to follow and did not presume Brotherhood with us.  Rather, he introduced himself as Our Neighbor.

My brother and sister know every grain of dirt beneath my fingernails, every weakness and every gap in my armor, because they have lived with me and not near me.  My neighbor knows of me and will only get close enough to me as I will allow.  My neighbor does not presume to cross the property line without an invite.

I invited the most powerful American Bishop to be my brother and he was not too busy, too big, too disinterested to take up my call.

In fact, Cardinal George called me.

Shortly after he, Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, was inducted into the College of Cardinals, a friend was unceremoniously and very publicly removed from her role as Principal of a Catholic Girls High School, where she has raised enrollment, student and faculty morale, spiked fund-raisisng and elevated the status of that school in the public eye.

The religious order operating that school decided to take another direction.   Bob Foster, then President of Leo High School, hates bullies and injustice and asked me to write a couple of letters to the editor for the Daily Southtown.  I did.

In the letters, I asked Cardinal George to look into the matter.  Cardinal George was in Washington D. C. leading the American Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The letters appeared through the week.  On Monday, I was told that I was to be fired.  Bob Foster lit into the powers-that-be in the bureaucratic branches of the Chicago Archdiocese - on the phone and with his characteristic force and rhetoric.

The Archdiocese is a Corporation - a Public Person - and that person's feelings were hurt by the Director of Development for Leo High School.  Leo High School is a school of Archdiocese of Chicago. Most people assume that Leo is independent of the Archdiocese, like St. Rita, Fenwick, Brother Rice, or St. Lawrence. The fact is Cardinal Mundelein ordered the building of Leo.  Irish Christian Brothers never sponsored Leo, only operated it and were long gone.

From the moment, the Christian Brothers bailed out of any responsibility for Leo, Bob Foster and the Leo Alumni paid down the debts, raised tuition, secured the grants and initiated the on-going campus expansion and all without subsidy from the Archdiocese. Therefore, Bob Foster would not allow "policy," a changeling tool for the unimaginative, to dictate on a technicality.

Lawyers, crumbs and money, to paraphrase a rock and roll tune had other ideas.

My youngest was in third grade at St. Cajetan's and had come home with the flu. As a single Dad, I remained home with her keeping the possibility of losing my job to myself.

At around, six o'clock in evening I got a call on my cell phone.
 " Hello, is this Pat Hickey?"

" Yes, It is. . . ?"

" This is Cardinal George."

I though for a moment. It was Bill Gainer*, who had pulled that gag on me before, " Up Your's Eminence!"

There was genuine laughter on the other line, " No, really, Pat.  This Cardinal George.  I understand that I fired you."

" Gainer.. . ."

" Relax, it is the genuine article, Pat.  Now tell me why I fired you. This is the first I have heard of it. It's something about some letters you wrote to the papers?  I have this note, but I have not even heard about the firing of the Principal.  Fill me in, please."

I explained the chain of events and of my request that the Ordinary -Archbishop of Chicago - look into the capricious removal of a great Catholic woman as principal of girl's high school within the Archdiocese.

The Cardinal laughed and said, " Easy for you to say.  The religious order as a corporation can fire any employee.  It is not right, or just but certainly is legal. Look, I'll go over there and talk to the parents, staff and people representing that Order. Why are you home, by the way. Did Bob Foster suspend you? That does not sound like the man I know! Ha, ha, ha,. . ."

Again the genuine humor from a man who did not need to call an employee about a matter that put him in the middle of a controversy of another's doing.  Yet, here he was.

" No, Your Eminence, I am taking care of my little girl who is down with the Flu."

" Poor baby. Is she school age?"

" She goes to St. Cajetan's."

" Would like me to speak with her?"

I took the phone to Clare and she and the Archbishop of Chicago chatted about school her up-coming First Holy Communion and Hannah Montana from one end of phone anyway. The Cardinal gave Clare a blessing for good health and grace.

" Pat. You have your job.  I did not fire you.  In any bureaucracy people will say 'The Cardinal says, this and Cardinal says that and all without asking Francis George what he thinks.  They mean well."

We chatted some more and I learned that his father belonged to Local 399.  Like my father and his father before him, Francis Cardinal George's Dad was a stationary engineer.

We shared some more laughs about life in the Chicago Archdiocese.  I continue to work at Leo.

Cardinal George worked for Leo.  He counseled five students who had very tough lives.  He helped us raise money for new buses and blessed those buses.  Francis Cardinal George was made a Leo Man in 2011 and inducted into this school's Hall of Fame in 2014.

He was my neighbor - a great neighbor.

Cardinal George went home to Christ on Friday, April 17th.

* Bill Gainer is a guy from Roseland. Like Cardinal George, Bill does not know the first thing about being a "big shot."

Friday, April 17, 2015

Catholics Bury the Indigent Fetus: The Chicago Tribune Buries the Evil that is Abortion

Francis Cardinal Ceorge initiated the practice of taking the bodies of the unclaimed poor (fetuses and adults) off of the hands of Cook County in 2012.  The Chicago Tribune decided that needed no mention in its article about the burial of 62 unclaimed aborted children, in order to make a political propaganda piece. 

Instead, John Daley's presence at the recent ceremony is used.

Cook County Commissioner John Daley is a wonderful man.  Of the Daley Boys, he is the kindest and most thoughtful, in my opinion.  The other day, he joined fellow Catholics  at Mount Olivet Cemetery on the south side to bury the aborted children of poor people - indigent fetuses.

This practice begun by Francis Cardinal George, who is not mentioned in the article, is a good thing.  Not even Planned Parenthood could scream, as is their wont, about religion interfering in choice.

However, a good deed can not go un-propagandized in Chicago and the Chicago Tribune immediately rolled over for  rub of its tummy, by Planned Parenthood Illinois, Progressives and Abortion Complicit Politicians.

The Illinois Department of Human Services also has provided funding to the county over the years for burials of unclaimed remains of people who were public aid recipients or would have been eligible for public aid, Shuftan said.

However, as previously reported in the Tribune, Gov. Bruce Rauner recently announced cuts to state payments for indigent funerals.
Explain to me - if the Archdiocese of Chicago has made a practice of burying the remains of children aborted with the help of Illinois legislation for years, why is it important to mention that 'cuts ti state payment fro indigent funerals' is news and not propaganda?

 The Catholic land to bury the aborted children might run out, we are told.  But Catholic Cemeteries are private, you see, and Catholics are paying for that space to burying children aborted due to State of Illinois sponsored homicide.

It was very decent of John Daley to attend this service. He is a decent guy. Cardinal George deserves some recognition by the Chicago Tribune for this mitzvah, but this is the Chicago Tribune -a vassal of Planned Parenthood 24/7.

End abortion; no fetus to bury.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

So I am not The Lone Free Ranger

"We refuse to deprive our children of critical opportunities to develop responsibility and independence, and have no intention of fundamentally changing our parenting to accommodate this kind of paranoia and bullying," Danielle Meitiv wrote.

Heard about the couple who let their kids run free have you?  They are taking some heat from breeders and squares.

I was a free range parent long before Daniell Meitiv. They are very caring. I just did not shive-a-git about where and when my three children moved about and even suggested neat  urban adventures.  I love them so much that I gave them the keys to the City of Chicago.

"Dad, I took the Halsted Bus all the way to Irving Park Road and then walked through Uptown! You were right! There are so many Native Americans! They were literally lying on the street, " sang my elder female child and eldest of the three. Nora was 13 at the time and going into her freshman year at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School and she would need a full and robust immersion among real people and not just protected, pampered and button-down NorthFace BevRat Irish Catholics. I suggested a daily routine of inner-city immersions, or personal flights of challenge.  I said, "Explore! Advocate! Challenge! Be Your Bliss!"

No hand holding here.

I opened the car door at 75th & Cottage Grove and said, " Ask the folks over by the Courtesty Exchange for a conversation about Race, Honey I'll pick you up 5:30 P.M.  unless someone offers you a ride home.!" I then zoomed off to Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap for the next six hours where I sampled IPAs in their infancy and chatted up the locals. Good jukebox.

My second child, a Mannish boy of 8 back then,  was treated to a night alone in Elizabeth Conkey Woods Forest Preserve.  " Hey, buddy!  You'll thank me, later.  It is going to get a bit air-ish at sundown; so, don't get all sweaty chasing ground squirrels.  Here's a bag of cucumber sandwiches and a canteen full of Sun Tea. Hey, why the long puss?  You are  21st Century Man there are porta-potties all over the grounds.I'll get you at 9AM and let you sleep in a bit."  My son never mentioned that wonderful night out.  He never mentions anything to me.

My baby girl was two when my wife died and so I home schooled herself.  She was like that little girl Matilda. *

Free Range, Baby!

Why bother teaching your kids anything about American history, responsibility, good manners, taste in books, art and film, reverence for virtue, piety and the sanctity of each human life from womb to doom?  We are evolving.

* Fine film

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Chicago Police Digest 1959 and Obama's New BFF Fidel Castro

This is a great historical document. The number of Leo Catholic High School alumni "on the Job" in 1959 is astounding. Future Superintendent James Conlisk was head of traffic. Latin, Greek and Gaelic scholar Lt. Maurice Higgins ( father of Pulitzer Prize Winning Cartoonist Jack Higgins) was head of Robbery Division. Sox Owner Bill Veeck is show with what just might be Bill Kay's son Billy.

One snippet in the Chicago Police Digest for 1959 concerned the visit of Fidel Castro's son Junior to the old CPD Headquarters at 11th & State. 
"Castro's Son Visits Police Building
Fidel Castro, Jr., 10, son of the fiery
Cuban leader, was a recent visitor to
the Police Building while in Chicagofor the Pan-American Games. Accompanyinghim were Cuban Army Capt.Angel Saauedra and Fidel Jr.'s militaryacademy buddy, Cadet Nelson Asquru.Mark Thanasouras of the HomicideDetail and Crime Laboratory TechnicianJoseph De Lopez served as guidesand interpreters for the young Cubanand his party during their visit. "  - from Chicago PoliceDigest1959 (7) 

This was at a time, before the election of JFK, when Casto was considered to be as harmless as Obamcare and redefining traditional marriage.  
BTW - The Cuban Army officer escorting Fidel Jr. was the same guy who passed on classified documents to Congressman Adam Clayton Powell (NY)* who managed to get the State Department to stop arming Batista and clearing the way for Castro.…/Cuban-says-spy-helped-C…/8125291104464/

Some may recall that El Jefe brought a delegation of bearded Army fatigue clad guerrilla fighters to the United Nations, after Batista was overthrown and Fredo betrayed Michael in Godfather II.  In 1960,the Cuban delegation stayed in Harlem, the congressional district of Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, instead of among the tony 1%ers on Manhattan's east side. The Red world travellers joined Castro in Harlem and the Third World was born.  Soon Cuba would be exporting its Red Revolution to Africa, Central and South America, as well as the island nations of the Caribbean and inviting Bill Ayers, Obama's ghost-writer some say, to cut sugar cane as an apprentice University of Illinois pensioner.

Castro with Dr. Grayson Kirk - President of Columbia University -somethings never change.

Castro has not changed.  He and his brother are ruthless, blood thirsty thugs.  President Obama is making nice with Castro and Iran.  For people who read, that is bothersome.

History - the stuff we choose to ignore. . . . with help from academics, Reds and Howard Zinn.

* Do note that House of Representatives site biography for Adam Clayton Powell is totally and completly scrubbed of any reference to Cuba, Castro or Clayton Powell's part in helping Castro transfer Buban tyranny from Batista to himself. Shucks was just an 'An unapologetic activist.' Like President Obama.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Leo High Schoool Heroes: Raymond E. Jehli -Navy Cross Recipient

On April 7th, 1945 Leo Man Ray Jehli '39 flew from the deck of USS Enterprise, attacked and sank a Japanese Cruiser in the South China Sea.  From St. Francis de Paula Parish, Ray Jehli was a four year Honor Roll student at Leo played basketball and football before going to war.  Ray Jehli is credited with sinking one of the last enemy capital ships in World War II combat. President Truman awarded the Navy Cross to Ray Jehli. Ray's brother Walter '37 and Army Air Corps pilot was shot down and killed in 1944.

Walter is buried at St. Mary's on the south side.

February 12, 2004

Raymond E. Jehli, age 82, WWII Navy Pilot, recipient of the Navy Cross, beloved husband of the late Eileen Jehli, nee McGloin; loving father of Mary Virginia Flynn (Micah), Raymond "Jay" Jehli (Maureen), Patricia Heyne, Christine Jehli, Karen Jehli; dear grandfather of five grandsons and two granddaughters. Died Feb. 2, 2004 at home in Mesa, AZ. Services were held Feb. 5, 2004. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 2222 S. Dobson Rd. #401 Mesa, AZ 85202

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Raymond Edward Jehli, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting-Bombing Squadron NINE (VFB-9), embarked from the U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), on 7 April 1945, while deployed over the East China Sea. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.