Saturday, October 31, 2015

Chicago's Ed Kelly: Kids Come First and Damn Policy to Hell!

“Oh, Mr. Mayor, I’m not really interested in politics, I want to run sports, coaching and that.” - Ed Kelly to Mayor Richard J. Daley

I was blessed to know the difference between what the Irish call Shite and the once popular protective wax application for shoes.   What actually takes place is truth.  What some people say intended policy happens to be is shite. When a man teaches little boys and girls about the physics involved in shooting a basketball through a hoop, or learning to keep one's protective 'left up' in a schoolyard scrap, or how to successfully fill out a job application for summer employment is Shinola - a no longer used commodity in public education, government and discourse.

Government was at one time merely a means of protecting an old lady from starving in a cold-water flat, an access to entry level jobs skills, a protector of public parks and sports programs and point of reference about one's personal character for soul less human resource bureaucrats.

Then came Shakman, the DNC, and the endless parade of talentless takers, jumping from government appointment to appointment to that multi-pension Promised Land.  Chicago today.

I have been blessed to know the difference, between a public servant and a power grabbing grifter.

There are a few public servants still walking around, but they have traded Addidas running shoes for  Shinola applicated Johnson and Murphys.

In our times, a  public servant can no longer be like Ed Kelly.

This summer Mr. Edmund L. Kelly turned 91 years old.

Edmund L. Kelly was born and raised on Chicago's north side in a neighborhood now known as "Cabrini Green."  From an early age, Ed excelled in sports spending most of his free time in neighborhood parks-a foreshadowing of his future when he would one day lead the Chicago Park District.
Ed graduated from St. Philip's High School in 1942.  While attending St. Philip's, his basketball talent earned him positions on the All-Catholic, All-City and All-Star Basketball teams.  Ed attended DePaul University and the University of Iowa, majoring in Physical Education.
In 1943, Ed enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.  Serving as an aerial gunner with a divebomber squadron, he saw action in the South Pacific and served in China from 1945-1946.  During his Marine career, Ed was elected to the All-Service Basketball Team and won the welterweight boxing championship.  He later played professional basketball with the Oshkosh All Stars in the National Basketball Association. The Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame

Ed Kelly ' ran the Parks' when I was a kid.  O'Halleran Park, Dawes Park, Foster Park, Hamilton Park Ogden Park, Sherman Park . . .you name a Chicago Park had a program staffed by college athletes, like Mount Carmel Hero of my youth  Bill Trapp . Ed Kelly staffed Chicago's Parks with solid people of great character who taught us to throw a spiral football, hit a three point shot, jab, hook and duck when necessary.  Ed Kelly protected kids, because he kept on eye on who would be teaching kids sport techniques, but more importantly character.

Ed Kelly did not use policy as a mandate - policy is for the pusillanimous.

Ed Kelly is a man.

Then came the idiotic and evil Shakman decision which took 'character' out of politics.

Name an elected politician who does not hide behind 'That smooth'd faced Gentleman, tickling' policy to paraphrase Shakepeare's greatest moral character The Bastard from King John. 

On November 14th, Edmund L. Kelly will be inducted into the Chicago Boxing Hall of Fame for his work with kids.

Ed Kelly could very well stand on the Shakspeare Stage at  Navy Pier and pronounce

Mad world! mad Mayors ! mad composition!
 . . .
With that same purpose-changer, that sly devil,
That broker, that still breaks the pate of faith,
That daily break-vow, he that wins of all,
Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids,
Who, having no external thing to lose
But the word 'maid,' cheats the poor maid of that,
That smooth-faced gentleman, tickling ( Policy for Commodity) ,
 POLICY , the bias of the world,
The world, who of itself is peised well,
Made to run even upon even ground,
Till this advantage, this vile-drawing bias,
This sway of motion, this  POLICY,
Makes it take head from all indifferency,
From all direction, purpose, course, intent:
And this same bias, this POLICY,
This bawd, this broker, this all-changing word,
 . . .
And why rail I on this POLICY?
But for because he hath not woo'd me yet:
Not that I have the power to clutch my hand,
When his fair angels would salute my palm;
But for my hand, as unattempted yet,
Like a poor beggar, raileth on the rich.
Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail
And say there is no sin but to be rich;
And being rich, my virtue then shall be
To say there is no vice but beggary.
Since kings break faith upon POLICY,
Gain, be my lord, for I will worship thee. ( changes and emphases my own with profound apologies to the Bard)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

As for the comment...Ed Kelly ' ran the Parks' when I was a kid...He did indeed. And what a hell of a guy he was! I remember winning a Chicago Park District boxing tournament put on by Ed Kelly when I was a kid. One of many Ed promoted with selfless and undying effort.. After I clearly won the fight, the decision went against me???...more cheers than boos were heard in the crowd. I was completely stunned. ??? Ed came up to me in secret with a pair of Chicago Police shortly after the fight, then he handed me the winning trophy for the tournament, quickly shook my hand, and at the same time he told me with a huge smile on his face that the gang to which the opponent I just faced was affiliated with promised all over the park that a decision against "their" fighter in my bout would be shot as soon as he left the ring. The big smile and two huge members of the C.P.D. with him was to put me at ease is my Ed was very good for sports in Chicago. One hell of a personality!