Sunday, October 20, 2019

Cold War South West Lake Michigan Shore - The Nike Sites

The C-47 -Portage, Indiana Nike Missile Site from 1954-1972 was a part of the defensive ring of anti-missile batteries that garlanded the Lake Michigan shoreline. The Last Line of Defense - Chicago’s Nike Missile Sites

The threat of death by Communism was very real and its palpable, existential presence was part of every day life for people on the south side of Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

As a child, I remember going to the Museum of Science and Industry with my Uncle Bart and future Aunt Betty (c 1957) and remarking on white ballistic missiles sited along Lake Shore Drive.  “ Those are Mike Sites, Padgeen,” the recently discharged Korean War veteran uncle replied.  “They are there to keep the Reds from killing us,”. he further explained.

Sixty-two years later, I retain a healthy fear of the Reds.  They still would like to kill us, but they have chosen to legislate and tax us to death, rather than inflict thermo-nuclear war on us all - not they might not opt for that once the dough vanishes.

Last Tuesday, as our bus load of Marquette Catholic High School students returned to Michigan City from the wonderful Holocaust Museum in Skokie, passed by Wolf Lake, I pointed to the last indication of Hammond Nike Sites along Sheffield Avenue.  One of the freshmen challenged my veracity and went to Nike Sites Hammond Google.

“Yep, Mr. Hickey nailed it!  Dudes, check it out!”

The young cynic presented a number of photos from the world wide web.

These sites were abandoned in 1972 as no longer relevant.  Communism was treated very much in the same way.  Nothing to worry about.

Once the existential threat was removed, who. needs anything else?  Just like real life, “ God, get me out of this and I will be a modern day St. Sebastian!”. Threat removed and penitent goes total libertine!

I hope that teachers remind students of these sites as historical artifacts to the times when the nuclear cloud and the very genuine threat of Communism hung heavily over all of us.

My Uncle Bart fought the Reds in Korea as a U.S.Marine.  The threat of the Reds was very clear to him and my future Aunt Betty.  Sophisticated people who see abortion as a health care laugh at their  existential fears of the 1950’s & ‘60s and vote in people to Offices 2019 who may have helped take away the Nike sites with its spectral caveat concerning mad socialism and a sound wariness over a system of economics that has a history of slaughtering millions of people.

It is interesting that it took a trip to Skokie’s Holocaust Museum to jog my memories about Nike Sites.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Sadie Hawkins Dance 2019 - I’m A Goin’! Can I say that these days?

From 1934 to 1977 ( FDR -Jimmy Carter Administration), there was a comic strip that made fun of white people who live in fly-over America. These are People elites might never have encountered - persons from Lower-Slobovia and all treated with humorous respect by the creator.  Al Capp’s artistry was so popular that a  hit musical comedy was born of its celebrity.

Li’l Abner was not a Gangstah rapper gunned down at the behest of Chief Keef.  For fact, it was a comic strip theater featured the lives of white folks from the mountain hamlet of Dogpatch.  The denizens old Dogpatch were hillbillies, or as today’s PC cranks might offer Mountain Williams.

One of these Deplorables was the unfortunate daughter of the founding family, Sadie Hawkins.   Sadie was . . .homely.  One of Life’s Unplucked Flowers, like a Sister of Mercy back in the day, Sadie Hawkins, not a Mackeral Snapper, but a Bible-belted bringer-in-of-sheaves, resorted to whining to her Paw that no man wanted to her.  Paw came up with a race requiring every eligible bachelor in Dogpatch to get a running start from his homely child and head for the tall pines.  If Sadie could catch her man, she’d keep him.

Out of this misogynistic bit of patriarchal law-laying-down, arose the Sadie Hawkins Dance.  In every high school gym in America Sadie Hawkins Dances required the girls to ask the boys out to the jig.

The boys are honor-bound to accept and have fun.

Tonight, I will chaperone a Sadie Hawkins.  In English class last week, I revealed the etymology of the name of the dance, much to the surprise and delight of one and all.

The Dance is almost sold out.

My only beef is the fact that there is no band.  Kids no longer go to dances with bands.  That is a tragedy.  There will be a DJ.

I will duke the platter-spinner a double sawbuck to ensure that the following numbers are played:

Hold me

Just Ask the Lonely

Land of 1000 Dances

Devil with the Blue Dress On

A Fin a piece is a bargain to educate young American Catholic young men and women.