Thursday, November 28, 2019

Bob Foster Is Where God Requires an Honest Heart and a Windbreaker

                            Robert W. Foster -Eternal Since 1940

Man, did you feel that wind yesterday?  I was in the parking lot of Meijer’s in Michigan City and saw a blue basket-cart sail past my car with no human hands at the helm.  It was loaded with groceries. The helmsman caught up with it a yards west of the entrance. That was some wind.

When I got home and went back to work on my up-coming final exams, I learned via Facebook messaging from Dan Stecich,  that Bob Foster, Leo Class of 1958, Purdue Boilermaker, History Teacher and Football Coach for Leo, Mount Carmel, Little Flower, and St. Rita high schools, Principal and President of Leo High School had gone home to Christ.

That was no wind.  Bob Foster was leaving.

I worked for Bob Foster. I learned that Leo High School is not made of re-bar and poured concrete, but of bone, blood, muscle and heart.  Bob Foster coordinated those vital elements from all of the men he taught, mentored, or met.    Mr. Foster taught them the fundamentals of commitment and courage and swelled the sidelines of a very winning team.

Leo High School remains a vital organ on 79th & Sangamon Streets, because of Bob Foster.

God is not making any more Bob Fosters, because He did such a damn good job on the original.

You will know Bob Foster, because you will meet Bob Sheehy, Terence Bates, Mike Joyce, Mike Holmes, Dan Stecich  Mark Lee, Gus McNamara, Denzel Tucker, Bill Holland, Amir Hunter, Mike O’Neill, Raheem Williams, Rich Finn and Lonnie Newman.  Bob Foster will be most present wherever Leo Men and good people work to help make this a better world.

The bulk of Bob Foster’s spirit whirl-winded to God’s home field, where it is sunny, dry, the grass is cut just the length to confound the opposition and all a man needs is an orange windbreaker with Leo HS stenciled in bold black on the left breast.

Bob left enough spirit in everyone else to maintain the mission here.

That was some wind.

Obituary for Robert W. Foster
Foster, Robert W.

Beloved Husband of the late Carol (nee Goss).
Loving Father of Jennifer (Dan CFD) McVicker, Michael, and Cathleen (Sean) Huenecke.
Dear Grandfather of Erik, Luke, Peter, Jessica, and Ryan.
Fond Brother of the late Thomas, Donald, Jack, and Jeanne Tighe.
Dear Uncle of many nieces and nephews.
Special appreciation to Bob’s caregiver and friend Al.

Bob retired from Leo High School in 2010 after over 40 years in numerous capacities, Teacher, Head Football Coach, Athletic Director, Principal and President.

Recipient of Leo High School Alumni Association “Man of the Year” in 2008 and Hall of Fame Inductee. Tony Lawless Award winner. 2013 Inductee to the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame and 1983 Chicago Catholic League Hall of Fame Recipient, 1999 Distinguished American Award from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame (Chicago Metro Chapter), 2006 ISCC Educator of the Year Award. 

Arrangements entrusted to Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Home 708-857-7878

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Free People, or Helots. Hoosiers are Free People, for Now.

like donkeys suffering under heavy loads,
by painful force compelled to bring their masters half
of all the produce that the soil brought forth.
(Tyrtaeus West Fragment 6, trans. West)


Helots - The helots were a subjugated population group that formed the main population of Laconia and Messenia, the territory controlled by Sparta. 
  1. a member of a class of serfs in ancient Sparta, intermediate in status between slaves and citizens.
    • a serf or slave.

I have been using this term to describe people of the middle class in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois for a number of years,   In ancient Sparta, Helots were the middle class, sandwiched between the upper class and slaves as we know the term. 

In Chicago during my life time (1952-2018) there, I watched the robust American middle/working class diminish, shrink and all but vanish from Cook County.   The upper classes and their stooges ( some journalists, activists, too many labor unions, private charities) have done everything to get people who pay taxes, work for a living and live happy lives get the Hell out of Dodge. 

A few weeks ago, one of the Oligarchy’s stooges with Chicago Sun Times  wrote a piece bewailing the departure of the black middle class from Chicago and positing the possibility of its return.   The stooges of Oligarchy have made Race the basis of everything, but the facts confound this lie.  The Black Middle Class is no different from the Polish, Swedish, Greek, Lithuanian, Bohemian, Mexican, Jewish and Italian middle class.  The only ethnic demographic of the Middle Class that does not get it is the Irish.

As a group the Irish serve the oligarchy with regularity and lick-spittle lock-step for the likes of Pat Quinn, Richie Daley, Toni Preckwinkle, Lori Lightfoot and JB Pritzker like no other.  

This is odd because the Irish were once in the forefront of creating the middle class.  My Grandfather was. a hairy pawed union slugger in the stock yards who helped form one of the most powerful and professional skilled trades unions in Illinois.  He went from coal heaver, to operating engineer, to union official always with a job in the trade.  He was a radical Big Jim Larkin off-the-boat bog-trotter in 1912, who eventually owned a huge brick bungalow for his wife and thirteen children at 7535 S. Marshfield, saw his grandson become a Norte Dame standout and Houston Oiler, but was as equally proud of that man’s younger brother who won an ITT fellowship in engineering design, because merit was a path out of the working class.  All of his 75 grandchildren became solidly middle class citizens. Those blue collar dreams came true in the early 1960’s. 

That was when John F. Kennedy became President and starred down the Communists in Berlin, Vietnam and Cuba.  Today, JFK would be excoriated as a Red-baiting, anti-abortion, Catholic deplorable. JFK would be a helot today.   Our world hates pugnacious people with moral centers.  The Fighting Irish is a logo.  Bishop Shiel is forgotten and the doughy mush Monsignor Jack Egan touted as a working class hero.  Today, a Pastor Michael Pfleger is treated with deference, if not the contempt that he works so very hard to elicit. 

The Irish tend to be generous to a fault, tribally loyal and willing to be counted.  Those same gifts allowed the Irish as a group to be co-opted by people and indeologies that detest them to the marrow.  Hyde Park buried Bridgeport between 1972 and the Progressive Hegemony that controls Illinois.  Abner Mikva and Dr. Quentin Young co-operated with City Hall and County Building and roped in the likes of Tom Hynes, Neil Hartigan and the young Daleys.  The Media, 501(c) # Fortunes and IVI-Good Government cache no longer assaulted The Machine. 

Mike Madigan understood that Ward power was over and played cent-field with Hyde Park.  The Irish fought no one and became most congenial. 

The Congenial Irish took the path of least resistance and all but erased the verbal fighting from their political, religious and moral lexicon.  The Irish got behind Neil Hartigan and went soft on abortion to the point that a mushy mope like Senator Dick Durbin walks publicly in a green sash. 

The Irish of the tail-end of the 20th Century get behind “great gals and guys” who take the coin, the endorsement and condescension of people who detest everything about being Irish. 

As such, huge voting blocks in neighborhoods in the 19th Ward have helped put shackles on the Irish and any ethnic group that marries into their flabby embrace. 

The Irish retain political influence in Cook County and Illinois because the Irish, as a group, go-along with the great enthusiasm.  

As a result, the middle class is being eliminated.  Why?  The middle class is anathema to the Oligarchy who blend Marxism with kleptomania. 

Cook County is Animal Farm.  Pigs get fat and everyone else gets slaughtered. 

Shunning, slogans, group hate and the daffy doings of the Bears and Cubbies numb middle class families  that still remain within the borders of the City and the State.  Like blacks and sharecroppers in the post-Reconstruction American South, the middle class suffer the same burdens hoisted upon their backs by Richie Daleys, Rahm Emanuel, Bruce Rauner and now the completely supine Lori Lightfoot. 

Individuals finally get a bellyful. I planned to move out of Illinois and found a home in Michigan City, Indiana.   Alas, my children will continue to live in Illinois.  

All three were born outside of Cook County, but all three love being close to cousins, aunts and uncles and grandma, as did I. 

I can visit.  They own homes.

Hoosiers have resisted the harness.  The news papers have no reliable stooges, but report on public affairs and actually have local high school sports data and stories,  One might mark the end of freedom in Illinois from the time that the sports pages became propaganda for lovable losers and the milquetoasts of the Midway,

More significantly, the newspapers are independent and a MEDIA.  There are no self-absorbed stooges like Eric Zorn, Fran Spielman, Carol Marin, Michael Sneed, Rex Hupke, or the appalling Mary Schmich.

Politically, there is not a huge block of Woke Millennial Irish to wrap Progressive initiatives like abortion in corned beef and cabbage. 

The editorial boards are not lickspittles for City Hall.  In fact, today’s. headline screams this: 

 La PORTE – Just days before the election, felony charges were filed against Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer for his actions following the arrest of his stepson earlier this month, but no judge has yet agreed to conduct a probable cause hearing.Court records show that on Wednesday – under seal – the La Porte County Prosecutor's Office charged Meer with one felony count of official misconduct; five felony counts of intimidation; and two misdemeanor counts of false informing resulting in substantial hindrance to law enforcement.
The charges were initially filed in Superior Court 4, but Judge Greta Stirling Friedman recused herself from "even finding probable cause on the basis that, among other reasons, the Judge's spouse, whose employment caused him to be included on an email chain and could potentially lead to his being a witness in this matter," according to court records.

No Bruce Dold, Chicago Tribune managing editor could spike the story.  No team of Yahoos like Mark Brown, Neil Steinberg, or Mary Mitchel could blare out distraction yarns of Racism, or Yellow Corn.

 Days before election Mayor Ron needs to gussie-up his resume.  I spoke with Michigan Citizens and some like what Mayor Meer has done for the downtown area and others said that he was jerk when they worked for him in City Government.   Everyone has a vote and it is not for barter.

I don’t have a dog in the fight and look forward to election day. 

Hoosiers are not helots - yet.