Showing posts sorted by relevance for query bubs. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query bubs. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tales of the South Side: Bubs Murtaugh Goes to Mission

Bubs Murtaugh had issues, as do we all, I know. Murtaugh's issues were legion. Bubs came from what was known back in the day as Scottsdale Area, after the Shopping Center with the Goldblatt's at 79th between Pulaski and Cicero.

As my legion of reader will recall, Bubs Murtaugh lived near Durkin Park in St. Bede the Venerable Parish, played football for Tom Cavanagh at St. Laurence High School in Burbank, got a full ride for football to St. Procopius College ( now Illinois Benedictine University) in Lisle, IL, guzzled Schlitz Tall Boys and reefer-ed his way out of that, got a job with Streets and San and lived with his Mom and Dad. N.B. - click my post title for more earnest and poignant yarns of this sort.

Bubs Mutaugh survived his parents and a savage lust affair with a babe - a busty graduate of Emeryk Zajack's Bartender Academy on Archer in Garfield Ridge and who worked intermittently at the Swap-a-Rama in Alsip. He had title to raised ranch of his parents in St. Bede's and kept up with the growing property taxes and the devaluation of the home and property. He was laid off his work on the trucks by the City and pensioned up. He had nothing but time and some cash to kill.

Taxes were not anywhere near the Centurion's in Murtaugh's Problematic Legion. His boozing and frequent brawls earned him a universal invitation to take his business to establishments east of Cicero, and then Pulaski, and nowhere between 111th & 63rd Streets. Bubs Murtaugh's welcome was as worn as the foreskin on an uncircumcised dry-humper locked in a porn shop. He was losing his teeth due to poor dental hygiene and pops in the choppers and was now at age 59 a poster child for dental implants.

When he and his paramour parted company for keeps, Bubs took stock. He still liked his cocktails, but he wanted a change in his life, but, like St. Augustine, not quite yet.

Bubs Murtaugh went on a toot in Blue Island, Il that became the stuff of legend. Bubs boozed , befriended, borrowed from, betrayed, beat up, and was beat down, by nearly every carbon footprint on New Western Ave. and Old Western Ave. between 119th Street to the north to across the tracks on Western to the trailer park on the other side of Our Lady of Sorrows.

When not closing or awaiting the opening of a joint, Bubs Murtaugh caught a few dreamless winks in bars at closing time, or on the CTA. It was an Odyssey fueled and sailed upon the amber waters provided by the good folks of the Miller Brewing Company.

One night,incidit in scyllam cupiens vitare charybdim*, or between Vincennces and Vermont Street, the sea-monsters and whirlpool of pilsner got the best of the booze blind Bubs. His sense of awareness returned in the lock up of the Blue Island police station at 13031 Greenwood Avenue. He was taken to Markham Courthouse and charged with robbery.

Bubs was in a genuine jackpot. Blacked out he had robbed a young couple of $ 45 and a take-out meal from Restaurante Tenochtitlan (Desayuno Tenochtitlan... $9.50: Steak topped with 2 eggs and a Choice of Salsa(red,green or chipotle),Served with Rice,de la Olla Beans,One Grilled Jalapeno Pepper and Tortillas)and was transported to Cook County Jail.

His cousin from his Mom's side received the plaintive phone-coded message and bonded Bubs out three days later. His court date was thirty-days in his immediate future.

The man dried out. He paced his basement, watched his Boxed Set DVD Collector's edition of the great Matt Helm Series because the cable was shut off, slept fitfully and prayed. On floor of his living room under the front door's mail slot were piles of bills, ComEd and People's Gas red cards notifying him of impending utilities terminations and gorgeously painted presented cardboard notice of a mission given by a Capuchin who had the power of healing. Father Payton Hester ,O.F.M. Cap., at St. Bede's. Bubs could stand a miracle. Bubs stepped in and was prepared to step-up!

Th young and muscular Capuchin said, "Anyone with 'special needs" who wants to be prayed over, please come forward to the front by the altar."

With that, Bubs got in line, and when it was his turn, the smiling scion of Fra Matteo Bassi 1495-1552 - founder of the Capuchins wlecomed Bubs. The smiling Preacher asked, "My son, what do you want me to pray to Our Lord and the Virgin Mary about for you?"

Bubs replied, "Father, I need you to pray for help with my hearing."

The brown cowled friar put one finger of one hand in Bubs's ear, placed his other hand on top of Murtaugh's head, and then prayed and prayed and prayed. He prayed a "blue streak" for Bubs Murtaugh, and the packed pews of St. Bede's joined in with great enthusiasm.

After a few minutes of enchanting and uplifting quiet, Father Payton Hester, OFM, Cap. removed his hands, stood back and loudly and angelically asked, " Bub's Murtaugh, how is your hearing now?"

Bubs answered, " I don't know. It ain't 'til next Thursday."

Ita fit verum et fertur

Hat tip to Max Weismann of the Center for Great Ideas

*Scylla and Charybdis
Ulysses had been warned by Circe of the two monsters Scylla and Charybdis. Also can be meant as 'between a rock and hard-ass.'

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Tales of the South Side: Bub's Murtaugh's Silk Blue Jamies

Bub's Murtaugh loved sea-food. Lent was a year round feast for Bubs. He ate pickled herring on toast made from good sweet Lithuanian bread for breakfast; fried clams and oysters for lunch in the cab of his Graffiti Busters truck; a snack of perch and slaw after work; and Bubs polished off a whole broiled monkfish with lemon butter in his Mom and Dad's home near Durkin Park in St. Bede's parish.

Last year, Bubs' Dad laid down next to his wife and mother of Bub's in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery on 111th Street in Worth Township. Bubs began seeing a lady. Bubs never had a wonderful sense of sight, but Cupid's arrow struck deeply in some muscle of Murtaugh's anatomy.

Against the canons of morality of Holy Mother Church, Bubs invited the woman to move in with him. The woman in question was of dubious virtue and Bubs had but little himself. She was a drop-out of Emeryk Zajack's Bartender Academy on Archer in Garfield Ridge and worked at the Swap-a-Rama in Alsip, where she met Bubs when he was buying Cook County Campaign Buttons for his collection.

After a few months, the . . . woman with whom Bubs shared his abode became as wearisome as the endless loop of NCIS and Law and Order(Sam Waterson only) reruns on cable. Bubs began stopping 'for a short one' longer and at less familiar venues. Bubs' roomy suspected that her relationship with Mr. Mutaugh might go the way of Emeryck Zajack's Academy for her. Perhaps, Bubs was trading up. Most disconcerting and morally reprehensible, but customary in the no-man's-land of unsanctified concupiscence.

One evening Bubs called home to his paramour and says, "Honey, I have been asked to fly to Canada with my supervisor and several of Toni Preckwinkle's cousins for fishing. We'll be gone for a long weekend.

This is a good opportunity for me to get that promotion I've been wanting so could you please pack enough clothes for a 3 day weekend. Also, would you get out my rod and tackle box from the attic?"

Made sense, Bubs loved his fish and walleye and Northern were always nice.

Bubs asked in the sweetest of tones, "We're leaving at 4:30 PM from the County Yard on Doty and I will swing by the house to pick my things up.. 'Oh! And please pack my new navy blue silk pajamas. Hey, you get to free-range cable all you want and I stocked up on Happy Cossack from Kenwood."

Though enchanted by days of Shopping Networks and Vodka Rickies, the Zajack Bartender Academy Aspirant Emerita thinks this sounds a bit odd, but, being the good "friend," shall we say, she does exactly what the homeowner asked.

Following the long Canadian Idylle Bubs came home a little tired, but, otherwise, looking good. The sore thumbed and vodka marinated Mistress welcomes Bubs home and asks if he caught many fish?

The Cook County Would Be Pensioner says, "Yes! Lots of Walleyes, some Bass, and a few Pike." He said, "But why didn't you pack my new blue silk pajamas like I asked you to do?"

The now home-secure Zajack Academy Washout replies, "I did, they're in your tackle box".

This south side saga originated with Max Weismann of the Center for the Study of Great Ideas

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tales of the South Side - Bubs Murtaugh's Shrimp Snack

"Hey, Hickey! What's going on there, son? I hear you been hitting the 8:30 Masses with the roll-outs from Wrong's Tap*. Last time I was in that bucket o' blood was after Janey graduated from Queen of Peace. I was in there with three guys from the Assessor's Office and was still handcuffed to Mr. Booze. Twenty years. I miss it not. Saw your cousin Willie at that benefit for the Madden kid that got hit on his bike over by Monroe Park. Tommy, the fourth grader at St. John Fisher - he's Okay but he has to wear that Halo Gizmo for his neck. Willie's boy is in Paraguay with the Peace Corps, I hear . . ."

Mass on Sunday, coffee salons at Kean Gas Station on 111th, grocery stops at County Fair on Western Ave, Kennedy Park softball, and Mount Greenwood Hardware trips invariably get sauced by piquant tales that eventually and satisfyingly meander to a point. Yesterday, at 10:30 Mass on the Feast of the Ascension provided this yarn from a former Cook County insider, Vietnam War hero, member of AA, and practitioner of the dying art of south side giggle weaving. Allow me to pick up the thread. I merely punctuated the yarn with nods of assent or stutters of laughter; therefore, this should be taken as a soliloquy.

". . . Big Boy. Hell, of a football player and I can not understand why he did not get a ride somewhere, but his brain works OK, I guess. I'll bet the CIA or NSA is grooming the kid to be spook. True. That's why all the spooks doing the spy stuff seem to come from the Peace Corps. Didn't know the kid had Spanish. Like I was saying, the last time I was in Wrong's Tap was twenty-five, or thirty years ago. Remember Bubs Murtaugh? Murtaugh with U. He was a few years older than me, when you and Willie and Terry played Irish tunes in Sons of Reilly's Daughter at Boz's joint? Bubs went to St. Lawrence and played with Neusback. He was from St. Dennis Parish and lived near the tracks on 83rd and the Southwest Highway.

Bubs got full ride to St. Procopius, well it was St. Procopius and it's now Benedictine out in Lisle. He was an animal; started boozing in 5th Grade and sniffing Bell's Cleaning Fluid. His Old Man threatened to send him back to the Old Country and work the farm and shit. Bub's finally got tossed in his senior year at Proco and his Dad got him on Streets and San. Old Man Murtaugh was a Raw Jaw from Mayo, who had some drag with Jackie Daley and Kellam when he was alderman in the 18th.

Bubs was a good earner for the Ward and got a job after a few years in Finley's Office, just when all that money grabbing crap hit the papers. Bubs had only been on the job for year or so and G had eyes on him and three others and it looked like he might get tagged and have to sit for a few semesters up in Club Fed, Wisconsin. We went out to forget his troubles and Bubs marinated his brain, along with the rest of us Mike Quinlan, Traffic Cosgrove, Bubs and me.

We're at Wrongs after closing Touch of Green and Chez Joey and I got polio of the brain from the pitchers and the Happy Cossack shooters, so Mike Quinlan takes me home . . .I think. Quinlan could have taken me back to my old house in Visitation and I would of woke up to breakfast with the Washington family, but he was not yet the mean bastard that he is today. Quinlan goes back to Wrong's, after slowing down to thirty and dumping me on the lawn and Bubs is blubbering to Traffic and Q-Dog, like a fat girl not going to prom.

'I ain't took a dime! I woulda. . . but them tight, fixed bastards that is . . . never gave me chance a the gelt and, now, my Old Man is pissed at me for killing a good job and I told him I DIDN'T DO NOTHING!' And on and on, I guess, . . .like I said, I'm at home sleeping in my clothes on the basement couch and awaiting the for-sure execution from Marnie, when she sees the cut of me in the morning.

Now, Bubs has been named on TV by Ron Magers and his name was even mentioned in Royko and he's a public figure now. He's an innocent, drunk lard-assed public figure. A giant sized Victim and Patsy all set for the shafting to come.

So Bubs, a practiced Drunk Driver, who has taken out more than several sections from the fence that eats cars on 111th over by Mount Olivet, gets in his Pontiac and listens to the little wizard in the brain control tower telling him it's a great idea to go buy a dozen shrimp and off he goes to the Calumet Shrimp Shack on 95th & Chicago Ave**. by the bridge on the Harbor.

The Angel F#$%ing Gabriel takes the wheel for Bubs and drives the Ponty over east without killing anyone.

Bubs and the Guardian angel drive the shrimp back, somehow, back to the neighborhood to dine je suis ivre behind the steering wheel and Bubs shoves the greasy catfish bait loaded with coctail sauce into his hole and tosses the sauce heaped tails!

Now, Bubs has gallons of Old Syle, about a pint of vodka shooters and a good pound and change of sauce-soaked shrimps packed into him and he goes 'night-night' with his giant buffalo head on the driver's side window.


There's about ten neighbors and his Old Man yanking Bubs out of the drivers seat.

It's Daylight and Mrs. Higgins was walking her dog Chappie over to the tracks on Southwest Highway for his morning constitutional and sees Bubs' Giant Head covered in red! With Red smeared all over the driver's window, because Bubs never opened the window while tossing his shrimp tails! There's cocktail sauce all over the window and bits of shrimp! They thought Bubs pulled the Dutch Act because of the spotlight on him!'

Never, was charged. His Old Man beat the living shit out him for the scare he tossed into him, and he had a hangover that would kill a Polish girl. Bubs retired two years ago and still lives in his folks' house over in St. Bede's near Durkin Park.

Yeah, I stay out of Wrongs Tap. How's your kids, Hickey?'

* Click my post title for Wrong's Tap


Sunday, December 04, 2016

America's Obama Mission Drift and All That Jazz

Hollywood *created our President through American Mission drift.

I spent twenty-five years of my forty year career in Catholic education as a fund-raiser - Director of Development is usual term, or more the MBA school of B.S. nomenclature Director of Institutional Advancement.  Either term means 'the person who makes calls on people to make donations.'

Calls mean pitches to potential donors that involve matching Mission to Operations.

You state -"Here is what we stand for" and through a series of infinitives:
  • To expand its ability
  • To provide a quality Catholic education
  • To instill the virtues of 
  • To prepare students

attempt to match mission to peration . . . and all that jazz.  This is followed by a representation of programs and activities, budget, financials and needs assessment and the ask.  The ask is usually in keeping with the need, but it was my happy experience that the give often exceeded the ask.

The Mission; the Operation/Needs and the Ask - that is the job - it ain't brain surgery.  Tell that to an Institutional Advancement Suit.  I lived by the dictum of the late Father Ken Yarno, C.S.V. - " Be Brief and Be Gone!"  Donors don't want pals, or neat guys for lunch dates.  They want to help a school, a program, or a cause with a minimum of BS.

It was my experience that 80 % of the money came from  20% of our donors.   That is a very healthy match of mission to operation.

One of my tasks was to make sure that the 20% included new donors and gift grants from foundations.

I found that in my last years, foundations drifted from their stated missions.  Likewise, big individual donors wanted to make more impact on the broader society.  Foundations that had been family faith spirited became more social justice locked-up and giving templates became 'systemic' gives to hot-button causes like immigration reform, public education reform, public health reform, law reform and out-reach programs.

Foundations were driven by big donors and big causes by big agendas.

Today in 2016, Americans gave over 300 Billion dollars to charity.  However, the donations are being driven by fewer people.  It is now something like a 90/10.

One of the most useful works for fund-raisers in Catholic education was Peter Greer's 2014 Mission Drift:The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities and Churches. Greer argues that,  faith-based organizations drift from their found missions "Slowly, silently, and with little fanfare, organizations routinely drift from their purpose, and many never return to their original intent. Harvard and the YMCA are among those that no longer embrace the Christian principles on which they were founded. But they didn't drift off course overnight. Drift often happens in small and subtle ways. Left unchecked, it eventually becomes significant. "

Let's say, one day that Bubs Murtaugh, a wildly wealthy alumnus of St. Regular Guy's Catholic Prep, is harpied by his third trophy wife to get more Catholic kids educated to the benefits of Planned Parenthood, the Revolutionary Communist Party USA and NAMBLA.  To that end, Bubs writes check in the amount of $ 6,095, 285, 000,000 to St. Regular Guy.  That would be some Board to tear up that check.

No one would give that much?

Could happen.  I had a guy write a $500,000 check without an ask.

My guy said put it to good use - scholarships.  A crowd of Alums owe their sheepskins to this guy, but he is no Bubs Murtaugh.   

I know schools that have 'go be along with the Big Bangers,' some to a great end and others not so much.  Mission drift.

America, like world of philanthropy, had undergone a massive mission drift at the very same time.  Money drives political parties and political parties drive people who are not paying attention.

Catholics who find abortion to be a necessary 'distraction' from the really wonderful things that Planned Parenthood does for women's health did not arrive at that goofy premise over-night.  Slowly, in 'in small subtle ways'  crazy notions that roll over eternal truths become the intellectual currency of people who do not pay attention.

Dick Durbin did not happen over night.  He needed time and a lack of attention.

My Democratic Party, the one that beat fascism, fought back Communism, created the American Middle Class and our once great standard of living suffered mission drift from 1972 DNC in Miami to the present. 

Gradually, an entire nation that honored valor, worth, integrity, competence and fierce of love of country found Barack Obama to be its Chief Executive.  Hollywood, GM, GE, Goldman Sachs, Sierra Club, George Soros, Henry Van Amerigen, Fred Eychaner, SEIU, ALF-CIO were driving the mission of the Democratic Party which had shed Hubert Humphrey, Scoop Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan for the likes of Anthony Weiner, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nancy Pelosi as its face and voice.

Why not an untested bi-racial back bencher as Chief Executive?  People no longer pay attention.

Occupy Wall Street and blew up more of America than Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dorhn and Weathermen ever dreamed of bombing.  God bless them, as Speaker Pelosi cooed.

Mission drift happened.  It happened in philanthropy and it happened in government.

November 8th was a push back at mission drift. And all that jazz - America Great Again, Mad Dog Mathis, Carrier.

Hey, that's super.  However foundations are rooted in their agendas - looking downstream, Polk Brothers, Woods Fund MacArthur Foundation, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford, Hearst and  all the rest are still driven to the rive gauche.

Let's see if people will pay attention. 

 * with very few execptions.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Calumet Fisheries: James Beard Award Winner and Pride of the South Side!

"The Joint Near the Bridge - over by 95th!" are the directions to a wonderful family owned fried fish operation that has delighted and nourished Helots from all over the south side and northwest Indiana. Calumet Fisheries is a Chicago icon - forget Carol Marin, get boat of smelts!

This terrific fast fish carry-out joint was the back-drop to one of my fictionalized tales of the south side " " Bubs Murtaugh's Shrimp Snack" - enjoyed by tens of people.

Calumet Fisheries own the prestigious James Beard Award for local restaurants.

Here is Chicago Sun times Mary Houlihan's stirring report!

Fans know that the carry-out only Calumet, owned since 1948 by the Kotlick and Toll families, serves some of the best seafood in Chicago. Among its best-sellers are salmon and shrimp, smoked in its natural wood smokehouse behind the store.

"We serve good, solid food that the working guy likes to eat," Kotlick said. "People always come back."

Located at 3259 E. 95th on the west bank of the Calumet River, Calumet has gotten notice before. Anthony Bourdain stopped by in 2008 when he was filming the Chicago segment of his Travel Channel show "No Reservations." That notoriety brought in new business from the North Side, Kotlick said.

"We're hoping this award will bring in more customers who haven't tried us before," Kotlick said.

Kotlick says he plans to attend the May 2 awards event. He hopes there's a red carpet to walk.

"We'll be playing with the big boys that night," Kotlick said, laughing. "If I could sit with a Rick Bayless or a Rachael Ray, well that would be a fun, interesting evening."
Chicago Sun Times,CST-NWS-beard08.article