Commentary

This is all commentaries on WVPE including Friday's Michiana Chronicles Feature and occasional one-time contributors.

"Back to School"

Aug 23, 2016

   In today’s Michiana Chronicle, It’s back to school time … After 45 years, first as a student and then as a teacher, last year, Sid Shroyer quit going back. 

The stereotype of a man’s midlife crisis is a sports car or getting the earring they never had.  Ewwww.  Women tend to slide more gradually into our midlife.  I suppose I shouldn’t stereotype, so let me share my ugly slide towards middle age.  I don’t plan any plastic surgery, like ever.  The best one liner I heard was a woman who said she wouldn’t do that because she wanted her body to decompose when she died.  My midlife crisis involves fake hair and neck skin, so hang on tight.  And please take my picture from above, everyone knows that is most slimming for a selfie.  Chin out, eyes up,

Praise

Aug 5, 2016

    Praise

"Bat Man"

Jul 30, 2016

Bat man

At two am, my cell phone wakes me.  It’s my daughter.  She is calling from her bedroom.  Dad, there’s a bat in my room, she whispers.  What do I do?  I imagine her standing bravely on top of her bedspread, staring into the eyes of a mammal hanging from her ceiling fan.  She is no coward, my girl.  But the sound of beating wings and the feathery touch of passing skin would concern the bravest of us all.  She knows: somehow this incident must be contained.

“Oh for crying out loud, act your age.” I can’t remember what juvenile antic I had performed. (Selective memory is a wonderful thing! You get to pick and choose and clean up your autobiography just by blanking.) Whatever it was though, brought out this hissing directive from my mother, and unlike my action, I clearly remember her reaction.

    Big Weeds and Small Weeds

Downtown Dancing and Fireworks

It was just the two of us this time, more or less empty-nesters, with beach chairs slung over our shoulders walking toward downtown, heading for the fireworks. We can see them in miniature from our front yard, but once in a while we go see them up close, the full sound and fury. In Howard Park, people were setting out blankets and lawn chairs on the grassy slope down to the river, but we craved the maximum experience, as close as we could get.

In this summer of politics going to heck in a hand basket, I want to offer a defense — of expertise.  Who knew we’d need to say it … and yet, here we are, with sincere folks on both sides of the Atlantic spurning the experts, spurning facts, even.  One critic of the Brexit vote Tweeted: “We now live in a “post-factual democracy; when the facts met the myths, they were as useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in an H.G. Wells novel.” 

"Uncle Wally"

Jun 24, 2016

I’m at “The Cove, ” home of the South Bend White Sox, on a Saturday afternoon 26 years ago, when I happen upon the pitching of Uncle Wally.

I’m out of the sun because my seat was too hot for my bare legs

Right after the national anthem, eight people mosey down my aisle. I see a grandma and grandpa, their daughter and her husband, three kids, and a young woman. The older ones make sure the younger ones’ seat numbers match their tickets and they remain in their seats, across the aisle and two rows away from my shade, as the temperature passes 90.

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I am spoiled. Spoiled rotten and maybe a skosh lazy.  And again, pampered and spoiled.  Our front door is to blame for this revelation.  We live in a lovely little bungalow from 1920 and all of the things do not work all of the time.  This front door of ours actually still has the original doorknob and skeleton key slot.  It is quite the physical challenge to close it, involving several slammings and a hopping leg dance to get the key to slide the deadbolt.

"Temples and Shrines"

Jun 10, 2016

    Temples and Shrines

This call may be recorded

For the record, I like foreigners.  But it’s been forty-five minutes now.  I certainly hope they are recording this call for training purposes.  But more likely the HR department is just saving it to replay later over drinks. 

A TOILET ARTICLE

“Bad decisions make good stories.” Not so long ago, my son, Joseph, said that to me. I’m sure that he mentioned it regarding some personal incident, but it turns out that it can work for public policy too. Thus, I’m going to muscle my way onto turf that usually is held by my co-Michiana Chronicler, April Lidinsky: Women’s Issues—except this topic really is an Everybody Issue. My apologies for the encroachment, April.

Freedom Summer

May 20, 2016

FREEDOM SUMMER

According to some crazy expert at the London Philharmonic, the graduation march, otherwise known as Pomp and Circumstance, is one of the fifty greatest pieces of classical music. Seems to me it’s one of humanity’s fifty greatest sleep-aids. But you be the judge: (Music.) Please, turn that thing off! Thank you. See what I mean? Graduation is supposed to be a happy occasion. People have accomplished something, we’re trying to have a celebration here. Come on!

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