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Newspapers are filled with stories about what the Calumet Region will do with its rich land. The next invasion should be the elbowing into the region of lusty information age companies.
With all of the news about football bowl games in the air, we can be reminded of the fact that the Calumet Region stocked many of the teams that created the history of the bowl system.
Christmas shopping ain’t what it used to be.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This tale was first told in this space in December, 1981, and has been retold every year since.
This past week has given us the coldest temperatures of the winter. It should take a few weeks for the effects to pass, but once passed, it may be that winter has been blunted for the year.
We all know that what something appears to be depends upon the angle at which it is observed. That is, an object can look different from the left side or the right side or the top side or the bottom side, and so forth.
Some young adults seem to have difficulty getting their days started. One effect has people kicking and lurching their way out of bed.
As sports become more sophisticated, they employ increasingly more gadgets. Sometimes the gadgets are prosaic.
Let’s have a show of hands. What is your favorite holiday of the year? How about Halloween? That’s what I thought.
I have never quite figured out why Halloween has been my favorite holiday. I think it has to do with the fact that all the spooky stuff in life is concentrated into one day and that has led to our natural response to place “funny stuff” at the base of the holiday.
About this time every year, we would brace ourselves for a feed for having been the best baseball team in the Kiwanis League. That usually meant either a dinner or luncheon at the First Baptist Church of Indiana Harbor, which had the best kitchen in town.
Among the most pleasant experiences I can recall in the Calumet Region are those associated with basketball tournaments.
We had a variety of diversions in my hometown of Indiana Harbor. The most obvious was our zoo.
I try mightily to keep this column from being a necrology, since many of the departing people I know best have names that, at one time or another, were spelled in bright lights.
One of the practices common in the 1930s was the dumping of abandoned vehicles in empty lots. Naturally, this represented an invitation to youngsters who used those lots for recreation to gravitate toward the vehicles.
Holes. Much of the Calumet Region’s history can be found in holes. Such daubs of history, however, would be evanescent. Much of it would be whimsical.
Eventually, young people get around to being interested in their parents. The interest takes several forms. One of the most unique, for me, came from one of my daughters.
One day I dropped in on Richard Nixon's attorney, Len Garment, in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Seeing a football in the backyard, I reached over, picked it up, and heaved it at a crowd of people.
As most of you know, I was director of information for the Nixon for President campaign nationally. That fact is strange on many levels, the most basic of which is that I am a conservative and consider anyone from the West Coast an alien. If I had my way, California would be returned to Mexi…
There are a number of words that dance around our collective lexicons that are unique to the Calumet Region, or close to unique. One of these is Monon.
It’s strange how a single event, however small, can change your entire life.
You all know people who grew up in Indiana Harbor, perhaps a next door neighbor, perhaps a sidekick at work, perhaps a fellow churchgoer. And you would know that person in a totally strange atmosphere. I’ve heard people say that if they ran into a regionite abroad, they would know their root…
There are a number of characteristics to the pattern of settlement in the Calumet Region, one of which is the importance of certain ethnic customs and another is the custom of women.
Most of the early communities of the Calumet Region derived from commonalities of interest. The most apparent of these was nationality.
Before the Great Depression, there was little talk in the Calumet Region about high school graduates going on to college. That changed when outstanding athletes began breaking through and were followed by others from the high same school.
This is the time of year that once was owned in large part by junior high school boys. That is, boys big enough to play men’s games, but not so big as to destroy the person they were playing against.
Have you ever noticed that when there is a slow news day, the media takes a painful bite out of East Chicago? That’s in large part because East Chicago is so open to criticism.
In the recent listing of rodeo information relative to the Elizabeth Stampede, one of the three officials named was Mark Longoria. If I’m not mistaken, this is the same Mark Longoria who graduated from the late lamented East Chicago Washington High School in 1979.
Howard Duncan had a photographic memory for numbers that he put to good use for personal gain as the assistant treasurer at NIPSCO in the 1920's and 30's. After confessing to the company president that he had embezzled $132,000, he offered to help NIPSCO auditors unravel his scheme in exchan…
Howard Duncan had a photographic memory for numbers that he put to good use. He had been with NIPSCO and its predecessor companies since 1908, starting at the bottom and working his way up until 1924, when he became assistant treasurer, a position he would hold for nine years.
Think back over the past half century and identify the stars of electronic media. You’ll find that it’s surprisingly difficult to do.
The present flu epidemic is about to surround us, but let us hope that it is nothing like the 1918-19 version, which killed more people than WWI, somewhere between 20 and 40 million worldwide.
As someone once said, or should have, there is aristocracy in all classes. Most schools prior to World War II had a “Four Hundred.”
Back in the Big Band era of the 1930s and 40s, most of us had favorites, much like having a favorite baseball team. Mine happened to be Les Brown.
The mass murders that occurred in a small Connecticut town this month could, I think, have occurred anywhere. That kid of tragedy almost happened here nearly a century ago, as I described in my book “Reejin Archetypes:”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This tale was first told in this space in December, 1981.
The headlines of the past week or so have caused me to reflect on my past and conclude that a good deal of my adult life has been spent in matters medical. I had basic training in Washington state and, after finishing, was transferred to, of all places, an installation on Lake Shore Drive in…
Women’s liberation! It’s wonderful, that is, if you happen to be married to a beautiful and brainy Southern belle with a college education, a highly successful career as an executive, and an annual income that would choke an ATM.
The Calumet Region reached its apogee in 1929, just before The Crash.
Not long ago, someone raised the question within our conversation group, “How often did you eat out when you were in high school?”
I was always very good at touch football, and even tackle football in the park, but when it came to playing varsity football, a player had to weigh 130 pounds and have other assets. I didn’t even weigh 120 pounds.
When I was a lad just itching to get into high school, one of the favorite classroom games we played had to do with what I will call “follow the band.”
One of the growing social issues of our time is the one-parent family. That usually means that a mother is the only parent. Just who manages such a family is, I guess we could say, the luck of the draw.
A person only had to stand around the Calumet Region and soak it up to become an expert on one thing or another.
After downstaters got over their apprehension about “Duh Reejin,” they discovered that the Calumet Region produced the most attractive girls in all of Indiana.
If you were a football coach at a Calumet Region high school during the 1940s and you came across a player who outweighed everyone in sight, your cup runneth over.
One of the strongest-running local news story has to do with the bridge over the Indiana Harbor ship canal. Despite all these stories, I’m not sure that any of us are any the wiser about why the bridge failed. However, I’m inclined to think it has something to do with our obsession with bridges.
For as long as I can remember, people who should know have been telling me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I never had reason to doubt it.
What with the national conventions of both political parties running end to end, there has been an unusual number of news articles on what various politicos have contributed to their communities.
Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems to me that marriage in this country has made a strong comeback.
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