To Get My Fair Share of Abuse
By Fred Owens
I have a story to tell about how I went to a wedding in Chicago in 1968, just a week before the infamous Democratic Convention and Police Riot.
It was the wedding of Mary B Mueller and Peter Ahr -- two classmates of mine at St. Michael's College. What made that day special to me was the arrival of Mayor Richard Daley as an honored guest because Daley was the cousin of Mary B's mother.
His black limousine was parked right outside the church. He greeted one and all, being careful not to stay too long and upstage the bridal couple. I enjoyed a brief conversation with the Mayor, and then off he went, speeding in his motorcade.
That's the kind of mayor he was -- going to weddings and funerals, and giving that hands-on neighborhood family feeling.
I was disarmed by his warmth. I decided not to go to the demonstrations at the Democratic convention the following week. I knew the Yippies were going to challenge the cops and pick a fight. I thought picking a fight with the Chicago cops was about the dumbest thing you could do. There were better ways to protest the war beside getting your head smacked with a club.
Anyway, I stayed home and watched the cops club the Yippies on TV. Well, they were looking for a fight and they got one.
My brother Tom went downtown for the demonstrations and he said that the cops might have distinguished between the peaceful demonstrators and the ones causing violence. He said the cops just waded into the crowd with clubs and they didn't need to do that. My answer to him -- and we still disagree fifty years later -- is that if you're standing next to the guy who is calling the cop a pig, then maybe you should go someplace else.
I remembered how the Chicago cops protected Martin Luther King and the civil rights marchers in 1966. I was in those marches and the cops protected us from a violent racist mob. The civil rights marchers behaved lawfully and the cops protected them. That was the way to do it. I had no quarrel with those policemen.
I did not go to the demonstration in Chicago in 1968. The following year I did not go to Woodstock -- too many people.
Last Week of Summer
The weather on the West Coast has been too interesting. Fire and Flood. Flood and Fire. Hot days and sultry nights. It has been cooler this past week so we are relieved in Santa Barbara. But September looms and that month can be hottest of all....
Such a dreadful vision of climate catastrophe, but we are resourceful and determined people and we will get thorough this.
John McCain dies.
I voted for Barack Obama in 2008, but I always thought John McCain was a decent fellow and might have served as President.
From the Department of Getting Right to the Point
Mabel Rye, age 97, lives across the street from us. I often take her grocery shopping. Yesterday I picked her up. As I helped her into the car we had this conversation.
Good morning, Mabel.
"Good morning, Fred"
How are you feeling today?
What's that like?
"It's kind of hard to describe."
Well, I guess I'll find out.
take care and happy last week of summer,