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Whew! I have to write a $300 column. I have never written a $300 column. Once I wrote a $295 column, so I know I have been close.

The winning bid on a column space that my editor and publisher graciously allowed to be auctioned off at the Red Cross Gala was $300. That was a tense moment for me. I was afraid I would have to bid on my own column. That would have been embarrassing in multiple ways. First, the obvious humiliation would have been bidding for my own item. Second, I could have only afforded about $20 tops. The opening bid came slowly, but the fervor did pick up a bit.

The Gala was, for me, surprisingly a good time. I usually don’t go to anything that requires a dress code more restrictive than a polo shirt and my new tennis shoes. You know what they say, you can take the boy out of Oak Park, but you can’t take Oak Park out of the boy.

However, I donned my one remaining dress jacket (luckily for me it was warm as I no longer own a winter dress jacket). I donated all of my old suits to Goodwill when I left the corporate world. Even there for the last few years I was on casual office dress code.

The evening was very enjoyable. I sat with Bill Hanson, my new publisher. I had only sat with him and talked once before Gala night and thoroughly enjoyed that initial meeting. He was equally as enjoyable as a dinner guest. His wife was gracious and charming.

The other table guests all got along well. We were newspaper people, so I suspect it might have been one of the poorer tables in the room. I am certain my W 2 brought the table average way below the room’s norm. I suspect there was enough wealth in the big room at Kye’s that evening to finance a small country’s economy.

It was one of the see and be seen nights. It is kind of easy to get a bit star struck. I hid that well as I worked the room acting as though I belonged. The best thing was that I only felt snubbed by one person whom I won’t identify. I found out later this person no longer answers to their name unless it is preceded by a title. Oops. As I said earlier, you can take the boy out of Oak Park . . . Pretentiousness is not a pretty personal trait.

The unabashed star and scene stealer of the night was one of our local treasures, Bill Scott. I am referring to “Big Bill” who is actually about half the size of “Little Bill,” his son both of Scott Funeral Home notoriety. Bill delivered a dead pan comedy routine that had the place in an uproar while talking about his friend and Bales Humanitarian nominee John Woerhle. Big Bill is one of the great guys with his lone lesser than admirable trait being that he is a Purdue fan. Like I told him before, Purdue has just about everything that IU has, and in fact, one advantage over their rival. If you sit in the cheap seats at Mackey Arena your vision isn’t blocked by all of those darned old NCAA Championship banners blocking your view of the game.

My Charlestown buddy, Harold Goodlett, Sr. honored my new friends William and Rebecca Resch. After seeing you and Jo side by side and her all dolled up, I still don’t get it. My favorite part of his speech was when he gratuitously mentioned a certain Charlestown Band Booster president. That was good stuff. And all those words about what good people The Reschs are, that was okay too.

Chair Mary Kragin Kramer, Kate Merchant, Kye and Phyllis Wilikins put on a very successful event. Now all that’s left for me to wrap up is to write a $300 column when my high bidder is ready. I thought I would practice on this one. I would give it about a $150 value on the open market. I didn’t want to waste a really good one before I had to deliver.


To the people who contacted me with questions, I am in the process of securing a site. Stay tuned and thanks for all of the nice comments.


Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall had a birthday earlier this week. In his honor I will relay a story I once heard.

It seems a centenarian was being interviewed by a young cub reporter. When asked the secret to his longevity, the senior responded, “Son, my lips have never tasted the evil liquor. The devil’s tobacco has never been in my mouth and I have never found myself in the company of lewd and lascivious women. And today I am celebrating my 100th birthday.”

The young reporter’s follow up question was simply, “How?”

Happy Birthday Mayor!

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polo factory A gala good time