Those Damn Lipton QUESTIONS

Gotta get rady for Mary and Rick’s weding at 10 this morning. Lydia was uncharacteristically awake in the middle of the night for a while. And, what the heck; after all, he turned 80 this month. Share, if you will.

James Lipton’s Ten Questions
Since I’m unlikely to appear on the show, here are the ten questions (compiled by Bernard Pivot) that James Lipton asks every guest on Inside the Actors Studio, along with my own responses.

1. What is your favorite word?
“Rendezvous.” I’m fond of words of French or Italian origin.

2. What is your least favorite word?
“Blitzkrieg”

3. What turns you on?
Curiosity.

4. What turns you off?
Hard-headed stupidity.

5. What is your favorite curse word?
It starts with an a, it has seven letters, we all have one, and my friend Karen says
it with such passion that it’s almost music.

6. What sound or noise do you love?
Actually, I like white noise- fans, certain vacuum cleaners, even. I’m thinking noise vs. music.

7. What sound or noise do you hate?
A jackhammer.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
It took me so long to figure THIS one out. I suppose law.

9. What profession would you not like to attempt?
Oh, so many. Medicine – don’t want to kill anyone.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“So you finally figured it out, eh?”

Hamlet, the Musical

I’ve been puzzling mightily over two musical choices. The first involves the tracks for Gordon’s mixed CD thing. When he announced it, I knew immediately the theme would be murder – it was near 9/11 at the time – but in what form?

My first thought was to show the range of murder from comedy to tragedy, but there simply wasn’t enough comedy: Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Beatles), The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Gun (Julie Brown), Lizzie Borden (some folk duo). Then I thought to do that murder ballad thing I had thought of years ago, with Delia’s Gone (Johnny Cash), Pretty Polly (Judy Collins), any number of songs from Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads CD, and others. But then I got my disc from Lefty, which contained two of my choices: Down By the River (Neil Young), and Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix). OK, scratch that.

I’m now working on a new concept, but Gordon himself stole Somebody Got Murdered from me. What to do, what to do? Anyway, I THINK my burning issue is solved, but the discs probably won’t go out until the end of next week. Those not involved in the exchange can still get whatever homicidal package I put together.

The other musical topic is the fact that someone (to whom I owe a picture of myself, but I haven’t had a chance for my wife to take it; I haven’t forgotten) gave me a $25 iTunes card. While I know I could use it on a number of things, I’ve decided that I want to get songs of artists that are one- or two-hit wonders, for whom I don’t need their whole album. So far, I’ve selected:
But It’s All Right (J.J. Jackson), not, as I understand, the late original MTV VJ, but one of the few black artists on Warner/Reprise in the 1960s, along with Bill Cosby.
I Fought the Law (Bobby Fuller Four) in Gordon’s honor.
Expressway to Your Heart (Soul Survivors), with that insistent bass line. Maybe my sister owned the single.
And because I suppose every music-loving boomer is supposed to have it:
Incense and Peppermints (Strawberry Alarm Clock)

But what else? Here are some examples:
I Can Help (Billy Swan) – possibly the least well-known #1 of the era (1972), at least until ServiceStar used it in a commercial.
Why Can’t We Live Together (Timmy Thomas) – so of its period, and yet still relevant.
The Ballad of the Green Berets (S/Sgt. Barry Sadler) – not that I’d actually buy it.

As I pondered this aloud at work, my boss said, “Why don’t you ask the people reading your blog?” What a swell idea! What singles, or for that matter, tracks of albums where the album’s not all that hot, but has one killer cut (“killer cut”? – back to the murder theme?), do you think I should own? I have the Nuggets CD, so I have Wild Thing by the Troggs, e.g.

And while I’m thinking about it: iTunes does NOT have the 12″ (about six-minute)version of Paul Simon’s Boy in the Bubble. Nor does it appear on Simon’s box set, much to my annoyance. Anybody out there know where I can find it in a digital form? (I borrowed my friend Rocco’s vinyl, and put it on a cassette tape about 20 years ago.)
***
I mentioned Mario Puzo yesterday, and while looking for something completely different, came across this piece about Superman.

Roger Answers Your Question, Scott & Gordon

First up, Nigel’s proud father, Scott:

1. I asked you earlier in the baseball season who would be playing in and win the World Series. You answered the Mets would be the Tigers in 6. Do you still stand by this prediction? If not, then who?

I’ll stand by the Mets to win it all. The American League winner could be anyone. My father-in-law is a Twins fan. There are lots of people around here who are rooting for the Yankees to win the AL, and then lose to the Mets. But in a short series, anything can happen, including the Tigers winning.

2. If you could dine with one athlete, one politician, and one writer (all either dead or alive) who would they be and why?

I’ll pick all dead people on the theory that I could somehow still meet the live ones:
Athlete – Arthur Ashe. He was a pioneer who lived his life with dignity.
Politician- Thomas Jefferson. Maybe he’d give me the real scoop on Sally Hemings.
Writer- Mario Puzo. Just because I happened to see this name on my bookshelf. Also, because I’d be interested in how he researched “The Godfather”.

3. (Playing off Lefty’s first question) How far do you think we are away from having an African-American President?

It’d have to be someone not perceived either as an old-line liberal (Jesse Jackson) or a sellout (Condi Rice). Someone like Barack Obama. 2016. Maybe.

4. Do you think it’s right for the President (whether Dubya or any other after) to put their religious beliefs so in the forefront, considering that we have freedom of religion in this country?

Yes. I’m old enough to remember JFK having to say that he wouldn’t take orders from the Pope. That said, as a Christian myself, his brand of Christianity makes me very uncomfortable.

5. Do you know that I was going to do this same segment again on my web site because it was really fun the first time (after stealing your idea) but you beat me to it by a week or so?
No, but if you hum a few bars…
“I was gonna do
The same post as you.”
Is that how it goes?
And I see you did yesterday. I hope I found questions to make your life a living heck, at least.

And now, a fellow Piscean, Gordon:

1. Have you seen the remastered STAR TREK? And if so, what do you think?

No. And I think I’ve grown weary of re-release, remastered, release the original (Star Wars). Now, I’ll ask you, should I see the remastered STAR TREK? I know you wrote about the Trekkers’ complaints. It doesn’t BOTHER me, philosophically, as opposed to my feelings about colorization, e.g., I just think it’s a way to squeeze more dimes out of my pocket, and I’ll pass, thank you.

2. Does William Shatner really deserve to be a cult figure?

As opposed to whom? Sure, why not? I’m always reminded of the folks on Hollywood Squares, where I no longer knew WHY Charley Weaver was famous in the first place. Shatner’s avoided that with his three series plus the Star Trek movies. (Gee, a visual of him doing Rock-et Man suddenly flashed through my brain. Whoa!)

3. Mike Sterling: pro or con?

Well, when he’s behaving himself, he’s OK. But when he’s being a great big cheater pants, to the pits with him!

Roger Answers Your Questions, Eddie and Lefty

Our first contestant is Eddie, who not only asked a couple questions but promoted this Q&A.

1. How many CD’s does a person have to own before you, Roger, consider the amount to be excessive?

Well, it depends on the amount you play. Let’s say I have 1500 CDs. (OK, let’s.) If I play six albums five times a week, that’s 30 albums. Multiply that by 50 weeks, and 1500 is just the perfect number to be able to play your whole collection at least once a year. All of the discs get played, and none of them feel lonely and rejected. If one plays more music, one can own more music; if less, then less.

This is the reason, in large part, why I have a system of music playing that I know I’ve described in this blog, but cannot find. In brief, I play music around artists’ birthdays (Springsteen now, Emmylou in April), compilers’ birthdays (Motown compilations in November, in honor of Berry Gordy), events (movie soundtracks in February and March, in honor of the Academy Awards), etc. Which reminds me: when’s your birthday? I like to play your compilations around then.

This is not to say I’m limited to these times; when I get the new Dylan album for Christmas (someone pleeeeease tell my wife she’s getting this for me), I’ll get the sense that I’ll be playing it a lot in January and February, even if his birthday’s not until May.

Of course, you don’t HAVE to play them all annually. There are those albums you keep around for a few songs to put on compilation discs. (So why don’t I just put them all on mp3s? Because I’d miss the information on the package.)

So my answer, for me, is 3000, and I’m only (a little more than) halfway there.

2. What does a guy have to do to get your summer mix, considering he was theoretically part of the exchange?

Well, theoretically, I wrote you an e-mail on this very topic that said I would send you a copy when I finished the crime CD in Gordon’s exchange. But then, I got, curiously, a number of e-mails unsendable from two bloggers: my friend Lori in Florida, one of the few bloggers I actually know, and you. (Did you know I can see stuff such as on your page?)

So, for your trouble, my next package to you will contain the summer mix, the crime mix, and a mix that’s totally randomly selected from a pile I put together when I was only exchanging with Hemby. And not so incidentally, I received your package on Friday. Boy, I hope Lydia doesn’t turn out like the Lydia in that song.

Great groveling to Lefty, BTW.

And speaking of the southpaw:

1. Would you vote for a African-American Presidential candidate if they were conservative?

I suppose conservative in what way? Prior to 2003, I would have considered Colin Powell. He seemed to be a man of integrity. And truth is, maybe he bought that bill of goods about Iraq he spoke about at the UN in February 2003. Certainly, I appreciate his position on opposing torture.

Whereas his successor as Secretary of State, Condi Rice, I would NEVER vote for. At least Alan Keyes seems to have a consistent moral position, even if I oppose most of it.

2. Will we ever see a non-Christian presidential candidate?

Sure, he’ll be Jewish (and it’ll be a he) in 2016. Or 2020.

3. Can you remember that last time you heard a piece of music that made you nearly weep (for joy or sorrow)?

Sure, happens all the time.
Joy: the vocalization at the end of Surf’s Up by the Beach Boys
Sorrow: there’s a suspension at the end of a dramatic crescendo about 6 minutes into an 8 minute version of Barber’s Adagio that almost never fails to get to me. (Anyone want to explain this better than I just did, please feel free.)

BTW, re: your question about going blind or deaf, sometimes I can recreate in my own mind a piece of music. If I would still have that, that’d be great.

4. What was the worst vacation you ever went on?

Undoubtedly it was some damn camping trip my father foisted on us. One place, north of Binghamton on the way to Syracuse actually had laundry facilities, but it was so fly-infested that I ended up killing dozens, including – and this is true – seven with one blow.

5. What website could you not live without?

At work, I use the Census Bureau page a LOT at work.
Personally, right now, it’s my own page, or links thereon. What great insight has Gay Prof provided for us? What pop culture wisdom will Tom the Dog share? How’s Nigel?

6. What did you think of my Circle of Friends mix?

I liked it, especially that middle section with Duran Duran and the Hall & Oates cover and that song that swipes, among other things, the Miracles’ “Tears of a Clown”.

7. So is Bush dumb, ill-informed, greedy, crafty, or evil?

I DON’T KNOW. Maybe all of them. Surely, he’s crafty enough to have surrounded himself with people who could make him President. Early on in his administration, he was clearly ill-informed; you’ll recall during the 2000 campaign how little he knew of world affairs. I don’t care how many books he reads, but some of his comments in this area – I’m too lazy to look ’em up – sounded just dumb.

Evil. A serious word, that. But some of his non-response to the issue of torture as disingenuous at best. Did you see him interviewed by Matt Lauer this month? Something very disturbing about that, at least.

The Lydster, Part 30: Two and a Half


I had all of these grandiose ideas about a panoply of pictures of Lydia over the past 2.5 years, but I was having trouble with Blogger, which put the kibosh on that. The picture above, with my mother and Carol’s, was supposed to be used for Grandparents’ Day, but I forgot. And I did manage to get a couple old pics to post.

You know the physicians’ creed to do no harm. I’m pleased to note that Lydia has made it to 2 1/2 in one piece, because of the parenting skills of her mother, and in spite of the parenting skills of me, or so she’ll tell her therapist in 20 years.

O.K., that was unnecessarily self-effacing. I do have some skills. I can get her to squueze her medicine thingy into her nose, usually. I can get her to stop crying by doing something extraordinarily silly. (Don’t ask.)

I’ve been taking my bike on the bus when I take her to day care. What pleases (and frankly surprises) me, and the people in the bus, is that I’ll say to her, “Stay on the sidewalk until I put the bike on the bus” and she does, saying “Bike on bus and then get me”. Then I carry her onto the bus. Then I take her off the bus, ask her to stay on the sidewalk until the bike comes off, and she complies again.

Good news: Lydia has ONLY a peanut allergy. That’s good, because I pretty much knew that anyway, and that she DOESN’T have an allergy to anything else, according to the blood test, such as tree nuts, grasses, milk, cats, dogs, or any number of other things that might have affected her.

Lydia only a month ago used to say she was two, but now says she’s two and a half, something neither her mother or I taught her. I blame her day care.

I love her a lot. When I get home from work, she’ll quit what she’s doing (eating, playing) to greet me. She is a good hugger.

Well, enough of this saccharine stuff. More cynicism soon.

***
Lydia, Carol, and I are mentioned in this story in the Capitaland Quartly section of this past Sunday’s Times Union. The paper was going to get a picture, but the photographer’s schedule changed and we were unable to wait around.

Dad would have been 80 Tomorrow


This is what I know. Les Green graduated from high school, barely, it seems, in 1944. He spent time in the military (in Texas and in Europe), came back to Binghamton, his hometown, and married Trudy in 1950.

He worked at a florist – arranging flowers for events, drove a truck, worked nights at IBM for six years, worked for a social service agency called Opportunities for Broome, then Associated Building Contractors, and finally J.A. Jones Construction.

He taught himself to play guitar around 1959, and billed himself as the “Lonesome & Lonely Traveller”, which was his theme song, even when joined by his son (me) and daughter (Leslie).

Now this is what else I know. You may not be able to read the document above, so I’ll share. It’s my father’s birth certificate.
[Name] Leslie H. Green
Male. Single birth [as opposed to twin, etc.] Sept 26 [19]26 1:30 a.m.
[County] Broome [City] Binghamton
[Mother’s maiden name] Agatha Walker [Age] 24 [State of birth] PA
[Residence: state] N.Y. [City] Binghamton [Street and number] 18 East St.
[Father] McKinley M. Green [Age] 47 [State of birth] Pa.
[Local filing date] 9 30 26 [Date] 9 13 44

One thing I’ve long known, and my sisters have long known, from my mother was the fact that McKinley was not my father’s biological father. I also know that McKinley wasn’t 47 when my father was born, that he was probably 47 in 1944, when this certificate was re-issued.

I went to the 1930 Census. I needed help from Alan and others at the New York State Library.

Listed
Samuel E. Walker-Head-56-Age at first marriage:25-Born in VA, father born in VA, mother born in VA. Janitor in public building.
Eugeni [sic] M.-Wife-52-Born in PA, father born in PA, mother born in PA.
Agatha H.-Daughter-27-Born in PA, father born in PA, mother born in PA. Housekeeper for a private family.
Earl S.-Son-25-Born in PA, father born in PA, mother born in PA. Caterer for hotels.
Stanley E.-Son-20-Born in PA, father born in PA, mother born in PA.
Vera C.-Daughter-17-Born in PA, father born in US, mother born in PA.
Melissa C.-Daughter-15-Born in NY, father born in VA, mother born in PA.
Jessie G.-Daughter-13-Born in NY, father born in VA, mother born in PA.
Morris S.-Son-11-Born in NY, father born in VA, mother born in PA.
Wesley H.-Son-3 6/12-Born in NY, father born in VA, mother born in PA.

Samuel was the patriarch I knew as a little kid. He was a stern old man, and Agatha (my grandmother), Earl, Stanley, Vera, and Jessie all seemed to fear him, especially the older ones, who would have been in their fifties at the time. (Melissa was not around.) And Wesley? He would have been born in September 1926. So, Samuel and Eugenia feigned that Wesley was their son. But my father’s name was Wesley when he was born? Or was this a clerical error on the part of the Census taker?

Another curiosity: Agatha, Earl, Stanley and Vera all had a father born in PA, so since Samuel was born in VA, he’s not their biological father. So who was? Or is this another error?

When did McKinley Green marry Agatha Walker and adopt Wesley H. Walker? When did Wesley’s name change to Leslie H. Green? From research my sisters did, the Walkers were all in the same house on Court Street in 1936, while McKinley was elsewhere. So, it would seem that McKinley adopted Wesley/Leslie sometime between 1936 and 1944. But then I hear from one of my father’s younger cousins – all of my father’s cousins were younger than he – that McKinley and Agatha had a rough go early on, so it’s possible that McKinley adopted my father after 1930, was married to Agatha and cared for my father for a time, but not in 1936.

And, of course, the prime question I want to know: who was Leslie Green/Wesley Walker’s biological father? The apocryphal story is that it was some minister from the AME or AME Zion Church, and that it was a great scandal in the Scrantonian, a newspaper, now defunct, that served the Scranton, PA area, about a hour south of Binghamton. Or maybe it was a Baptist church in Binghamton.

My next task was going to be to get microfilm of the Scrantonian, which is located at the University of Scranton, Penn State University, and at the State Library in Harrisburg to see if I can find any mention of this tale of a rogue pastor, but my father’s cousin has already done this, with no success.

I mention all of this now, with the permission of my sisters Leslie and Marcia, and my mother, in an attempt to find the truth of the matter. It was a topic my sisters and I never broached with my father, because we knew it was painful for him.

The only time it was even noted in passing is when McKinley died in 1980. My father stepped up to take care of things. McKinley’s brother sneered, “Oh, yeah, he (Mac) DID adopt that bastard, didn’t he?” Never before or after that moment did we see my father so wounded.

If you have any information – if you knew my father or his family, if you have some ideas how to proceed further – please let me know. At some point in his youth, my father also lived on Tudor Street in Binghamton.

Thank you.


***
My father liked to watch football. He loved New Orleans. He would be watching the 2-0 Saints play the 2-0 Atlanta Falcons tonight in the first game of the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina. He’d probably even be watching the collaboration between U2 and Green Day during the pregame.

Everybody Wants to Have Something

Britannica wants Web sites and blogs to link to full texts of their encyclopedia articles, and it offers free samples online.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine wants to know if pet washes and car washes are a good mix.

Contingency Planning wants you know the answer to this question: Of those people who refused to evacuate their homes during Hurricane Katrina, what did 44% of respondents give as the reason?
Answer: 44% of people who did not evacuate their homes during Hurricane Katrina said they stayed behind because they did not want to leave their pets.

My boss wants you to have fun with geography with this.

About.com wants you to know about the Psychology of Color, especially green, and The Meaning of Color, especially green.

The TV show JEOPARDY! is looking for better ratings. Of the top 10 syndicated shows -it’s #2 – it took the biggest drop in ratings from 2004-05 to 2005-06, 13.3%. That’s going from 10.9 million to 9.4 million daily viewers.
1. Wheel of Fortune down 5.9%
3. Oprah down 5.9%
4. Entertainment Tonight UP 1.8%
5. Dr. Phil down 0.1%
6. Judge Judy down 4.4%
7. Inside Edition UP 3.5%
8. Millionaire down 4.9%
9. Regis & Kelly down 2.6%
10. Judge Joe Brown down 7.6%

My colleague Lenny from the SDC wants people know about the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA)’s recently created online feature called QuickStats. “Drawing on a select group of nationally representative surveys, QuickStats provides easy-to-read tables and graphs with a single click on the topic of interest… The topics include religious affiliation, beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, and experiences, and will continue to increase as more of the ARDA’s holdings are integrated into the new program.”

A pastor on a listserv I monitor wants people go here and take action to condemn torture. He writes: “We have two Christian commands to follow here: ‘Do unto others…’ and ‘Love your enemies’. Either we stand up for Christ or we don’t. Our choice. To do nothing means to condone torture in our name.”

A librarian on another listserv commented on my tagline, “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning, but without understanding.”- Justice Louis Brandeis, 1928
He wrote: “Don’t think in today’s world your tag line is for the X generation?” Can someone explain to me what the heck that means?

Jeanine Pirro, Republican candidate for NYS Attorney General, wants this story to go away.

The Times Union, the local paper, reported on the victim of the pedestrian accident in Saratoga on Sept. 14 who had not been identified. The paper wanted their readers to tell them if they thought it was OK to publish a photo of the man. The paper wanted to know if the newspaper should publish the images to help authorities identify the victim of an accident? (I didn’t think the photos were too graphic.) They did print one, and other media also showed one or both of the photos, and as a result, the man was identified the next day.

My sister Leslie wants you to know about the jury duty scam. It’s not new to me, but it IS true, and is another method of identity theft.

Speaking of preventing ID theft, Fred Cole of Schaap Records Management & Certified Shredding e-mailed me to ask me to publicize the company’s Free Shredding Day. It’s happening again (for the 6th time) Saturday, Oct. 7. from 9 am to 2 pm on Brown Street, near Railroad Avenue, in Colonie. Up to 200 pounds of paper for each individual and not-for-profit organization can be brought.

God/Concept/Pain QUESTIONS

I must tell you that I found out something just this week that really surprised me. I’m finding it distracting. Monday, you’ll know what it is.

Meanwhile, some of the dialogue about Pope Benedict remarks which inflamed a number of Muslims has been addressed in one of the blogs that the local paper has posted, Perspectives on Islam for September 18. I find myself largely agreeing it, but also sympathetic to one of the replies:

Although it is true that Mohammad did conquer the Arab world by the sword, (as did the Catholic Church I might add – – they took religion seriously in the old days), I don’t see the relevance in using this quote by Benedict. Wasn’t he trying to “open a dialogue” between Christians and Muslims?

Actually, I believe was trying to do just that. But it seemed injudicious to assume that people are going to recognize the nuance he seemed to be attempting to achieve, and naive to think that the inflammatory language wouldn’t be the lead story, rather than the speech as a whole.

Also, his “apology” referred to being sorry for the “reaction” to his quote, not using the quote itself!

And why did it take four days to even respond at all?

So what do you think? More importantly, how can we achieve greater communication among peoples of various religions and faiths? I’ve always been a fan of ecumenical and interfaith services and activities, but those heal the world only a little at a time, while an event such as the Pope’s speech, even if it has been exploited by certain parties, only widens the gap.
***
I suppose I want to ask you if you think George W. Bush IS the devil, as Hugo Chavez said at the UN, but not even I believe that. I don’t THINK I do. The event did generate one of those classic New York Daily News headlines” “Zip It!”

Ask Me Anything, September Equinox Version 2006

Since today or tomorrow is the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere depending on the time zone, and the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere:

Once again, it’s time for that exciting opportunity to ASK ROGER ANYTHING. This does two things: it gives you the opportunity to make my life miserable by forcing me to respond to queries, whether they be mundane or profound. And I learn something new about you.

I expect that certain people will retaliate, or rather respond, because, when they’ve asked the question, I try to ask them whatever happens to be on my mind.
A couple people, for instance, were asked, “Why is there air?” I happened to have been thinking about a Bill Cosby album of the same name, in which Cos’ brilliant college girlfriend went around asking questions such as that. Bill’s response: “To blow up volleyballs, to blow up basketballs. Every phys ed teacher knows why there’s air!”

It’s funnier in the delivery.

Last time he posed it, I discovered that Tosy and I share a pet peeve: “People who think they are more important than others. Line cutters. People who are too good for certain tables at restaurants. People whose e-mails are ALWAYS flagged as ‘important.’ Those people.” Yeah, I often fantasize about those people in untoward ways.

Sample question #1: On your way home from work, you bump into God and get to ask one question or make one statement. What do ya do?
Sample answer #1: I had this good friend for about a decade, then suddenly we don’t talk. What the heck happened?

Sample question #2: Toilet paper: over or under?
Sample answer #2: I really don’t care.

Well, you get the idea. You may pose the questions in the comment section of this here blog or e-mail me, if you’re the shy type.

You CAN Fight City Hall

Last month, on a Thursday night, Carol and I went to downtown Albany for our monthly dinner together, alone, a restaurant in a local hotel. We wanted to take advantage of the $16.09 deal, whereby several downtown restaurants all put out a special menu of an all-inclusive dinner (appetizer, main course, dessert) for $16.09. (1609 was the year Henry Hudson became the first European to reach what is now Albany.)

We had a lovely dinner, and came out to our car, parked on North Pearl Street, at a location where there is a parking meter operational from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Since we got there shortly before 7 p.m., and were coming back about 8:25 p.m. , we were surprised – and not a little distressed – to have received a ticket for parking in a No Parking zone, at 8:18 p.m., a mere seven minutes before our unrushed return. Then we noticed all the cars in front and in back of us also got tickets. Only three weeks earlier, the city had posted signs – three or four car lengths from us – indicating that this part of North Pearl was now a taxi stand on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The $50 ticket far outstripped whatever we saved on dinner, and it left the evening with a bit of a sour taste in our mouths – no pun intended.

The next day, I called the Downtown Business Improvement (BID) office. I told some young man my plight, and the plight of the other folks. Knowing we’re technically in the wrong, it nevertheless seemed as though this was no way to attract people downtown. He agreed and said he’d see what he could do, though he thought the police were supposed to be putting out only warning tickets.

A couple days later, he called back to note that all of the tickets issued on North Pearl Street before 10 p.m. during the $16.09 week would be canceled. Based on just the ones we saw, that was more than a few dozen citations.

So, thanks to the Downtown BID, who has gotten us to want to come downtown yet again. But this time, we’ll check the signs more carefully.
***
He LIKED it, he LIKED it! Lefty liked my Summer Mix. And you can have a copy, too. Just let me know.