Tuesday, November 14, 2017

St. Michael's Catholic School

ch 4 excerpt

To get to school, we had to drive north into Livonia: we always drove over the Newburgh Lake bridge at the Nankin Mill crossing, where the lake dammed and emptied into the foul-smelling Rouge, then cut through the subdivision where Jim Rund lived (later we’d carpool to school together) towards Mies Park on West Chicago. From there we made a left onto the street adjacent to the football practice field where I’d spend my chilled Autumn afternoons with tobacco-spitting men who coached JV and Varsity CYO football autocratically (St. Mike’s had won 5 straight in the CYO when I started playing), the first indication of the St. Michael’s campus. Hanging another left onto Hubbard, we soon came upon the blacktop playground and parking lot where I spent thousands of recesses playing two-hand-touch football with my playmates, where I would get my heart broken by Jenn Bechard in fifth grade; an eight-foot chain-link fence enclosed the blacktop playground like a prison yard, stretching to the smaller playground structures and to the school itself – a three story redbrick structure straight from the 1970’s in tan concrete trim, with tall windows under ugly mint-green panels. Two large stone crosses jutted up from either end of the school. The gymnasium and middle school were adjoined in the back of the main structure – the elementary school building – and a wood-fenced garden separated the convent/rectory from our curious eyes behind that. At the northernmost end of the campus, St. Michael’s Catholic Church – the church where I vomited in fourth grade from the incense fumes of Benediction, where I spent every Friday morning Mass in imaginary realms, where I confessed my sins to Father Bondi and genuinely prayed in silent kneeling introspection – pointed its steel rooftop cross towards the heavens, a stone statue of St. Michael the Archangel watching over the corner of Hubbard and Plymouth. It was a world of rigidity and linear thinking that appealed far less to me than the woods of my summers. 

I love you!” Mom shouted from the van on the school blacktop, traitorously deserting us there to another school year at St. Michael’s, that redbrick prison of our collective youth. In our matching cross ties and loafers Patrick and I would walk thence disconsolately, in silence, towards our respective school lines and school doors, where a chaotic frenzy of activity and eager chatter awaited us. If we were lucky, and had drawn a younger, non-religiously-inclined teacher like Mrs. Chelowa or Mrs. Salley, that final march to school might be bearable, perhaps even anticipatory, but if we were among the sad lot assigned to one of St. Michael’s notorious nuns, we knew we were dead men walking.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Dark Necessities

Dark Necessities

Coming on to the light of day we got
Many moons that are deep at play so I
keep an eye on the shadow smile
To see what it has to say
You and I both know
Everything must go away
but what do you say?

Spinning knot that is on my heart is like
bit of light and a touch of dark you got
sneak attack from the zodiac
But I see your fire spark
Eat the breeze and go
Blow by blow and go away
what do you say?

You don't know my mind
You don't know my kind
Dark necessities are part of my design
Tell the world that I'm
falling from the sky
Dark necessities are part of my design

Stumble down to the parking lot you got
no time for the afterthought they're like
ice cream for an astronaut
Well that's me looking for weed
Turn the corner and
Find the world at your command
Playing the hand

You don't know my mind
You don't know my kind
Dark necessities are part of my design
Tell the world that I'm
falling from the sky
Dark necessities are part of my design

Do you want this love of mine?
The darkness helps to sort the shine

- Anthony Kiedis

Friday, October 27, 2017

Lumberjack Tavern

"I saw that I had forgotten how beautiful the drive to Thunder Bay was; the towering sighing groves of fragrant Norway pines, the broad expanses of clean white sand, the sea gulls, always the endlessly wheeling sea gulls; an occasional bald eagle seeming bent on soaring straight up to heaven; the intermittent craggy and pine-clad granite or sandstone hills, sometimes rising gauntly to the dignity of small mountains, then again, sudden stretches of sand or more majestic Norway pines -- and always, of course, the vast glittering heaving lake, the world's largest inland sea, as treacherous and deceitful as a spurned woman, either caressing or raging at the shore, more often turbulent than not, but today on its best company manners, presenting the falsely placid aspect of a mill pond. . .

We drove slowly up the main street of the town, past the tourist park on our right, nestled in among a tall grove of pines on the lake shore, past the usual clutter of gas stations, a grocery store, the post office, then two churches. . .Near the end of the long street, on our right and overlooking the lake, stood a large white and attractive three-story frame structure. A screened-in veranda ran along the entire front half and half the side nearest the lake. This was the Thunder Bay Inn, in the barroom of which the proprietor Barney Quill met his death a short time before."

- John D. Voelker (Robert Traver) (UMich Law '28)
Anatomy of a Murder

Legal Docs

Maurice Chenoweth (murder victim) outline

Big Bay

Thursday, October 26, 2017

the beautiful and damned

"It was November, Indian Summer, rather, and a warm, warm night -- which was unnecessary, for the work of the summer was done. Babe Ruth had smashed the home run record for the first time and Jack Dempsey had broken Jess Willard's cheek-bone out in Ohio. Over in Europe the usual number of children had swollen stomachs from starvation, and the diplomats were at their customary business of making the world safe for new wars. In New York City the proletariat were being "disciplined," and the odds on Harvard were generally quoted at five to three. Peace had come down in earnest, the beginning of new days."

- f. scott fitzgerald

Friday, October 20, 2017

Summer 1994

That summer, I watched "The Lion King" on the big screen at the Quo Vadis Theater, an old school style movie theater with checkerboard-patterned tile floors and vast red carpeting in the halls, vaulted ceilings, an arcade and popcorn stand. On rainy days I played "Putt Putt Saves the Zoo" and "NHL 93" on the heavyweight desktop computer in the dining room, and I watched the Sports Illustrated Year in Sports CD-Rom endlessly, which included Michigan's Chris Webber calling an inopportune timeout in the National Championship game, Alabama's George Teague stripping the ball from Miami Hurricane's wide receiver Lamar Thomas in the Sugar Bowl, Joe Carter, the Dallas Cowboys, and former Red Wings coach Jacques DeMers calling Marty McSorley on an illegal stick, which led to a Kings penalty in the Stanley Cup Finals that helped DeMers and Canadiens goaltender Patrick Roy win a Stanley Cup.

Meanwhile, Bob Probert continued unraveling at the seams. On July 15, 1994, while an unrestricted free agent, he crashed his motorcycles and flipped forty feet over a Lexus at the intersection of Middlebelt and Keego Harbor Road in West Bloomfield Township, a posh Detroit suburb. Probert suffered minor injuries and was transported to a Pontiac hospital, where sobriety tests determined that he was under the influence of both alcohol and cocaine. Four days later, Red Wings senior Vice President Jim Devellano officially declared an end to the Bob Probert era in Hockeytown. "This is the end," he declared to the press, "in my twelve years with the organization. . . we [have] never spent more time on one player and his problems than we have on Probert." Chicago later signed Probert, but his debut in the Windy City was delayed when commissioner Gary Bettman suspended him for his drunk driving offense and ordered him into rehab, again, at the start of the 1994-95 season.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Visions of Probie

Probert channels Jeff Spicoli in his autobiography in recalling that ['88] summer: “after the Goose Loonies incident, the team was telling me I had to go into rehab again. I told them, ‘No way. I just got a boat and a new car and I’ve been in rehab three summers in a row!’”