America Needs A Dictator

I’m wondering if the American dream has self destructed. With all of these hate groups running around free to do as they please, and obstruct others the question of whether or not liberty and freedom have been out-grown. When the country started we had an entire continent open to men who could find a place here where they could do as they please. If you had a gripe with someone and needed more space you moved west. When living in the wide open spaces, if a desperado knocked on your door looking to steal what you had, you could shoot him, or worse he could shoot you shove your body out the door, and move in. More than four hundred years have passed since the Pilgrims found the continent, and two hundred and forty-one since the country began, and the population has grown from a boat full to over three hundred million people have moved here to escape a place they felt was oppressive. They came with many new ideas of what they needed to be free, and to have liberty. In time the population has grown more dense, and the wide open spaces have narrowed significantly. You can’t just shoot someone who bothers young get away with it anymore.

Every law that has been passed encroaches on our freedom and liberty. Usually, the laws are for good reason i.e. to protect us from ourselves or from someone else. We now have so many laws that a new industry has grown up around it. We no longer send our kids to work in factories because they don’t exist here anymore. We send our kids to law school,  medical school, political science school, or finance school. All of these new industries have been pointing us toward a loss of liberty and freedom. It is easy to see how too many lawyers all needing to feed families will work to defend us from the thousands of laws being thrown at us. It is almost as easy to understand how having too many doctors begins to make us feel we have aright to health care, and political scientists are all dreaming up new ways to make government bow to demands like eliminating freedom of speech, or making me like someone of a different race or color. Political Scientists also come up with brainstorms like socialism, Arab Spring, Black Lives Matter.  Too many bankers are inundating us with dreams of living the high life by investing money we made working in factories. So where is a guy going to go to get away from all of this, MARS? If you want a factory job you have to move to China, Mexico, Central America, or the far east. The problem is that when we begin thinking about what we’d have to change in order to go live in another part of the world we realize that America is not such a bad place after all. If only there was peace, no terrorists, or protest groups.

I propose that we should install a Dictator. They have unique ways of dispatching protestors who oppose them by killing them, or throwing them into imprison first, and letting them die a slow death in prison. Dictators have very strong connections to the military, State Police, local police, and body guards. One nod to a chief and you are smoke. The big problem with dictators is that they don’t allow anyone to have freedom and liberty except themselves. What a dictatorship does accomplish is to unite all the different protestors into one big solid group that might be big enough to fight back. When we study the past, and we only have to go back a few years to see solid examples of dictatorships we find that the protestors never had a large enough base to fight back. Not until another country or a huge group like the Muslims became involved,. Take Saddam Hussein as an example. No one wanted to take him on until the USA decided it needed to play, and took him out. Of course that left a big void to fill. We were naive enough to think that the Iraqi protesters would all embrace democracy and set up elections within a week after the pulled Saddam out of his hole. Except for one thing. Democracy doesn’t come in a box from Amazon.

Muammar Gaddafi is another dictator that required the muslim world to take him out. Rebels from several muslim states banded together using money supplied by the USA. The rebels chased him down and finished him in fine muslim fashion. Except he also left a huge void. The protestors have not united, and the country is a mess. Under Gaddafi it was a country filled with miserable people. After Gaddafi, Libya is still filled with miserable protestors.  Another dictator whose days are numbered is Bashar al-Assad in Syria. SO far it is taking, ISIS, jihadi rebels, Syrian rebels, The USA and Russia, but the job is still not done. When it finally does happen, will these various groups come to a sensible way to lead the country? Not a chance, the war will go one until the last man standing is a Muslim.

So why don’t we take a chance with a dictator and see if we can save America.

For Monument Bashers

Check this out folks. Every time you see someone desecrating a Civil war monument you may call the cops to do a citizen arrest.

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He Fights

I really don’t like to publish other people’s work, but this piece is a straight forward logical explanation of why we like Trump.

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Evan Sayet is the host and star of “Evan Sayet’s ‘Right to Laugh — A Night of Conservative Comedy,” while his more serious talk on how Liberals ‘think’ was called by Andrew Breitbart “One of the five most important conservative speeches ever given.”  Information available at Evan’s website www.evansayet.com. He’s a contributor to Heritage Foundation, Human Events and the Washington Times.
By Evan Sayet:
My Leftist friends (as well as many ardent #NeverTrumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum.  They ask if I don’t think his tweets are “beneath the dignity of the office.”  Here’s my answer:
We Right-thinking people have tried dignity.  There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency.  We tried statesmanship.  Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain?  We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney?  And the results were always the same.
This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60 years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.
I don’t find anything “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper” about Barack Obama’s lying about what went down on the streets of Ferguson in order to ramp up racial hatreds because racial hatreds serve the Democratic Party.  I don’t see anything “dignified” in lying about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and imprisoning an innocent filmmaker to cover your tracks.  I don’t see anything “statesman-like” in weaponizing the IRS to be used to destroy your political opponents and any dissent.  Yes, Obama was “articulate” and “polished” but in no way was he in the least bit “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper.”
The Left has been engaged in a war against America since the rise of the Children of the ‘60s.  To them, it has been an all-out war where nothing is held sacred and nothing is seen as beyond the pale.  It has been a war they’ve fought with violence, the threat of violence, demagoguery and lies from day one – the violent take-over of the universities – till today.
The problem is that, through these years, the Left has been the only side fighting this war.  While the Left has been taking a knife to anyone who stands in their way, the Right has continued to act with dignity, collegiality and propriety.
With Donald Trump, this all has come to an end.  Donald Trump is America’s first wartime president in the Culture War.
During wartime, things like “dignity” and “collegiality” simply aren’t the most essential qualities one looks for in their warriors.  Ulysses Grant was a drunk whose behavior in peacetime might well have seen him drummed out of the Army for conduct unbecoming.  Had Abraham Lincoln applied the peacetime rules of propriety and booted Grant, the Democrats might well still be holding their slaves today.  Lincoln rightly recognized that, “I cannot spare this man.  He fights.”
General George Patton was a vulgar-talking, son-of-a-bitch.  In peacetime, this might have seen him stripped of rank.  But, had Franklin Roosevelt applied the normal rules of decorum, then Hitler and the Socialists would barely be five decades into their thousand-year Reich.
Trump is fighting.  And what’s particularly delicious is that, like Patton standing over the battlefield as his tanks obliterated Rommel’s, he’s shouting, “You magnificent bastards, I read your book!”  That is just the icing on the cake, but it’s wonderful to see that not only is Trump fighting, he’s defeating the Left using their own tactics.
That book is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals – a book so essential to the Liberals’ war against America that it is and was the playbook for the entire Obama administration and the subject of Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis.  It is a book of such pure evil, that, just as the rest of us would dedicate our book to those we most love or those to whom we are most indebted, Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer.
Trump’s tweets may seem rash and unconsidered but, in reality, he is doing exactly what Alinsky suggested his followers do.
First, instead of going after “the fake media” – and they are so fake that they have literally gotten every single significant story of the past 60 years not just wrong, but diametrically opposed to the truth, from the Tet Offensive to Benghazi, to what really happened on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri – Trump isolated CNN.  He made it personal.  Then, just as Alinsky suggests, he employs ridicule which Alinsky described as “the most powerful weapon of all.”
Everyone gets that it’s not just CNN – in fact, in a world where Al Sharpton and Rachel Maddow, Paul Krugman and Nicholas Kristof are people of influence and whose “reporting” is in no way significantly different than CNN’s – CNN is just a piker.
Most importantly, Trump’s tweets have put CNN in an untenable and unwinnable position.  With Trump’s ability to go around them, they cannot simply stand pat.  They need to respond.  This leaves them with only two choices.
They can either “go high” (as Hillary would disingenuously declare of herself and the fake news would disingenuously report as the truth) and begin to honestly and accurately report the news or they can double-down on their usual tactics and hope to defeat Trump with twice their usual hysteria and demagoguery.
The problem for CNN (et al.) with the former is that, if they were to start honestly reporting the news, that would be the end of the Democratic Party they serve.  It is nothing but the incessant use of fake news (read: propaganda) that keeps the Left alive.
Imagine, for example, if CNN had honestly and accurately reported then-candidate Barack Obama’s close ties to foreign terrorists (Rashid Khalidi), domestic terrorists (William Ayers), the mafia (Tony Rezko) or the true evils of his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright’s, church.
Imagine if they had honestly and accurately conveyed the evils of the Obama administration’s weaponizing of the IRS to be used against their political opponents or his running of guns to the Mexican cartels or the truth about the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the Obama administration’s cover-up.
This makes “going high” a non-starter for CNN.  This leaves them no other option but to ratchet up the fake news, conjuring up the next “nothing burger” and devoting 24 hours a day to hysterical rants about how it’s “worse than Nixon.”
This, obviously, is what CNN has chosen to do.  The problem is that, as they become more and more hysterical, they become more and more obvious.  Each new effort at even faker news than before and faker “outrage” only makes that much more clear to any objective observer that Trump is and always has been right about the fake news media.
And, by causing their hysteria, Trump has forced them into numerous, highly embarrassing and discrediting mistakes.  Thus, in their desperation, they have lowered their standards even further and run with articles so clearly fake that, even with the liberal (lower case “l”) libel laws protecting the media, they’ve had to wholly retract and erase their stories repeatedly.
Their flailing at Trump has even seen them cross the line into criminality, with CNN using their vast corporate fortune to hunt down a private citizen for having made fun of them in an Internet meme.  This threat to “dox” – release of personal information to encourage co-ideologists to visit violence upon him and his family — a political satirist was chilling in that it clearly wasn’t meant just for him.  If it were, there would have been no reason for CNN to have made their “deal” with him public.
Instead, CNN – playing by “Chicago Rules” – was sending a message to any and all: dissent will not be tolerated.
This heavy-handed and hysterical response to a joke on the Internet has backfired on CNN, giving rise to only more righteous ridicule.
So, to my friends on the Left – and the #NeverTrumpers as well — do I wish we lived in a time when our president could be “collegial” and “dignified” and “proper”?  Of course I do.  These aren’t those times.  This is war.  And it’s a war that the Left has been fighting  without opposition for the past 50 years.
So, say anything you want about this president – I get it, he can be vulgar, he can be crude, he can be undignified at times.  I don’t care.  I can’t spare this man.  He fights

Super Teacher

This message is a doozie, but it strikes to the heart of a problem, i.e. political correctness .
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After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said:
Let me see if I’ve got this right.
You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits,   censor their T-shirt messages and instill in them a love for learning.
You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self-esteem and personal pride.
You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a check book, and apply for a job.
You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and ensure that they all pass their final exams.
You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicap and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Arabic or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card
You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for “New Start.”
You want me to do all this, and then you tell me……
I CAN’T wear a necklace with a little cross,  mention God, or say “Merry Christmas”  because someone might take offense? “
Well, you know what you can do with your job……..
We all should have the same rights, whatever your religion.
This should be posted in every school in America and all countries.
Think about it!
If Muslims can pray anywhere, why are Christians banned from praying in public and from erecting religious displays on their holy days?
What happened to our National Day of Prayer?
Muslims are allowed to block off major streets, in all American States and pray in the middle of the street! And it’s a monthly ritual!

Tell me, again, whose country is this?

Lessons For All Of Us, Even Liberals

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I figure that one reason these practices have ceased to exist is because more than seventy  million new immigrants have arrived from at least two hundred and six different countries since all of this was standard practice in our society.

 

 
 
Black and White
Black and White

(Under age 45? You won’t understand)

 
You could hardly see for all the snow,
Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.
 
‘Good Night, David.
 
Good Night, Chet.’
 
My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn’t seem to get food poisoning.
 
My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not
in ice pack coolers, but I can’t remember getting E.coli.
 
Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.

 
We all took gym, not PE… and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked’s (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can’t recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.
 
Flunking gym was not an option… Even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym.
 
Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.
 
We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours
wore a hat and everything.
 
I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.
 
I just can’t recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.
 
Oh yeah.. And where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!
 
We played ‘king of the hill’ on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn’t sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked.
 
Now it’s a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $99 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.
 
We didn’t act up at the neighbor’s house either; because if we did we got our butt spanked there and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.
 
I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off.
 
Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house.
 
Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a jerk. It was a neighborhood run amuck.
 
To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family.
 
How could we possibly have known that?
 
We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes.
 
We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn’t even

notice that the entire country wasn’t taking Prozac!

 
How did we ever survive?
 
LOVE
TO ALL OF US WHO SHARED THIS ERA; AND TO ALL WHO DIDN’T, SORRY FOR WHAT YOU MISSED. I WOULDN’T TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING!
 
Pass
this to someone and remember that life’s most simple pleasures are very often the best.

 

Aztec Blast

There is nothing like a garden to get my juices flowing. During the past few weeks I have ignored my blog because of extenuating circumstances. Many of you know that I belong to a Lions Club, and two weeks ago Lions International celebrated their 100th birthday with a convention in Chicago. At the last-minute I decided to help out at the parade. I reported on it in a post I titled Amazing Movement. That was my last blog piece. Coincident to the convention I was elected President of the Frankfort Lions Club. I worked the Lions Convention Parade of Nations as President Elect because I hadn’t been sworn in yet. Even though I was not officially the president, the responsibility fell upon me like a ton of bricks.

On June 15, three days after being elected, I learned that the venue we use for our annual fund-raiser called Wurst Fest had closed its doors. For the past thirty-seven years Wurst Fest has been the opening event of the Frankfort Fall Fest which is one of the top ten craft fairs in the country.  This year our Wurst is on Thursday, August 31.

For twenty years, the craft fair has had a Beer and Entertainment Tent operated by a group called BETA (Beer Entertainment Tent Association). The BETA group fell apart and disbanded leaving the craft fair, and the Lions holding the bag. The craft fair is run by the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce. BETA consisted of seven community groups like girls softball, Knights of Columbus, Lincoln Way Band Boosters, etc. The profits from the Beer tent were used to pay volunteers who worked the tent. Usually, these volunteers donated their earnings to their home organization. The Lions tagged on to the Beer Tent by renting it for one night during the Fall Festival. The Chamber craft fair was now facing a huge empty open space in the middle of their event.

The whole thing is complicated by the fact that the beer tent occupies a Village owned parking lot. So now the Village also had a problem. The whole mess could have been resolved had the Chamber agreed to manage the beer tent, and pay the volunteers as before. Nothing would have changed except the people who were managing. I would have made it even more simple by hiring the previous manager to continue operating the beer tent. That is not how the event will run this year. Government got deeply involved. Our Mayor has been waiting for the moment when a disaster like this one came. How did Rahm Emanuel President Obama’s Chief of Staff say it when Obama had a catastrophic problem? “Never let a good catastrophe go to waste.”

The Village Events Commission voted to suspend the BETA group license to use the parking lot. The Mayor rightfully declared that here was not time enough to be fair to all the bars in town to have the option to run the event, so he recommended that the Chamber of Commerce be given the responsibility since they are made up of all the businesses in town. Then came the codicil.

It is no secret that our mayor has been working diligently to raise the reputation of Frankfort to the level of a north shore community like Libertyville, or Kenilworth. He is succeeding at keeping the property values around town increasing, His reputation is sterling and that is why he has been mayor for sixteen years, and recently won another election with seventy-five percent of the vote. He sees the town as the jewel of the south side, and having a raucous beer tent in the middle of a world-class craft fair doesn’t fit his vision. He talked the Chamber into to running the event with the provision they implement his vision which he handed to them in writing along with a layout of the venue.

The Lions have worked diligently over the past years to design an event which would resemble October Fest in Germany. The community has a rich German heritage, and that idea gelled. Suddenly, it has been turned into a small high-class, open air beer and wine garden serving craft beers, and high-end wines with soft snoozy music making it the equivalent of a piano bar.

How does all this fit into the garden? After experiencing three weeks of anxiety over our fund-raiser diving into obscurity I took it out on the weeds. The Monet Vision theme this year is Aztec Blast. It needed refreshing because so many new plants decided to migrate into this elegant world. None of these migrants knew the rules and decided to grow in places where they did not fit. They were not asked to come, they just did. Once established they insisted on propagating and expanding their numbers throughout the boundaries of the Monet Vision. There was only one thing for me to do to save the Vision. I attacked by uprooting them and placing them into a walled space from which they could not escape. This deportation process took three hours of rigorous physical work. The problem is that in many cases I could not get the roots of the problem, and I will have to repeat this process again, and again until the first freeze in October. Or, I could allow these unwanted creatures to assimilate into the masses of the Aztec Blast. Wrong, I can not allow that to happen, these creatures do not obey the rules, they do as nature has designed them to do. Even though they are natives to the earth, they are unfit to live within the boundaries of my garden. Perhaps one day, the Monet Vision will become  Native Beauty in which the canvas will contain only native-born plants without any rules. The problem with that idea is that even among natives there will be a slow process by which the strongest, toughest, and meanest ones will thrive and take over the world.

With all of this said I now introduce you to the 2017 Monet Vision-Aztec Blast.

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Amazing Movement

My fellow Lions have been telling me for the past year to sign up for the Lions International 100 Year Anniversary Convention. I listened, and argued with myself about going. One day I got up enough nerve to begin filling out the registration form online. When it came time to pay and to pump in my credit card numbers the program locked up and I backed out. The Convention began on Friday, June 30 and runs until July 4th. Because it is the 100th anniversary and the Lions Club was founded by Chicago businessman Melvin Jones, it is in Chicago. Three days ago, I decided to let go and volunteer to work the event. I talked myself into giving up one day away from Peg and to serve the cause. E-mail is wonderful. I messaged the Volunteer volunteer and he accepted me graciously. I told him I would work in any capacity. He assigned me to the Parade of Nations. The Parade was on Saturday and this was on Thursday. The hook was that I had to register to attend the event to work the event. I busied myself for the rest of the day deciding on how to get their, where to park and how to proceed. Finally, I decided I would go down to Mc Cormack Place on Friday to register, so I wouldn’t be rushed on Saturday morning. Lion Ralph told me to be at the parade registration tent by 7:00 a.m.

On Friday morning after breakfast and after getting Peg out of bed, I drove the thirty-five miles to Mc Cormack Place and arrived at the convention center at 11:00 am. I had to be home by 2:30 to help with Peg again. I found the line going to room 102 and stopped dead. The line was easily three people wide and a hundred yards long. I wasn’t worried, I had plenty of time. After forty minutes spent chatting with Lions from India, Philippines, and Malta I made some forward progress. Still not to worry, I can still make my deadline. A Lion volunteer appeared, and asked what we were in line for. I told him what my situation was, and he walked me ahead to serpentine line immediately outside room 102. It was half filled. Great I thought, a short line. I met more Lions, this time from India, Philippines, Indiana, Hawaii, and London. At twelve thirty I made it through the door of room 102 only to find another serpentine which was full. Luckily, there were about six registrars moving us along. There was a second serpentine line in the room next to ours. It also served by six registrars. I learned that these people were all non-english speaking Lions.

An amazing thing about all these lines filled by people from everywhere is that there wasn’t a crabby person anywhere. I would have thought that if you just arrived from Australia (eighteen hours non-stop, and longer if connections have to be made), the night before suffering from a severe case of jet-lag, and were tired that you would really be upset by having to wait in another long line. It wasn’t the case, some of these people had waited in lines for hours in a couple of airports before they got to the convention. Lions Clubs International Foundation told us they planned on forty thousand people attending. By the opening day they estimated fifty-five thousand. I personally met several who made decisions at the very last-minute, and missed the deadline to get credentials by mail.  So, there we were waiting and telling stories about our clubs and activities. At 2:00 p.m. I called Peg’s caretaker to let her know I would be seriously late. I got home at 4:30. Peg was fine without me.

On Saturday morning the opportunity alarm went off at five a.m. I crawled out of bed, showered, dressed and left the house by 5:30. At that time of the morning on a Saturday of a holiday weekend the traffic moved at seventy-five all the way to the turn-off for the Outer Drive. I sailed through the construction zone past Mc Cormack Place and onto the Drive. I exited at the light before Randolph, and turned onto Michigan Avenue to disappear into the underground garage under Millennium Park. It was so empty I was able to park within fifty feet of the exit to Randolph Street. I had about a mile walk ahead of me to the parade registration tent, but I was so early I just took my time and sauntered along. About midway between Randolph and State I saw something strange. A City of Chicago dump truck fully loaded with salt and a snow plow parked at the curb. A driver sat behind the wheel. Strange I thought, they can’t be waiting for a snow storm. A few yards further on the opposite side of the street sat another truck with the plow and salt. I menatlly filed it, and proceeded to the reported check-in tent. I got to the spot only to find myself there all alone, no tent, and not a single person insight. This can’t be, I’m right on the mark printed in the instructions. Not to worry, I still had plenty of time so I sauntered back a half mile to the official parade start point. Alas, a tent with Lions. I found someone, and checked in at 7 a.m. By that time, the only parade volunteer vests they had left were XXL or XXXL. I chose the double. I am a big guy around the belly and chest but thankfully, I am nowhere near XXL, I would have asked for an L, or an M. Finally, a volunteer registered me. A volunteer registered by another volunteer. I asked for my assignment, I got it from another volunteer. I was to go to the Purple Zone which was about four blocks back from where I came. I eventually learned that a purple flag defined an area for a specific group of countries. It was about half a city block long and ended at a grey flag. Further west at half block increments there were more colored flags. Luckily, I learned one of the volunteers there with me was another Lion who held the key to the event; a list of countries and the color of their staging area. In the beginning there were not many people at the area, but by eight a.m. things began picking up. The scheduled start time was 9:00 a.m. As more people came my job was to answer their questions. Most needed direction to their start zone. I’d find the lady with the list, and we’d use sign language to direct them. (we had a poster with the zone colors and arrows pointing the direction). The crowd got bigger and nine o’clock came, and went, but the parade did not begin. There was total confusion as Lions from 135 countries milled about looking for directions.

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My XXL Volunteer Parade Marshall Vest

As the crowd grew, the head Marshall had the north-south streets closed off. As they did that the traffic on La Salle Street (the grey zone) got really heavy as Chicagoans not knowing what was going on searched out ways to get around the blockage. My job shifted to holding back people from crossing the street against the lights. The Lions are all crazy I thought, they step out with their backs into the traffic lane without looking to take group pictures, or to look at their phones. Picture taking was in a frenzy as a group saw interesting costumes from another country, and they rushed to take pictures with them. Numerous young ladies handed me their camera and smiled at me to take their picture with a group.

One lady who happened to live downtown was on a suicide mission to cross the street when we stood in front of her with arms stretched out. She very indignantly shouted that she needed to get to the other side. My fellow Lion belly bumped her, and told her if she didn’t obey he would call a cop. She rebelled and yelled even louder. She shoved   him away and proceeded to bull her way past him. He grabbed her by the arm at which point she really hollered out “let go of me, and don’t you touch me again.”

” Lady,” I Said, “all we want to do is to protect you from getting run over, when the light changes we will let you cross.” She stopped yelling and waited. Had we let her go she would have been followed by a stream of people running behind her. Most of these people were from Asia and they are accustomed to crossing streets with lots of traffic, I thought, but one wrong move by me, and someone will get hurt. I stopped another Asian lady who was stunned by my direction. I told her “We want you to go home alive,” she smiled and stepped back. In general, the Asians were very respectful.

Just around the corner on La Salle Street stood the Joliet American Legion Band. Patiently standing at ease in lines ready to march into the parade. Dressed in navy blue suits, white shirts with black ties, and Captains hats they were there for at least two hours standing, holding their instruments. I wanted them to begin playing, but they remained quiet throughout watching the mayhem pass by them. I guess I’ll have to wait until the Sunday night concert at Frankfort’s Concert on the Green where they are playing the next evening.

By 9:30 a.m. the streets were filled with marchers from the countries but still there was no movement. The people traffic on the corners and the sidewalks slowed a bit as last-minute paraders scurried to their start zones. Finally, at 10 a.m.the parade began moving, and my role shifted to one of urging people to move along so there would be no long gaps between. I stood on the median on Wacker Drive and waved them forward to catch the group so they could stand and wait for more movement.” Hurry up, and wait,” I told them. From 10:00 am until 1:00 p.m. I stood and watched in amazement waving my arms forward as people from so many countries passed me by. China was my favorite. I didn’t even know the Lions had clubs in China. First they carried a banner as wide as the street announcing China, Then a very short distance later came another banner declaring China, and below that the name of the city they represented followed by row after row of Chinese Lions waving flags. there had to be ten Chinese cities represented, each with hundreds of marchers. My favorite was the city that did a Dragon Dance as a special attraction. In addition to their hundred marchers the dragon snaked his way around, and through the marchers to the beat of a very loud drum.

At one o’clock my legs were numb and feet hurt, so I decided to quit. I walked away near the end of the line, and headed to a coffee shop on La Salle that reminded me of the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld. I ordered a bowl of chicken dumpling soup, it was the first and only thing I had to eat. I paid $6.79 for this small bowl of soup and thought how glad I am not to be working downtown. Inside the shop I met an Australian couple who were also snacking. I asked them why they weren’t marching. “We did,” they answered.

“How long did it take?”

“About an hour.” Gosh it started at ten, and it is now one and still going. I finished my soup and walked out to be surprised that there were no marchers left on Wacker Drive. I saw a crowd of orange vested volunteers at the corner of Wacker and State two blocks away. I walked slower than my start of the day saunter, and as I approached the tail end of the crowd two old lady Lions tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I knew where to catch a shuttle bus back to Mc Cormack Place. Here they were at the starting point of the parade route, and I had to tell them the shuttle busses were at the conclusion one mile south. I thought they were going to faint right there. I don’t know how they made it back, I’m hoping the lions marshaling the parade at the end would help them out.

I slowly walked the sidewalk south to Randolph, and made the turn east to find my car  when the answer came. There, parked diagonally across the street blocking four lanes of traffic were the two dump trucks loaded with salt, and their plows lowered to the ground. They were a deterrent to terrorists. Chicago can’t control gun violence but it was making sure the headlines would not read “truck rams parade killing. . .” My guess is they had trucks blocking every street crossing the parade route.

Good job Chicago, thanks for letting us use the city for a great parade.

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