In my commentaries, it’s often mentioned I was raised in Chebanse, with remarks such as “But I’m from Chebanse, what do I know?” or “I may be from Chebanse, but…” I surmise Chebanse folks are taking it good naturedly.
The Journal must like Chebanse folks, employing the late Denny Yohnka, columnist Denny Marek, general manager, Kevin Norden, and myself. We all have Chebanse roots. I’m the only one that the Journal worries about though.
Chebanse was a great place to grow up. Ten kids in my Central graduating class started first grade with me, all of them living within a two-block radius of our house. There were many other kids within our age group that ran around with us, including Merritt Yohnka, who would go on to become a famous Hollywood stuntman. Back then we called him “Rusty.”
In the 60’s-70’s Chebanse we grew up in, cars were left with keys in them and houses were rarely locked because, there simply was no crime. The biggest wrongdoings I can recall was a Halloween prank when a junk car was placed on top of the old grain office. A few more junkers were placed on the sidewalks as well. I was too young to be one of the perpetrators who participated, but I know who did.
Then there was the group of rowdies who painted a large middle finger in black on the southeast side of the town’s water tower. The town elders had the artwork painted over, only to have the same group of hooligans put it back. It remained there for years, ingloriously greeting cars traveling up Interstate 57. I know most of who were in on that too. Can you imagine what it took to climb a water tower with a can of paint clamped between your teeth?
I recall Chebanse also possessed some of the cutest baby-sitters, too. My mother seemed to have an eye for talent when her and dad were going out for the evening.
During the summer we’d play baseball all day at the school across the street from our house. (It’s a Civic Center now) If you hit the ball to right field it was considered an automatic out because the school had a dilapidated U-shaped shed for music classes that nobody mowed in the summer. “Rusty,” playing first base, would curse you for hitting the ball there, as we stopped the game to look for the only ball we owned.
At night we’d ride bikes to the American Legion park for Little League. During the fall we’d play basketball or football after school, or hockey in the winter when the interstate ponds froze over. We were always outside, causing no trouble.
History records Harold Gray, creator of “Little Orphan Annie” was from a farm outside Chebanse. He must have not been around long as he graduated from high school in Lafayette Indiana. It’s the only notable person mentioned with Chebanse roots.
Denny Yohnka wrote about Chebanse entrepreneur Ray Dieter Sr., who ran the hardware store and the Culligan distributorship, among many other business ventures throughout his life. I knew Mr. Dieter myself and can tell you, the man was indeed quite a unique individual – some would say character. Denny didn’t embellish one bit in his column.
I found it interesting Denny used Mr. Dieter’s son, Ray Jr., as a source of information in his story on the elder Mr. Dieter. However, he never mentioned the life of Ray Dieter Jr., or his sister, Dolly, two of the more accomplished people to come from Chebanse, in my opinion.
Dr. Ray Dieter, Jr., is a thoracic surgeon, licensed in both Illinois and Alaska. Incredibly, he has performed heart transplants! He is a past World President of the College of Surgeons. In his spare time, he and his sons, also doctors, have written medical books on heart disease.
Dr. Dolly Dieter is a graduate of DePaul University, was a research associate at MIT, became Assistant Director for Marine and Shore facilities at the University of Alaska, as well as Program Manager for Ship Operations at the National Science Foundation in Washington DC.
Dolly and Ray Jr. were childhood friends of my late father. Dolly and my dad went to school together and we were honored to have her speak at his funeral.
There were just so many great people and real characters from Chebanse. My dad could probably have been considered both! There has definitely been more greatness than just a cartoonist produced from the tiny town.
When I mention Chebanse in my columns, I am not poking fun. I am doing so affectionately.
In a case of keeping up with the Jones's, Illinois Governor Pritzker is doing it again, signing bills seeping from Boss Madigan. In this case, the Jones's are California, Oregon, Colorado, and New Jersey. Jeez, JB, the fact that California is doing something should be your first clue to do differently.
Effective July 1, 2020, Illinois schools must include the positive contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in history classes. Additionally, they must use textbooks that include the roles of LGBT people.
If you guessed I have issues with this bill, you’d be right. Sorry, my “Chebanse” instincts have kicked in. But not for reasons the LGBT community might think. Please understand, this is not a gay rant. Love who you want, it’s none of my business…as long as it’s not my wife! If you’ve got someone making your socks go up and down, that’s fantastic and I’m delighted for you.
Why limit the new law to just “positive” contributions? We were taught about notorious Americans - Benedict Arnold, John Wesley Hardin, or Al Capone, as examples. They were presumably straight as there is no indication otherwise. Is the new directive going to specifically omit someone like serial killer John Wayne Gacy…just because he was gay? Will students ever know about the shenanigans and appalling acts perpetrated by gay Congressman Barney Frank, who was accused of being a sexual predator, as well as the primary architect leading to the subprime mortgage crisis that almost brought this country to its knees? What’s the agenda behind just positive contributions?
I have a passion for history. I’ve read volumes about people like Abe Lincoln or the Founding Fathers. I marvel at what they accomplished in such rudimentary eras and have written commentary commending them in a past column. Historical anecdotes are often included in my commentaries and books.
In school, book reports were written about the Vikings. I had an affinity for Russian history, especially the Romanov’s and Stalin. Loved Civil War history. I crave antiquity, to the chagrin of my wife, as we watch a lot of documentaries.
I mention this, not to impress with my historical prowess, but to point out a curious detail. In all my years in school and watching documentaries, rarely, if ever, was a person’s sexuality mentioned – it was a non-event.
Frankly, the sexuality of a historical figure never resonated with me until last year when a biased report was regurgitated speculating Lincoln might have been gay. Because Abe slept in the same bed with his business partner when traveling, a common practice at the time due to Motel 6 not having their light on yet, it led to wishful thinking, disguised as speculation that a married man of four kids was gay.
What reason but the brazen promotion of liberalness is there for an elementary school to teach my young impressionable granddaughter that Michelangelo or Florence Nightingale, two great historical figures, might have been gay? What did their sexuality have to do with their contributions to mankind? Teddy Roosevelt’s mug is on Mt. Rushmore for his greatness. Quick, name either of his wives. Bet not only can’t you do it, you didn’t know he was married twice.
When describing people now, since Liberals find it important to mention, for historical purposes, do we need to state if gay or straight? If so, to what purpose? What are we going to call that third gender Joe Biden keeps talking about?
Where is this going, except to appease the LGBT community, which makes up less than 5 % of the US population? One out of twenty people in this country belong to this particular group, yet our tax money will be used to pay to change laws to “enlighten” children, and expose them to events at an earlier age than perhaps parents think appropriate.
I detest the thought of the “State” controlling what is taught to my grandchildren. What classes are next – “Atheism Awareness”; perhaps “Gun Control for Dummies”; or how about “The Joys of Communism”? States should not be allowed to force schools to teach alternate lifestyles to children based purely on political agendas, as this surely is. That’s called indoctrination, folks. Hitler did it too.
So far, all Governor Pritzker has done for our grandchildren is to force-feed them this type malarkey, saddle them with more debt and taxes, and allow the mess that legal dope and gambling will cause.
Teddy’s wives names were Alice and Edith.
Karma: the sum of a person's actions in this…existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
More than likely, and sadly, after Trump’s second term and Nicky Haley’s two terms, a Socialist will be elected president. Elections are cyclical, so the Republican streak won’t continue.
Sorry Bernie, the Socialist president can’t be a white guy, as they are the perpetrators that started this mess called America. Furthermore, they did so on the backs of everyone else, according to Leftist thought…irrespective of world history. The Vikings, Columbus, and those pesky Founding Fathers were European miscreants who were just extremely fortunate.
The Socialist president will be a person brown, black, or possibly green in persuasion, preferably female or transsexual. Since the Left will have abandoned masculine/feminine gender identifications, the new candidate will be known as “?” The new president might even be one of those third gender people Joe Biden was recently prattling about.
After sixteen years of Trump and Haley economic soundness, financial independence, and the rejection of globalism at American expense, elderly baby boomers will have retired to the south, warehoused in senior care facilities, or passed away. Millennials, tired of working their part-time jobs, will retreat to their basements to enjoy all the free stuff “?” promised.
Generation “X’ers”, having made some money, will have figured out participating in politics might be in their interest after all. It might finally occur politicians don’t have their best interests in mind. “X’ers”, wanting to keep a little of the money they worked hard for, might become more attuned to what the Socialist government is doing.
Having not paid any attention to Venezuela, all of a sudden “X’ers” won’t be so enamored with Socialist policies. And that may be where karma kicks in.
Generation X, who aloofly sat out the hostility of the Trump years, will recall the vitriol and resistance during the Trump and Haley years. They will begin to appreciate the horrid tactics the Left and media used on Trump. For example:
The Mueller Witch Hunt over Russian collusion, perpetrated and paid for by the Clinton’s and incredibly, a complicit FBI;
Calls for impeachment…for no particular reason;
Liberally appointed judges overturning Trump decrees;
The malicious public lynching of Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh;
Relentless useless subpoenas of Trump’s income taxes;
Accusations of racism, misogynism, xenophobia, rape, tax-cheating, or liar being leveled frequently at the president and his voters, repeated by the media. Absolutely no credit ever to be given for accomplishments;
Congressional foot dragging for building walls on the southern border, just to spite a Trump campaign pledge, followed by blaming Trump when the border was overrun by illegals;
Cities and states flaunting Federal Law with “sanctuary” measures to thwart a Federal agency (ICE);
Attempts to abolish the Electoral College to ensure California and New York control future presidential elections.
You get the picture, and finally, so might “X’ers.” They might recognize the resistance was nothing more than sedition and sour grapes. “X’ers” will rebel, as dog-gonnit, they don’t want to pay for everything “?” has promised for free.
“X’ers,” ninety million strong, will recall resistance campaigns by the Left. They could duplicate those tactics, as political pendulum swings are wont to do.
Antifa members might be replaced with an upsurge in the Tea Party movement, possibly called Teapat. Bright yellow, “Don’t Tread On Me” flags might appear everywhere, particularly at political events, obscuring multi-colored “?” flags.
Teapat might disrupt Socialist gatherings in every city. Many “protestors” may be paid, an Antifa trick for camera effect. Teapat members might tape their mouths in protest of all the words outlawed when “?” amended the First Amendment. They could blare Ted Nugent and Kid Rock songs. They may call for boycotting all companies who favored “?”
CNN, having gone bankrupt, could be replaced with the “Bombshell Network” in all the world’s airports and American homes. Programming might be uninterruptedly anti-Socialist with Jesse Waters as the chief political anchor, mocking “?’s” existence. Anti-Socialist guests will be paraded in front of various Bombshell hosts to concur with network’s agendas.
Every word “?” utters could be dissected for connotation, and met with challenge and/or contempt by Bombshell, regardless of authenticity.
Like the late Joe Biden before, “?” and various family “units,” might be accused of collaborating with China for personal gain. Congress might have to hold hearings to consider impeachment scenarios, until the Socialist party shuts the hearings off, just because they can.
Everyday, “?” might be accused of being Communist, Aberrantly Asexual, a Rainbow Supremacist, a Snowflake, or having bad breath. No explanation will be given so the monikers could just be assumed. These accusations may have to be banned eventually by “?”
Following Chicago’s example, “?” vanquished American’s 2nd Amendment Rights making all guns illegal, except for the bodyguards protecting “?” and its comrades. In anticipation, Teapat and the NRA may have stockpiled weaponry in various places around the country, sending Socialists into panic.
Sound far-fetched? Goes on every day with Trump.
You should hear what us Chebanse folks say about Karma.
Did you see the front page of last Wednesday’s Journal? It was a photo of Illinois Governor, Big Jay Robert Pritzker, State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst, and KCC president Michael Boyd, all hobnobbing in the “VIP tent.”
The smiling Pritzker is pointing a meaty finger at Mr. Boyd while Rep Parkhurst looks on impassively, undoubtedly realizing what most of her constituents think of her mingling with the toilet-removing governor.
The headline blares, “Governor visits Chicago Bears camp.” (Full disclosure, as a Packer backer, I’ve never been to Bears camp so I didn’t know they had a VIP tent.) The column was written by Journal reporter, David Giuliani. No word yet if he requested this gig or drew the short straw.
Mr. Giuliani’s reporting, as usual, was straightforward. Frankly, the article was somewhat lacking for a front-page news story. Had I been editor, I might have buried it just after the obituaries as a smaller article and picture, saving Rep Parkhurst some humiliation. Giuliani did mention Pritz is a billionaire. ($3.4 billion, the wealthiest governor in American history.) Why would a man with that kind of money spend $171.5 million of his own money for a governorship?
Given that 53% of Kankakee County, along with 75% of Iroquois county, mostly Bear fans, voted for someone not named Pritzker, I was surprised Mr. Giuliani didn’t take this opportunity to pester Pritz about what has been bestowed upon beleaguered Illinois folks in just a year of governorship.
Already, Pritz pushed through one billion dollars of EXTRA spending of money we ain’t got. We’re $215 billion in debt and own a debt ratio of 269 percent. We rank 50th (bottom) of all states for fiscal responsibility. Pritz was actually proud of this accomplishment as it was within a “budget,” unlike his predecessor he chirped, Rauner, who refused to spend money we didn’t have.
Pritz is pushing to amend the Illinois Constitution (who knew we had one – I thought we just did whatever Madigan decreed) to change tax structure. He intends to tax higher income earners, those over $250,000 per year. Those are the same higher income earners now leaving the state in droves, much to the delight of the surrounding states and U-Haul. Once the law has passed and the higher earners are all gone, the $250,000 threshold will drop faster than Bill Clinton’s pants. Pritzker claims this will bring in an additional $3.5 billion. Wanna bet?
Gas taxes are up 19 cents already, diesel users 24.5 cents (just because), auto registrations, titles, motor homes, and industrial vehicle registrations are all up substantially. I would have questioned Pritz how he thought Illinoisans feel about their new extra cash outlay to drive on pot-hole-ridden roads and unsafe bridges in counties that didn’t vote for him. Or paying taxes on vehicles they are trading before paying taxes on the new vehicles they are buying – another new tax. To some, these are hefty added expenses, but pocket change to Pritz.
Or, I might have quizzed Pritz why he ripped apart the last few restrictions of the abortion laws for an “anything goes approach.” Conservatives are now an even more unwillingly party to one of the most progressive abortion states in the country. Understand, many of us find baby-killing repulsive.
Furthermore, compliments of Pritz, everyone will be able to legally gamble and smoke pot in Illinois, despite the fact those who do participate most heavily are likely the very people who can least afford it. The marijuana laws are going to cause nightmares to businesses navigating citizen rights with litigation over product/service integrity.
I might have included instructions how to operate the kiosks we will have at fast food restaurants as the new $15 per hour minimum wage laws kick in. Or all those green energy reforms Pritzker has up his French-cuffed sleeve in upcoming years. These projects will add further to the tax burden by wasting more money we don’t have, just as Obama proved with the $780 million loss to Solyndra. (Only one of 34 bankruptcies.)
More details on Pritzker’s capital spending plan might have been nice to know while he was here. The plan calls for $45 billion in infrastructure spending. So, let’s see if I understand this - we’re supposed to trust Mike Madigan and his Minions to equitably spread around $45 billion of our hard-earned money? I’d trust gas station sushi first.
I might have suggested Pritz promise to give the $3.5 billion allocated for schools to trade schools and junior colleges too, rather than to the universities with large endowments and over-paid administrators.
But, I’m from Chebanse, what do I know?
Since it’s been proven the Mueller probe was nothing more than a Clinton-financed witch hunt, and Representative Jerry Nadler is a moron, the Democrats needed to find something else which to lynch Trump. They finally came to grips that they can’t impeach him over Russia or just because Trump hurt their feelings. Therefore, they have retreated to an old tactic – use their race card.
Ever been to Baltimore? I have on business a few times. I would feel safer driving through the south side of Chicago during a hot summer evening, blaring Lynyrd Skynyrd music with the windows down.
Trump was irrefutably correct, Baltimore does have a rat problem, and it is a corrupt city. Anyone that believes otherwise probably thinks Chicago is not corrupt either. The last three Baltimore mayors, all Democratic women, resigned amid scandals. Nancy Pelosi’s father, Thomas De’Alesandro Jr., was a mayor there, thought to have been mob-connected. The last Republican mayor was in 1967.
Trump stated the Baltimore people were living in hell, which for some, is a sad fact. Baltimore is ranked America’s third most dangerous city by USA Today, behind only Detroit and St. Louis. (As a side note, a search of mayors of each of the twenty-five most dangerous cities confirms they are all run by Democrats, except San Bernardino CA.)
Feel free to let us know what Trump said was incorrect.
The fact that Trump is an equal opportunity master of the battle of insults doesn’t seem to register with the media. If one hits Trump, they should expect him to retaliate, regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. He has battled with so many people the New York Times is keeping a list. Among others Trump squabbled with include Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, James Comey, Chuck Schumer (often), Alec Baldwin, …well you get the point. And the media was more than happy to spin a blow-by-blow description of those fights. Did you notice those combatants mentioned above are all pigment-challenged?
But, since the current Baltimore mayor, Bernard Young, is black, Maryland US Rep, Elijah Cummings is black, as is 65% of the residents, Trump’s remarks required automatic knee-jerk shrieks from politicians and the media alike, “Trump’s a racist!” Then tax-cheat and noted race hustler, Al Sharpton was invited into the scuffle and bam…the fight was on. The media went orgasmic. Sharpton still didn’t pay his back taxes.
When the Spurned-Socialist-Squad made headlines, some in the media and a few Democrats started to pull the race card they hold in their holsters. A couple weeks afterwards Trump is into a scrum with the city of Baltimore. Race cards were whipped out faster than my wife on a Target bender.
Understand, it’s entertaining to the media for Trump and Chuck Schumer to volley insults, but hey now, Elijah Cummings, he’s off-limits. By God, he’s a US Representative - he said so angrily during a session when a lowly citizen wasn’t giving him the respect he thought he should be getting. Plus, he happens to be black – you just can’t say nasty things about him, railed the Democrats and the media.
It doesn’t matter that he’s been a Rep for twenty-three years while the city of Baltimore has fallen into a rat-infested, crime-ridden abyss. And let’s not bring up the sixteen-billion dollars Cummings has appropriated for Baltimore this year.
But, have you heard about the Maryland Attorney General’s office currently looking into Cummings and his wife, Maya Rockeymoore, Maryland Democratic party boss, for possibly skimming from a charity she runs? Bet not. Since they got married in 2008, Rep. Cummings finances improved tremendously, despite having heavy child support payments for two children with a prior wife, plus a couple other children with women Cummings didn’t marry. He doesn’t seem to be any paragon of virtue to me, despite what his Congressional peers would lead you to believe.
Folks, I’m not so insensitive to think racism doesn’t exist. It has caused innumerable suffering and lack of opportunity to a number of people all over the world for far too long. But, if we continue to allow politicians and the media to use the race card misleadingly for a weapon to beat on opponents, or allow them to foster the idea that all non-white people are victims, then nothing will ever get settled in this country. Like a Trojan Horse Obama left us, the over-use of the race card is dividing us. Trump is not a racist – he was never considered racist until he got elected president.
The word is holding less weight daily regardless of how often CNN or the NY Times repeat it. That’s sad for real victims.