Category Archives: Catholic School

Hot Air

These Boots….

In my entire life I’ve only ever really lusted after two material items. Well, three, technically. Funny thing is, they were both sort of related.

One was a transistor radio. I dreamed, both sleeping and awake, about owning one for a good six months when I was eight years old. I was certain my notoriously penny-pinching mom would never get me one for Christmas but that didn’t stop me from haranguing her from September on in 1964. And on Christmas Eve when I finally opened the little package that I had no idea would indeed be a Sears Silvertone transistor radio, I let out a shriek equal to any emitted by teenaged girls at a Beatles concert.

Which brings me to item No. 2: I wanted a pair of Beatle boots. Good god in heaven, they were the coolest shoes ever designed. Pointy toes. Cuban heels. No laces, only that very neat insert of elastic at the side. The Beatles were cool, sure, but their feet were transcendently cool because they were encased in those works of art.

Beatle Boots

Beatle boots.

Just saying the words brings back the old covetous feeling. I wanted…, no, I needed them.

Naturally, the nuns at St. Giles Catholic school made an announcement early on during Beatlemania that Beatle boots — as well as Beatle haircuts — would be forbidden. Oh, how I wanted those boots more than ever after that.

The very sound of Beatle boots — a smart click-click that echoed through the halls — was intoxicating. My stupid soft-soled and -heeled shoes sounded like, well, nothing.

Some of the cooler guys at St. Giles got around the Beatle boots ban by wearing what we called “Dago shoes.” By the way, the cooler guys at St. Giles invariably were the Italians from the Galewood neighborhood of Chicago. The Irish kids from Oak Park wore plaid shirts and corduroy trousers.

Trousers. Hehe. The losers.

The cool kids wore skin-tight, knifelike-creased slacks. I would have cut off a finger or two to dress like the cool kids, many of whom were the scions of mid-level Outfit guys. Their daddy-os might have been vicious mobsters but their style sense was impeccable.

I had my priorities as I approached adolescence.

Anyway, Dago shoes. They, too, had pointy toes and Cuban heels but they were lace-ups. And the laces were the skinny, round, shiny kind, not the flat, black cloth, sensible variety that the Irish Oak Parkers wore. Again, the losers.

I remember one of the coolest kids being yanked out of line by one of the tough-guy nuns because he was wearing Dago shoes. “But S’ter,” he protested, “these aren’t Beatle boots!”

This legal hair-splitting clearly forced the nuns to re-strategize. That afternoon when Sister James Mary, the principal, made her end-of-day announcements over the PA, she said, her voice dripping with annoyance, “And from now on, there will be no more wearing of ‘Dago shoes.'” Then she added, speaking slowly and distinctly, “No pointed toes and no Cuban heels.”

We all tittered and giggled over the fact that she’d said Dago.

Sister Caelin barked, “Quiet!”

Dago shoes with Cuban heels. It was like a social studies and geography lesson rolled into one.

Back to Beatle boots — just look at this still from the Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night:

From "A Hard Day's Night"

How kicky, in the parlance of the times. Wearing their signature footwear, the boys appear to be running on air, levitating, like the demi-gods they were. How I wished I could levitate like a demi-god.

Today, of course, I wear the clunkiest, roundest-toe, softest-soled shoes in all of creation. Adulthood, man. It beats a kid’s dreams down.

Money (That’s What Pols Need)

Joe Crawford’s News Dept. at WFHB reported yesterday that John Hamilton scooted out to Washington, DC for a fundraiser at some snazzy restaurant in our nation’s capital.

Hmm.

Hamilton’s been crowing that he won’t take a dime of “corporate money” ever since he declared himself a candidate for Bloomington mayor in this year’s election.

Hamilton

Hamilton

[BTW: Early voting has begun. Go do it now!]

Yet, his DC fundraiser featured at least two big bucks lobbyists. Okay, sure, as Hamilton himself says, the lobbyists’ dough is not the same as corporate green. He points out that the lobbyists work for good, wholesome, “progressive” operations not, I imagine, big, mean old companies that profit off the raping of the planet.

Still, it’s checkbook democracy. Hamilton’s not a villain here; it’s the entire Citizens United political racket that’s corrupt.

Anyway, give a listen to the WFHB report.

Money (That’s What I Want)

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” — Lenny Bruce

DO IT NOW

Vote or shut up.

Cast your ballot today at these locations:

The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St. — 8am-6pm

Evangelical Community Church, 503 S. High St. — 10am-6pm

JESUS IS ON

When I was a kid, this switchplate was on my bedroom wall:

I always thought the boy kid was the world’s biggest square because he had cuffed pants, a fashion faux pas in the 1960s tantamount to wearing parachute pants to school today. Plus, he was a trousers-monster: See how high he’s got his drawers hitched up?

At the time, I was in primary school. I was trying to figure out what the nuns meant when they commanded me to love god. Just looking at that boy kid, though, convinced me that I wanted nothing to do with their god.

I’d gladly suffer the horrors of hell in exchange for not looking like such a dope.

When I hit the age of 13, I unscrewed that switchplate and replaced it with a peace sign one. Ma said, “Oh, Mike, why?” when she discovered it was gone. I think she may have been more traumatized by the realization that her little terrorist was growing up than she was that he was losing a religion he never really had.

This pic has been making the rounds on Facebook these days. The first time I saw it, it jarred me, the way seeing your class picture from the sixth or seventh grade makes a guy feel a little uncomfortable. All those cute girls who inspired stirrings and arousals and furtive sessions dedicated to the intense contemplation of their budding breasts suddenly seem a bit embarrassing, considering those little girls were, well, little girls.

Anyway, thank heavens neither I nor my peers who had that same switchplate (trust me, every Catholic school kid had one) were as perceptive as we are now. Note the position of the on-off switch.

I mean, honestly!

Is it possible that whoever designed this thing simply could not see what was going on here?

Man. Lucky I’m not a conspiracy theorist or I’d think the Catholic Church had some kind of weird sex thing going on.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

VOTE TODAY ◗ Two Locations, Bloomington:

  • The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St.; 8am-6pm
  • Evangelical Community Church, 503 S. High St.; 10am-6pm

STUDIO TOUR ◗ Brown County, various locationsThe Backroads of Brown County Studio Tour, free, self-guided tour of 16 local artists’ & craftspersons’ studios; 10am-5pm, through October

MUSIC & LECTURE IU Auer HallLudger Lohman on organ & talks about Franz Listz’s “Fantasia” and Fugue on B-A-C-H; 3pm

FILM ◗ IU Hillel Center — “Paperclips,” Part of Hillel’s Holocaust Awarenes Program; 6pm

MUSIC & LECTURE ◗ IU Auer HallLudger Lohman on organ & talks about Franz Listz’s “Fantasia” and Fugue on B-A-C-H; 6pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Ernie Pyle HallSchool of Journalism Speakers Series: Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post; 6:30pm

CLASS ◗ The LodgeTango lessons, Presented by Bloomington Argentine Tango Organization: 6:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Project Nim“; 7pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium — “What Is the Higgs Boson?” Presented by Harold Ogren; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallStudio Recital: Octubafest 2012, Daniel Pernatoni, director; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleRichard Groner; 7-9pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Sweeney HallGuest lecturer, Composer Joseph Schwantner; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts CenterLobby Concert Series: Jazz Combo; 7:15pm

STAGE ◗ IU Wells-Metz Theatre — “Richard III“; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Rachael’s CafeMathis Grey; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdDinosaur Jr; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts CenterJazz Ensemble, Director: Brent Wallarab, Guest Artist: Curtis Fuller on trombone; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubSongwriter Showcase; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopDJ Jeremy Brightbill; 8pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Threads of Love: Baby Carriers from China’s Minority Nationalities“; through December 23rd
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • Ab-Fab — Extreme Quilting,” by Sandy Hill; October 5th through October 27th
  • Street View — Bloomington Scenes,” by Tom Rhea; October 5th through October 27th
  • From the Heartwoods,” by James Alexander Thom; October 5th through October 27th
  • The Spaces in Between,” by Ellen Starr Lyon; October 5th through October 27th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf; through November 16th
  • Small Is Big; Through November 16th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners;” through December 20th
  • Gender Expressions;” through December 20th

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others: Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections from the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibits:

  • Doctors & Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical Professions
  • What Is Your Quilting Story?
  • Garden Glamour: Floral Fashion Frenzy
  • Bloomington Then & Now
  • World War II Uniforms
  • Limestone Industry in Monroe County

The Ryder & The Electron Pencil: Bloomington’s Best

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