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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

"At any given moment of the day, nearly 50,000 sexual predators are online just trolling for opportunities..."


Another example why the fight against these monsters never ends.

Watch a Channel 12 News investigation.

Americans serving in Iraq need your help. Can you pitch in?

SPCA International

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3RD UPDATE: Culinary no-no #321

Culinary no-no's


Previously on This Just In…


The update: State Rep. Dean Kaufert watered down his own bill.

Read more.

Today, pray


The first Thursday in May in America is the National Day of Prayer. This year’s chairman writes:

“America needs prayer like never before. In fact, I think the answers to our deepest needs as a nation are spiritual, not political. We need divine intervention, and if we don’t receive it, we are in for some very dark days indeed. The United States needs another spiritual awakening or, as it is often called, a revival.”

Read his entire column.

"How Money Walks"


I wonder what Joe Black would say?

In my long broadcast journalism career, I’ve been blessed with the good fortune of meeting and covering many fascinating people. One of them was Joe Black.

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While Congress is Home on Recess

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Reforming the Milwaukee County Board

10 years ago, we learned the Milwaukee County Board couldn’t be trusted.  That tough lesson cost taxpayers over $200 million and promised reform, never happened.
 
A decade later, Chairman Dimitrijevic lies to us about secret, illegal negotiations, and cons us with more fake reform.  Sounds a lot like Tom Ament.

Opponents of reform claim state legislation interferes with local control.

The TRUTH: the bill allows a referendum to be put to a vote, a right most Wisconsin counties have...but not Milwaukee County.

Demand real, guaranteed reform!

Join Citizens for Responsible Government and Charlie Sykes
 
When: Monday May 6th at 6:30PM    

Where: American Serb Hall
             5101 W Oklahoma Ave.
             Milwaukee, WI 53219

FREE ADMISSION
 

REGISTER NOW>>


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Goodnight everyone, and have a spicy weekend!


“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.”

Aaron Copland

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The best cartoons of the week (05/04/13)

Best Cartoons of the Week




Political Cartoons by Steve Breen



 

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson



 

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The Barking Lot-America's Finest Dog Blog (05/04/13)

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just InWritten by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then its DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!


THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors. 

TODAY:  A few showers in the morning, then cloudy skies. High of 61.  "C"

SUNDAY:  Partly to mostly cloudy. High of 62. "B"


Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog:

I admit often that I’m not a big fan of “technology.”  I can promise you that by the time Kyla is in second grade she will either want (or own) more gizmo’s than I can count or operate.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that very soon, long before I qualify for AARP, I will lost in the Dark Ages when it comes to anything electronic.

I know I’m in the minority.  It’s not that I’m sticking my heels in and refusing to update from 8-tracks and Beta movies.  It’s just that the latest and greatest tech toys don’t float my boat.  Give me a glossy-paged, hard cover book chronicling the history of the layer cake and I’ll own it faster than you can say “Butter cream icing.”  We all have our weaknesses.

I’m telling you this because while I’m not personally into gadgets, I can see their appeal for others more tech-savvy than I.  And if you’re a dog lover AND a device lover, I just might have the coolest thing ever for you.  Enter FitBark.

FitBark may be the latest and greatest for dog owners who want to keep tabs on their pup’s activities 24/7.  If you wonder regularly if your terrier is toned, this could be one step (pun intended) towards figuring it out.  A cute little bone-shaped apparatus goes on your dog’s collar to track his every move.  (It’s not like those silly doggie cams where owners post a pup’s eye view of taking a walk.)  Then data is sent to your iPhone and you can see just how much Rex is romping when you’re at work.

Blogger Jay Donovan offers his observations & opinions after seeing the device at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013.

You can watch a little demo here.

If you decide you & your four-legged friend MUST have this, you can pre-order it here.
---Jennifer Fischer


Thanks, Jennifer!

It’s time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

One of the country’s largest organizations dedicated to dogs, the American Kennel Club, is facing new accusations from the Humane Society and the ASPCA saying that some AKC-registered breeders are raising dogs in filthy, inhumane conditions.

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Week-ends (05/04/13)

Week-ends

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


HEROES OF THE WEEK


The remaining three



Gordon Besaw


Shakil Afridi


Paul Goldschmidt


Collegno's Pizzeria in New York



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Dana Sartor


Ramineh Behbehanian


Tom Ammiano


Those who govern high school sports in Ohio


Bloomington High School in California



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


“I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay. I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I'm different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.”
NBA star Jason Collins became the first active player in a major American team sport to come out as gay in a Sports Illustrated article.


“In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness.”
A tweet by Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III following Jason Collins’ announcement.


“All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH (shaking my head) ...”

A tweet by Mike Wallace of the Miami Dolphins reacting to Collins. He later deleted the Tweet and posted: “Never said anything was right or wrong I just said I don't understand!! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended.”


“I’m a Christian. I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin, as I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is. L.Z. [Granderson, a gay sportswriter and ESPN contributor] knows that. He and I have played on basketball teams together for several years. We’ve gone out, had lunch together, we’ve had good conversations, good laughs together. He knows where I stand and I know where he stands. I don’t criticize him, he doesn’t criticize me, and call me a bigot, call me ignorant, call me intolerant.”
ESPN’s Chris Broussard when asked for his personal opinion on Collins’s comments.


"An ABC News-Washington Post survey shows that well over 70 percent of Americans want the surviving accused bomber of the Boston Marathon to be executed if found guilty in a court of law.

"Executed, as in the vicious manner in which he and his brother allegedly took innocent lives at was to be a happy and joyous athletic tradition.

"Executed, as in the cold-blooded manner in which they assassinated a security guard at MIT.

"Executed, as in a carefully planned, methodical elimination of life and limb -- something the accused may understand all too well.

"So now here is the real question: Does anyone really believe that President Obama would favor the execution of this young man if he were convicted of the serious charges he faces?"

Matt Towery, author of "Powerchicks: How Women will Dominate America"


"That the Tsarnaev family, a group exhibiting behavior rarely seen outside of meth-infested trailer parks, came to this country and took, then left and left these children behind is a disgrace. That so many on the political left have even entertained the idea, now being pushed by Mama Tsarnaev, that America is somehow to blame for their radicalization is an even bigger one."
Columnist Derek Hunter


"Speaking of the Boston terrorist attack, how long do you think it’ll be before the Leftists and their co-belligerent compadres, the Muslims, start whining about building a mosque close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon? I’ll give it … eh … six months. One-year tops."
Columnist Doug Giles


"At a press conference this week, the president proved once again that he doesn't understand how his law threatens Americans' jobs, their care and their paycheck…we know the health care law is weighing down our economy and hurting job growth. We can't allow this frail economy to become the new normal. Nearly 22 million Americans can't find a job or the full-time work they want. Millions more have quit looking altogether. Now, even more working Americans are seeing their hours cut because of the unreasonable burdens of the president's health care law. The culprit is a requirement in the law that companies with more than 50 full-time workers provide expensive one-size-fits-all health insurance. Some small businesses have stopped hiring in order to stay below that number of employees. Others are cutting full-time workers back to part-time status — less than 30 hours a week…The economy can't grow until we get Americans back to work. People can't get back to work if there aren't more jobs. Employers aren't hiring because of the health care law."
John Barrasso, a Republican and a physician, is the junior senator from Wyoming.


"On April 30, 1789, at the Federal Hall in New York City, George Washington took the Oath of Office as the first President of the United States. He and the members of both houses of Congress then assembled in the unfinished Senate Chamber where Washington took less than 20 minutes to deliver the first inaugural address. Precisely two hundred and twenty five years later – at the same time of day – the 44th President of the United States wandered into the White House Press Briefing Room for a surreal 48-minute exchange with members of the media.

"The difference in these two presidential presentations, separated by two and a quarter centuries is stark – and alarming – for what was said, left unsaid and the manner in which they were conveyed. Observers described Washington’s delivery as 'humble,' even 'anxious.' Some – noting more than a dozen references to 'prayer,' 'divine blessing,' 'providence' the 'Almighty Being' and the 'Great Author of every public and private good' – said the new president was 'reverent.' None of those match the demeanor of Barack Obama during this week’s séance. Instead of invoking the favor of God, our Head of State sought to fix blame for his failures."
Oliver North


"Say what you will about the methods and strategies of Bush’s war on terror. At least he waged it, and he never failed to identify the enemy by name. Obama fans grow frustrated that despite killing bin Laden, keeping Guantanamo open and launching the (brief) Afghan surge, the 44th president does not carry the image of a brave protector of America. That is because we cannot truly fight terror unless we recognize where it comes from. When Obama wants to protect our lives with the same energy he expends protecting Muslim feelings, we will be instantly safer."
Syndicated radio talk show host Mark Davis


"Maybe I should just pack up and go home. Golly."
President Obama when asked about his second term failures.


"I'm very comfortable with the decision they’ve made right now based on solid scientific evidence for girls 15 and older. I'm very comfortable with contraception. I think it is very important that women have control over their healthcare choices and when they are starting a family. That is their decision to make. And so we want to make sure they have access to contraception.”
President Obama on Thursday told reporters he is "comfortable" with a Food and Drug Administration decision to allow girls 15 years of age and older to buy the morning-after pill (Plan B) over the counter.


“NBC Nightly News deliberately censored the grisly details of abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s alleged crimes. Claiming that they’re ‘too gruesome’ to be discussed on television is absolute nonsense. NBC News covered the Casey Anthony child murder trial 12 times on Nightly News in 2011, including multiple graphic descriptions of that crime. If they can talk about Caylee Anthony’s body decomposing in the trunk of a car, they can talk about Gosnell ‘snipping’ spinal cords to kill babies born alive. The difference is that the details of this murder trial raise serious questions about abortion, the liberal media’s most sacred cow.”
Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center.


"What’s the big deal?

"I mean, why are we surprised that an abortionist and his staff would, behind the walls of an always-lethal abortion clinic, commit one of the most horrific serial killings in American history? What did you think abortionists do, heal people?

"Why are we taken aback that there was no oversight, no regulation, or that
Planned Parenthood, though privy to the clinic’s filthy, medieval conditions, refused to report it to the Department of Health?

"You didn’t really buy that whole 'women’s health' nonsense, did you?

"Sucker.

"And why are we stunned that the mainstream media have spiked a story with all the bloody and salacious newsworthy trappings that – had abortion not been involved – would have filled the news cycle 24/7?

"You think some now-barren, 40-something copy editor who’s had five abortions wants to draw attention to its grisly reality? You think she wants to be reminded of her own string of dismembered little choices? No, better to sip appletinis with the boys down at the National Press Club and pretend it never happened."
Matt Barber, an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Barber is Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action and serves as Associate Dean and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Liberty University School of Law.


"If you want to understand the nature of the contemporary America right now, the relationship between the media and Obama and America, Obama is Nero, media is the fiddle and we are Rome."
Greg Gutfeld,
political satirist, humorist, magazine editor, blogger, and FOX News panelist.


And of course, the White House press corps is here. I know CNN has taken some knocks lately, but the fact is I admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story just in case one of them happens to be accurate.”
President Obama at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.


“To anyone not working in investment banking, these are extremely expensive tickets.”
Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in- chief of Pollstar, a concert-industry magazine commenting on the Rolling Stones’ tour that kicked off in Los Angeles on Friday. Pairs of $600 floor seats were still available Thursday at the Staples Center arena.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


In WI, sex offenders living free on taxpayer dime.


Arrest in Texas.


Illegal aliens and food stamps.



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


Black, Hispanic families have suffered worse economically under Obama.



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay."



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


They call this art?



I'm not buying it.


He decided the grass needed cutting.


That's it for Week-ends.

We close with the latest from NewsBusted.


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This is only a test

 

Recommended Reading (05/04/13)

Recommended Reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).


Leave identity politics out of sports

“Not long ago — OK, 50 years ago — Sports Illustrated put athletes on its covers because they did things only Mickey Mantle, Jim Brown, Bobby Orr, or Wilt Chamberlain could do on the playing field, not in the sack.

“Now Jason Collins' sexual affiliation is the biggest news in sports? Does anyone know, or care, how many points per game he scores or how many shots he blocks?

“No. Being gay and his being willing to announce it to the entire sports world is what's important now.”


Why Jason Collins is not the new Jackie Robinson

When Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, there were no black equivalents of prominent and influential gays and lesbians like Ellen Degeneres and Elton John, Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow, Tim Cook (CEO, Apple) and David Geffen, Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin, just to mention a few. The comparison is actually laughable.”


A homophobic nightmare

“First I dreamed that I was sitting at McDonald’s with our two granddaughters, aged 12 and 6, and they needed to use the bathroom. ‘Go ahead kids,’ I said. ‘I can see you from here.’

“Off they went, under my watchful eyes, the older girl holding the younger girl’s hand, until they disappeared into the ladies room. But seconds later, they came running out, shocked.

“Grandpa, there’s a man wearing a dress in there!”

“Stunned, I went to talk to the manager, but he informed me that this was the official policy of the franchise.”


Did we all fail the Tsarnaevs?

“The Tsarnaevs' mom, now relocated from Cambridge to Makhachkala in delightful Dagestan, told a press conference the other day that she regrets ever having gotten mixed up with those crazy Yanks: ‘I would prefer not to have lived in America,’ she said.

“Not, I'm sure, as much as the Richard family would have preferred it. Eight-year-old Martin was killed; his sister lost a leg; and his mother suffered serious brain injuries. What did the Richards and some 200 other families do to deserve having a great big hole blown in their lives? Well, according to The New York Times, they and you bear collective responsibility.”


The coming ObamaCare shock

“Millions of Americans will pay more for health insurance, lose their coverage, or have their hours of work cut back.”


Time to confront crackpots

“The problem that dogs conservatives is not stupidity; it is crackpotism.

“Within their own bubble, the crackpots’ ideas can seem plausible and insightful. Supporters praise one another for daring to embrace overlooked truths.

“But ideas that win plaudits and huzzahs within the ideological bubble often turn out to be disqualifying for the general electorate. When crackpots venture out of the bubble, their notions are often exposed as eccentric and daft.

“Worst of all...”


Why I could never be a liberal

“This isn't just because I believe conservatism will lead to a more prosperous and virtuous society, but also because — in the unlikely event either side were to obtain carte blanche authority — the Left scares me more than the Right. There's no shortage of examples.”


Memo to the Mayor: Heather's story

“We worked hard, Mr. Mayor, but it's time to get our boys to a safer place. So, here goes another tax-paying, stable family with five college degrees out to Waukesha County.”


Sometimes I feel like a motherless nation

“Moms come running to deal with crises. Our leaders say, ‘Kick the problem down the road a few months. Then we’ll form a committee to debate the procedures for forming a subcommittee to hire a consultant’…”


And finally...




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Photos of the Week (05/05/13)

Photos of the Week

1) An ironworker uses a line to steady the final piece of a spire, affixed with a U.S. flag, before it is lifted to the top of One World Trade Center in New York, on May 2. Photo: Lucas Jackson / Reuters


2) A U.S. Border Patrol agent detains undocumented immigrants who had crossed from Mexico into the United States on April 11, 2013 in Mission, Texas. In the last month the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector has seen a spike in the number of immigrants crossing the river from Mexico into Texas. With more apprehensions, they have struggled to deal with overcrowding while undocumented immigrants are processed for deportation. John Moore / Getty Images


3) South Korean riot policemen spray tear gas at protesters during a rally marking 123th World Labor Day in Seoul, South Korea on May 1. The protesters attended the demonstration demanding an improvement of working conditions for temporary workers. Photo: Jeon Heon-kyun / EPA


4) Carmen Blandin Tarleton of Thetford, Vt., embraces her surgeon, Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, during a news conference at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass., Wednesday, May 1, 2013. The 44-year-old mother of two underwent a successful face transplant in February after a 2007 attack in which her estranged husband doused her with industrial strength lye, burning more than 80 percent of her body. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


5) The spinning vortex of Saturn's north polar storm resembles a deep red rose in this false-color image from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Measurements have sized the eye at a staggering 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) across with cloud speeds as fast as 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second). This image was taken from a distance of 261,000 miles (419,000 kilometers) on Nov. 27, 2012, with filters sensitive to near-infrared light. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI


6) Chocolate, a miniature dachshund, receives acupuncture therapy from veterinarian Satoshi Okada to help with lumbar disk herniation, at the Marina Street Okada animal hospital on April 12, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Adam Pretty / Getty Images


7) Great white pelicans play in the Dresden Zoo in eastern Germany on April 29. Photo: Jens Meyer / AP


8) A red panda eats the leaves of a bamboo plant at the zoo in Krefeld, Germany on April 29. Photo: Roland Weihrauch / EPA


9) An owl butterfly sits on a banana plant at the tropical house in Krefeld, Germany on April 29. Photo: Roland Weihrauch / EPA


10) A giant panda rests on a tree at the Bifengxia Panda Center Ya'an City, Sichuan Province, China on April 26. Just days earlier, an earthquake struck about 20 miles away from the panda center. The April 20 quake did not harm any of the center's endangered animals. Photo: Reuters


11) Jakub Koucky (R), a graduate from Jedlickuv Institute, is helped by a climber during the first ever attempt to rappel from Prague's Congress Center in a wheelchair, at an event to mark the institute's 100th founding anniversary in Prague, May 4, 2013. The institute was started by Rudolf Jedlicka a century ago to educate handicapped children. REUTERS/Petr Josek


12) San Diego Padres hitting coach Phil Plantier raises his arms in triumph as he watches the Kentucky Derby on the scoreboard video screen during warmups for a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks San Diego, Saturday, May 4, 2013. Orb won the Derby. (AP photo/Lenny Ignelzi)


13) Joel Rosario riding  Orb reacts after the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman)


14) Willy Weaver, from Albany, Ga., walks through the paddock area before the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. David Goldman - AP Photo


15) A race fan in a festive hat, smokes a cigar while it rains, prior to the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)


16) James Cowheard, from Las Vegas, Nev., shows off his fancy shoes before the running of the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman)


17) An unidentified man is kissed by his fiance after a successful proposal before a race in the paddock at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Louisville, Ky.  (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)


18) Vince Gill cries as he performs with Patty Loveless during the funeral for country music star George Jones in the Grand Ole Opry House on Thursday, May 2, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. Jones, one of country music's biggest stars who had No. 1 hits in four separate decades, died April 26. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, Pool)


19) Dancers perform at an open audition to join the world famous Rockettes at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, on April 30. Photo: Mike Segar / Reuters


20) A giant rubber duck created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman is towed along Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor on May 2, 2013. "Rubber Duck," which is 54 feet high, will be in Hong Kong until June 9. Since 2007, the duck has traveled to 10 countries and 12 cities. Photo: Vincent Yu / AP


21) Lady Justice, which overlooks downtown Marion, Ohio atop the county courthouse, received an accidental upgrade to her equipment last weekend. In addition to the scales of justice and a double-edged sword, a seven-pound, nine-inch remote-control helicopter rests in the arms of the statue. Terry Cline, an independent visual communications producer, director and writer, said a camera-equipped drone was lost while he was taking pictures of the Marion County Courthouse for a surprise project for the Marion CAN DO! program and the Marion Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Cline said the drone caught an unexpected breeze and he lost control. “I’m amazed it ended up where it is,” he said. Marion County’s commissioners said they had been contacted by Cline on how to retrieve the device. They are leaving it up to the sheriff’s office, the prosecutor’s office and the owner. Photo: Marion Star

Culinary no-no #327

Culinary no-no's

FOGEY ALERT! FOGEY ALERT!


Kids!
I don't know what's wrong with these kids today!
Kids!
Who can understand anything they say?
Kids!
They are disobedient, disrespectful oafs!
Noisy, crazy, dirty, lazy, loafers!
While we're on the subject:
Kids!
You can talk and talk till your face is blue!
Kids!
But they still just do what they want to do!
Why can't they be like we were,
Perfect in every way?
What's the matter with kids today?
--- Paul Lynde singing “Kids” from “Bye Bye Birdie”

Here comes the obligatory lengthy lead-in to this week’s main point. We go back to February 9, 2009, and Culinary no-no #100:

Once a week she visited our 7th grade class.  A sweet, charming, bubbly lady, she hailed originally from Cincinnati, but had an accent thicker than Scarlett O’Hara’s.  Her mission: to groom a bunch of 13-year old kids.

Because after all, as she often drawled, “You wanna be nice, good lookin’ and clean all over, dontcha, huhhhhhhhh?????!!!!”

Manners. We had to learn and practice good manners.

As hysterical as this may sound to some of you, I was an extremely good boy. To this day, I always try to be a perfect gentleman. I owe it all to that woman.

She hammered proper etiquette into us like a drill sergeant with a perpetual smile. Over and over and over and over and over again. Want another analogy? It was Vince Lombardi-like. Then came the real test, the time to execute.

Maybe she could sense that I was not an insensitive kid. Whatever the reason, when she issued an assignment pairing up a boy with a girl to put the grooming lessons into practice, I got matched with Sharon Clock.

Everyone in the 7th grade knew that I had a thing for Debbie Huck and vice versa since the 1st grade. Debbie was pretty, very smart and sweet, and built beyond her 7th grade status. Sharon Clock was short, dumpy, fat, and had a silver front tooth. Kids didn’t dislike her. They just pretty much ignored her.

Instead of Debbie Huck, for the next several weeks, I would shadow Sharon. I pulled out her chair. I held the door for her. I hung up her coat. I held her coat when she put it on. I carried her books.  I talked nice to her.

“Is there anything else I can do for you, Sharon? Is there anything I can get you, Sharon? Do you have any other request before I kill myself, Sharon?”

When you’re in the 7th grade, you possess Superman-like peripheral vision and hearing. You can see and hear the smirks and laughter as you help Little Miss Fatty into her seat.

At a Friday afternoon in-classroom party, the occasion escapes me, other kids were spinning records and dancing and laughing and joking.

“Would you like to go hang out with the other kids, Sharon?”

"No, not really, Kevin.”

“Well, what do you wanna do?”

“Are you serious, Kevin?”

Her words echoed through my brain: "You wanna be nice, good lookin’ and clean all over, dontcha, huhhhhhhhh?????!!!!”

“Sure, Sharon.”

“I’d like to play chess.”

“Excuse me?”

“Chess. I want to play chess."

It’s amazing how a 7th grader’s thoughts can quickly turn from good grooming to homicide in a matter of seconds. So we played chess, and I tried to ignore the 45’s blaring in the background, and the laughing, and the snickering.


7th grade.

Elementary school.

Prepubescent days.

And I had manners galore.

This past week I thought about 7th grade and the drill sergeant and Sharon Clock as I picked up the Journal Sentinel. There, right smack dab on the front page…