A good Saturday morning to you from the land of “Lake Effect” snows on the western shores of Lake Michigan. Marcia and I arrived here yesterday afternoon after dutifully (and I must add – successfully) negotiating the never ending gauntlet of Indiana State Highway Police. They were everywhere, mile after mile.

I used the word “successfully” since that is exactly what I did. I straddled, perfectly, that amazingly fine line between ‘speeding’ and still being slightly in excess of the posted speed limit. Please all say; “well done Dirk”.

Here our SUPER hosts, Paul and Dia received us with open arms; in which me with my usual girth, barely fit. But, it’s great to be here and be amongst the first guests in their new home. They’ve only been in it a few months, but already it’s wonderfully comfortable and comforting – it’s a beautiful place.

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” ~ Mario Andretti

Is anybody out there? – I realize that this morning I am fighting the emergence of the religion of Star Wars, The Force Awakens. Many of you have lost sleep staying late in the Temples of IMAX, the mega-churches of RKO, or even in little one room gathering places called Cinemark. Hence my concern – that now I have lost my complete audience. I fear that, maybe, just maybe my solid readership of at least four individuals has now disappeared. I sincerely hope not.

Back to Star Wars – Yesterday on our trip we called Kirstin. She mentioned that she presented a little talk on her heritage for 9-year old Kellen’s classmates. DV The subject, therefore, was on our family roots being Dutch.

Kirstin ended her talk by teaching the students a couple of Dutch language words. Among them were the words; “moeder” (mother) and “vader” (father). I don’t remember what she said it was that had the light go on, whether it was Kellen, Kirstin, or one of the students. But, someone blurted out; ““vader” that is the same as “Darth Vader””. Her question; “think they meant to use the Dutch word for ‘father’ to name that character, especially since at the end of that first Star Wars movie it was revealed that Vader was in fact Luke’s father?”

Court – Tuesday I spent much of the day at court. I was with our neighborhood Association, police people, ACLU, Homeless Coalition, and so forth dealing with a New Jersey based slum landlord. The topic being the conditions of 5 buildings (3 of which are either in or abut our neighborhood). All together these structures comprise of several hundreds of apartments. To our district’s police they represent about 80% of their daily calls for service.

The City wanted the properties declared a nuisance, placed in receivership, and begin the process of rehabbing the structures and managing the residents of these places.

To avoid a trial, much of the day was spent in back-room negotiations between the various parties. Finally, it became clear that a viable resolution was near at hand. So then, what was all this waiting around? Several hours of waiting around no less.

At some point one of the ladies in our group took a potty break. Twenty or so minutes later the “All Rise” call was made and our blond, middle-aged, judge came out of chambers. My friend’s jaw dropped. She whispered to me; “I just saw that woman in the hallway when I came back from the restroom”. And continued; “she was carrying two overflowing Macy’s shopping bags – one in each hand”. While all of us were bustling about and the city paying a ton of wages for folk to be there, this judge was finishing up her Christmas shopping.

I now more fully understand why the wheels of justice move slowly.

Luminaria 2015 – a little visual of what it was like last Saturday evening.

DSCF2429            DSCF2431 Luminary walk #1 Luminary walk #5

Fini – Merry Christmas to everyone!

Make it a great week everyone, stay safe.



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