Category Archives: Bridgeport

Generally Speaking Redux

Maybe I’ve mentioned once or twice that my brother, Fred, was a wonderful big brother.  I really don’t exaggerate.  If  you could have made up the perfect big brother, it would have been Fred.  But you probably would have given him a better name.

Fred is 3 years older than me.  And he played with me all the time.  He didn’t beat me up.  He wasn’t mean.  He let me tag along wherever he went.

He actually seemed to enjoy my company, too.  Or at least, it never occurred to me that he might not be enjoying it.  Perhaps I was late in picking up some social clues.  Anyway, I can honestly not remember Fred ever hurting me, or setting me up to fail, or doing any mean big brother things to me.

He was my hero.  When we tucked towels into our jammies and jumped off the back of the couch, I was not just pretending Fred was Superman.  He was Superman.  Of course I also thought that our dog, Tip, was SuperDog when we called him “Kripto,” tucked a dishtowel into his collar and pushed him off the back of the couch.

It was during the late 1950s and early 60s; we saw Westerns on TV and in the movies — The Lone Ranger, Branded, How the West Was Won, and more.  There were a lot of shoot outs at our house, too, because that’s what we played most of the time.   Fred invented great games for us.  Cowboys and Indians, gun fights, sheriff and posse.

Fred was always the hero.  Me?

I was the bad guy who got outgunned and had to keel over and die.

I was the outlaw brought to justice by the handsome sheriff.

I was the squaw who had to skin and cook the deer.

I always lost.

I felt good that at least I had a better part than Tip.  Tip was the deer, and Fred and I would chase him around pretending to shoot him with arrows.  Fred and his friends once caught Tip and tied him onto our broom and carried him Indian-style, to roast over our pretend fire.  Tip escaped and didn’t want to play Indian for a week or so.  We did not eat him.

Tip was much less cooperative for some reason. (Google Image)

Tip was much less cooperative for some reason. (Google Image)

Losing wasn’t a condition for Fred to play with me, but it was reality.  Fred always won.  He was always first, fastest, bravest.  He was always the hero.

Fred’s pretend horse, Thunder, was faster than my horse, Lightning, even after Fred discovered that in real life lightning comes first.  Fred showed me pictures of lightning in “the big dictionary” – a huge reference book we loved to look at.  It had the coolest pictures and lots of words we couldn’t read.  If something was in the big dictionary, it was fact.  Period.  “In real life,” Fred said, pointing to a picture of a scary bolt in a stormy sky, “Lightning is faster than thunder.  But not with horses.”

I really didn’t mind.  If Fred’s horse was slightly faster than mine, that was OK.  We were a team.

But one day when Fred wanted to play Cowboys and Indians, I’d had enough of losing.  Maybe I was growing up.

“I wanna be the cowboy,” I insisted.  “You always get to be the cowboy.  I always get shot.”

“OK,” Fred said.  He didn’t argue or try to convince me to be the Indian.  I should have been suspicious.  But I’ve always trusted Fred completely.  I knew he would never be mean to me.

“OK,” said Fred, again, thinking up a new game.  “You can be a General!  I’ll be an Indian, ummmm, I’ll be called Crazy Horse.”

“OK!” I said, excitedly.  A General!  I wasn’t just cowboy.  I was gonna be a general!

I blew my bugle, called my troops to arms.  My imaginary troops and I rode off on our stallions to fight the Injuns.

I blew my bugle again and my (pretend) troops surrounded me.  We heard Indian war whoops from Fred and his Indian braves.  Fred/Crazy Horse and his braves came at me, surrounding me and my men on all sides.  But I wasn’t worried.  I was a general.  And even at that age, I knew that the cowboys always win.

And then Fred shot me.

I did not flinch.  I did not fall.  I did not succumb to my wounds.  I screamed bloody murder:

“I’m the cowboy!  You can’t shoot me!

I’M THE GENERAL!

Fred calmed me down and took me by the hand over to the big dictionary.  He turned the pages and showed me a picture of a general in a cowboy hat with blond curls.  He looked just like me.  Except for the mustache (mine grew in many years later).

Thanks a lot, Google

Thanks a lot, Google

George Armstrong Custer.

“That’s General Custer,” Fred said.  “Crazy Horse killed him.  Or Sitting Bull did.  Some Indian killed him at the battle of Little Bighorn.  The Sioux Indians surrounded General Custer and his men and killed them.”

I didn't have a chance

I didn’t have a chance

If it was in a book, in the big dictionary, well then,  I had to die.  It was right there in black and white with a color picture.  It was my fate.

We went back over to the battlefield (the front hall) and started the battle again.  Again, I blew my bugle and rallied my troops into a circle around me.  Again, the Indians pressed forward, surrounded us.

Again, General Custer got shot.  And this time he/I was brave.  I clutched my heart, tossed my curls and fell dead.

*     *     *

I owe my devotion to the underdog and my tendency to look everything up to my big brother, who is still wonderful.  Today, I will be visiting my big brother/hero, coincidentally, so I decided to re-run this post.

Because today,  June 25th is the 140th Anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn.

And speaking once more as General Custer, I deserved exactly what I got.

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Am I Too Late for the Debate Debate?

Sorry guys.  I’ve let you down.  I know that you rely on me for news.  And I failed you.

I haven’t written a single word about the GOP candidate kerfluffle on the debate and all those mean questions that the CNBC moderators asked.

So I thought I’d leave it to my spokesman to make my comments for me:

I mean, what more could I offer?  What more can be said about these clowns and their “‘First Percent’ Running For Prez” problems?  Not much.

Frankly even I, a political junkie, am getting sick of it all.

So I’ve been trying to figure out just what we can do to get a little bit of relief from it all, without, well, getting too much relief from it all.  And I have a few ideas:

  • We could restrict GOP access to one channel (Fox would do nicely).  Who wouldn’t want to listen to this:

  • We could gamble on the odds of the various GOP contenders getting the nomination (there’s actually a website that does this:  http://www.sportsbettingdime.com/news/presidential-election-super-serious-odds-and-props/.  Me, I’m planning on making a mint by betting on Scott Walker becoming the 45th President of These United States.  Nobody else will think to bet on him!  I will clean up!
  • Or we could eliminate all news of the GOP and fill the airtime with additional CSI series in different American cities!  Because, really, you just can’t have too many gun-drug-sex related crime shows set in America’s cities, now can we?

I must confess, I’m leaning towards the last one.  Because I have just the city for the show!  A city that combines crime with a Democratic Tradition!

Image Wikimedia

Image Wikimedia

The Park City — Bridgeport, Connecticut!

Wait, wait!  Don’t go.  I’m not done!  And I have good reason to suggest this location!

You see, I, personally, was born in Bridgeport– as were all of my family members whom you’ve come to know and love.  The fact that we moved away really has no bearing on the issue of whether a good crime drama could be situated in Bpt.

Equally important, one of my relatives once served as Mayor of this fine city.  I never met this cousin 238 times removed.  But still, blood is blood and that’s important in any crime drama.

Lastly, on Tuesday, the City of Bridgeport — my home town — elected an  ex-convict Mayor.

Ex-Con In Jail For Seven Years Elected Mayor of Bridgeport, CT

Bridgeport

Image: Breitbart News (Still, it is really actually true — they DID elect an ex-con who’d gone to jail for cheating the City of Bridgeport!)

http://wtnh.com/2015/11/03/ex-convict-declares-victory-in-bridgeport-mayors-race/

Voters in Bridgeport, Connecticut elected as their next mayor an ex-convict who spent seven years in federal prison after being convicted on 16 corruption charges.

Democrat Joe Ganim, 56, had served as mayor of Bridgeport – the state’s largest city – 12 years ago, from 1991 to 2003, when he resigned after being convicted of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from individuals and companies in exchange for sending city contracts in their direction, the New York Times reports.

Since he was released from prison five years ago, Ganim has worked as a legal assistant at his family’s law firm in Bridgeport, though he has not been able to have his law license restored.

Now tell me, which would you choose?  To watch the GOP or to watch a colorful Democrat?

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