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Turning 40—My Excellent Wife Wearing Wedding Dress And Holding Bowling Ball

This is the final part of the Texas Liberal series I’ve called Turning 40. 

The best day of my life was March 25, 2000. This was the day I got hitched in Las Vegas, Nevada.

We were married at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino by a man in a purple robe. I believe he was intended to appear as some sort of medieval wizard as that would have been consistent with the theme of the hotel. We had around 50 guests.

The reception was held at the Orleans Hotel. Instead of dancing we had bowling. Please see above the picture of my beautiful wife in her wedding dress, showing off a bowling shoe and holding a bowling ball. 

My wife is my best friend and is the best person in the world.   

September 18, 2007 Posted by | My Wife Is The Best Person Ever, Turning 40 | 8 Comments

Turning 40—Drug Overdose Claimed Good Friend

This post is part of a Texas Liberal series as I turn 40 this week.   

At 40, I’ve been lucky in that only person close to me has died.

That will change in time, but right now that is the story.

He died of a heroin overdose.

I’m not judgmental about it. Personally, I resisted even marijuana. I avoided weed partly out of  conservatism about drug use and partly out of repulsion about smoking the same joint that five other people were smoking. 

Still, I feel some understanding of why people would do drugs. Reality is a bitch and people do things to escape. I just wish my friend had found a different escape route.

My friend who died was Noam. That was not his real name. He liked Noam Chomsky so that is what I’ll call him.

Noam was the kind of guy who might hit on your girlfriend right in front of your face and you’d forgive him. Maybe it was the license people granted him that made him think he could get away with using heroin.

He was 29 when he died.

Noam was one of the few people I knew at the time who had an interest in books and politics. He had a great deal of personal energy and you were always aware of him when in his presence.

I’m not certain if there was an underlying anger or sadness that led him to heroin. Since those traits, especially the anger, have been present in some of my closest friends, maybe he did have those feelings.

The death toll of friends will only increase as time progresses.  

September 15, 2007 Posted by | Turning 40 | 1 Comment

Turning 40—Amazingly, Nearly 10,000 People Once Supported Me For Cincinnati Board Of Education

 

This is part of a Texas Liberal series of reminisces as I turn 40 this week.

Amazingly, in 1997 almost 10,000 voters thought I should be elected to serve on the Cincinnati Board of Education. ( The picture is of Cincinnati in 1862.)

Among 12 candidates I finished ninth. The top four were elected. I was glad not to finish last and felt I’d done well given my resources. I think I raised about $3,500.

I ran because I thought it might be fun.

It was fun. I enjoyed going to community councils and making my case. I enjoyed having friends help gather ballot access signatures and come out with me on campaign appearances.

My main issue was corporate involvement in Cincinnati schools and corporate control over members of the incumbent board. Large Cincinnati companies were heavily involved with the schools at the time. I suggested this compromised the board’s advocacy for students in the district.

“We’ve got to take back this school board from Kroger’s and Procter and Gamble!”

An issue in 1997 was the Cincinnati board joining other big city Ohio boards in pushing a lawsuit that would have helped equalize funding between urban and more affluent suburban districts. I believe Cincinnati was the only big city board not supporting the lawsuit.

I was endorsed by the local UAW and AFL-CIO. I was endorsed by a few other unions, but I can’t remember which ones specifically. I was also endorsed by Stonewall Cincinnati.

I had nice union made bumper stickers and union printed brochures. I cut a radio ad I think I had enough money to run about 30 times.

I was not endorsed by the Hamilton County Democratic Party. I was asked to interview but I said no. I felt the county party had done a lousy job in assisting the poor and average working people and, also, was a creature of corporate money and sleazy donors. Today, I suppose, I would likely do the interview

I felt I served the public by running for the Cincinnati Board of Education and I remain appreciative of people who voted for me and of the friends who helped me with the campaign.

September 13, 2007 Posted by | Cincinnati, Elections, Turning 40 | 1 Comment

Turning 40—The One Damn Time I Failed To Vote In 22 Years As Eligible Voter

This is part of a Texas Liberal series of reminisces as I turn 40 this week

Just once in my life have I failed to vote. It was some type of hospital bond issue maybe 20 years ago in Hamilton County, Ohio. It was the only issue on a special election ballot. That is at least how I recall it.I did not give the matter much thought until a professor criticized the low voter turnout for the issue during a class on Canadian politics I was taking. 

Since that day in class, I have often thought about my perfect voting record for primaries, special elections and general elections—Perfect except for one damn vote.   

September 11, 2007 Posted by | Cincinnati, Elections, Political History, Turning 40 | Leave a comment

Turning 40—Good Way To Meet A Girl Was To Read A Book In A Bar

This is the first part of a Texas Liberal series of reminisces as I turn 40 this week. 

The first time I got drunk was in a gay bar called the Eagle Club in Columbus, Ohio. What I recall most from the night was a large video screen over the dance floor playing Dead or Alive’s Brand New Lover and a huge man wearing a big fur coat.

I think the Eagle Club is gone now or has relocated after some type of ownership dispute.

The bar I spent the most time in was Sub Galley on Short Vine Street in Cincinnati. It was the kind of place where you felt you might get tuberculosis from other patrons.

The man who made the submarine sandwiches back in the kitchen was very religious and quiet. This stood in some contrast to what was taking place out in the bar. I think he was praying for our souls.

I did a lot of reading in bars. I found this was a good way to get a girl who would not otherwise speak to me to actually initiate a conversation herself.

“What are you reading?”

Yes—It does score points with a girl to have a 700 page biography of Charles de Gaulle in your hands.

I once made a list of every bar I had visited in Cincinnati. I wish I could find that list because it was impressive. I recall I had maybe 60 bars on my list. Every type of bar except a country bar.

I had no problem being the only straight guy in a gay bar or being the only white guy in a black bar.

But some things are a lot to ask.

My bar days are (mostly) over now. I put in my time.      

September 10, 2007 Posted by | Best Posts July-Dec. 2007, Books, Cincinnati, Turning 40 | 6 Comments