Sunday, October 01, 2017

He's Back! October's Edition of "Just Sayin'" By John E. Clark



Prologue By Brian E. Clark (Son of John, for those who couldn't connect those dots).  I obviously read these columns before they're published, because, well, I'm a staff writer. We do Nepotism around here. This is Dear Ol' Dad's second step up to the plate. (A pun which will be revealed soon) Readers of his columns, that don't know him personally, (I don't think that's possible in Middletown) must know that what he writes, isn't satire. He does what he says he does, and says what he prints. He has a genuine concern for others, and he will go out of his way to help someone, even if his ways are a bit unconventional. He has the biggest heart, and has served the City of Middletown in some capacity, ever since I've been alive, anyways. This even shows in his retirement. Most people after working all their lives want to relax, and enjoy the Golden Years. My father retires, and with my Step-Mom, starts a Radio Station to bring back what was the soundtrack of Middletown in it's greatest years. Those who know him can know that he always has what's best at heart, even if you have to weather the "Wrath of Clark" to see it. As he gets older, I am concerned that his ways may get him in a pickle. So, for Father's Day, I got him a Baseball Bat. He hasn't played Baseball in 35 years. Enjoy his column!


Thank you to all who read my first column on September 1. From the feedback I received from the editors of this
the publication, it was well received.

So now we move on . . .

THE FAMILY COMMITTEE

If you come from a rather large Italian family, you will get the drill of the following conversation which will take place :

“ So, you-a wanna marry-a my daughter-a ?

That’s-a nice. But-a first-a, you have-a to go the “ family committee “.

The family committee is the snake pit process you are put through to get the required “ papal blessing “ in order to marry Luigi’s-a daughter.

The family committee is comprised of the following gumbotes :

The family matriarch ( the bride’s grandmother )
All of the bride’s sisters ( usually up to 9 + )
Some far distant cousins ( 3x removed and from a different planet )

Notice that there is no male involvement at this phase of the process.

You are given a 14-page “ application form” to complete and return in 7 days :

NAME
ADDRESS
PHOTO I.D.
CURRENT OCCUPATION
HOW MUCH-A YOU MAKE?
DO YOU HAVE-A PROBLEM WITH YOUR NEW WIFE HANDLING ALL OF YOUR MONEY?
DO YOU LIKE TO HAVE-A MULTIPLE BOMBINOS ?
DO YOU OWN A CAR?
DO YOU OWN A BOAT?
DO YOU LIKE SPAGHETTI ON WEDNESDAYS?
DO YOU LIKE HUGE FAMILY DINNERS ON SUNDAYS?
ON MANY OCCASION, SUNDAY FAMILY DINNERS ARE “ LOUD “. ARE YOU O.K. WITH THAT?
NAME / ADDRESS OF YOUR ACCOUNTANT
NAME / ADDRESS OF YOUR ATTORNEY
WHAT TYPE OF GARBAGE TRUCK ( ie. Car ) YOU DRIVE-A ?

This committee will get back to you in 6 weeks.

Upon preliminary approval, you will meet your prospective bride’s father; her 14 brothers – in a gin mill somewhere on the Berlin Turnpike ( note that the location is out of town ).

Their questions are rather “ cream puff “ :

ARE YOU A GIANTS FAN?
DO YOU LIKE THE YANKEES OR THE METS ( Mention The Red Sox And You Are Automatically Disqualified )
DO YOU LIKE BUD LITE OR SHAEFFER BEER?
CAN YOU BELCH OUT AN EXTENDED BURP?
WHEN DRINKING BEER, DO YOU USE A HANDKERCHIEF OR THE SLEEVE OF YOUR SHIRT?

Congratulations ! You have just received FINAL APPROVAL to marry Luigi’s-a daughter at-a Saint Sebastian Church next-a May 15th @ 10:00 a.m.

You no-a show up, the “ family “ will come looking for you.


LAVA LAMPS

Remember these?

Growing up in the 1960s, almost everyone had one of these in their home.

It was more of a conversational piece. You could sit for hours with your wife or girlfriend and watch the lava flows and the various shapes it would make.

They should bring these lamps back. I know a few people who could greatly benefit from the therapeutic benefits they provide by having 2 or 3 of these in their life.


FOUNDING FATHERS INTENT

Not many Americans are aware that when the Founding Fathers were putting together our government – specifically Congress – their intent was that those who served would only be in office for maybe 2 or 3 terms and then return back to their homes, businesses or farms.

Nowhere was the notion that once you got to Congress, you plunked down your posterior for the next 40 or so years.

We have all heard the battle cry come election time: “ I need to be re-elected to continue or finish up what I started to do.”

I think that after 40 years if you haven’t accomplished what you came to do, it’s time to check into a home. Your parade is over pal.

In private industry, such a person would not last 2 years. They would be walked to the curb – along with 2 security guards and a box of personal items from your former office space.


PEOPLE SAY I SHOULD RUN FOR MAYOR

When I am out and about with my wife, I am often stopped by people I do not even know say that I should consider a run for Mayor Of Middletown.

I tell them: “ You don’t want me as your Mayor. City Hall could run on one-third less personnel and there would be no effect on services.  If one were to plot out an organizational chart of City Hall employees, it would resemble a family tree. “

I could see the unions howling . . .



 ANOTHER LOW-LIFE AT WORK

Recently I took my wife out to Aldi’s Food Mart on Washington Street to pick up a few items we needed. I told her I would stay in the car as she wasn’t going to be gone long.

An elderly lady – walking with 2 canes – passed by my minivan towards an available shopping cart left by another customer. She was probably no more than 10 feet from the shopping carriage.

A red pickup truck breezes in; the driver gets out of and swipes the carriage from the elderly lady. I immediately interceded and told this low-life the carriage was hers – and that she was walking slowly because of the use of 2 canes. His response: “ That’s her problem. I have the carriage now. “

My heart went out to the elderly lady. I told her to wait and got her another shopping carriage ( which costs only 25 cents ). She was very much appreciative.

The low life came out of the store about 15 minutes later.

I RECOGNIZED this clown. He works in the Middletown Post Office on Silver Street. He recognized ME.

I told him in no uncertain terms he ought to be ashamed of himself. He had no comeback.

This is the 2nd incident involving people employed in the Middletown Post Office within the last 2 months. Are these the type of quality people the U.S. Government is hiring?

If I was his supervisor, I would have done a Trump: “ YOU’RE FIRED! “


A RUN FOR GOVERNOR GETS NEUTRALIZED

By now, all of Middletown is aware of the boneheaded decision by Mayor Dan Drew to solicit money from City Of Middletown employees in his bid to run as a candidate for Governor.

What makes this situation particularly obtuse is that the Mayor obtained the home and e-mail addresses of Middletown Firefighters and Police Officers – which are protected from public disclosure under CT State Law.

The Mayor’s excuse: “ It was poor judgment. “

The poor judgment excuse works when something like this happens for the first time. This is not the first time.

Back in 2015, Mayor Dan Drew did exactly the very same thing – as pointed out in an e-mail from the Middletown Police Union to the City Attorney’s office dated 19 September 2017 – a copy of which I have obtained.

This time it appears to be intentional and willful. This is serious stuff.

The Common Council should weigh in – with politics set aside – with a closed-door hearing to determine if
Mayor Dan Drew has violated his oath of office and State Campaign Finance Laws. If proven correct, he should be removed from office. It is time for the Common Council to step up to the plate and do the right thing. The worst thing the Democratic majority on the council can do is give Mr. Drew a slap on the wrist. Don’t do it.

Should Mr. Drew be removed from office, the Deputy Mayor, Robert Santangelo, would take over as Mayor.

I am comfortable with that option.

Mr. Drew’s chances to be Governor now?  Up in smoke. Neutralized is more accurate.           

WADSWORTH MANSION MISSES THE TRAIN

Back in early August, my wife and I went to one of the outdoor mini-concerts held at the Wadsworth Mansion. The group playing that evening was Doo Wop DeVille from outside Boston, Massachusetts. My wife and I never heard them play until that evening.

Having some 30 years of broadcast experience, one of the best traits I have is an ear for good music. Of All the bands I have heard in that time, I can honestly count 5 on one hand.

Doo Wop DeVille was one of them.

A week or so later I approached the Wadsworth Mansion people about doing a two ( 2 ) hour LIVE television special – streamed on the WCNX TV YouTube Channel – at no cost to the Wadsworth Mansion – sometime next July 2018. I contacted the manager for Doo Wop DeVille and conveyed to him what we had told the Wadsworth Mansion. They were excited.

A LIVE two ( 2 ) hour televised concert; originating from the Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown, Connecticut featuring the # 1 Show Band in New England – Doo Wop DeVille. It would have made the Wadsworth Mansion the envy of every other venue in New England. It would have placed a HUGE FEATHER in the cap for the State Of Connecticut at a time it really needed it.

What followed is that my wife and I learned that the booking of musical groups is not made by the Wadsworth Mansion Authority, but by an off-to-the-side committee of geriatrics called The Friends Of Long Hill.

In brief, this committee couldn’t do what we asked them to do. They couldn’t get it done. ( At Adelphi University back in 1971, I had a professor tell me that if you want something screwed up, give it to a committee ).

The show will go on next summer – but either in Massachusetts or in Rhode Island. My wife and I are currently negotiating with 3 different venues ( all great! ) who recognize what such an event can do for them as well as their community. It is an entirely different ( we will work with you to make it happen ) positive attitude.

What a breath of fresh air!

My wife and I are really very pro-Connecticut and we try to do as much as we can do to promote the State Of Connecticut in ways we can help. ( We took a page from the playbook of Larry McHugh, President of the Middlesex County Chamber Of Commerce).

The Wadsworth Mansion – and specifically The Friends Of Long Hill – just don’t get it – or don’t want to get it.


SIDEBAR

Credit To A Good Friend – Rusty Haigh From Southington – who sent me the following :

A young boy goes into a drug store, picks out a box of tampons and goes to the register.

The pharmacist behind the counter asks the young man: “ Do you know what these are used for? “

The young man replies: “ No. “

The pharmacist then asks the young man: “ How old are you? “

The young man replies “ I’m 8 -  but these are not for me – but for my brother. He is 4 years old. “


The young man then continues on: “ I saw these on tv last night – and the announcer said that if these are used, one could mow the lawn; ride a bike or go swimming! – and right now, sir, he can’t do any of those. “

Editor's note:  Mr. Clark is of Italian decent, so by busting on Italians, he's busting on himself.  I though this was so funny, (being Irish) I asked him to bust on the Irish, next month.  Then, thinking what the heck, let's bust on everybody.  I asked him to continue through the "I's"; Indians (India), Indigenous persons, then on to the "J's"; Japs, Jews, etc.  After all, The Middletown Insider strives to be inclusive, if not politically correct.  So, if you have a sense of humor or just want to be offended,  keep watching for John's column at the first of each month!

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