The meaning of Epton…before it’s too late

Wondering why I use Epton instead of “before it’s too late”? Here is the explanation.

Bernard Epton was a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives for seven terms, first elected in 1968 and staying on through the 1982 session. He chose not to run for re-election to the Illinois House in 1983, instead entering the Chicago mayoral race.

As a Republican in a city which had been dominated by Democratic machine politics since the Great Depression, Epton faced a steep uphill climb. Few paid much attention to his campaign during the primaries, instead focusing on a heavyweight battle on the Democratic side.

Chicago mayoral elections are now non-partisan, but they were not in 1983. Therefore, the three most visible candidates would have to battle one another, with only one advancing to the general election.

The incumbent mayor, Jane Margaret Byrne, was the first woman to be elected mayor of one of America’s 10 largest cities. In 1979, she upset Michael Bilandic, who became mayor upon the death of Richard J. Daley, the Boss of Chicago, in December 1976. Bliandic’s inaction during a January 1979 blizzard and Byrne’s subsequent hammering of Bilandic over the issue of snow removal helped her win.

Richard J. Daley’s son, Richard M. Daley, then the District Attorney of Cook County, where Chicago is located, threw his hat into the ring with the support of many of his father’s old supporters and ward bosses.

The third major Democratic candidate was U.S. Representative Harold Washington, vying to become the city’s first black mayor. Washington obviously was much farther to the left than either Byrne or Daley, and he began running for mayor during the first year of his first House term. He was re-elected in 1982 to Congress because his House district was, and still is, overwhelmingly black, but he was drawing the Congressional salary without doing very much on Capitol Hill, instead campaigning for the one job he coveted.

The black vote carried Washington to a narrow victory in the Democratic primary. It figured in the overwhelmingly Democratic City, Washington was home free, right?

Not quite.

Many of the old-line Daley loyalists threw their support to Epton, not wanting a black man to occupy the mayor’s office. Some of Epton’s most conservative backers produced a commercial which ended with the line “Epton…Before It’s Too Late”.

Epton himself was very uncomfortable with the racial overtones of the campaign. He was a liberal and was active in the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. However, the racially charged campaign continued all the way to the end, where Washington won by a very narrow margin.

Washington won by a more comfortable margin in 1987, but he collapsed and died of a heart attack in his office the day before Thanksgiving 1987. Epton died only three weeks later.

I didn’t follow the election as it happened in 1983, since I was too young to understand. However, I read about it two years later as Washington was in the midst of his first term.

That election came up in a course on Louisiana politics during my first semester at LSU in the fall of 1994. The professor, Louisiana legend T. Wayne Parent, one of the country’s foremost political scientists, tried to explain how the closed primary system worked, since many in Louisiana, especially those who didn’t start voting until 1975 or later, had only know the open primary, where all candidates run on a single ballot, and if nobody gets an outright majority in the first election, then a second primary (or general election or runoff) is held.

Dr. Parent explained how Washington advanced to the general election even though he did not get a majority over Byrne and Daley. He couldn’t quite remember the Republican candidate, so I shouted EPTON! He and my classmates were amazed.

Louisiana politics was one of my three favorite classes at LSU. The others were involving constitutional law during my last full year there. If I could do it all over again, I think I would have done much better in a lot of my classes. I’m not blaming my autistic spectrum disorder, but I think it didn’t help.

Beefed up a little too much

I grilled a second steak last night on the outdoor grill at the hotel. I overdid it a little bit, but it still tasted great, and now I know don’t grill it so long. I thought about going out again after returning to the hotel at 1615 following my long day in Johnson County, but I saved my money and gas.

About 0400 I was feeling the effects of two steaks (and three QuikTrip pretzels, a whole sourdough bread bowl and the coconut shrimp from Outback I got Wednesday). I felt I might have to throw up, but fortunately that didn’t happen. I did need anti-nausea tablets and Alka Seltzer when I woke up, which wasn’t until almost 0900.

It is so cool outside today I’m wearing jeans for the first time since April 16, the day my dad and I left Baton Rouge and stopped in McAlester, Okla., on our way back to Russell. The mercury is not expected to climb above 17 Celsius (62 F) today or tomorrow.

I’m sick of the negative commercials being aired in Kansas City. Sharice Davids, the lesbian Native American left-wing radical running for Kansas’ 3rd District House seat vs. incumbent Kevin Yoder, has aired two negative ads in the last 35 minutes.

We don’t have that in Russell, since the incumbent House member, Roger Marshall, will easily beat perennial candidate and serial flip-flopper Alan LaPolice, who ran as Republican in the 2014 primary, as an Independent in the 2016 general election, and now as a Democrat. The idiot LaPolice is at least smart enough to not waste his money or breath on an election he’ll lose by 30 points.

I’ve got really nothing going on right now. I’m not in the mood  for Buffalo Wild Wings, where all of the tablets which allow patrons to play Buzztime trivia are out of commission. Hopefully Robb and I can meet up.

There’s a gigantic high school football game tonight. Rockhurst, the powerhouse Catholic school on the Missouri side of State Line Road, takes on Bishop Miege, a school better known for its dominance of volleyball and girls basketball until recently, when its football program became Kansas’ most dominant. The game is at Miege’s tiny stadium, where they are expecting every seat to be filled by 1630 for a 1900 kickoff. Hopefully, the game can be played in the future at Children’s Mercy Park, home of Sporting Kansas City, or even Arrowhead.

Leaving in a minute. Epton.

Supreme sideshow

I will be so glad when this circus surrounding the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings are done. Enough already. I have an opinion. I am not sharing it.

I pigged on steak for dinner last night and again for breakfast this morning. Say what?

Yes, that’s right, I decided to buy a steak and cook it on the stove in my room in a cast iron grill pan. Turned out good, especially for breakfast and on a stove. I decided to eat all that beef because someone whom I don’t particularly care for (and doesn’t care for me) has a birthday today.

Someone I do particularly care for, someone I miss greatly, has a birthday tomorrow.

Wendy Durr Wall was born the same day (28 September 1970) Gamal Abdel Nasser died in Egypt. It also was 10 days after the passing of Jimi Hendrix, six prior to the heroin-induced death of Janis Joplin, and 12 days before my parents tied the knot after only two and a half months of knowing one another. I told Lisa that story so much because she and Jeff waited until over seven years after their first date and 21 1/2 months after Liam’s birth to marry. The good thing was Liam was so cute dressed up at their wedding.

I miss Wendy more than just about anyone on this earth. I have not seen her in 16 years. I ended my long drought without seeing Brenda and a few others in April. I don’t know if I’ll be so fortunate with Wendy. I can hope.

I have to get to the south (Johnson County) Epton. I need my car washed. I need to check in to getting the inside of my car completely cleaned. And I have an appointment with Andrea Hensley to get my back waxed in Prairie Village. Again. At least this time it’s cooler so I don’t have to worry about sweating and possible complications with the wax, because Andrea tells me to keep it dry overnight.

Epton? There’s a long story behind that. I now substitute that word for the phrase “before it’s too late”. Why, you ask? I don’t have time to explain right now. I have to leave the hotel Epton.

Mother Nature gives Kansas a break

It looks like 32 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) temperatures might be on hiatus for a few months. It is nice out there today. It feels better. Not quite as cool as I would like, but anything is better than the brutal heat which persisted two weeks ago.

No football last weekend, not the kind played with the round ball or the oblong ball. I did check the Premier League scores on my app, and found Burnley blasted Bournemouth 4-0 at Turf Moor. The Clarets needed that one, and what does that do to the Cherries? Elsewhere, Manchester City went to Wales and crushed Cardiff 5-0, Leicester got back in the win column at the King Power vs. Huddersfield, and Arsenal made me feel a little better by ousting Everton at the Emirates.

My parents said LSU is 4-0 but didn’t look good beating Louisiana Tech. I found out the score was 38-21. I learned the Bayou Bengals led 24-0 late in the second quarter, only to allow the Bulldogs to narrow the gap to three before LSU pulled away.

Not that it will matter. LSU will be beaten at home by Georgia and Alabama, and both will beat LSU by double digits. It’s just a game.

The Brewers are three up for the first wild card with five to play. Looks like they’ll play either the Cardinals or Rockies, with the winner getting the Cubs in the division series.

Work sucks sometimes. People in Smith Center are bitching and moaning about how their team’s volleyball stats are not in the Pioneer, yet opponents’ stats often are.

Guess what? Your coach isn’t doing his or her job. Get me the stuff and it will be there. If you don’t like Thunder Ridge gets its stats in the paper, then get the stats on MaxPreps. Not that hard.

Kansas City awaits. Thursday is my third back treatment with Andrea. That will be more fun than I’ve had since, well, the early August visit to Kansas City when I went to a Royals game. Whether I go anywhere near Buffalo Wild Wings and/or Minsky’s is up for debate. I don’t want to watch sports.

Now I’m waiting on the results of my blood cultures I had taken last Friday. Then again, if I somehow have cancer, I’m part of a large group. At least I’m going to the doctor, something that almost killed me 14 years ago.

Wish it were better, but…

In case you’ve been visiting the blog and been disappointed there hasn’t been a post in a while, I apologize. But things have spiraled downward, and it was best I keep it to myself than explode.

My blood pressure is through the roof. I hope it is just too much consumption of caffeinated coffee. I got so scared a few hours ago that I pitched all of my open bags and cans of caffeinated coffee and started brewing decaf. Dr. Custer should be able to shed light on it when I see her in nine and a half hours. I pray it isn’t something more serious.

It has been brutally hot. BRUTALLY HOT. I hate having to go to Hays today in that heat, but what choice do I have? I can move the appointment with Dr. Custer, but not the one with Crista at 1600 (4 pm). If I cancel with Crista, I’m on an island until October 5, when my next appointment is scheduled. I will be so happy if and when that cold front comes through. Hopefully Friday.

I watched maybe two minutes of the Premier League last weekend. I slept through the Manchester City-Fulham match Saturday at 0630 (1230 British Summer Time), as well as all the 0900 (1500 BST) matches, including the one I was really looking forward to, Leicester at Bournemouth. Turned out to be exciting, with the Cherries winning 4-2.

I barely watched a few seconds of Everton-West Ham Sunday. Good to see West Ham on the board, especially at Goodison Park. Everton is on top of my Premier League dislike list. I won’t go into detail as to why.

The best thing to happen to me this week was sending Brenda flowers for her birthday, which was Sunday. She got them Monday at St. Joseph’s Academy. I was happily surprised to see a text from her today at noon. I miss her and a lot of other people in Baton Rouge.

Lost Saturday

Today was a bust. No English football, didn’t get any work done and didn’t go anywhere. Ugh.

Tomorrow is the first full slate of NFL games for the season. Not too interested. Just like I wasn’t interested in college football today.

My blood pressure is too high, just like my weight and debt.

That’s enough for now. It’s late anyway.

NFL opening night? I’ll pass

The 99th season of the National Football League began this evening with the Falcons-Eagles game in Philadelphia. Somehow I don’t think many people in the United Kingdom stayed up until 0130 (2030 Eastern/1930 Central) to watch.

I’m not watching either. I swore off football. I may check the scores, but I’m not going to watch the games. Waste of time and money. I watched a couple of Lifetime movies on my iPad tonight and I’m going to go to bed in a few minutes.

A new Nike commercial praising Colin Kaerpernick is debuting tonight. I have had it with seeing him on TV. He doesn’t play in the NFL anymore. I’m also sick of the protests and the talk about the protests. Players have the right to protest. That’s guaranteed by the First Amendment. However, they should not be protesting during work, and for them, a game is WORK. If NFL players want to spend Tuesdays, which is a day off for almost all players who have games the following Sunday, protesting, so be it. They should be able to. But meetings, practices and games are work and not a proper forum for protesting.

The late, great Ara Parseghian coached Notre Dame’s football team throughout United States involvement in the Vietnam War. Ara told his players they could do whatever they wanted when they did not have commitments to class and football. However, he told them they’d better study, go to class and be on time for football meetings and practice, or there would be consequences. That’s the way it should be everywhere.

I slept way too much today. The Seroquel didn’t cause me to sleep too much when I should have, but I was tired throughout the day. I’m going to try sleeping without it tonight. I need to go to Salina to get my hair cut because (a) I have time tomorrow and (b) it will get hot again next week. Also, I need more capicola. That stuff is addictive.

Saturday and Sunday will be perfect days to sleep late, since there is no football in England, or anywhere else in Europe.

No football? FREEDOM!

I am blissfully unaware of what is going on in the college football game being played this evening. I am happy.

To me, Ed Orgeron is a grossly overpaid man who supervises a bunch of 18 to 22-year old male children playing a stupid game at what is supposed to be Louisiana’s flagship institution of higher education, although maybe it isn’t such a great institution of higher learning, considering I earned a degree from that university despite my grossly inadequate performance in every course except three (Louisiana government and two on constitutional law) during my time there.

I don’t care how the children Orgeron supervises do in their stupid game. Tell me how Orgeron should be making 30 times the salary of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who is paid $130,000.

Tell me how the head football coach of a state university in Alabama deserves his $11 million salary when Alabama still has many pockets of abject poverty and the state’s education system is ridiculed everywhere except Mississippi? You can’t.

Tell me how the head men’s basketball coach of a state university in Kansas deserves his $6 million salary when Kansas is broke, many legislators refuse to fund higher education adequately, and the man who may be the state’s next governor is threatening even further cuts? You can’t.

Tell me how the head women’s basketball coach at a state university in Connecticut deserves his $4 million salary, even if Connecticut doesn’t have as many people in poverty as Alabama or Kansas and the state’s education system is usually ranked pretty high? You can’t.

Notre Dame should not be paying its head football coach $10 million. But Notre Dame is  a PRIVATE institution. The school is not getting a dime from the state of Indiana. If that were being paid to coaches at Purdue and/or IU, then that’s a huge problem.

I’m not enamored with the $10 million salaries a couple of NFL coaches are pulling in, but they are PROFESSIONAL football coaches. The owners of the teams can pay whatever they feel their coach is worth.

Four years ago, I was at Buffalo Wild Wings in Kansas City the first two Saturdays of the college football season, and again for four more Saturdays. I was there every Sunday for NFL games for each of the first six weeks.

WHY? Wasted time, wasted money. I was very happy I got to see Liz and Lisa (plus another employee of Buffalo Wild Wings at that time whom shall remain nameless), but come on. I could have put those days to much better use.

Now I’m seeing that. I’m not a slave to the television for 11 hours on Saturday and nine hours on Sunday.

By contrast, Premier League matches are over by 1330 on Saturday and 1200 on Sunday. Ten matches over three days (usually; this weekend was an exception, since there are no Monday matches) is a heck of a lot easier on the eyes and the brain than dozens of games on Saturday, then 12 more on Sunday and another on Monday.

I probably should follow the Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and La Liga more. And possibly the three lower leagues in England.

I know what I will not be watching every Saturday for the next three months. Book it.

Hornets abuzz in England

So much for picking Watford to be relegated from the Premier League.

I was dead wrong about the Hornets. Dead wrong.

Wins over Brighton, Burnley and Crystal Palace were nice, yes, but it all figured to end today when Tottenham came to Vicarage Road.

Instead, the Hornets will go into the international break level on points with Liverpool and Chelsea and now must be considered to be the favorite from outside the Big Six to make it to Europe.

Watford bested Tottenham 2-1 despite being thoroughly outplayed in the first half and falling behind 1-0 in the second half following an own goal.

Instead of folding, the Hornets stung back, with Troy Deeney in the 69th minute and Craig Cathcart in the 76th putting the home team in front. Watford held on for the final 13 minutes plus stoppage time to go to 4-0-0 for the first time since 1988, when the Hornets were in the second division.

Watford’s #1 fan, Sir Elton John, was enjoying it immensely, as were most of those at Vicarage Road. Who would have dreamed it?

Elsewhere, Manchester United defeated Burnley 2-0 despite playing the last 19 minutes with 10 men after Marcus Rashford was shown a red card, and Arsenal bested Cardiff 3-2.

Time to update how I think the table will look on Mother’s Day. Remember, the bottom three are relegated to the Championship, the top four qualify for the UEFA Champions League, fifth and sixth for the UEFA Europa League group stage, and seventh for the Europa League qualifying rounds:

20. Cardiff
19. West Ham
18. Huddersfield
17. Newcastle
16. Burnley
15. Southampton
14. Crystal Palace
13. Brighton
12. Fulham
11. Bournemouth
10. Wolves
9. Leicster
8. Everton
7. Arsenal
6. Watford
5. Manchester United
4. Chelsea
3. Tottenham
2. Liverpool
1. Manchester City

Does LSU play tonight? Asking for someone out there. I don’t know and I don’t care.

Big name Sunday

Three of the “Big Six” play in the Premier League today, all on the road: Arsenal at Cardiff City, Manchester United at Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur at Watford. In the last matchup, both teams have nine points from their first three matches and are seeking to stay level on points with Liverpool and Chelsea.

Arsenal keeps Cardiff winless. Cardiff has played two goalless draws vs. Newcastle and Huddersfield, but the Gunners will break down the Bluebirds’ defense enough to move level with Everton and Leicester with six points.

Tottenham ends Watford’s early run and keeps itself well within title conversation. Now Spurs need to get their new stadium at White Hart Lane open.

Manchester United’s woes have been well documented. Burnley’s have not, but the Clarets also desperately need a win at Turf Moor. NEITHER team gets the victory it wants. Draw.

It’s still pouring outside. Russell has received quite a bit of rain since yesterday evening. Not that I have anywhere to be.