Friday, June 16, 2017

Kohl Story

Helmut Kohl, chancellor who reunited Germany, dies at 87

In noting the former Chancellor's passing, let me relate a story from law school in Chicago. I note that a few days ago, we took occasion to note Adam West's passing and in so doing, note a funny-ish story relating to those days that involved Batman, car shows and breast-themed autographs.  You really need to go read it for yourself- its down below in the comments under the Wonder Woman post (Us guys can be freewheelin' when it comes to subject matter).

Anyway, in the mid-80s, Chancellor Kohl came to visit campus.  It was very big deal-a visiting head of state*.  Security was ramped-up.   Someone in their infinite wisdom decided that it would be a good idea to enforce the City's parking ordinances in a several mile radius of where the German leader would be speaking.   Let's just say that at the time, traffic safety in Hyde Park** had not shown itself to be a major priority.   I seem to recall that for the better part of a year, we had an open unguarded 6-foot deep trench running down the middle of our street while cars continued using the narrow remaining concrete lanes on either side of it.  It was a crowded feral world when it came to finding a place to put your vehicle-people grabbed a spot where they could and were basically left alone.  

So having drivers awake to a pricey yellow parking ticket the morning before our NATO ally's grand entrance to campus led to somewhat of a less secure state of affairs.  " I am so enraged by the parking security for Chancellor Kohl's visit that I want to shoot him" is a phrase I may have heard around the bungalow at the time.***

In light of national news this week, maybe now is not the time to tell a semi-ironic story about assassinations of political officials in the context of noting the putative target's recent death.   Maybe -but if not now, when? 

RIP Herr Chancellor.

* I say this despite the fact that when Canadian PM Brian Mulroney came to visit later, it wasn't such a big deal.  

** "No place to hide.  No place to park."

*** As I believed this phrase to have been uttered ironically, if exasperatedly, at no time did I believe the health of the German leader was in danger.  As evidence I note, he lived for 30+ years following the events related herein.


Blogger LAGuy said...

What I remember best about the streets where we lived was the constant construction. And for some reason, just outside the apartment, they'd use their jackhammers from 7 am to 9 am, and then stop. I guess they figured if they had to work early, everyone else might as well be awake, too.

1:57 PM, June 16, 2017  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

What I remember about the visit is the circling helicopter with the sniper leaning out, on what was apparently routine patrol. Must have been the first time I saw such a thing. (Though Columbus is proud of their helicopter, let me tell you.)

4:40 AM, June 17, 2017  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

What I remember most from your street was it was narrow, and for some reason trucks and cargo vans still barreled through, leading to the door of my first car getting crunched when a guy couldn't wait 3 seconds for me to get in the car and close the door. Funny how that still stings after many years.

Now, can we discuss the impending bankruptcy of the State of Illinois?

4:51 AM, June 17, 2017  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Is that how you spell "done deal"? We should have had that discussion about the time your door was being crunched, I think.

5:33 AM, June 17, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's hope they declare bankruptcy. Illinois is so insane they've declared in their constitution that you can't touch state pensions. A little trip to federal bankruptcy court might wake them up to reality.

When it comes to snipers leaning out of helicopters, just remember, if you can see them, they can see you.

10:06 AM, June 17, 2017  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Our poor state workers don't deserve pensions? What would Cass have to say about that? All I can say is thank God for a constitution that stands up for the little guy. Now if we could just have an amendment that says I'm the most desirable man in America . . .

1:06 PM, June 17, 2017  

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