Monday, December 31, 2012


Another fine mini-reunion was held last evening in the Civil War border town of Kenosha, Wisconsin. About half of the wait staff was wearing Bears shirts and the other half was wearing the green and gold of some other team.

Theresa Norton, Tom Keefe, Andy Savoie and I met at The Brat Stop, a southeastern Wisconsin beer, braut and music venue landmark. Since Tess and Tom did not make it to Homecoming, Andy reviewed his homecoming stories, then changed gears to tell the stories from homecoming itself (including his personal baseball mistress, the Nationals, failing him in front of Cardinal fans.) Tess has been quite busy traveling the globe for work, including being stranded in Madrid during a strike, for which Andy scoffed as probably being in hell. I learned that travel to the Euro zone has become quite expensive, especially air fares. All evening, I waited for someone to come up to Tom and ask him for an actual autograph from the Mayor of Chicago.

Again, every time we re-connect, it is a great time.  That would include the Internet commentary from those who were stalking our group on facebook.

From left to right, back to front (in memory of AP cut line styles no longer in the Tribune):
Tom, Tess, Ski and demonic cat whisperer, Andy.

Andy's demonic sweater possessed Tess to wear enemy apparel.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Laura Rzepka, Tony Dardano and I met last night for dinner. If it were to become a movie, it would be titled Meat Me Next to the Interstate: The Boys Eat Brazil. We dined at a Brazilian steak house where the servers bring rack upon rack of rotisserie meats to your table. It is a great place for vegetarians.

Laura, who is training to be a long distance truck driver, drove in from Kansas City for the holidays.

It was a fun time. At the end of the meal, I think everyone at the neighboring tables wanted the gaucho meat servers to use the tips of their swords to carve in their arms SUPER MOM tattoos.

Monday, October 22, 2012


After returning to work after the long homecoming weekend, the first spam in the in-box was titled "Alcohol Rehab."  Ouch.  Well, since the first edition was so popular, I decided to jog my memory to complete the recall process. I probably forgot more than I remembered, but such is the Curse of the Publisher. So, here is another homecoming inspired hangover Edition of the Real News.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


For those of you who cannot handle the Truth . . .  that the last The Real News Edition file was too large that it destroyed your email server, I come again screaming and cursing the internet technologies to present what Pulitzer winning writer Ted Gregory called "A heartbreaking work of staggering genius," The Real News Winter 2012 Homecoming Edition.


Enough already! Here are the Eastern Illinois journalism homecoming photos that everyone has been badgering me to post. Gee, it is like culling a herd in front of a rabid wolf pack. I have had flashbacks to copy editing and page layout classes. So I will only post the Best. The cut-lines are optional mandatory reading.

I don't know how well this will work, but here we go:

 Mark Rogstad was an Eastern graduate who had worked at the News press and WELH, the campus radio station. When he suddenly passed away in 2009, he left a bequest to the School of Technology. The university honored Mark with a memorial classroom. Robin Blanc, Mark's fiancee, and President Perry were at the dedication.

After the dedication, the station manager at WEIU asked Matt Piescinski and Ski to cut some station IDs.

For those of you who could not find Old Main, here is a shot for your new computer wallpaper.

 Multiple choice: 
(a) OMG! OMG! OMG! You haven't changed one bit!
(b) OMG! OMG! OMG! You haven't changed one bit! Who are you?

Jane and Yvonne in the new Newsroom.

Sneaky ambush photo taken over Savoie's shoulder captures Laura and Melinda. Andy's charm distracts the prey; he learned that at the Washington zoo.

Student Publications advisor "Thing," from the Addams Family, gives a guided tour of the newsroom.

The Washingtonians

Reed is given a Senior Moment quiz by Jane and Yvonne.

Apparently, he barely passed the recognition test.

Tony checks to see if he just took a group photograph, or booked a Vegas vacation.

Laura ponders an important question . . .

 . . . but is shocked - - - SHOCKED - - - by the answer from the peanut gallery.

Comparing dental work was a favorite past time for old journalism alumni.

Betsy and Doreen discuss whether the refreshment is light beer or Goss press cleaning fluid.

Yvonne and Dawn chat not realizing that there is a PAID INTERNSHIP behind them!

Reed begins his sermon from reading sideways from the Book of Warbler.

"Thing" discusses the state of journalism with Mark, Tony and a distracted Rich.

Lola's house was taken hostage by one mad man, when his Gnats took a 1-0 lead on the ArchBishops.

Since Andy was orbiting another planet during the baseball game, Dru attempts to make a new friend.

We asked Lola if she paid her homeowners insurance premium before inviting us over to her house.
Note: the water bottle was to hose down Savoie if he got out of hand.

What's a Turk story without hand gestures??!

Lola counts the number of people to be taken off her Christmas card list.

Herb's new employer decided that there was a better alternative to business cards.

Matt and Tony ponder whether it is safe to go back into the parlor to watch the game.

The beginning of the historic collapse . . . .

The middle of the historic collapse . . . .

And the End of the historic collapse, as witnessed by White Sox collapse victim, Matt.

In the new Edition of the Webster's Dictionary, this photo will be used to describe "broken man."

It's tough work being university president on homecoming weekend.

Why didn't the News have a newsroom mascot?  Oh right, we did (called an editor in chief.)

Saturday morning: coffee, donuts, hangovers.

Photographing old archive pages is one way to update your resume.

Yvonne and Betsy.

At the parade route near the Maxi-Pad.

"Why are they're people on our lawn, blocking our view?"

Winning a Pulitzer got Ted the gig of driving the mayor of Charleston in parade. Nice.
Ted recognizes his friends . . . .

. . . and throws projectiles at them.



A happy Melinda makes a happy parade.

(This caption is for sale.)

Finding your old apartment is one thing . . . .

. . . but finding the daughters of an old sorority sister?!

Yvonne completes filming the pilot episode of "Undercover Sorority Mom."

"Get outta my way! I am a celebrity! I have no comment! Respect my privacy! You photographers are all a like - - - weasels! Don't you have something better to shoot?"

The university herded us like sheep - - - LIKE SHEEP! - - - to interrupt the second quarter of the homecoming football game.

University official: "Yes, your team will replace the defense for one play on the goal line."
Lola: "Errrrrgh . . .  I don't think that's a good idea. Can I use my cane as a weapon?"

Ace photographer Fred Bauer lines up a portrait of Yvonne and Mark.

Hey, we - - - they - - - someone won!! And Ski attended the game and the world did not end.

At the Chili Bash, Lola wonders why technology hates her.

Mark and Jana discuss funds, fundraising and raising more funds.

Even the background character is entranced by one of Andy's stories.

The crowd is watching the old photograph video; Melinda preferred watching the crowd.

More surprise reunions.

Why did parade float participants throw beads at people?

For every victor, there is a vanquished soul.

What is Ryan saying?

That the EIU journalism program will celebrate 100 years in 2015.

"I'm pretty sure I can take out the guy with the camera. Cover me!"

More photo wall gawking.

Even more photo wall gawking.

"See! I told you I went to this school!"

Jane looks to go into "Commando Mom" mode with Brian.

Brian sweats under the intense interrogation of Laura and Jane.

 The Chili Bash begins to wind down.
The j-alumns take over the entire side room of Roc's, to Melinda's apparent joy.

Dru and Andy flew into Indy and rented a car. They wound up with a low ride, drug dealer's black Camaro. That's why I called them "Bonnie and Clyde" for most of the weekend.

Which was pretty funny considering Clyde had a hard time getting into the getaway car after breakfast at the Airport Steakhouse.

The weekend concludes Sunday morning in the lobby of the Airport Steakhouse.