Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio


Who knows what 5 years will bring?

Some items while finding it remarkable that Chuck Berry was able to command $150 per ticket for his sold-out concert at the Valentine Theatre:

TAKE FIVE: At one of my previous career stops, employees, as part of their annual evaluations, were asked to fill out a short questionnaire about their goals. I suspect the newspaper wanted to find out how long we were planning to stay.

I didn't give a second thought to this question: Where do you see yourself in five years? In 1996, I was a sports editor and said that I wanted to be sports editor at a larger newspaper. Seemed like a logical step at the time.

Meanwhile, one of my co-workers gave what I considered to be a smart-aleck response. He wrote something like, “Five years ago, I was delivering pizzas and had no idea this place even existed. Who's to say where I'll be five years from now?”

I realize now that my co-worker's answer was more “accurate” than mine. I haven't had a full-time sports gig since 1997 and have little desire to return.

I'm reminded of that questionnaire because my wife and I are about to celebrate our five-year anniversary. As I fast forward from Oct. 26, 1996, to now, it's hard to believe some of the things that have happened.

We moved from California to, of all places, Ohio. Three of our four parents died. I started a newspaper from scratch and then watched it go belly up after 74 issues.

If presented with that five-year scenario in '96, we would have laughed hysterically (or cried, as the case may be).

I'm also reminded of that questionnaire and its five-year forecast because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The world has changed so much in the 40 days since that I shudder to think what our lives will be like on Sept. 11, 2006.

IT'S ALL RELATIVE: I've heard of worse ideas than the University of Toledo hiring Carty Finkbeiner as its athletic director. Take, for example, UT hiring Vik Kapoor as its president.

Speaking of Dr. Kapoor, his presidential salary of $206,000 per year continues through December. (His stormy 17-month reign ended in June, 2000.) It's a good gig if you can get it.

LOYALTY: Harvey, a faithful reader, scored some big-time points with me last week. He was in Washington, and his long streak of responding to my column-ending questions was in jeopardy. But Mr. Resourceful logged on to our web site and read the column, then used his son's e-mail account to respond to the questions.

His e-mail also included this observation: “I get tired of these people constantly writing letters to the editor asking us aren't we glad Bush is president. Maybe they are trying to convince themselves. As I said, he is doing fine, but please don't tell me that no one else could've done the job.”

Indeed, staunch Republicans seem misguided on this one. One would hope that Republicans would be just as quick to rally around a Democratic president as the Democrats have been with Mr. Bush.

HALF A SIX PACK: Three questions this week. Five points for each correct answer. (Click on the link below and check out reader response to last week's questions.)

1) Don't you hope that the state and city wait until the clouds are much more ominous before tapping into “rainy day” funds?

2) How is it possible for the United States to lose the “propaganda war” in the Middle East to a network of mass murderers?

3) If you were advising President Bush, wouldn't you tell him to scale way back on the economic incentives that we are giving countries for their participation in the war on terrorism?

Russ Lemmon's column appears Sundays. Readers may contact him at 1-419-724-6122, or e-mail

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