Saturday, August 25, 2018
For many years, Johnny Conlisk was a character actor and model appearing in television commercials and newspaper and magazine ads. In 2004, Johnny and his wife, Janet Treuhaft formed Johnny-Sells.com, an eBay Trading Assistant company not far from Wrigley Field. Please click www.Johnny-Sells.com to learn how they can sell for you on eBay.
A few years ago I asked him to blog about the riots between the Chicago Police and the hippies at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. He was there, and has a unique perspective.
On the 50th anniversary of that incredibly memorable day, I'm reposting his essay here.
The Whole World is Watching
By Johnny Conlisk
In August of 1968, when I was a 16 year-old kid just about to start my senior year in high school, I got to play a small part in the Democratic National Convention.
For months before the big event, city officials planned how to lay out the red carpet for the convention delegates. The first Mayor Daley formed the Chicago Host Committee. Thousands of volunteers were assigned to help the various state delegates find their way around town and stay out of trouble. You had to be connected to get one of these fun jobs and I was connected. My father was the chief of police.
Our first task was to greet delegates at O’Hare. We were issued candy striped vests and Styrofoam straw hats to identify us as Host Committee volunteers.
After that, I had hoped to be with the California or New York delegations where the action was. Instead, I was assigned to the tiny Guam delegation. They were very nice, but they weren’t movie stars or big time politicians.
We helped them find the shops on Michigan avenue and an off duty policeman would drive them out to the International Amphitheater. It was all pretty cool.
We heard about the anti-war protestors, they were on TV every night. But I guess our job was to keep the Guamanians away from all that during our 14-hour days of hosting, so it wasn’t at the top of my consciousness.
The big goal for all the kids volunteering was to get into the convention hall itself. There was little hope of that, however, because the town was full of important people who would get in before high school kids.
Then the word was passed down. Wednesday night, August 28, 1968 was my night to get into the convention hall. My friend, Bill Finucane and I went to the Amphitheater together. We were ushered into the second level gallery. We realized later that the Mayor’s people were packing the galleries. They knew there was going to be trouble that night and they wanted an audience that would be friendly to the Mayor. We listened to the speeches echo through the rafters of the craggy old hall.
Then we heard booing during the speech of Senator Abraham Ribocoff and we heard him say “Storm troopers in Blue”. Bill and I turned to each other. What was he talking about?
After that evening’s session was over, I got a ride back downtown to the Conrad Hilton. I didn’t know that a riot had taken place in front of the Hilton a couple hours earlier. I just knew that the Airport Bus that left from there made a stop near our house.
The bus left from the south side of the Hilton. When I found out I would have to wait a half hour for the next bus, I walked up to the Michigan Avenue side of the hotel. There were thousands of cops on the west side of the street and thousands of hippies on the east side of the street. In the middle were Illinois National Guard Jeeps strung with barbed wire.
The first person I recognized was Jim Rochford, Deputy Chief of Police, my father’s best friend, and the guy in charge of the thousands of cops. “Hi, Mr. Rochford!” I said cheerily to the casually dressed chief.
“What are you doing here?” He asked incredulously.
“I’m waiting for the airport bus.”
“Oh, well, stay out of trouble.”
I wandered over to the hippie’s side of the street.
As I stood on the curb on the edge of the crowd, my powder blue jacket flapped in the light breeze, revealing the candy-striped vest of the Chicago Host Committee. Suddenly, a baseball-sized rock flew just past my ear and landed on the trunk of a parked car with a loud bang.
I looked up and saw Rochford ordering two burly cops to come over and rescue me. The hippies mistook my rescuers for arresting officers. They booed loudly as I was gently dragged across the street.
“I told you to stay out of trouble!” Rochford barked as they put me in a squad car to drive me over to police headquarters, a couple blocks away.
Several hours later, the crisis eased, an officer gave me a lift home and the excitement was all over.
Sometimes you make history, sometimes history makes you and sometimes, history is just something that happens while you are waiting for a bus.
This is Johnny with Deputy Chief Rochford at a wedding in 1977.
Friday, August 24, 2018
Well, turns out if you sleep with dogs, you end up with fleas. David Pecker was given immunity to testify against Trump. He kept a safe full of incriminating stories about Trump.
That's a HUGE story, but I must admit, every time I hear someone talking about it, I giggle like an adolescent. It's hard to get past the name David Pecker. I thought Spinal Tap's Michael McKean had the best comment about it yesterday on Twitter...
“Mr. Pecker does not appreciate all the childish jokes about his name.” - AMI spokesperson Fanny Goblincock— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) August 23, 2018
The study was carried out by researchers at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), who investigated levels of alcohol consumption and health effects in 195 countries between 1990 to 2016. They used data from 694 studies to work out how common drinking was and from 592 studies including 28 million people worldwide to work out the health risks.
Moderate drinking has been condoned for years on the assumption that there are some health benefits. A glass of red wine a day has long been said to be good for the heart. But although the researchers did find low levels of drinking offered some protection from heart disease, and possibly from diabetes and stroke, the benefits were far outweighed by alcohol’s harmful effects, they said.
Drinking alcohol was a big cause of cancer in the over-50s, particularly in women. Previous research has shown that one in 13 breast cancers in the UK were alcohol-related. The study found that globally, 27.1% of cancer deaths in women and 18.9% in men over 50 were linked to their drinking habits.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Going to one of the most unusual book signings of my literary career tonight...Eckhartz Press author Beth Jacobellis will be signing and selling copies of her novel "Cameo" at Elemental Float and Cryotherapy in Park Ridge ( 127 N Northwest Hwy) from 7-9pm. Beth will do also do free Tarot card readings. While you're there check out the soothing natural healing power of float and cryotherapy. Have I mentioned...There will be wine?
Cohen is being charged with that crime. He admitted he did it. Trump is not denying he ordered it.
This is it. Even if nothing turns up in the Mueller probe. The president is guilty of a crime.
It's always a pleasure speaking with @RickKaempfer. Check out what Rick is doing with Eckhartz Press at https://t.co/TDKri1TVNX, and listen to Rick's podcasts (@MinutiaMen and Free Kicks) at https://t.co/Llk0W8Q5I5. Huge thanks to Rick for coming out to @requestWONC today! pic.twitter.com/zJwK23CRZG— The Herman Show (@thehermanshow) August 21, 2018
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Deadline has a pretty good rundown of the drama.
Eckhartz Press author Judge Michael Ian Bender appeared on Playtime with Bill Turck and Kerri Kendall. Listen to it at the link below. It starts around the 14 minute mark.
Thanks so much to Bill and Kerri for having him on the show.
Monday, August 20, 2018
Eckhartz Press author Lee Kingsmill appeared on Rick Kogan's show last night to discuss his debut book "Safe Inside". Lee became a first time author at the age of 80.
You are never too old to become a first time author. Take a look at this tweet...
Toni Morrison: 40— Allison K Williams (@GuerillaMemoir) August 19, 2018
Mark Twain: 41
Marcel Proust: 43
Henry Miller: 44
JRR Tolkien: 45
Raymond Chandler: 51
Richard Adams: 52
Annie Proulx: 57
Laura Ingalls Wilder: 65
Frank McCourt: 66
Harriett Doerr: 74
Harry Bernstein: 96
No, you’re not too old to publish your first book.
I know a guy. Me. Rick@eckhartzpress.com
As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, frontman Steven Tyler, guitarists Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, bassist Tom Hamilton and drummer Joey Kramer made the official announcement (and performed live) last Wednesday on NBC's Today show. As frontman Steven Tyler explained to Today's Hoda Kotb, "First we’re gonna move there... then, we're gonna shop there."
On Friday morning Chet Coppock appeared on the John Howell show on WLS.
Last night Lee Kingsmill (left) appeared on Rick Kogan's show on WGN.
Both of them knocked it out of the park. Both of their books are available at Eckhartz Press, here and here. If their interviews are ever posted as podcasts on the respective station websites, I will post links.
My wife Bridget’s beautiful family. Siblings, spouses and kids all gathered for a family wedding in Wisconsin. Congratulations to niece Bridget and her new husband Will. There will be a quiz for Will next summer when we gather for another wedding. Can he name everyone in this picture?