Sid Shroyer

Sid Shroyer

I miss my retired teacher friends. We meet once a month for breakfast to tell war stories, solve the problems of the world, and revel in our good fortune at having gotten out alive. We met last on March 6, right before the pandemic began to hit home.

Two months later, someone who looks like my wife, but with longer hair, flips channels between The Price is Right and the governor of New York. Andrew Cuomo seems like maybe he’d be a good teacher. Drew Carey, not so much.

I try to stay calm.

Maybe that’s a mistake.        

When I was 16 and people with whom I agreed burned the flag, and people with whom I disagreed used the flag as a weapon, my dad said to me, “It’s our flag, too.”

If I had a tattoo, that’s what it would say, “It’s our flag, too.”

When I turn the corner at the top of the stairs, there’s Kim, Kim Macon, the Development Director at WVPE, behind her desk and a computer screen, in her dimly lit office.
    

“Hi Kim.”
    

“Hey Sid.”
    

That begins my day at WVPE.
    

I’m not exactly sure what Kim does at the station. It’s my impression that she carries it around on her shoulders.

“Hi Kim.”

“Hey Sid.”

“Kim, I gotta ask ya, what is it, exactly, that you do here at WVPE?”

“I do a little bit of everything,” says Kim.

Sid Shroyer

The story is well known. In 1988, Sister Maura started the Chapin Street Clinic in a vacant garage, to provide health care for people who are uninsured. She nurtured its growth into a modern building across the street in 1998, and then lent it her name in 2006. Thousands of patients, and hundreds of volunteers and employees have benefited from her vision.

Sid Shroyer

Every time you turn around there’s another 50-year anniversary story that you’re gonna hear, the moon landing, Woodstock, and just ahead, the last Beatle recording: Abbey Road.

Abbey Road is one of only three records for which I remember exactly, the time and the place, where I heard it for the first time. 

Sid Shroyer

“I couldn’t sleep,” Judy told me one morning last week. “I think it’s because I saw a headline that says insomnia can kill you.”

Wow. Pretty good. Put that on the Spirit of the Age brand t-shirts. The joke’s on us. Funny. Really funny.

(Maybe you just gave up trying to go back to sleep)  Again, she said,  “I couldn’t sleep because I saw a headline that says insomnia can kill you.”

Sid Shroyer

From the group photo taken at the end of our tour, it’s hard to tell the Americans from the Germans, in the parking lot before we got on the bus and they went back to work.     

Sid Shroyer

On a windy, wet Wednesday morning in the middle of March, Sara Stewart, the president and executive director of Unity Gardens, is out in the field, at the Main Garden, seven acres of urban farm land, between Prast Boulevard and Ardmore Trail near Honeywell and Beacon Heights, on the west side of
South Bend.

Michiana Chronicles: Pete's Book

Feb 8, 2019
Pete for America

At the end of the long paperwork process that put South Bend Mayor Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg into the Navy, the induction officer, says, “You said you work for the city, right?”

“That’s right,” Pete says, without adding that he’s the boss.  

Is your employer supportive?

“Yes, everyone has been great.”
 

Put in for the employer service support award when you get home, he says to Pete. Elected officials always come to the ceremony.

“They just eat that (shit) up.”

Michiana Chronicles: Napoleon Orwell

Dec 21, 2018

Once a month I meet with my retired teacher colleagues from New Prairie High School for breakfast and it’s like heaven for me. We’ve crossed over into the other side and our friends are there, the lucky ones who made it into the land of milk and honey, French toast and bacon for five bucks, that is the senior menu at Manny’s Café.

Pittsburgh

Nov 2, 2018

  

I had a different piece for Michiana Chronicles prepared for today, one for election season, about the first time I voted back in 1972 and two years later when a funny guy running for Bloomington mayor smashed an egg on his head while I interviewed him on public access cable TV. It was my latest attempt at being heartwarming and universal, but the universe I occupy no longer seems like the right home for what I had to say.     

And “Heartwarming”?

Model Citizens

Sep 14, 2018
Sid Shroyer

It was my good fortune to be in attendance the evening that the Carter Build Habitat for Humanity folks treated themselves to a night out at the South Bend Cubs game at the end of August.  I would have been on the couch at home, otherwise, checking the TV for the latest episode of “What Goes Around Comes Around,” if my buddy Doug Snyder had not called the night before and said,

What Goes Around Comes Around

Jul 27, 2018

My friend Arthur was struggling with things, things like life and death, and everything in between, and so with advice from someone who is paid to smile when she joyously reads what she is told to read, by anyone who will pay her, my friend Arthur enlisted the support of the DNA analysis company “21 and Done” to help him see if he could find out what was up with him.

The End Of The Line

Jun 8, 2018
Sid Shroyer

Back in April, that first weekend when it seemed like winter would, in fact, end, a group of Kiwanis fellows got together to pick up the trash along State Road 2 between Mayflower and the bypass.

This was my first time to the task, being a new member, and if I say I was surprised by the amount rubbish along the road, that would suggest that I’d given it some thought, which I hadn’t, really.  

Something There Is That Doesn't Love a Wall

Apr 20, 2018

I grew up in a place where people had “jobs.” The first time the word “career” hit me I was 15, listening to a song called “Here We Are in the Years,” on the first Neil Young album, that Joe Petro lent me, on the little yellow G-E “Wildcat” record player in my room.

...Lives become careers

……Let us out of here

Save the Last Dance for Me

Mar 2, 2018
Sid Shroyer

It would take more than two days of driveway shoveling and the snow piled up around South Bend Riley High School last month to keep my friend, Terry, and me, and three thousand other people, out of the gym for the Saturday evening basketball game between two of the best teams in the state of Indiana. I had anticipated a great game and, sure enough, the start of the fourth quarter, had me thinking, “Man, I hate to see this thing get over.’

The Old House

Jan 5, 2018
Sid Shroyer

This weather reminds me of the “old house.” The “old house” was where we lived while, after work and on weekends, Dad was building the “new house” in the backyard. Then, and mostly since, that was the time in my life when I couldn’t wait to get out of that old house.

Baseball

Nov 10, 2017

I didn’t have a team to root for, or against, but the World Series held my interest pretty well last month; often I was just hoping the team that was behind would tie things up so the games wouldn’t end.

Baseball is the topic when my friend Tim and I tour diners for breakfast a few times a year.           

Sometimes, Tim will ask me to reflect on baseball when I call him to make our arrangements.           

“Sid,” he’ll say, “I want you to think about why players don’t seem to bunt, anymore.”