Tuesday, August 7, 2012

JNS BLOG EDITORIAL: Things Really Are Turning Around In North Minneapolis, I CAN FEEL IT!!!!

Photo, blog post by John Hoff

Three words: VEGAS ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!

I will explain in a moment.

Somebody was asking me, recently, what is up with Level 3 Sex Offender Peter "Spanky Pete" Rickmyer's attempt to serve you with a (baseless and frivolous) lawsuit?

Well, there's things I CAN say, and things I WON'T say, and things I WISH I could say, but here's what I'll ACTUALLY say:

Where's the fun in dodging legal service when the other side isn't even TRYING?

I kind of miss the good ol' days when Spanky Pete wouldn't immediately violate his probation and go to prison if he served a lawsuit without the assistance of a licensed attorney and the permission of the chief judge of Hennepin County District Court. (Licensed attorney being defined as, "Not only holding a law license, for the moment, but not on disability inactive status")

One reason I miss the good old days is because...

It allowed me to sort of, almost, not-quite-but-kind-of go "off mission" with this blog and post "Johnny Northside location" clues that were a bit of a personal travelogue. What other excuse but Spanky Pete's attempts to serve me would I have for mentioning that I'd recently been in the airspace of GREENLAND?

Following my deployment to Afghanistan, I have been traveling and reconnecting with my immediate and extended family, especially my teenage son. My blog posts about North Minneapolis end up getting written from the most incredible places. Yesterday a journalist talked to me about slumlord Mahmood Khan while I was sitting in one of the Smithsonian museums. (They're all FREE; those Smithsonian museums)

At the moment I'm in a McDonald's in Maryland. Who knows where I'll be tomorrow?

Still, for the last month or so I have the feeling my journeys are not my own. I go to see other people, not just because I love them but because I feel an obligation to visit. I find educational roadside attractions for the kid, sometimes things I've seen before. I eat where he wants to eat, I sleep in places more comfortable than I would choose myself. On my own, I would sleep in my vehicle, the better to put gas in my tank. I would heat up a can of beans over a tab of Sterno off the side of the road at an abandoned gas station.

Then again, who needs Sterno? Beans are fine cold, if you buy the right brand.

But I don't expect my kid to endure without choice what I see as the cost-effective fun of "roughing it." He will have small luxuries, like a $39 hotel room that reeks of curry.

But the incredible father and son summer road trip will, at some point, come to an end. My son will go back to school in the fall. And I will start to think, "After all those visits to family, all that time with my kid, I want my own road trip."

I've never seen Las Vegas, except a layover once at the airport. The problem is I rarely gamble. Oh, sure, I will sit and play blackjack with my kid for nickels, which I want back when we're done. But gambling is not really something I do.

But recently I was reading an article about the Top 5 Things To Do In Las Vegas that don't involve gambling. And I realized my professional obligations will soon take me to the Southwest, anyway. And I started to hear a little voice in my head, and the voice is repeating something in a demanding tone, like a protestor at a demonstration, like the scene in Animal House where everybody wants a toga party, this little voice starts chanting...




At some point it occurred to me.

John, Spanky Pete is just a crutch. This is YOUR blog, and if you want to post about your road trips, you can do that. It doesn't have to be a "location clue" when Pete is trying to serve you his crappy legal papers, and you don't need to justify the blog post by connecting it, somehow, to North Minneapolis.

Every now and then, between newsy posts about North Minneapolis events, you can blog something personal.

I don't know what it is--well, I suspect it's the spectacular downfall of attorney Jill Clark and her inability to effectively sue me and all my friends right now, plus living through deployment to Afghanistan--but I feel FREER, lately.

Who cares if the enemies of my blog know where I am at any particular moment? The progress of our neighborhood is UNSTOPPABLE. The big mansion on Hillside Ave. N., which used to be a flophouse for transvestite hookers, has caught the interest of television's "Rehab Addict," Nicole Curtiss. The Butter Roll Bakery on West Broadway has been purchased by a new, well-heeled owner dedicated to the cause of Northside revitalization. Super Geek Jeff Skrenes is now a homeowner on Pen Ave. N.

There's only one way to express such a feeling of surviving, of having the rest of my life ahead of me, of having obligations (oh, yes) but long moments where fun can be squeezed in between the obligations.



Mary Beth said...

Vegas Baby!! So much to do, I didn't have much time to gamble the last time I was there!!

I am not from North Minneapolis, just have some connections that bring me there periodically. I enjoy the updates on the area, news, the weekly funnies, etc.

I also know that North Minneapolis, like many neighborhoods, is changing because people continue to live their lives regardless of where they live. They do not adjust to the crime and the way the city is. They make their own life, which transforms the city itself. They go on with life, improving all aspects of their life, go on vacations and then like to tell people about it.

Living life and enjoying everything it has to offer and sharing all of it can change things. I watch the news because it intrigues me, yet the next breathe is about how there is so much negative out there. We need them both.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have The Facts of Life. Sorry, I saw it recently on TV!

Happy Trails!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Not only are you cheap, but you're bragging about providing your son with the LUXURY of a cheap, smelly motel room?

I hope your son is learning a lot during these alleged travels with you. And, for his sake, I hope he's learning a lot about how to be a real man - from someone other than you, Mr. Hoff.

A real man would be a role model for his (impressionable) teenage son. A real man demonstrates values like acceptance and respect toward others. A real man understand the power of differing opinions and doesn't resort to mockery and condescension.

Good luck in your travels, John. I wonder what kind of business you're claiming that will take you to the Southwest? After all, it certainly doesn't appear you're actually employed if you're having to search out free museums and mooch off fast-food WiFi.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a goddamn card carrying member of the Society of Ignorant Lilly-Livered Yayhoos(Silly, isn't it:)?) Sounds like a certain chomo has access to a computer again. Hello, my fiend, i have not forgotten about you and the old neighborhood hasn't either. It also may be that guy who likes to rip off veterans and went to basic training after getting numerous free lunches from the recruiters until they told him" No More Free Lunches"... in 1979. It could be a certain drunk who cannot satisfy their spouse...so they drink some more. It could be a certain southside stoner who likes to babble at community meetings. Fuck it, i may as well post anonymous and join the fucking crowd since it seems to be the thing to do. Boat wishes you a great day...whoops!