September 17, 2015

Progression run today, I was thinking about posture.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I was fortunate to work with/for Grumpy at the Dirksen Federal Building. Everybody down there knew of JPD and really liked him. There was a group of (mostly) men down at the courthouse that can be best described as courtroom groupies. These men would show up every day between 8 and 9 in the morning. The groupies knew all the judges, attorneys, bailiffs and court reporters and would follow federal trials from start to finish. If you ever had a question about the Chicago Mob or a gang kingpin, these were the guys to ask. When I would walk to lunch at Berghoff’s stand up bar with my dad, one of the groupies would inevitably pull him aside and ask him some question trying to gain some inside info on the guilt or innocence of “Big Tuna” or what did DiLaurentis from the Ferriola family mean when he said that this guy was “trunk music”. Dad would remain unbiased in his response and gingerly change the subject to something more benign like the White Sox latest loss or the Bears latest triumph. These guys loved JPD, even though he never jeopardized the impartiality of an ongoing trial, he always made the groupies feel important and welcome. One of the reasons that I know JPD would run every day is because when he would be working in the courtroom, the judge would sometimes forget that he had a court reporter sitting at his stenograph machine and a single court session might last four straight hours. JPD would have to sit there, and he always had perfect posture and would not make a peep. He would be responsible to record every word that was said while court was in session. He took this responsibility very seriously.

By the way, “trunk music” meant you would be tortured, killed and stuffed in the trunk of a car. That is the kind of testimony that had the groupies coming back every day. You would never know that this was the kind of “hit” parade that JPD saw march in front of the judge’s bench every day. He would come home from work and immerse himself in the mayhem of his family or an extra-long run and love every minute of it. As kids, we were never the wiser.

More purple mountain majesty. Favorite song today: The Summer Wind performed by Frank Sinatra.

Mountains at sunrise

Mountains at sunrise

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