Category Archives: Parenthood

In the Worst of Times

spockette

By GORDON GLANTZ

Gordonglantz50@gmail.com

@Managing2Edit

GORDONVILLE — Like many American families, we were watching the Election Night results in shock and increasing dismay into the early morning hours.

We flipped channels – from CNN to MSNBC to ABC to PBS – and watched each, hoping to hear some alternative spin to make us feel better, and turned away when we found their faces and voices too irksome.

Optimism turned to pessimism and pessimism into despair.

Meanwhile, our 9-year-old daughter, Sofia, had fallen asleep on the family room love seat before the ominous news became harsh reality.

A day that began with her going into the voting both with her mommy, who let her press the button to vote for what we all thought would be the first woman president of our internally wounded nation, ended with me carry her up the steps.

It used to be a common occurrence, me carrying Sofia to bed. I know it sounds strange, but it was always one of those small joys of parenthood that I not only enjoyed but where I made a small “note to self” to appreciate.

This time, it was different.

It had been a while. She was a lot heavier than she was a few years back, and I have developed more middle-aged aches and pains. Plus, I was more than tired. I was weary. Not only from the results but from the grind.

And from knowing my daughter would awaken to a different America.

I like to say I wear my heart on my sleeve. I wouldn’t call it a fatal flaw. It’s just the way I am. If I’m passionate about something, I can’t suppress it.  And I was passionate about this election cycle, perhaps more than any other in a lifetime of always being interested in politics.

My heart was heavier than Sofia’s body.

Even though her seeing a woman president so early in her formative years was an exciting prospect, I was more somber about who won than who lost.

Truth be told, I was never real high on Hillary Clinton – at least not at this point in time. She was facing a tall order, looking to push eight years of a Democrat in the White House into 12 or 16, and she really was not overly inspiring. That should not necessarily be a qualification for the job, but fact is that is a humungous one. And she picked a milquetoast running mate, which didn’t help her cause.

So, while I was “with her,” since her opponent was non-option for what seemed to obvious reasons, I was not the cheerleader that, say, my wife was during the campaign.

Manning my Facebook battle station, I spent way more time pointing out the infinite flaws of Clinton’s opponent and rarely touting her beyond the obvious, which was that she was so much more qualified that it was both a comedy and tragedy at the same time.

And despite some accusations to the contrary, it had zero to do with Clinton’s gender. I supported her, vigorously, during 2007-2008 primary season. I felt she was better prepared to lead us out the darkness of the Bush years than the new kid in town, Barrack Obama, who seemed to me more like someone who was more a future president than one ready to take the reins.

Once she was edged out by Obama, and once John McCain exercised horrendous judgment by tabbing Sarah Palin as his running mate, I supported Obama in the general election and remained a voice of support – whether in newsprint, here on my blog or in social media battles – throughout his two terms.

When these so-called media experts tried to frame the 2016 election as a foregone conclusion, saying it was going to be a showdown between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, it rubbed me raw.

Is this the best we could do, going back to same two families, I wondered? And was America not founded, theoretically, on the notion of breaking from the concept of royalty?

Turns out, I would have taken that as a choice – even after being one of the few and proud Bernie Sanders backers of my age demographic in the country.

Yes, that’s how bad the end result turned out to be.

I could have lived with another Bush.

We are left with the person, whose name I can’t even bare to write this morning, as he is also part of American royalty but who lacks any political acumen whatsoever.

He was the flashpoint of the “birther movement” that actually had a high number of registered Republicans – people who actually wake up, dress and fed themselves each morning and operate a vehicle to go out into their small bubbled worlds – believing Obama was born in Kenya and a Muslim.

After Obama produced his birth certificate, something no Caucasian president would never have to do, Bill Maher did a bit on his political talk show saying the current president elect should produce a birth certificate saying he was not an orangutan.

And the thin-skinned mogul behind the “birther” push did what he usually does. He lawyered-up, and filed a lawsuit.

What will he do as president? He will be sworn in with multiple court cases and lawsuits – from the serious, to the benign and ridiculous – pending for and against him.

Will he react like a baby to every critique and lampooning sent his way? Will he be able to handle one-tenth of the venom spewed at Obama to last eight years? Are we headed toward a police state?

This, and so many other scary questions, overloaded my brain as I trudged up the steps with Sofia in my arms and as I laid her to sleep and placed a gentle and sorrowful kiss on her cheek.

Before waking her up, I had already received messages from other devastated friends wondering about we tell our kids this morning and what kind of world we are creating for them now.

I got up early and drove our dog, Rex, to his weekly visit to daycare. I tried to lose myself in the music on the radio. As I pulled into the lot, Don Henley’s “End of the Innocence” came on. I sat in my parking spot – with tears welling in my eyes — and pondered the question about ours, and about Sofia.

My innocence has long since been gone, but I already mourn the day when it happens to our princess with a heart of gold.

She is very much her daddy’s daughter, in terms of her emotions. I knew telling her wouldn’t be easy. I was not sure if her mommy would have broken the news by the time I got back home, or if she would be stealing a few extra minutes of sleep before school.

Part of me didn’t want to be there, part of me did.

All of me knew I had to be.

We have woken her up to bad news before – up to and including deaths of pets and family members – and she would immediately burst into tears.

Turned out, she was still in a deep sleep Wednesday morning.

When I whispered the horrifying result to her, she just looked sad and stunned.

“Oh,” she said after a few seconds, “really?”

When I drove to school about 30 minutes later, she was quiet. I asked if she was OK, and she admitted to being a bit sad about it. My gut is that she was more upset for her mommy than anything, but I didn’t push it. Instead, I thought I would lighten the mood. I told her that maybe she would be the first female president.

“Not interested,” she said, flatly.

The thing is, Sofia is a pretty cool kid. She will be OK.

The same TV where we watched the end of the world as we knew it is also one of these newfangled Smart TVs that I was too dumb to figure out for three months before an angel of mercy from XFinity took pity on me and went above and beyond just fixing a phone issue.

Together, on that TV, she has willing been indoctrinated into watching Gordonville classics like “The Wonder Years” and her clear favorite – “Star Trek.”

Sofia has quickly become such a Trekkie already that she has Googled how to make Vulcan Plomeek Soup and announced that we are going to Las Vegas this summer for the next convention.

She was a Vulcan – “Spockette” – for Halloween, and made me wear a yellow Captain Kirk shirt that was so friggin’ tight, even as an XXL, that I could barely breathe.

So I just told her this morning that the election was like a Star Trek episode where they land on a primitive planet and that we will have to think logically to get ourselves to resolution.

Problem is that this is four years – if he lasts that long – not one-hour.

She understood and accepted my logical explanation.

Problem is that we are not in the future, and present-day logic is on life support.

We could use a timely beam-up from Scotty, but all communication has been cut off.

Instead, I’ll have to carry her up the steps.

And even as she ages and grows to the point when I can’t physically do it anymore, I’ll continue to hold her close and carry her anyway.

Even in the worst of times – and it doesn’t get much worse than this – it is all I can do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olympic Shakedown

Handshake

By GORDON GLANTZ

Gordonglantz50@gmail.com

@Managing2Edit

GORDONVILLE — In a perfect world, the now-completed 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio should have been a rallying point in Casa de Glantz.

No more fighting for the remote when it is time to decide between “The Bachelor” or a sporting event. No more zoning out when an obscure topic comes up at the dinner table.

With Sofia now 9, these were to be the first Olympics when she really could fully comprehend what was happening up there on our new 60-inch screen.

And even though I’ve gained the smarts to work the Smart TV, I figured Netflix would have to take a break for the Olympics.

But something happened on the road to Rio (yes, I’m aware of the movie by that name).

HBO’s “Real Sports” kept it “real” and shed light on the dark underbelly that is the whole Olympic syndrome we buy into every two years (Winter Olympics come two years after the summer these days, so that we stay nice and inundated with the concept of good will through sport).

Exposing the exploitation tactics of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Real Sports confirmed a semi-quelled inkling that sports journalism may now be the standard-bearer of the once great fourth estate.

And it turned me off, just about completely, to any interest in the Rio games, while serving as a stark reminder that an event designed to make the world seem perfect is a delusion.

But then I had to consider my 9-year-old ultra-precocious daughter, Sofia, who was going into the Games buoyed by a Lifetime movie on Gabby Douglas she had seen on Netflix after a long détente over what to watch once the Smart TV riddle rhymed.

She was deeply interested, and asking a lot of questions. When it comes to all things sports, whether I know or not, I’m the Answer Man around here.

As it was, the two most televised sports in the first week were gymnastics and swimming. Sofia, inbound for fourth grade, has been taking gymnastics since the summer after Kindergarten and has been taking more serious 1-on-1 swimming lessons this summer.

She was doing her own “routines” in front to the TV, and pretending to swim back and forth. It was too cute, and too reminiscent of what I used to do – often in full costume – when I watched sports. (Confession: I still watch the Eagles in a jersey and hold a now half-deflated football as a comfort toy.)

So I put all disgust from the “Real Sports” segment on the shelf and watched with her, even when Mommy and Nana slithered away from the scene.

This is what we Dads do.

Sofia was cheering for Douglas, after seeing the aforementioned movie, but I reminded my half-Jewish daughter that she needed to hold a warm thought for team captain Aly Raisman. We also cheered for Michael Phelps to make history, were amazed by Katie Ledecky and couldn’t understand how and why Sweden would be formidable in swimming when the other more “winter” countries (Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, Finland, etc.) were struggling to get on the radar in any event.

It brought back memories of my first real Olympics experience: the Munich Games of 1972.

I was 7, and my whole world was sports. I remember watching from the couch for much of Mark Spitz’s exploits. I also remember being on “vacation” in Washington, D.C. for the end of the Games, and trying to understand – as much as I could at that age – what was going on when the Israeli athletes were taken hostage and murdered by Palestinian terrorists.

At the time, I thought the subsequent theft of the basketball gold medal from the U.S. men’s basketball team was more egregious, but I soon came to learn that it paled in comparison. It came full-circle when I read a Doug Collins interview stating that what had happened to the Israelis pretty much dampened the spirits of the team and that they “just wanted to go home” as much as play that gold medal game against the former Soviet Union.

Olympic officials tried to separate sports from politics, but they were proven – just as Hitler’s Berlin Games of 1936 and the black power salute of Tommie Smith and John Carlos on a Mexico City medal stand in 1968 or the mass boycott of the Moscow Games of 1980 did – to be impossibly intertwined.

That’s the one aspect of the modern Olympic Games in which the spirit of the ancient Greek Olympiad cannot be recaptured. In those days of yore, with the likes of Plato and Socrates among the honored spectators, there was a mandatory cessation of regional hostilities to allow for safe passage of soldiers to travel and be able to compete.

How and why could that have been the case in a supposedly less-evolved time in history? Maybe because the ancient Olympics also had a spiritual side.

They believed the Gods were watching.

These Gods probably looked away in disgust sometime between the full-time modern revival in Athens in 1896 and the stripping of Jim Thorpe’s 1912 gold medals in 1913.

Although smoke-and-mirror productions – like the grandiose opening ceremony in Rio –  can put a proverbial bandage on a gunshot wound, the internal bleeding had already begun behind the scenes.

And it was clear there was no cessation of regional hostilities to allow safe passage – even to the opening extravaganza.

That night in Rio, members of the Lebanese delegation refused to share a bus with the Israeli team.

And so it began.

And continued.

A female representing Saudia Arabia, which has a poor record on women’s rights, withdrew from the judo competition rather than risk having to compete in the second round against an Israeli, Gili Cohen. (If the Saudi didn’t want to compete, her name doesn’t deserve to be mentioned.)

On the men’s side, in judo, Israel’s Or Sasson was graced in competition by Egypt’s Islam El-Shehaby. After Sasson scored what is the sport’s version of a knockout (or pin), Sasson’s fervent attempt at a handshake was rebuffed. While the crowd jeered, the referee ordered Shehaby to take the customary bow and eventually got a feeble nod.

The action was a post-script in most places. Given the volatile nature of the Middle East, who wants to take sides, right? Decried in the Israeli press and met with passing disgust in the U.S., excuses were initially made by officials (the IOC has a history of anti-Semitism going back to Hitler’s games).

In a delayed move, El Shehaby was sent home by his own country – likely to a hero’s welcome, which he will need to avoid the shame of losing to a Jew.

And make no mistake about it, this is what this all about.

Recognition, and treatment of the Palestinians, are just easy excuses. It is the same reason Israel has a harder time qualifying for the World Cup in soccer or the Olympics in basketball. Instead of competing against nations from its own region, it has to compete against European nations because neighboring countries refuse to compete.

Meanwhile, the “Real Sports” report delved into safety in Rio. During the games, there have been incidents, up to and including U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte and teammates half-concocted their story about being held up at gunpoint (it was kinda sorta true, but not really, and yet another controversy that got a ridiculous amount of mainstream media coverage while Louisiana literally floated away).

According to Associated Press, these other incidents include the following:

  • An Olympic security officer was fatally shot after he and two others got lost near a slum near the airport.
  • A pair of Australian rowing coaches were robbed at knifepoint Friday in Ipanema. A day later, also in Ipanema, Portugal’s education minister was robbed at knifepoint.
  • Stray bullets have twice flown into the Olympic sports complex in Deodoro.
  • Two windows were shattered on a bus carrying journalists (local official say rocks, but those on the bus think bullets).
  • Bomb squads have set off several controlled explosions after finding unattended items such as the backpack near the basketball arena. Detonations also have happened near the finish line of a cycling race and of a Copacabana Palace hotel.

While all these actions pale in comparison to what happened in Munich, just think of the mileage – the positive international press – that would be generated if the animosity was dropped, like when there was a cessation in battle in the ancient games, if something as simple as a shared bus ride and a handshake and man-hug occurred.

We know that would play well in, say, the UK or Canada or Australia or the Netherlands. But it would be seen as a national disgrace in places like Lebanon and Saudi Araba and, yes, Egypt (treaty or not).

How do I explain all of this to Sofia, when she is watching with the same wide eyes I once had?

I want to tell her all, and one day I will, but Olympic moments – like the so-called 1980 Miracle on Ice (I personally don’t think it was quite the miracle it was made out to be) – should be coveted before her innocence is lost.

For now, I suppose I’ll keep it simple.

And do what we Dads sometimes have to do.

I’ll lie.

I’ll say the Gods are watching.

Long Walk Home

MacLeish

By GORDON GLANTZ

Gordonglantz50@gmail.com

@Managing2Edit

Been giving a lot of thought lately to what it means to grow old.

Being on the north side of 50, if only by a year, will do that to a guy.

More or less, I still love – or at least like, or am bemused by – the same music and television shows from my youth (while picking up some strays along the road of life).

I am still given to bouts of unabashed to immaturity, often manifested by practical jokes with Sofia serving as my assistant.

And that little girl, sometimes 9 going on 19 and sometimes 9 going on 19 months, keeps me young in so many ways.

Yeah, there are the physical reminders – less hair up top and more girth in the gut.

And I am mastering the art of small talk. I can do the wave and nod thing and the final plunge of discussing the weather and traffic patterns.

But I think we age as we lose drip on our youth.

Listening to Bruce Springsteen 24/7 won’t halt that that inevitability.

No one gets out of here alive.

We lose our grandparents, our parents, our aunts and uncles and we age with each loss.

By the time we lose our friends, well, you don’t need a calendar to tell you how old you are.

Rick MacLeish was not a personal friend of mine. I met the man twice. Once, I wait in long line at car dealership – Matt Slapp Something or Other (I think Chevrolet, but don’t hold me to that) in the Northeast – but they hustled us all through the line pretty quickly.

My heart pounded as I approached. He quietly asked my name and I stammered with a response. He proceeded to spell it incorrectly – G-O-R-D-E-N – which is actually amazing, considering the number of people named Gordon, like Gordon Lightfoot, from his native Canada.

Because of the length of the line, my impatient stepfather told me he would be back to pick me up. Because of the precision of the movement of the line, he was nowhere to be found when I was done. So, I did what any stupid 9-year-old would do.

I walked home.

By the time I got there, the late autumn chill had taken its toll and my mother put me in a warm a tub. I didn’t quite understand my stepfather’s panic when he got back to Matt Slapp, but I can only imagine how I would feel – actually I can’t – if the same thing happened with Sofia if she were waiting in line for an autograph from Becky G (her second-favorite teen idol behind Sabrina Carpenter).

When he saw me in the tub, he couldn’t get too mad. I was home. And, really, he should have waited and he knew it.

But this was 1974. Parents didn’t see child abductors lurking on every corner. We played, out of view, until dark.

My favorite sport to play was street hockey, pretending to be like guys like Rick MacLeish.

All was forgotten and I went to bed happy, despite any panic I caused. I had interfaced with my second-favorite Flyer – Bobby Clarke was like Secretariat pulling away from Sham in the Belmont Stakes – and I had his autograph (I had Clarke’s too, but it was not from a personal encounter).

The second meeting with MacLeish was a bit different. I was acting in a professional manner as working member of the press at the Philadelphia Sports Writer’s dinner in Cherry Hill. I walked out of the press room to look for Tommy Lasorda (I worked for the Norristown paper, and we were required to write about Lasorda whenever he passed gas) and almost collided with someone around my own size.

He politely said “excuse me” and timidly stepped aside. His face, like any of the Broad Street Bullies, was unmistakable.

“Rick MacLeish,” I pronounced, much more confident than when I was nine, introducing myself as he shifted his beer to his left hand and shook mine.

We spoke for about five minutes, tops, during which I did most of the talking in a quiet corner where there were so many other Philadelphia sports icons walking around that no one would have even noticed.  I told him he was my second-favorite Flyer, about the Matt Slapp incident and how I spent hours in my garage trying to replicate the quickness and power of his surreal wrist shot.

I also told MacLeish that whenever my father manage to get tickets for a game – no easy task in that time frame –  he always scored a goal, and that I even saw a hat trick or two.

He quipped that he would have gotten me season tickets if he had known.

We also talked about the goal he scored against the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, which held up for the duration in a 1-0 win. He explained that the deflection was not an accident. He explained that he and Andre “Moose” Dupont tirelessly worked on it in practice. Dupont would shoot it about an inch off the ice and he would deflect it. By the time the situation arose in the game, it was like second nature. For the first time in a game situation, it worked.

He joked that the other power-play point men, Bill Barber and Tom Bladon, shot too hard to spend time on it with them but that “Moose shot it nice and slow, but accurately, and could only get it as high as around the ankles anyway.”

I saw Lasorda – actually, I heard him, too – from the corner of my eye. I was promised five minutes to do a power interview, so I had to excuse myself. MacLeish shook my hand again (hockey players were always gentlemen) and blended back into the crowd from which he came.

I spotted him again, alone in a corner of the VIP area, and thought about resuming the conversation. But I had a story to write, and wanted it out of the way before the dinner, and I didn’t want the man to think I was some sort of a stalker.

So, those are my Rick MacLeish stories. It might be a sign of age, but neither is ever told that often.

From time to time, I would run into someone from overnight camp or somewhere else in my youth, and they would luckily remember me more for my wrist shot than by buck teeth and Jewfro.

My response would be that “I got it from watching MacLeish.”

And I starting watching MacLeish again.

Part of staying young, I suppose, has been some small semblance of computer literacy. The Flyers’ first of two cups is recalled most by the final series, with Clarke winning Game 2 in overtime and MacLeish’s tally in Game 6 that goalie Bernie Parent would preserve, but they got there by edging past a New Rangers team in seven games that was probably better than Boston.

I found Game 7 of the Ranger series on You Tube and what immediately struck me was how dominant MacLeish was in that decisive contest.

And after he passed away this past week at age 66, I watched it again. The whole thing.

It made me feel young.

It made me feel old.

Most of all, it made me feel he was worth that long walk home.

 

 

 

One For My Baby

People ask why I don’t write a song about Sofia. The answer is that it is complicated. In many ways, I have, but not really. Not directly. Not until now.Bunnypie My lyrics are generally not about one particular person or experience. Additionally, they tend to be from the dark side of my brain – an outlet for my angst and negativity and quest for justice. Sofia represents the polar opposite, a light so blinding that I can’t help but smile in spite of the darkness. That said, long-time readers of my former employer are well-aware that she was a consistent topic in my Sunday columns — so much so that she was probably the most well-known toddler in Central Montgomery County. Sofia just turned 9, going on 19, meaning she is no toddler anymore. They have been the best 9 years of my life and, with me penning lyrics on a nearly daily basis, this is reflected in many songs in an ancillary way. In this song, though, it is more direct. As I patiently wait on the music to be written (hint, partner), let me know what you think.

Song for Sofia (Promise I Will Keep)

I got a bum thumb

From sharpening your pencils

Spend my Father’s Days

At your dance recitals

But what else would I do?

Where else would I be?

No one means more than you

This is what you’ve done to me

 

We’ll play catch

Till one lands in your glove

Keep getting pets

So you can share all your love

You are my promise

A promise I will keep

A light in the darkness

That is what you are to me

 

Drive you to school

Send you off to your world

Watching you grow

Still Daddy’s little girl

What else would I do?

What else could I be?

I do it all for you

You are the world to me

 

You are my promise

A promise I will keep

A light in the darkness

That’s what you are to me

No Treats For These Tricksters

Teen Trick2

By GORDON GLANTZ

Gordonglantz50@gmail.com

@Managing2Edit

GORDONVILLE – What you do in your own hometown is your own business. If you want to contribute to the moral decay of our culture, I can’t stop you.

Here in Gordonville, though, there will be a zero tolerance for Halloween 2015 – which also happens to be Halloween 8.0 for Sofia (for the record, she couldn’t decide between between a witch or a Native American girl, so she is going to be a Native American witch).

While other Temple alums were celebrating like it was VE Day when it was announced that the unbeaten Owls would be facing traditional power Notre Dame at 8 p.m., as the featured game of the week, I felt a little piece of myself die inside.

And when I explained it to Sofia, she gave me those eyes – and you dads with daughters know what I’m talking about – and asked me, “but aren’t I more important than a football game, daddy?”

And for emphasis, she reminded about DVR.

Not the same, though. I mean, navigating our development and taking candy – half of which she’ll have to toss because of her peanut allergy anyway – while knowing the game is going on is just going to eat away at me faster than Chris Christie devouring a meatball sandwich.

My best bet is get her to move fast – and we moved pretty fast last year, so much so that my mother fell on her butt (scary at the time but funny now) trying to keep pace – and then turn the reins over the better half while I make it home for kickoff.

The issue, of course, is the home front. We usually leave candy out with a “Help Yourself” sign while taking Sofia around, and then we do it in person once one of us – and it will be this year – gets “tired.”

By 8 p.m. the rush should be pretty much over.

But it won’t be.

And then we have the criminal element — the ones who will get the door slammed in the faces if they ring the bell.

You know who I’m talking about. I’m talking about teens – usually boys – who are too goofy to be invited to any age-appropriate co-ed parties and who ruin what is intended for the little ones.

Some look old enough to be driving house to house, and it wouldn’t be surprising to learn they are (a moving violation in Gordonville). They violate other Gordonville ordinance by barely wearing anything resembling a costume, and barely muttering a proper “trick or treat.”

You extend the basket of candy. Instead of taking two or three items, they scoop up a dozen (as if that’s going to help their skin conditions clear up).

Then, they leave without a thank you.

It’s not my fault these I-Don’t-Wanna-Grow-Up kids don’t have a life. Go get one on your own time. Leave me out of it.

I blame the parents!

The Gordonville PD has let it slide in the past, but not this year.

Not when Temple is playing one of the biggest games in program history.

 

 

A Vow From The Chair

Dems For Bono

By GORDON GLANTZ

@Managing2Edit

Gordonglantz50@gmail.com

GORDONVILLE — It has been more than three decades of political awareness than stood before a mirror, with a picture of Bobby Kennedy behind me, and made the following vow:

I, Gordon Glantz, take you the Democratic party, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

And I have, more or less, stayed true to these ideals. When I send in a play from the sidelines, it was from the Liberal playbook.

My first presidential election was 1984, and I voted for Walter Mondale. I have never voted for a Republican for president.

Yes, that means I voted for Barack Obama twice. And, while I don’t agree with everything he has done, I would do it again.

Because I can’t, I’m “all in” for Bernie Sanders. If his long-shot bid fails, I have no choice but to go with Hillary Clinton over anyone currently in the GOP field.

Sorry if some of you find that as a turnoff, but I believe honesty is the best policy. When you are not in a vicious cycle of telling lies to get out of the lies you told before, your days are easy and your nights are not as sleepless.

While we are being honest. I will admit that I was as bloodthirsty for revenge as any red-blooded American after 9/11. I remember how unified we all were — at least for the blink of an eye — and even commented that it was a “good thing we have a Texan in the White House.”

Because he blew it, leaving the country more divided, I believe that “ersatz Texan” — George W. Bush — is the worst president of my lifetime.

Not even close.

Some told me I would get more conservative after the birth of my daughter, Sofia, in 2007. Turns out, the opposite was true.

Because my baby girl will be one day be a young woman and a lady, gender equity is is an important issue to me.

Because I want to leave her — and her children and children’s children — with a better planet, I have become increasingly aware of the environment.

And whether or not you believe climate change/global warming is a human-made or some strange natural phenomenon, it should not change the idea that we can work together to do something about it “in the now” by simply recycling and eating less meat and carpooling and using public transportation in lieu of driving.

And don’t get me started on holding the oil industry and other major polluters accountable.

While my liberal playbook — and a few viewings of “Bowling For Columbine” — always had me advocating for stricter gun control, it got more personal after the Sandy Hook tragedy. The young victims were around the same age as Sofia, and I have been passionate about strict gun control ever since.

While I would never own a gun, that doesn’t mean I want to go door to door and take guns away from sane and responsible gun owners. I merely want them taken away from those who have no right being in the same hemisphere with firearms, and I refuse believe it is impossible to work toward that goal — just like it always was, and remains, possible to make the roads safer with better-made vehicles and ongoing enhanced enforcement for evolving scourges likes distracted driving.

Like climate change/global warming, my mind is boggled about gun control being a political wedge issue.

However, I don’t believe in absolutes. That would make me closed-minded, and therefore not a true liberal (look up the definition).

On the local level, I have voted for nearly as many Republicans as Democrats,a nd I have done so with no regrets. That includes Sam Katz when he ran for mayor of my hometown of Philadelphia, which I believe would have been better off had he won in 1999.

It certainly would have been a safer place  to live and work, which my wife does.

This brings us to the subject of law enforcement. Since residing in Montgomery County, I have voted for the best person for the job — regardless of party affiliation — for the offices of district attorney and sheriff.

And, as it turns out, my choices have always been Republican.

I was proud to pull the lever for Eileen Whalon Behr, who I knew well from my hitch as the crime reporter for the Times Herald, and I was even more stoked to see Russell J. Bono come out of a short retirement from the Norristown Police Department to take her place.

I worked closely with Russell while I was covering the crime beat, as he was in the final phase of his career with the NPD, that being the chief during that time. We developed a mutual respect and a friendship that transcended our political differences (such as the Second Amendment).

When I was promoted to managing editor, he was one of the first people I called, and he gave me a vote of confidence.

When he retired, I gladly penned a column and a story about his career.

When my own journalism career came to an end, he was one of the first people I reached out to and he was again beyond supportive.

Those are times you don’t you don’t forget, because you find who your friends are.

When he decided to run to retain the office, I put aside party affiliation — as everyone should when it comes to enforcing the law — and asked what I could do to help.

I don’t know all that much about the opponent. Frankly, I don’t need to know much because Russell J. Bono — as a lawman and not a lawyer — is the right man for the job.

As a career lawman, he is an artisan of his craft. What always amazed about him, despite his years on the job, is that he was never jaded enough not feel sincere compassion for innocent victims

That is why I have gladly accepted the position of Chairman of the Democrats for Bono committee.

Whether you are a fellow Democrat, an independent or an on-the-fence Republican, I ask for your support.

Striking Gold

SRprez

By GORDON GLANTZ

Gordonglantz50@gmail.com

@Managing2Edit

GORDONVILLE – With a little help from a lot of friends, old and new, I’ve made a gold record.

No, the debut CD by SpringHouse Revival (songwriting partner/vocalist Terri Camilari and myself, accompanied by the best studio musicians we could find), has not met the industry standard of selling 500,000 units.

At present, we’re about 490,00 — give or take — shy of that mark.

And that’s cool.

Totally cool.

All through the process, before the songs were ever mixed and mastered, the music – four years since the stork delivered UPS boxes weighing about 100 pounds each  to my front door this past Monday –this music has been Sofia’s choice.

Her favorite song on the CD – “Prayin’ Kind” – even bumped both versions of “Let It Go” from the “Frozen” Soundtrack from the top of her hit parade.

But she’s not just in love with one song.

When she says “put your music on, daddy” – sometimes when even a self-indulgent narcissist such as I aches for a break for some Springsteen or U2 or sports talk – it’s all 14 tracks she wants to hear.

She sits in the back, in her little booster seat, and sings the songs with all heart.

That heart is my own flesh and blood.

And that’s cool.

Totally cool.

Along the way, when a new song was written and its scratch demo (that’s music talk) was recorded, I’d ask Sofia’s opinion while on the way to school.

I do this because I know that she, like most second-graders, is a straight-shooter.

More often than not, she’ll say, emphatically, “I like it.”

There are critiques, like the voice isn’t loud enough in the early mix – hindering her ability to sing along – but I’ll explain the process and that it will be taken care of once mixed.

Or she’ll say she likes song X, but not as much as song Y.

Sometimes, as the primary producer/arranger, I will take these suggestions to heart.

It’s not that we’re trying to appeal to the grade-school crowd. Some of the topics of the songs – drug abuse, the Holocaust, lost souls slipping through the unforgiving cracks of our society – are more geared to college-aged ears and beyond.

But a hook is a hook – and Terri has a knack for taking my words and giving them musicality – and Sofia is, well, hooked.

Sofia has been involved in music programs since she could barely walk. She dances three days a week and plays piano.

My wife, Laurie, insists she stick with piano – even on the many weeks when there is a better shot of FOX News saying something positive about the president than there is of getting her to practice – because it develops a part of her brain.

More practically, I feel it is early training for the singer-songwriter I sense is burgeoning within her (she has already made up songs).

Sharing this amazing ride with her.

I did it as much for her as it was to scratch my itch and eliminate an item from the bucket list – more music is coming, as we are a few songs into the next project already and some of the new songs are scary-good.

Gold can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.

It can mean bling adorning your body.

It can mean fat paychecks.

It can mean a record in a frame on the wall.

For me, it is something wholly different.

It is when my 79-year old mother rides shot gun playing air guitar while Sofia belts out the words. It is when Laurie believes in it enough to not pressure me too much into getting a real job, while also looking into educating her attorney self on the dark side of the music business so that Terri and I get what we have coming to us.

On the assumption, of course, that anything comes at all.

If it does – in the form of a song being placed in a TV show or movie, or another artist with a bigger name wanting to record a song – it will be the kind of high you can find without the legalization of marijuana.

If not, I can listen to my daughter sing my words – some of which were written 20-25 years before she was a glint in my eye – and now that it’s all good.

And gold.