Every week, I turn the B-Side into my editor, Jeff Vorva, for editing. He takes a look, makes any necessary changes and sends the column to the production department to be laid out on the page. Simple stuff.
Last week, however, Jeff made a strange comment about my weekly column.
“I’m happy to see you’re following all my ideas and suggestions for the column,” he said.
I had no idea what he was talking about. The column topics, for the most part, are my idea. Jeff has his own column to write and impress us all.
He persisted. Many of my columns were his really brainchild, he said. I merely followed up by putting his genius thoughts into words.
Heck, he even wanted an apology. How dare I use his thoughts and ideas and make them my own without giving credit where credit was due.
No, Jeff didn’t really say any of this. He and I are adults. And adults don’t bicker about who should get credit for good ideas.
Or do they?
January 2 was an unseasonably warm day, which was ideal for all the volunteers who gathered at a Starbucks in Oak Lawn before hitting 95th Street and tying big blue ribbons to every light pole on the village’s main drag from Harlem Avenue to Pulaski Road.
It was an organized effort that took some planning and coordination. But the results look great.
Ribbons were fashioned from plastic blue table clothes purchased at dollar stores. From what I understand, one tablecloth equaled eight ribbons. Each team of volunteers was assigned one or two blocks, and in no time the ribbons were everywhere.
They look great and their purpose is even more impressive: remind people driving along 95th Street that Oak Lawn supports it police force. And, cops in Oak Lawn know the community has their back.
All sorts of folks volunteered for the grassroots effort, which was promoted big time on local Facebook groups. And, yes, there were local politicians helping out—Mayor Sandra Bury and Trustee Tim Desmond—to name a few. They were joined by candidates for village board.
But the real question is: whose idea was the Tie One On initiative. We must get to the bottom of this. We can’t let the wrong person get credit.
Did Trustee Desmond advance the idea? Or did a supporter who lives in his district get the ball rolling?
You know politicians. Hiding in the weeds ready to leap on any good idea and make it their own. How dare they.
And, to top it off, Desmond is running for re-election. Certainly, a few photos of him tying ribbons to poles would help him out at the polls.
Not to be outdone, Desmond’s opponent, Cyndi Trautsch, volunteered as well. I’m sure she was eyeballing some political advantage.
Here’s a thought: knock it off.
Who cares who came up with the idea to tie blue ribbons to street poles? It was a great idea that bore tremendous results. Heck, I’ve seen blue ribbons in front of houses throughout the community put up by people who wanted to get in on the gesture. Other towns have done it as well.
I truly don’t care if a trustee, resident or Frederick Pabst had the idea of tying blue ribbons to poles and trees. It was a great idea that sends an even greater message.
These are tough times for the police. And I don’t care if their shield says NYPD or OLPD, they take a risk every time they hit the streets to defend the community.
Sure, we all have some story or another about being pulled over by the police and getting a ticket we didn’t deserve. No one said the cops were perfect. But their job is tough, risky and often thankless.
But try calling them in the middle of the night when you think you saw or heard something in your backyard. I’ve done that and the response was timely and professional. I’m sure many of you have experienced similar scenarios.
They’re the last line of defense between civilized society and chaos.
Granted, the blue ribbons are merely a symbolic gesture, but I’d appreciate the effort if I was a police officer. And, the Tie One On initiative proves that the community can come together for a good cause. It’s what sincere, well-meaning adults do. Fingering pointing and one-upmanship are not.