From Left Field

    Suggestions about what to do with that huge, now-ugly wall left facing us from the now-empty lot at Second and Monroe streets have mainly ranged from a green space to a parking lot.
    But how about this one? Advertising! Like A.J. Kalver did with the former drive-in screen southeast of town. One need only look just across the street to the north to see how something nice looking can be placed on the side of a building.
    Can you imagine how many ads could be put on that big, bare space? Lots of them. Which translates to lots of revenue. Then take that money and revamp the old bank building on the other corner.
    Or, better yet, build a new City Hall or a police station ... or a combination of both. Perhaps fix all the CSOs and make the #$@%^*+@ IDEM people happy. Or loan the money to the county at a low interest rate so it could finally do somethiing about the superior court building.
    Revenue. Revenue. Revenue.
    Hey, some places are thinking about sellling ads to be placed on their police cars.
    Okay, okay; the wall and ads, just a joke, folks; just a joke. Stop throwing the bricks. Don't storm the office door. A green space it is. (Hey, maybe we could sell naming rights to the green space!)

Right place, right time
    The annual St. Joe-Notre Dame Smoker was just around the corner and still no guest.
    Local insurance man Dan Kintz, one of those seeking a football player for the annual event, goes to a fifth grade basketball game at the St. Joe gym here and the St. Vincent team has a young boy named Eifert. Yep, brother of Tyler Eifert, the standout tight end of the 2012 Irish team and a certain first-round NFL pick.
    So Dan finds poppa Eifert and wonders if maybe Tyler could make it to Decatur on Sunday. Nah, says dad, because he's in Miami preparing for the draft combine. But, he adds, I bet Irish wide receiver John Goodman, like Eifert, a Bishop Dwenger grad, would.  Sure enough, not a lot later, Kintz gets a call from Goodman.
     Welcome to Decatur, John!

Popular guy
    Jim Brazill, who died in Fort Wayne the other day at the age of 81, was once the toast of Decatur.
    Jim was the kind of guy who knew no strangers, and as the representative of a beer company, he had no trouble finding friends. In the days before professional athletes were uber-rich and ignored the public, Jim, through the company, would bring to Decatur NFL players who probably did promo work for the company.
    Players like kicker Jim Martin and linebacker Wayne Walker of the Detroit Lions, standout performers both.
    So here comes Jim with Wayne Walker and they visit the taverns and restaurants in town, setting 'em up for the house and making it a fun night in Decatur. Getting to chat with an NFL player and free beer — it doesn't get much better than that!

Laughs at council meeting
    One can never be sure what Mayor John Schultz will say at a city council meeting. But it usually evokes laughter.
    At last Tuesday's meeting, for instance, the mayor and City Attorney Tim Baker were attempting to sort out and explain the reason for dissolving the city plan commission for a couple of weeks.
    Basically, because Nate Rumschlag was hired by the city as a civil engineer some months ago, the plan commission fell under a different section of Indiana law, vastly changing the makeup of the commission. More members, different appointers, limits on who can be appointed, etc. As Baker was explaining all the somewhat complex details, Schultz — with a wide smile — said, "It would have been easier just to fire him (Rumschlag)!"
    Council chambers rocked with laughter.