Following Cousin Billy

On Friday night I will be traveling to Cleveland to see the third professional basketball game of my life. The first was my hometown Philadelphia 76ers in 1965, a team that featured Wilt Chamberlain, Chet Walker, Hal Greer, Luke Jackson and sixth-man rookie Billy “The Kangaroo Kid” Cunningham. What a team!

Friday’s game, between the Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns, will also feature at least two future Hall of Famers, “King” (LaBron) James and two-time MVP Steve Nash. It should be a barn-burner!

The tickets were a Christmas gift from my son, E.T., who will be motoring up from Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio to join me at the game. As a result of this family obligation, I will not be present at the Village of Geneseo Republican Caucus Saturday morning. Accordingly, I have sent a Shermanesque e-mail to Republican Chair Paul Schmied informing him I have no interest in running for Village Justice.

I took this precaution because a number of people, probably because of my legal background, have suggested that I should run for the seat recently vacated by Judge John Linfoot. While I am flattered by the suggestion, this is probably the worst job fit for me that I could imagine.

First of all, the Village Justice must be available at all hour of the night to arraign suspects, who often do their foul deeds in the wee hours. This would never work for me. Once I go to bed, there is no way I am getting up in the middle of the night for anyone!

This is why I have steadfastly refused to take any overnight shifts driving the ambulance. I guess I just spent too many late hours putting the newspaper to bed and I’ve lost my tolerance for it.

On a more serious note, I am well aware of the severe limits on political activity that are placed on judges by the rules of Judicial Ethics. Although, in my experience, judges are the most political of animals, they are required to hide their true nature by not openly engaging in politics. Can you imagine?

Not only would I have to give up my blogging, but I would have to refrain from jumping into all other political activities: local, state or national. That would never work!

In fact, I recently signed on to help John McCain’s effort in New York for Super Tuesday– and if he becomes the nominee, I will certainly work to get him elected in the fall, especially if it is against Mrs. Clinton! BTW, if you would like to help the Senator in the primary, please drop me a line!

Oh, and about the title. It turns out that I am related to General William Tecumseh “War is Hell” Sherman, although I have never been able to figure out exactly how. I do know that we are both direct descendants of Roger Sherman of Connecticut, who was the only person to sign all four of the founding documents of our country: The Articles of Association, The Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and The U.S. Constitution.

My father’s great-grandfather was a Sherman, but this connection was something that he tried to hide when he was stationed in Georgia while serving in the U.S. Air Force at the tail-end of WWII. Seems like the folks down there hadn’t quite forgiven “Cousin Billy” for burning Atlanta and his March to the Sea!

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3 responses to “Following Cousin Billy

  1. My cousin married a descendant of General Sherman in Atlanta in 1960. Even though he bore the last name of Sherman, they weren’t tarred and feathered. I don’t think United Daughters of the Confederacy or Sons of Confederate Veterans were vetting people with the name of Sherman or requiring loyalty oaths to the ‘stars and bars’ then. Since it was a military (navy) wedding, there were plenty of sabres to defend the couple from a ‘southern insurrection.’

    The family all thought the irony of the wedding was hilarious.

    I’m sorry to hear John Linfoot is stepping down. I think your decision is the right one. I cannot imagine you going ‘cold turkey’ from politics! You’d probably have two years of withdrawal pangs!

  2. Actually, if you read the book “Confederates in the Attic” (which I highly recommend!) the author points out that Sherman was not much hated by his contemporaries in the South. It was only after the story of the March was re-told and exaggerated down through the generations that he became synonymous with the Devil.

  3. For basketball fans: E.T. and I had a great time at the game Friday night! Quicken Loans Arena (The Q) was packed with rabid Cavalier fans and the announcers and cheerleaders did their best to drive the home crowd into a frenzy.

    King James played his usual unbelievable game, but it became obvious over the course of the night that Phoenix was the better “team.” The Suns blistered the net for 17 three-pointers, a record number given up by Cleveland. Steve Nash is a magician and when he wasn’t driving through the defense or shooting over it, the pick and roll play to Amare Stoudemire was unstoppable.

    Our seats were excellent, but they got even better when a fan who was leaving early handed me his court-side tickets for the last two minutes. We were seated right next to the Sun’s basket and were so close that we could hear the players swear when they missed a shot. It was awesome!

    BTW The Suns won by 2 points on a last second basket, much to the disappointment of LeBron who reportedly kicked over a trash can on the way to the locker room. On the other hand, E.T. , a Suns fan, was ecstatic.

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