The last week or so, I've been running into or hearing about old friends.
Yesterday, there was a guy in the hallway of my school who I thought I recognized. I could tell from the look on my face that he recognized me as well. I was in a hurry to get to class, so I didn't stop.
On the way out of class today, I saw him again, outside on a bench, studying. We looked at one another again, both had that look of recognition, but I continued on to my bicycle. As I started to ride away, curiousity got the best of me, and I turned around and said "Hey-- where do I know you from?"
Almost at the same time it came out of his mouth, I realized it was my old drinking buddy Marty.
I met Marty probably twenty years ago when he was dating my friend Elizabeth, who was a popular bartender at the Gingerman Tavern, here in Chicago on Clark Street, down the street from Wrigley Field.
When my friends Mark, Dan and I decided to room together a couple of years after we all got out of college, one of our prime needs in an apartment was proximity to the Gingerman. The Gingerman, back in the day, was a special place. The bartenders were wonderful; the clientele was interesting, diverse and fun; the beer selection was one of the best in the city; and they had one of the best jukeboxes I've ever seen.
The "G-Man," as we called it, was a place that you could go in and be assured of an interesting conversation. On a typical night, you might be talking about the films of John Sayles with a group that might include a college professor, a plumber, an old hippie, a hairdresser and the bartender and the bouncer.
One of the guys I'd frequently end up spending a pleasant evening with chatting was Marty.
As I chatted with Marty today, we talked about what had happened in our lives since then. Like me, he was leaving one career and moving into another. He was in the music industry for a long time, and like me and teaching, was realizing it was dead-ending for him. He is studying to be a nurse. His wife, who is in the telecommunications industry, is supporting him while he does this. We talked about and laughed at how we were the "old guys" in our classes, and how amazing it was to be getting the kind of grades we're getting and how responsible we were these days.
I realized that tomorrow, when I run into him, I need to get his phone number and email address; I don't want it to be another decade or more before I see him again. There was a happy ending-- and a new beginning-- here.
That wasn't the case with someone else from my past-- an old employer.
Last week, I was reading a local neighborhood paper and saw the name of Lisa K., an old college friend. She helps run a social service organization in the mostly-poor neighborhood that my school is in. I was happy to see her name, and happy to see that she was still fighting the good fight; we'd met when we were both involved in Democratic politics in the thick of the Reagan era at Eastern Illinois University in the early to mid eighties.
I remembered that her then-husband, Michael Inglimo, (I'd heard that they'd divorced) had helped me get one of my first post-college jobs, as a law clerk. I wondered whatever happened to him and Googled him. I'd heard that after he and my friend Lisa were divorced that he moved to Wisconsin and began to practice up there.
Out of curiosity, I Googled him and discovered that he's recently made a name for himself-- not in a good way.
Last year, he was disbarred in a notorious case that went all the way up to the Wisconsin (and Minnesota) Supreme Court. Apparently, according to numerous blogs and legal sites, and documents that he had accepted payment from a client in the form of sex with the client's wife. And of course the client joined in. And they smoked pot and did cocaine, which Michael had magnimously supplied.
Oh, and they videotaped all of this.
Oh, and did I mention that Michael supplied the video equipment and set it up?
Usually, only Bubs gets ahold of stories this good. I can't believe that I not only found this story, but that I worked for this guy! I was his law clerk for over a year, right after college.
As I mentioned already, he was disbarred for the various and sundry infractions (surprise!) It's become, apparently, legendary in Wisconsin legal circles-- if you run a search under his name, Michael Inglimo, it's all over the place. As I mentioned, he appealed it all the way up to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Just some thoughts:
--It's probably never a good thing when you're known in blogs and the legal journals of the state you formerly practiced law in as "Michael 'Three-Way' Inglimo."
--That if you're going to do not one, but TWO things that can get you disbarred, having sex with a client-- okay, with a client's wife-- your client happened to join in-- and smoking pot and doing cocaine-- it's probably best not to videotape it.
--That giving drugs to your client whom you'd defended on drug charges is probably not a good idea.
--That a judge, a professional oversight committee, the cops, the average citizen, or just about anybody with a lick of sense are not going to believe that the white powdery substance you are snorting on the videotape between bouts of boffing your client's girlfriend, is "flour or some other substance."
--That if you lose your law license for only three years, rather than for the rest of your life, you should cut your losses, walk away and thank your lucky stars, rather than appealling it on up through the top court in the state, thus increasing your infamy, public knowledge about the case and making yourself a laughingstock not only within your professional community, but also nationally.
--That when you're videotaping yourself doing the nasty with a client's wife while doing drugs that you provided, that your curious contention that the videotape was a receipt to provide a record that the services that were exchanged in return for your services were indeed, um, exchanged-- well, this just doesn't add to your story too well. Or your credibility.
Did I mention that this guy was my boss at one point in my life?