The year was 1970. I was in the eighth grade at St. Mark’s school in Peoria. I remember the day like it was yesterday. One of my classmates — I’ll call him Paul — brought a Polaroid picture to school to show to his friends. Paul and I were the same age — 13 years old. The person in the picture was the girlfriend of Paul’s older brother. She and Paul’s brother were in high school. She was a student at Academy of Our Lady and Paul’s brother was a student at Spalding Institute.
One of my early mentors — I’ll call him James — was a well-known trial lawyer in Peoria. I met James in January 1983, the same month that I opened my law practice. He started out by giving me research and writing projects. Before long, I was covering his court hearings and helping him prepare cases for trial.
Earlier this month, the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to Pat McCrory, the governor of North Carolina. In the letter, the DOJ threatened Governor McCrory and gave him a deadline to confirm that North Carolina will not enforce a recent law that was passed by the North Carolina Legislature. The letter accused North Carolina and the governor of “engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees.”
Every so often, my wife tells me that I’m living in the wrong times. Because of my old-fashioned beliefs, she claims that I would have been better off living during the 1800s. Whenever she comments about this, I remind her that I spent the better part of my early years at my grandfather’s (Tom Williams’s) house, and since he was born in 1898, that’s probably where I picked up a lot of my beliefs.