Springdale and and old Running Friend: Steve Foster, RIP (11 years later)

Below lies a post I made on a different blog 11 years ago.

This morning, I ran my course from the Riverplex front entrance, through the Gateway Building and around the fountain, down the path, around the gooseloop, through Springdale, up the mausoleum hill, then up the hill to Prospect, through Glenn Oak park, down the hill past the Ingersoll statue and back. That reminded me of some of the runs I used to take with Steve Foster (and his good buddy Jack Stone) and how Steve would always be ahead of me when we got to the hill and he’d take the opportunity to walk up it. I never gave him grief about it because..well, he WAS ahead of me. 🙂

Today, on a crisp (high 30’s-low 40’s) sunny day, this course took me 1:44 to do. When I was running it with Steve (and often Jack), it would have taken us 1:10-1:15 to do the same course. It turned out to be 8.6 miles. Weight: 184 before running (Riverplex scale, no clothes)

Back in December 2006, I had blogged about finding out that a running friend had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Today I had some sore legs and so decided to take a yoga class prior to trying to run. The class went ok, though I irritated the “behind the knee” area of my left leg when I did backbend; I’ve had some trouble with this recently. So, I had to stop running 22 minutes into my run and walk it in.

I was a bit irritated and feeling sorry for myself; I did the old “my stupid body is made of tissue paper and spit” routine.

Then, just as I got back to the Riverplex, Jack Stone (a fellow runner who is built like an NFL linebacker) called out to me; he wanted to talk.

Steve Foster, one of my running buddies and an active Illinois Valley Strider member, has pancreatic cancer.

Steve’s cancer was inoperable; he was given until June 2007 to live.

But Steve never gave up. After the unsuccessful operation (which did add to the quality of his life), he continued to go to the Riverplex and walk. He also swam and lifted weights; as of the fall of 2007 he was still doing that.

But eventually the cancer became too much; he became bedridden earlier this year (2008) and died a couple of nights ago.

EAST PEORIA – Steve Foster, 54, of East Peoria, Ill., died at 9:50 p.m. Thursday, April 3, 2008, at his residence.

He was born Jan. 19, 1954, in Peoria, Ill., the son of Henry J. and Merry C. (Justice) Foster. He married Cathy L. Donath in Chillicothe, Ill., on Sept. 23, 1972. She survives.

Also surviving are his mother, Merry Foster of Chillicothe; one daughter, Carrie A. Foster of East Peoria; four brothers, Mike (Carol) Foster of Peoria, Jim (Vicki) Foster of Morton, Tom (Char) Foster of Chillicothe and Tim (Beth) Foster of Fondulac, Wis.; and one sister, Teresa (Larry) Painter of Chillicothe. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father and one niece.

Steve graduated from the Caterpillar Inc. apprenticeship program in 1977. He was an engineer and worked for Caterpillar in the TBU department in East Peoria. He worked for Caterpillar for 33 years, having last worked in November of 2006.

He received an associate degree from Illinois Central College in December of 1994.

He was a member of the Illinois Valley Striders Club and served on its board of directors. He was also a member of the Peoria Tri-Athletes and was a mentor for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters for 10 years.

He was a singer, songwriter, musician and artist. But most importantly, he was a devoted husband, father and good friend.

Graveside services will be at 12:30 p.m. in St. Joseph Cemetery in rural Chillicothe. Visitation will be from 10 to noon Monday, April 7, at the Weber-Hurd Funeral Home in Chillicothe, Ill.

Memorials may be made to OSF Hospice or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 2141 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 7000, El Segundo, CA 90245.

Online condolences may be made to the family at www.weberhurdfuneralhome.com

To see what some of his running buddies had to say, go here.

I’ll say a few words:

My last contact with Steve was when I sent him a letter with a photo of myself doing the 2008 version of the Austin 30K.

My first contact with him was as follows:

Back in 1997, I ran the Eureka “4 mile” race (not the Eureka spring classic; this one was during the summer, I think). It was called the “do two”, and the shirts were tye-dyed singlets with Ronald Reagan’s picture on them.

At the time, my best 4 mile run time was around 28 minutes or so and I hope to beat that.

I followed this tall, skinny, long-haired guy the whole way; try as I might I could not close the gap.

We finished and the clock said 25:XX.

I walked up to him and asked “was your time a bit faster than normal?” He blurted out “that ain’t no 4 miles!” and I burst out laughing.

One other memory: Steve and I took off from the gateway building in hopes of getting 10 miles or so; it was colder than all get out. To make a long story short we made a wrong turn somewhere and ended up on Prospect; we were out for something like 2:30 or so and when we finished we hadn’t a clue of how many miles we had run.

Steve and I were on different sides on political terms; yet our discussions were always respectful.

I’ll say one more thing: Steve was one of those who, when you saw them, you started to smile. But at the same time, in the back of your mind, you realized how much this guy did for others and you started to ask yourself: “what are you doing to make this community a better place?”

The world (and our community) is a better place because Steve lived here.

Of course, I am sad that he is gone but that is part of the price of having friends.
Maybe I’ll think about him the next time I think of myself as being too busy to lend a helping hand.

How should Democrats react to the Mueller Report?

I am still mulling this one over. Yes, I know that an impeachment from the House would be DOA in the Senate; there aren’t the votes there (2/3 are required for removal). It is not even close, period. Congress will NOT remove Trump from office.

But should the House do it anyway? Here are a couple of editorials as to why the answer should be “no.” The basic idea: practically, impeachment is a political act and it might well backfire. And of course, impeachment is a recommendation that the country’s vote in 2016 be overturned and..ok, yes, Clinton won the popular vote by a healthy margin..but we still had an election. It wasn’t as if Trump was appointed by someone. And a substantial number of people approve of him (low 40’s nationally, 75-80 percent of Republicans).

Vox (Ezra Klein)

Washington Post (Karen Tumulty)

On the other hand, your Republican friends and neighbors are likely to see it this way: New York Times ( Christopher Buskirk)

Ah…time to go for a run.

So proud of Bradley Baseball…

Dallas Baptist is a strong program; and BU beat them after beating Illinois in Champaign this Tuesday. 12 wins in a row versus good competition. And their series sweep loss to Evansville isn’t looking as bad as it initially did.

Ok, what of Trump and the Democrats in 2020?

Ok, how popular is President Trump? Fivethirtyeight: 41.6 (note: this reference lists comparisons to past presidents) and Real Clear: 43.9.

Of interest is Trump’s approval among Republicans: it is in the mid 70’s by this poll:

So, while former Governor William Weld will attempt to challenge him for the nomination, I expect the challenge to gain no traction at all.

The race will be on the Democratic side, and do we have a number of candidates. As of right now: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders lead and of my “favorite 3”, only Kamala Harris has any traction at all (I also like Corey Booker and Amy Klobuchar).

It is early though and who knows where things will lead.

Ok, do the Democrats push for impeachment in the House?

Yes, I know; the House impeaches and the Senate convicts and there is no way in the world that the Senate is getting to 2/3. So, President Trump will NOT be removed from office.

But should the House take it up anyway?

First of all, what are the political implications? Of course, two situations are never exactly the same and Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about sex during a civil deposition. What Trump did appears to be far more sinister.

But anyway…let’s revisit Clinton: in 1998, while impeachment was being debated, the Republicans held both the House and Senate, though the D’s picked up 5 House seats (no net change in the Senate)

In 2000, the R’s held onto the House though the D’s picked up 1 seat. The D’s picked up 4 seats in the Senate to get it to 50-50, then got to 51 when Jeffords became an Independent and caucused with the Democrats. Ok, Bush won the EC (due to Florida) but lost the popular vote.

What role did impeachment play in this? I am not sure though Clinton left with stellar approval ratings.

So, what are the views?

Some say that the Democrats are ethically and duty bound to at least seriously consider impeachment or start impeachment proceedings, regardless of the political cost.

Some say that the political cost wouldn’t be worth it, given Trump won’t be removed and it would be a distraction from the agenda.

Some say that it would make good political sense; that voters want it. (I disagree that “voters want it.”

So, where am I? I am torn and can come down either way.

I do not know what will happen.