During this summer of DIY outside work, I have listened to my iPod a lot. I have several old Broadway musical scores I have purchased including one of my favorites of all time, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's, Fiorello!, based on the life of New York's Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.
I like the score for its own sake, but the theme of a man working against a corrupt political machine offers many comparisons to today's political and legal climate.
In the past I have posted a video of the song "Politics and Poker".
I'd like to feature a few more songs from the show in the coming days. First, a song mis-named on the YouTube clip. The proper name is "On the Side of the Angels" and relates the activities at LaGuardia's small store front law office, where he represents life's downtrodden, men and women with big problems and little money.
I find this interesting on a couple of levels. First, in today's legal system, it is getting harder to find anyone working on the side of the angels. Sure, there are plenty of big businesses and insurance companies leaning on the little guy. But, looking at all the injury attorney ads, billboards, case solicitations and claim orchestrations, it is getting harder to find anyone occupying the moral high ground. More about that in future posts.
Secondly, the song reminds me of the late Kaye Tertzag, a store front lawyer before he became a Wayne County Circuit Court judge. Kaye Tertzag started his legal career working in a small store front law office where he practiced nights and weekends, after he finished his "day" job as a teacher at River Rouge High School.
Working on the side of the angels, indeed. I think we need to remember the examples of Chach and LaGuardia right now. Remember, and follow their lead.
And, Tom Bosley reminds me of Kaye Tertzag--a little. I am not sure members of the Tertzag family would agree.