There was an abundance of news this past week, most of it bad. Evidently the country is broke. It took 235 years for our federal deficit to reach $5 trillion, but it only took You-Know-Who (rhymes with “tush”) only eight years to reach $11 trillion. I just hope the Chinese don’t call in our debt or we’ll all wind up washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant.

Fortunately, the news wasn’t all bad. The Dodgers are playing the Phillies for the National League Championship. It’s been 20 years since they’ve gotten this far. Of course, 20 years ago the country wasn’t broke and gas was $1.08 a gallon. Ouch!

And more good news, of sorts. O.J. Simpson was convicted of 12 felonies in Nevada and, barring an appeal, could spend the rest of his life in prison. Sentencing will be Dec. 5, which might brighten the Goldman’s holiday season. O.J. was so confident of an acquittal that he planned a big post-verdict party. I hope at least he can get his deposit back.

Santa Monica was home to the 1997 civil trial, which resulted in a judgement against O.J. for $33,500,000 (plus tip). The grounds at City Hall were flooded with camera crews and TV equipment. Trucks lined the streets and filled the parking lots with giant antennas pointing skyward. It was a media circus. And, with spectators from all over the country holding signs and dressed in garish costumes, there was no shortage of clowns.

Every day at lunchtime I would bike to the courthouse to see the carnival. Over time I managed to befriend a few notables, including famed defense attorney Gerry Spence from Wyoming. Even in the heat, he always wore his buckskin jacket and cowboy boots. Just part of the circus.

I also chatted with Leo Terrell, an attorney who once represented O.J. I brought up the Bruno Magli shoes, as bloody footprints matching O.J.’s size, were found at the murder scene. I always wonder why a murderer doesn’t purposely wear shoes too big.

Referring to Bruno Maglis, O.J. said he “wouldn’t be caught dead in those ugly ass shoes (such a poet). And yet at the civil trial dozens of photos were introduced of him in Bruno Maglis. I wish I could have seen his explanation in court. People said he was like a school kid, basically saying, “The dog ate my homework.”

Outside the courtroom, I often saw O.J.’s mother, Eunice, in her wheelchair. She was a dignified woman for whom I felt some compassion. The scuttlebutt, however, was that she had talked O.J. out of pleading guilty. I knew his attorney, Robert Shapiro, as we both attended Hamilton High School.

Supposedly Shapiro had negotiated a deal for O.J. to plead guilty to second degree murder and get 12 years (six years per murder seems sickeningly short). Had he agreed, O.J. would be long out of jail by now, though I don’t imagine his kids would feel too kindly, especially on Mother’s Day.

On a more upbeat note, it was 20 years ago when the Dodgers won the World Series against Oakland. The series featured the dramatic game one home run by Kirk Gibson. Not quite as dramatic, this year’s sweep of the Cubs was still wonderful. But poor Cub fans. They’ve been waiting 100 years to win a World Series. Make that 101 and counting.

Recent seasons have been anything but wonderful for Dodgers fans, unless you’re a masochist. Who can forget when, against the Mets, two Dodgers were thrown out at home on the same play! I was so disgusted I threw my TV remote into the couch causing the batteries to fly out (I aimed at the couch because while I have a temper, I’m also cheap).

This year the Dodgers are different, starting with Manny (I had an Uncle Manny, but he didn’t wear dreadlocks). The team has so much enthusiasm, especially among the younger players. After beating the Cubs, Russell Martin and James Lonely literally climbed the left field wall (not an easy feat) and exchanged high-fives with the rowdy fans. Then they jumped back to the field. Being Jewish, I naturally worried they’d get hurt.

Heavy underdogs, if the Dodgers somehow manage to beat the Phillies, they’ll be in the World Series. Then anything’s possible. To think, just a few weeks ago I was throwing my remote into the couch again.

So O.J. is sitting in jail awaiting sentencing. If he goes to prison that’ll definitely put a damper on the search for the real killers of Nicole and Ron. O.J. spent so much time on the golf course, some speculated he must have thought the real killer was a caddy.

Lastly, I have a plea for the Dodgers: Please win! Save my remote.

Jack Neworth can be reached at

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