Oh, the things people didn’t know about Steve Schuck.
Sure, he’s a developer with an economics degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year,” salty-tongued jokester, proponent of school vouchers and politically well connected ... really politically well connected.
But “Chicken Legs” Schuck, failed football coach and pantyhose salesman extraordinaire?
An interesting picture of Schuck emerged when 160 right-leaning “friends” and compatriots showed up July 9 at The Broadmoor hotel to spill the beans about Schuck and to raise about $50,000 for Parents Challenge, the nonprofit he and wife Joyce founded to provide an equal education and school choice for low-income youth.
Even George “Dubya” Bush was there — or was he?
On the dais for the Steve Schuck Roast: Sen. Bill Cadman; conservative radio talk show host Jon Caldara, president of the free-market think tank Independence Institute; gubernatorial hopeful Scott McInnis; senatorial hopeful Jane Norton; SE2 consulting firm founder Eric Sondermann; Step 13’s Bob Coté and emcee Hank Egan, former Air Force Academy basketball coach and assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Schuck’s son, Bill, revealed that his sports-loving father was the center on his high school and college football teams, where he picked up that “Chicken Legs” moniker. “Just look at him,” said Bill Schuck incredulously. “A center?”
As a football coach at Manlius, the West Point prep school, Schuck proved to be a one-game wonder, revealed his son. They lost 42-0.
His dad, said Bill, is possibly a little accident prone. After completing the Porsche Sport Driving School, he “successfully launched his car off Indepedence Pass.” A father/son canoeing trip ended up with father and sons in the middle of the Colorado River and the canoe wrapped around a huge boulder.
The head of The Schuck Corporation got his management training in New York City where, said his son, “he sold pantyhose!” His first job in Colorado Springs: “selling pantyhose!” And he was very good at it.
No surprise that later in the roast Schuck burst out laughing as he told his son, “You’re out of the will.”
It was Cadman’s turn to toast “the man who knows everyone in Colorado,” when from the crowd came, “if they wear pantyhose!”
Norton, who was jokingly warned by other Roasters to move her chair away from the pantyhose guy, said Schuck is “a master at telling a joke and has a command of the English language ... especially four-letter words.”
She likened Schuck to LeBron James, quipping that “both like to be called King.” And LeBron’s trademark Drop Step Dunk: “That’s what liberal Democrats would like to do to Steve, drop step dunk.”
Should any of the zingers become too bad — or possibly lean to the left in any way — Sondermann came equipped with a World Cup vevezula.
A neighbor, said Sondermann, claimed there’s no middle ground about Schuck, “You either hate him or detest him.”
And Schuck’s unsuccessful try for governor in 1986 brought jabs from Sondermann: “Losing to Ted Strickland is not an easy thing to do. Steve managed to lose to this guy!”
Caldara offered that Schuck learned the art of the deal as a sometimes-successful, sometimes-not developer: “Never spend your own money.” And to Norton’s kind acknowledgement that Schuck often anonymously picks up the checks for military dining in restaurants, Caldara retorted, “Of course he picks up the checks. It’s not his credit card.”
Coté said his roast would be the shortest ... and he sat down.
From the back of the room came “Hail to the Chief,” Secret Service men in black glasses and a smiling waving, Bush. Looked like him and sounded like him. “Way to go, amigos,” said Bush.” “Thas right, I speak Mexican: me llama (the animal) es Jorge Bush.”
All those Republicans in the room, many of them running for office or their handlers, have a big elephant as their party animal, said “Bush.” The liberals have ... “a little burrito.”Schuck wasn’t spared. His land development career was stalled by, pause pause, “a formidable jumping mouse. Something called a Preble’s Meadow Jumpy Mouse.“Know how we deal with mice in Texas?” “Bush” queried. “We invite everyone over and have a stomp!”
The comedy by impersonator John Morgan (hear him on GeorgeBushImpersonator.com) had Schuck burying his head, the crowd laughing until they cried and Parents Challenge Board President Don Griffin laughing so hard he could barely breathe.
When the hilarity died down, Schuck zipped off a few toward his Roasters and thanked everyone for supporting his educational freedom plan “that provides hopes and dreams for kids. Our goal is not to help more kids, it’s to go out of business.”And then Schuck took a right — of course — turn off the dais and visited with well-wishers, Parents Challenge honored families and the nonprofit’s staff.
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