Jeff just messaged me and remarked that there were a lot of things about Chicago that he liked. I feel the same way. Chicago was where I was born…it is indeed my home town. My father worked on semi tractor cabs and made good money. My clearest memory of my years in and around the Windy City was our living in Sauk Village…on a street that was reminiscent of the television show, Leave It To Beaver. I would watch the show and think that it reminded me of my street and my friends. Of my 5 years in Chicago we lived in the city for the first 2. I vividly recall the hustle and bustle of apartment living. Not as an active participant but as a observant toddler. There is a rhythm and a vibe to city life that is inspiring and exhilarating. However the bulk of my ‘Chicago Memories,’ come from Sauk Village.
For awhile it seemed that nothing could go wrong in our idyllic life that was patterned after the Cleavers on my favorite television program. On the weekends dad and mom barbecued in our backyard and had our neighbors, George and Helen, came over to enjoy the festivities with us. George called me ‘Doc’ and had me rub his back while he lay in an extended lounge lawn chair. Mom and Helen played badminton. They vigorously smacked the birdie back and forth over the outstretched net and laughed heartily when one or the other scored. Pabst Blue Ribbon was enjoyed by all…but me.
We decided to travel into the city to see the newly released Disney Movie, Lady And The Tramp, and Mom’s friend, Ivy, and her kids, Steve and Susie, joined us for the major event. As I looked at the lighted theatre marquee and all of the people and buildings that surrounded us…I knew that this would be an experience like no other. When the screen came alive and the theatre darkened I was transported into the world of the Darlings and Lady and her sweetheart…Tramp. After we left the movie and returned home…I ruminated on how wonderful it would be to live like Lady and Tramp and their canine friends did. The were unfailingly loyal to each other and never said a mean word about each other. They had adventure and fun and staid by each other through good times and bad. Whenever we hear a baby cry…MJ and I both say in unison, quoting the Siamese cats in Lady And The Tramp, ‘I hear baby cry’.
I was with my dear friends, Jim and Laura, several years ago, on a work related trip to Chicago. These two are such fun to go anywhere with! We began with drinks when we arrived…and of course mine was a Dirty Martini. We then enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a premier Italian Restaurant. The can-do spirit of Chicago was palpable. After this enjoyable trip I better understood why Chicago is the City With Big Shoulders…