Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chicago



Eighteen years ago this past Friday, I hunched over a small table in a dark room, rubbing the head of a small, wet, bloody creature that changed my whole world. It seems like last month.

Dylan and I are going to Chicago next Friday. He’s always wanted to visit the Art Institute.

Most of my friends who lived there moved away years ago. I’m not really a big fan of Facebook, but there’s no arguing its good points. I’ve found friends I haven’t communicated with in years.

I simply posted, “who still lives in Chicago?” on the wall and got a lot of responses.

Dylan and I will be staying with my old buddies, Terry and Marion Boyd. (Thanks Suzy!)

The first time I went to Chicago was for my 8th grade graduation. I sat on the bus with my friend Ronald. At about 3:00 in the morning he pulled out a shaving kit (like he shaved!). He produced a can of warm beer which exploded upon opening. I thought we were going to be busted for sure.

My old girlfriend Pam used to argue this point with me, but Lake Michigan was my first experience of the ocean. The water’s horizon stretched across the whole skyline and was over my head. I fell backwards on the beach thinking the water would come crashing over my head.

Our class spent most of the day at the Museum of Science and Industry. It had taken on mythical proportions in my mind because I remembered stories my dad told me about the captured German U- Boat.

The submarine lived up to my wildest expectations!

My son has those same expectations of the Art Institute from my stories.

I’m pretty sure Terry worked at the local store in Laclede Town where I spent 8th grade, though I didn’t know it at the time. I got to know Terry years later when I tended bar at the Broadway Oyster Bar. His wife Marion invited my girlfriend Joanie and me for dinner because she wanted to test her cooking prowess on a couple of vegetarians. I remember we had black bean chili.

It seems like every time I’ve been to Chicago as an adult I looked up my dad’s old buddy Bob Koester. He a big deal record producer up there and he’s always been good for a great time. I’m sure I’ve posted about him earlier. He started in St. Louis with Delmar Records.

By the time I was 18, I’d already gotten into most of my trouble. Maybe Dylan skated past all that.

I can only hope!

Pics are my 8th grade graduation class and the card Valerie made for Dylan this year.

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