Friday, January 30, 2015

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/30/15

Tired of looking at winter photos? Me too. Instead, enjoy this shot of Olivia doing "pretty kitty" tricks on the couch.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On the Way To Work 1/28/15

The Ernie Banks statue, which usually stands in front of Wrigley Field, is in Daley Center Plaza beside the Picasso to honor the late, great gentleman known as Mr. Cub, who passed away last Friday at the age of 83. The statue will stay there until Saturday, which would have been Ernie's 84th birthday.

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/28/15

Monday, January 26, 2015

R.I.P. Mr. Cub

The line wound down and around the aisles of the Kmart on Addison Street just off the Kennedy Expressway and about three miles west of Wrigley Field, where the Cubs did (and do) play a sport that, on occasion, resembles baseball.

The man seated at a table at the end of the long and winding line--a tall, thin African-American with a receding hairline and a sharp blue suit jacket--spent 19 years--his entire career, as it turned out--playing baseball in that stadium. A few years later, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first eligible year, a relative rarity then. (By comparison, this year's Hall of Fame class of inductees will include four first-time nominees.)

Not long after his induction into the Hall of Fame, here he sat at the grand opening of a Kmart, signing whatever was put in front of him and smiling the whole time.

Ernie Banks. Mr. Cub.

Mom came along with me, and, at the time, this annoyed me. I'd gone all over the city on my own and certainly didn't need to be escorted anywhere, much less to a Kmart. It didn't occur to me until years later that Mom, a lifelong Cubs fan, was likely just as jazzed as I was to see Ernie Banks up close and personal.

She also had the advantage--and pleasure--of seeing him play all those 19 years. Two MVP awards. 14 All-Star Games. 512 career home runs--at the time, good enough to get him in the top 10 of all time. Unfortunately, despite all of that, he never played in the post-season. No Playoffs. No World Series.

I don't believe I ever saw Ernie Banks play. He retired in 1971, when I was just seven years old and hadn't been paying attention to baseball for too long. But on this day six years later, he signed two autographs for me: One on a special photo commemorating his induction into the Hall of Fame, the other on a cheap photocopy that was being given to everyone in line.

The commemorative photo crumbled to confetti long ago, though I did manage to save the part with Ernie's signature. (Where that signature now resides, I haven't the foggiest notion.)

That cheap photocopy, though...I had preserved it in the most crude but, ultimately, secure manner: I put it between pages of one of my high school yearbooks, where I found it last year, put it in a frame and placed it on the wall in the hallway of La Casa del Terror.

Ernie Banks, who spent many years after his playing days were over as an outgoing, warmhearted ambassador for the game he loved so, suffered a heart attack and died Friday night, just over a week shy of what would have been his 84th birthday.

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/26/15

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/19/15

O Christmas tree, o Christmas're lying in the alley.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Champ

Happy 73rd birthday, Muhammed Ali!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/16/15

Olivia was having an energetic, feisty night when I took this picture of her in her cardboard box in the hall (one of her preferred sleeping spots in winter, since the floors are so warm).

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

On the Way to Work This Morning 1/13/15

Large chunks of ice floating in the river this morning. That'll happen when nearly every day this year has been well below freezing.

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/13/15

Monday, January 12, 2015

Every Picture Tells a Story 1/12/15

A view that won't exist much longer: From the pedestrian bridge over the Madison/Wabash stop in the Loop. (Madison/Wabash and Randolph/Wabash are both being demolished and replaced by a Washington/Wabash stop in the near future.)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

At Mom's Tonight 1/11/15

The holidaze may be officially over now, but Mom still has her li'l tree up for one more night.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

On the Way Home Tonight 1/8/15

80 Years Ago This Week

It really shouldn't have taken this long for this to occur to me, but it did: Elvis Presley was born two days before--and one state over from--my dad.

Neither of them lived as long as he should have.

Elvis died in 1977. I remember watching the Cubs game that August afternoon when the announcer broke in with the news. It didn't seem real. Elvis was so young. How could he be dead?

Dad died 18 years later. That also did not seem real.

Both would have been 80 this week.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Before I Went to Bed Last Night

A gentle snow started to coat the street outside La Casa del Terror in a light sheet of white. Looked pretty...from inside.

Holidaze 1/3/15

Friday, January 2, 2015

Holidaze 1/2/15

One final look at the La Casa del Terror Christmas tree before it's disassembled this weekend.