It’s Sunday night, July 7th. You and I and most of the world except students and teachers go back to work tomorrow. Here in the Midwest it’s been good weather. Kaplan made a killing on fireworks.
Alexis and I did what we always do, which is putz around from one event to another. We just returned from 12-year-old Little League regionals. Munster beat State Park (Chesterton) 6-3. This sets up a showdown Monday night between Hessville and Munster.
The games are being played at the Kenny Lofton Little League fields next door to St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago. After tonight’s game, my nephew, Munster third baseman Jack Foreit, came out of the dugout limping.
“What’s the matter, Jack?”
“I strained my hip running to first base.”
“Want me to go to the hospital and get you some crutches?” I asked him. “Look. It’s right there.” And I pointed to St. Catherine Hospital, which has grown substantially over the years.
On the way home, Alexis and I drove through East Chicago.
“This is my hometown. I grew up here,” she said.
“I know that.”
“No. I mean I grew up right here,” and she pointed down Drummond Street toward 149th. It’s a neighborhood surrounded by train tracks, warehouses, mini mills and oil tanks.
“They really fixed up Riley Park,” she said. “They never used to have playground equipment.”
I always get confused about where John Dillinger shot an East Chicago policeman 100 years ago. Was it in front of Riley Bank at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Kennedy?
Or was it at “Four Corners,” which is Indianapolis Boulevard and Chicago Avenue.
“It was Four Corners,” Alexis said. “I tell you this every time. It was at the bank that they tore down to put up a CVS.”
This is something I don’t understand. If something this historical happened at an old bank, how did they let someone tear it down to put up a CVS? I don’t have anything against CVS. I prefer CVS to Walgreen’s. But what about history? The site of a famous murder is gone forever.
That’s all I have to say to the three or four of you tonight. It has been a beautiful mid-summer day, sunny but not too hot. Alexis and I walked 2.5 miles around Wicker Park. This is something that I like to do more than just about anything except wrestle with my nephews or sit around on Christmas Eve with my wife, two daughters and stepson.
The trail runs all the way around the Wicker Park Social Center, where my daughter is set to get married, and the Wicker Park driving range and golf course. There’s also a huge picnic area with playgrounds, a splashpad and hundreds of big trees. A family of black squirrels lives there. They only come out in the Fall.
Tree sermon to
the leaves gathered
here today. I just want
to tell you that life is
short. So indulge.
When I was in high school, I worked at Wicker Park. Mark Porter, who recently died, and I smoked a ton of you know what and went to work wielding weed whackers. On the way home, we sometimes stopped at Wampum, a well-known hippie hang out in Lansing, Illinois. I don’t have enough time to tell you about Wampum right now. I loved Wampum. If you listen to my show, you already know this.
I love Wicker Park also. It makes me feel good to walk around Wicker on a sunny day with my wife of nearly 30 years. Today, there were all sorts of people walking around with us. Every age, ethnicity, sexual orientation you can think of. If you’re looking for diversity, look no further than walking around Wicker Park on a midsummer Sunday.
In less than 12 hours, I’ll be back on the morning show. See you then.