Editor’s Pick
JULY 25, 2012 8:11AM

When Social Programs Work: B.A.M


Just before the shooting started. They were eating pizza on the front porch.


That summer of 2012 when the constant heat was like a silver choke collar wrapped around the city’s neck. No one could remember it being this hot for this long.Read full post »

JULY 20, 2012 1:32PM

Ron Santo's Boys


See the picture? That's us. Santo’s Boys.

In a story that's not really even about baseball.


This is a story about telling somebody something before it's too late. Could be a wife, husband, parent

friend. Could be anyone. It could even be a hero.


TheRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 15, 2012 12:47PM

Woody Guthrie's New Novel

 House of Earth
  El Rancho Grande. Oil on canvas. Woody Guthrie. 1936 
When Woody Guthrie put his finished novel “House of Earth” away in 1947, maybe he knew that it wasn’t time for the world to see this story. Or maybe he had other things onRead full post »
JULY 14, 2012 8:01AM

Woody Guthrie Turns 100

You wouldn’t have time for breakfast, would you, Woody Guthrie?


I know. Silly thing to ask. AndRead full post »

JULY 3, 2012 1:58PM

Sheriff Andy of Mayberry


You think Mayberry North Carolina isn’t real? That Sheriff Andy Taylor is just some actor living inside your TV? Well, maybe so. For you.  But not me. I been livin in Mayberry my whole life. 


That musically warm southern breeze dances through the woods, across MeyRead full post »

JUNE 21, 2012 10:38PM

As The Ship Goes Down

 "Everything dies, baby that's a fact.

But maybe everything that dies come back " 

Bruce Springsteen 

On Wednesday July 14,2010, workers in Manhattan excavating the site for a future World Trade Center came upon the remnants of a ship. It was estimated that the ship had lain undisRead full post »

JUNE 15, 2012 1:08PM

A Gay Marriage Fix-- Chicago Style

  Hinky Dink and Bathhouse 
 One morning, deep in the shadows of times past, because one of them had died in 1938 and the other in 1946, Hinky Dink Kenna and “Bathhouse John Coughlin were sitting at the bar of The Workingman’s Exchange  on NortRead full post »
JUNE 13, 2012 8:07AM




Imagine history’s great female singers up on a stage. All genres. Look! Renee Fleming, Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, Joan Baez, Billie Holliday, Ella, Sarah, Dinah. Your own personal favorites. Up on that stage. Ready to sing.


And then you see a woman you don’t reRead full post »

JUNE 8, 2012 11:02AM

Because Old People ROCK!

Photo Credit: The New Yorker Blog

A conversation between Patti Smith and Neil Young was a highlight of this year’s book industry trade show, Book Expo America.


Smith’s masterpiece “Just Kids” won the National Book Award in 2010. It’s a boo

Read full post »
JUNE 6, 2012 1:29PM

Ray Bradbury’s Summer


 Ray Bradbury, still writing at age 91, died last night in his Los Angeles home. 


But Douglas Spaulding, age 12, he of Ray Bradbury’s masterpiece “Dandelion Wine,” he’s still here. Open up that book like you would open up summer and listen to this maRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 4, 2012 9:49AM

Talking Wisconsin Union

                                                                                     … Read full post »
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Editor’s Pick
MAY 30, 2012 11:21AM

Doc Watson's Front Porch Spirit



Just a moment after Doc Watson died, at 89, on a Tuesday in a Winston-Salem North Carolina hospital, his spirit pushed open a weathered wood frame screen door on to God’sRead full post »

MAY 28, 2012 11:19AM

"Willing To Lay Down All My Joys"


A soldier’s last letter home.


MAY 25, 2012 5:04PM

Back to the Garden


We’re still here, at Walker’s Restaurant.

Oh, the building is gone. As are most of our neighbors. Tucked back across Irving Park Road,Read full post »

MAY 22, 2012 1:31PM

NATO Chicago Summit --- What if?

He thinks, “ She’s out of my league.” She thinks. Can’t somebody else take on the global war machine? And where they hell is a bathroom?”

 Read full post »

MAY 19, 2012 12:26PM

NATO, Nurses & Sundaes



At the giant United Nurses Rally on a sparkling warm spring afternoon, next to the Picasso sculpture in the middle of downtown Chicago, "Patti" made sure to thank some cops.

 Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 17, 2012 10:39AM

Chicago NATO Clowns, Couch & Cyber Attack


As NATO related scenes fan out from the downtown area into Chicago neighborhoods, the arrest count is 12 people and one couch. Then there are the clowns.

 * * * * * * * * * *

In the checkout line of The Crafty Beaver Home Improvement StoreRead full post »

MAY 16, 2012 7:51PM

Studs Terkel's 100 Birthday



May 16th is the 100th anniversery of the birth of Studs Terkel.

And Studs? 

 He's still here . . . . .


Reposted  from 2008.  


 This man IS Chica… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 15, 2012 9:48AM

At NATO Chicago's First Protest

 Headquarters: Obama for President Campaign
“You guys know President Obama isn’t up there, right?”

The protestor gave me a look. Rolled his eyes. Kept walking.


We were in the lobby of the giant complex in downtown Chicago that hoRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 8, 2012 8:00AM

Writing for Free



Biff and his new wife Blythe in the Starbucks line. If he turned around and saw me, he’d bring up the “writing for free” thing. Because that’s what he always does. So I put my head down. Try not to breathe.


It doesn't work.

 Read full post »

MAY 1, 2012 11:25AM

A Mary Todd Lincoln Mystery



You shake your head no and tell me paintings don’t talk?

Ask an artist. Paintings talk, of course they do; you just have to be listening extra hardRead full post »

APRIL 27, 2012 2:41PM

Chicago Welcomes NATO?



Full dress military. American soldiers. Armed with beanbag guns. Come Monday, they will begin patrolling the streets of a designated “Red Zone” that encompasses a large chunk of downtown Chicago.


Wait. “Bean Bag guns?” Did someone really say &ldquRead full post »

APRIL 24, 2012 12:57PM

Raspberry Pi. A World Changer



How did I not know about something this world changing? Raspberry Pi. A computer the size of a credit card. Cost? $25.00. Or $35.00. Take your pick. Either way, for the moment you can only get one. The demand is just too big. Exactly how large that/Read full post »

APRIL 19, 2012 6:34PM

Levon Helm ---That First Time


Levon Helm died today. He was 71.

And everything just seems to end so soon.


You can read the chronology of his life elsewhere. It’s a story worthRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 17, 2012 3:09PM

Gallup: 17% of the WORLD Underemployed

On April 17, 2012, a cool, green spring day in Chicago, Gallup announced that 17% of the entire world was underemployed.


Michael pulled the news up on his phone while he wasRead full post »