DECEMBER 11, 2011 1:01PM

Grateful for your Job? But . . . .


Of course you are grateful for your job in these hard times. But what if you could do what you do best every day? 


It was that summer of the molten silver steel heat wave. Hemingway misted in to a vacant cubicle on the 32nd floor and started

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Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 7, 2011 12:58PM

Ethical Politics in Chicago?


Test the actual soil underlying Chicago City Hall.

No one would be surprised if trace elements of ethical lapses were somehow ingrained in the earth.

It’s been that way since the first Indian standing watch one dark night on the shores of the BigRead full post »

DECEMBER 5, 2011 4:24PM

Ron Santo. Hall of Famer



A green field stadiium full of angles is roaring. A towering cheer for eternity, for doing what's right. For Ron Santo. Finally. In Baseball's Hall of Fame.

Today. Almost exactly one year from the day he died, Ron Santo was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame. He'dRead full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2011 1:17PM

Cousin Al's Mystery Visit

 Maybe you’ve had a Mystery Visit.


They’re usually hard to spot. Because they happen so lightning speed fast. They can take on all sorts ofRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 28, 2011 5:16PM

Bookman's Alley


Walk into the warmth of Bookman’s Alley on a cold, snowy day. Pull the door shut behind you. Breathe in the musty smell of literature across the centuries. Look around. Could that white bearded fellow down the aisle really be Charles Dickens?

Located at 1712 North Sherman inRead full post »

NOVEMBER 25, 2011 12:26AM

A City's Mom Dies

Maggie died tonight.

Chicago’s longest serving First Lady, Maggie Daley, died in her home, surrounded by family, just after 6:00 tonight. She was 68.


Maggie died tonight.


It wasRead full post »

NOVEMBER 23, 2011 7:35AM

Thanksgiving Spirits


 Just before she snapped this picture, I had brushed some dirt off your gravestone. We were in Asheville, North Carolina.  Breathing in that pure mountain air like it was a cool, cleansing tonic that really could clear tubercular lungs.


I wondered if that air could mRead full post »

NOVEMBER 18, 2011 5:13PM

What's Your Sign?

In the chilly crowded twilight rush of a November when everybody is scurrying to just get home, he stood alone on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street in Chicago wearing a sign around his neck that said HOMELESS.Read full post »
NOVEMBER 12, 2011 12:30PM

Occupy Open Salon

Why not occupy Open Salon?

It’s a thought. Not advice. You don’t need advice. You’ve changed the national conversation. Shined a light on “deficit talk” being a smokescreen for new and creative ways to messRead full post »

NOVEMBER 11, 2011 8:02AM

A Governor, Cardinal & Rape Victim


It was a story that seemed to fit the cruel, gray November skies. As if the Governor of Illinois and the Archbishop of Chicago were competing banks of storm clouds. Not just two guys arguing over a young girl who was raped.


And if the two menRead full post »

NOVEMBER 9, 2011 9:56PM

The Church of the 1%


 So who signed the letter?” asked my wife, “SATAN?!!!”

“No.” I answered. “It was signed Human Resources.”

“And the difference is . . . .”Read full post »

OCTOBER 30, 2011 11:41AM

Casablanca Baseball

 The bartender’s name was Sam.

And as the golden Indian summer songs of October gave way to the chilly dark winds of November in the seemingly desertedRead full post »

OCTOBER 28, 2011 7:04AM

How She Saved the President

Graceland Cemetery in Chicago is the final resting place of a collection of both known and unknown souls from the worlds of commerce, the arts, sports and government. And whether it’s the autumn breezes, or the inspiration of Edgar Lee Master’s classic book “Spoon River Anthology,&rRead full post »

OCTOBER 26, 2011 9:07PM

Because Your Face. . . .


"And wondered if I need your face
To ease my pain
Maybe I won’t ever see that face again
But loving you will have to last at least till then"

-Holly Near & Jeff Langley

The empty red plastic shopping cart from the Target store padlocked to the street sign outside the

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OCTOBER 23, 2011 12:20PM

Rosie O'Donnell: My New Neighbor


Rosie O’Donnell will be moving in around the corner from my house and I’m embarrassed. Because I know virtually nothing about her.


The move was quietly reported in the local real estate

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OCTOBER 20, 2011 5:20PM

The Occupy America Drumbeat




Listen to the drumming in the rain. A heartbeat to Occupy America.

Listen and start walking. The walk below is in Chicago. But the drum beats everywhere.


Before dawn. Walking upstairs from the subway under the lights of the Chicago Theater. IntoRead full post »

OCTOBER 15, 2011 5:36PM

Jack Johnson: Fighter



Part II: Ghost Moons of October

Voices from Graceland Cemetery in Chicago 

Jack Johnson 


All my gravestone says is “Johnson.” And maybe that’s enough.

Because you come by, under any old October moon, you stand quiet for a minute. Listen for the breezeRead full post »

OCTOBER 13, 2011 4:05PM

Paul Simon at 70



A dark and gentle pre-dawn rain woke Chicago on Paul Simon’s 70th birthday and like a reflex came the Simon lyric


I hear the drizzle of the rain

Like a memory it falls.


Memories stretching back to being just 16,Read full post »

OCTOBER 11, 2011 2:06PM

Occupy Chicago


The estimated 7,000 were here for Occupy Chicago's biggest night yet. From the crowd came the taunt. “The wine is cheap! Just like your soul!"

As the tall blond woman in the shimmering cocktail dress walked into the Art Institute of Chicago to join in the formal dinner of TheRead full post »

OCTOBER 6, 2011 11:11PM

Obama & Blagojevich: Leaving Home


 Patti Blagojevitch

Two women leave home.

Back before their last names were Obama and Blagojevich. Michelle and Patti were two little girls on very similar playgrounds in twoRead full post »

OCTOBER 4, 2011 10:52PM

The "Pope" Goes on Trial

Lester shouted it out to me as I walked into the noontime shadow of the bar. “They call him the Pope! He’s the most powerful man in Illinois. Has been for 40 years. He’s on trial for extorting a Hollywood movie producer. Could any human being script aRead full post »
OCTOBER 1, 2011 11:57PM

What Love Looks Like



They were three. The father pushing the silver Cadillac wheelchair. Swerving, gliding along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue on a hot August day. The father’s eyes with an intensity that could grab summer by the throat and make it shake if summer got in the way of

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SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 8:08AM

Amy Winehouse's Hero



Tony Bennett told the story to Jon Stewart. Maybe you saw it on The Daily Show.


“She knew,” Bennett said of Amy Winehouse, “that she did not have long to live.”


Stewart, sat back quietly. Showing respect to a manRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 11:24PM

ATTACKED! by Bill O’Reilly

Rep. Mike Quigley 

 I liked my Congressman, Mike Quigley, even before he was attacked by Fox mouthpiece Bill O’Reilly.


Here’s what Quigley did that turned… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 23, 2011 11:26AM

On John Coltrane's Birthday

 “If one of my friends is ill, I'd like to play a certain song and he will be cured; when he'd be broke, I'd bring out a different song and immediately he'd receive all the money he needed.”
John Coltrane

Born SeptemberRead full post »