JANUARY 24, 2011 12:14AM

Your Johnny Cash Snapshot

 Where did that faded color snapshot go? Wish I could find that picture. Especially now. When it’s January. The morning snow blanketing four years since you’ve been gone.


Where did I put that picture? The one of you and Johnny Cash?Read full post »

JANUARY 20, 2011 9:30AM

Cabrini Green: Mixing It Up

 public housing

He starts speaking of home. And as the story unfolds, you see him including all of us.

Say the words “Cabrini Green Chicago” and these days’ people get pictures in their heads of buildings blowing up. Crumbling down. That’s why I hang on so tight to

Read full post »
JANUARY 19, 2011 11:01AM

Sargent Shriver's World Wide Reach

 “Do the job first, Worry about ‘permission’ later.”

-Sargent Shriver

When Sargent Shriver died yesterday at 95, the litany of his accomplishments solemnly droned through the news cycle, the President issued a statement, and the burbling cartoon thoughtRead full post »

JANUARY 16, 2011 7:24PM

Looking for Dr. King's Dream

 The worn, battered church once surrounded by the crackling towers of Cabrini Green in Chicago now standing alone on the empty urban plains. At least for awhile. That church like a touchstone starting point to a search for Dr. King's dream.
“People get readyRead full post »
Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 14, 2011 11:44AM

Christian Wiman: A Poet Delivers



 Perhaps you’ve paged through a New Yorker or Atlantic and seen the poems of Christian Wiman. But chances are you’ve never seen him do a reading.


Last night, while a light snow whispered over the commercial bustle of

Read full post »
JANUARY 12, 2011 9:35PM

Imagining Christina Green's America

Prompted by President Obama's speech on the Arizona tragedy--a reposting:
It’s spring in Tucson Arizona. Many years from now. The morning brought a fierce quick rain that made raging rivers of the roads. When it cleared, the green grass sparkle of the minor leagu
Read full post »
JANUARY 12, 2011 2:06PM

Haiti One Year Gone


 haitian woman

Just this morning, the  sad eyed young woman in an orange dress and a blue goose down coat wrapped around her like a shield from the icy winter wind, steps outside the Haitian Community Center in Chicago and begins to walk to the water.


ARead full post »

JANUARY 8, 2011 3:40PM

The Governor's Stardust Goodbye


Terre Haute Indiana Federal Prison 

In the back of the prison van, lit only by Indiana stars, rolling north across the endless, flat winter fields, he sat quiet. Rumbling down an empty highway. Trying to get ready to say goodbye.Read full post »

JANUARY 6, 2011 5:14PM

Chicago's Motto: "Where's Mine?"

What questions would you ask the President's new Chief of Staff, Bill Daley?
The legendary Mike Royko  boiled down all questions for all politicians into two words. The unofficial motto of Chicago.
"Where's Mine?" 
 Perhaps you'd briefly in… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 2, 2011 11:04AM

Chuck Berry Collapses in Chicago


 The Congress Theater.  

When Chuck Berry, 84, collapsed from unknown causes on stage Saturday night in Chicago, the concert venue was not some glitzy down town tourist trap.


Berry slumped over his keyboards at the Congress Theater. A 2,900 seat, faded

Read full post »
DECEMBER 29, 2010 12:09PM

She Married a Beatle

My sister Wendy did good. Marrying a Beatle. Expand the shot of the Fab Four walking across Abby Road and you’d see him. Of course a lot of people don’t believe what they can’t see or prove.

 Read full post »

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Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 27, 2010 8:54AM

Sandwiches, Coffee & Hope


Every Sunday afternoon, the 16 foot white panel truck with “VETERANS HELPING VETERANS painted on the side, rolls up Chicago’s grandest boulevard, Michigan Avenue, and comes to a stop just outside a building where some of the world’s greatest music gets played.

 … Read full post »

DECEMBER 20, 2010 5:20PM

Christmas Memory Now


How do you make a Christmas memory? Lot’s of money spent trying. But how do you do it?


And an even tougher question. How do you make the memory mean something today? Right now. When we need it more than ever.


First, youRead full post »

DECEMBER 14, 2010 4:35PM

In A Cancer Garden


You’re standing in a Cancer Garden. What’s supposed to happen here? What are you supposed to do?

You read the sign again. Cancer Survivor’s Garden. That doesn’t help. You’re still not sure what’s supposed to happen here.

These Gardens are in big

Read full post »
DECEMBER 10, 2010 10:25AM

Cabrini Green's Last Tenant

 The Starbucks right across Division Street from where The Francis Cabrini Green Public Housing site once housed 15,000 did a brisk business yesterday. As the TV trucks rolled up, anchor people jumped out, grabbed their lattes and then went to take pictures of AnnRead full post »
DECEMBER 9, 2010 1:42PM

Rod Will See You Soon


Listen to how this man takes on restoring his sight.

 The facts are pasted in below. Many here know Rod. Got this letter.


But as the truth behind the facts drenched down in my soul, I could feel this golden orange Florida sunset

Read full post »
DECEMBER 8, 2010 9:53AM

Keeping John Lennon Alive



“This would have been the 70th birthday year for John if only he were here. But people are not questioning if he is here or not. They just love him and are keeping him alive with their loveRead full post »

DECEMBER 6, 2010 6:25PM

Shattered Middle Class Dreams


One night only. Roy Orbison. Written in swooping red neon script on the tired marquee in front of the last roadhouse, where now stands an Outlet Mall on Highway 94 between Chicago and Milwaukee.  


It was a Wednesday night. BitterRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 3, 2010 1:24PM

Ron Santo. "When Your Hero Dies."


When your hero dies, it’s as if the very shape of the earth has now changed. Ripples of heavy heart pain stab your soul, you walk down the street and you stumble for no reason, and the timing of the seasons goes awry. Spring could

Read full post »
DECEMBER 1, 2010 11:34PM

Sarah Palin in Spirit Lake Iowa




Walking with purpose out of the snowy night cornfield where my plane went down on February 3rd 1959 and I died just outside of Clear Lake Iowa, I boarded the Sarah Palin bus for the trip to Spirit Lake where she was off to sell books and/Read full post »

NOVEMBER 30, 2010 4:02PM

Press 1 For Suicide. . . . .

 So it was like ‘Press 1 For Suicide. . . .2 for Medicaid. . . . 3 for my baby is hungry. .


 Oh, didn’t you hear? ” he said passing me the hummus sitting on the redRead full post »

NOVEMBER 29, 2010 12:37PM

At Karzai's Restaurant in Chicago




Outside Ahmed Wali Karzai’s Helmand restaurant at Belmont and Halsted in Chicago, thousands of people would spill out into the glittering rumbling celebration of joy that is the Gay Pride Parade for one sunshine day each June.


Before and after

Read full post »
NOVEMBER 19, 2010 12:28PM

Green Acres Is The Place To Be

 Time to escape? Just leave?  
Perhaps it's time for a a trip to Green Acres. Don't worry if you've never been. Just think, "I wanna place that's even more absurd then what I gotta deal with every day. Maybe even so absurd, that I… Read full post »
NOVEMBER 16, 2010 7:11PM

The Rich are Different

 Wrigley Door

December 2050. As he punched in the security code that snowy night at the armed entrance of the gated community, Ricketts Glen, at the corner of Clark and Addison in Chicago, the wind was so cold that his hands felt as if he had

Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 9, 2010 10:55PM

Long Before He Was The President



It was in the men’s locker room at the East Bank club in Chicago that the guy with the big ears asked me the question.

I had no business being in that locker room. If W-2 forms had to be flashed to get into this East Bank ClubRead full post »