Monday, November 12, 2007

Hot Fun in the Summertime

This year’s annual trip to Chicago was one of the better ones that I have had in recent years. I was able to reunite with more of the people that I had desired to reunite with than in past years. I spent less time in the bars and taverns than usual and more time with my sister (the Saint) and her family.

I was able to eat an Italian Beef sandwich with peppers and Pizza three times (one from Connie’s, one from the Home Run Inn, and one from my favorite neighborhood bar in Forest Park.) without intestinal distress. The Saint, who is an excellent cook, put me on a new supplement to aid with my digestion. It worked. However, I didn’t press my luck and have a Chicago style Hot Dog.

The first Sunday that I was in Chicago, I celebrated a good friend’s birthday. This event was held at my favorite neighborhood tavern. The bar is owned by another one of my good friends. People than I hadn’t seen for years were in attendance. It was an eclectic group of miscreants from all walks of life and the conversations were excellent as usual.

I spent most of the following week sitting in the Saint’s back yard, reading the newspapers and doing the puzzles (Crossword, Jumble and Sudoku). I usually read my news on-line, but since the Saint’s house is a non-smoking zone, I opted for the print edition. I prefer the print edition, but being a good Bohemian; if something is virtually free I lean in that direction.

My sister’s back yard is small but a very pleasant place to spend the day. For the most part the weather cooperated. We had a couple rainy days, but only one day in the upper 80’s. Good weather for mid to late July. The Saint is a consummate gardener; it seems that each year she outdoes herself with her floral displays. The diversity of the flowers and plants and their colors are amazing and aesthetically pleasing to the senses.

On Thursday we planned to go sailing on Lake Michigan. When in Chicago I sail aboard a 32 foot Sloop moored at Burnham Park Harbor. Although it was actually a beautiful day, the winds were coming from the North East at a sustained 15 KPH with gusts up to 25 KPH. Not an ideal day to sail on Lake Michigan. The Captain made the call at1600 hours – NO Sail!

I mentioned the fact that 25 years ago he would be yelling “No Guts – No Glory” The Captain countered with “There are no able bodies aboard, today”. I was the youngest crew member at 61 years old; in fact the Captain still calls me young George. So there sat bunch of old fogies eating Connie’s Pizza, drinking beer and wine and reminiscing about the old days aboard the “Valiant”.

I came up with several good sailing stories from circa 1980 – 1981. I will write about them in my next Blog. The parties involved in these stories told me to feel free to embellish the stories on the Blog. Most likely, I probably will.

On the third Saturday of every July, my cousin “The Admiral” organizes the “Five Generation Family Reunion”. Not only family members, but also friends from the old neighborhood also attend. This usually is the highlight of my trip to the Windy City. Even though some key members of the family and friends were absent this year, it was still a great time. The Beer, Wine and Bullshit flowed like water. And a good time was had by all that attended. I can’t wait until next year.

The Beach Bum

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