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Everything Happens for a Reason

Archive for the category “Chicago”


How can these writers just go and kill off my Hero! What is there thinking. I know, another old persons story, but this is important! To me! To the American way! Archie Andrews was my Mentor, my whole childhood revolved around his adventures with Characters the likes of Jughead, Ronnie, Betty and Veronica. There was no Television, No Reality Programs, Just printed matter.

     Lets go back. Archie came on the scene around 1938 or so and became a hit with teenage kids everywhere. With me it was about 1945/46 when I first began reading, maybe sooner in just looking at the color print in my Brothers and Sisters Comic Books. Comic Books! Thats how a lot of us learned about what other kids were reading about, how others dealt with social problems and so it was with Archie. Every teenager goes through a period of adjustment with there friends ,Family and Parents. I was getting a head start on these problems as I was only about 6 or 7 but I saw it happening with my Brother and Sister who were older and in those Teenager years. I read Archie Comic books till I was in my Early Teens and probably put them down about when I started High School. Not that I knew how to present myself to others or deal with situations concerning interactions between others, but it wasn’t really Cool to be seen reading Comic Books while in high School. I always pictured myself as an Archie and like I said earlier, I used his thinking in a lot of situations that I found myself in. As I meet other Teenagers, I could see in them other Archies or Ronnies and even a few Jugheads. The Girls could always be broken down into either Betty’s or Veronica’s. I liked the Betty’s but shied away from the Veronica’s even though I did look and Fantasized about them once in a while.

       But this deal about killing off Archie has me concerned. Now as an Adult, a much older Adult, Archie and his friends are just a memory for me of my youth and my time in my Teenage years.His ploys and adventures are of no concern to me now, as I haven’t picked up an Archie Comic Book in over 60 years.

Is it wise to abruptly terminate a hero? What are we telling our Memories? Stop remembering. I know the thoughts and Memories will still continue to be in our mind but now we’ll know that they can;t go on for others who might enjoy making some of there own. Maybe this a drama that’s put into every story and every play and Movie and I understand that this is Entertainment, it’s the crowning point in the story that has us cheering for the Hero even though he or she is going die, like Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid, Thelma and Louise, Saving Private Ryan. Then the ones that hit us right out of the Blue like “Who shot J.R.”? The final episode of “Mash”. All of these elements of Entertainment in our lives were never meant to be a guide into living our lives, but Archie was a guide. A Guide for a whole civilization of young Boys and Girls to read about and to see how others solve the many complex situations of growing up. 

Save Archie!



Ah, here’s another old persons story. Sorry, But I see all that was part of my life and of this country slowly die and disappear from being once a necessity and part of everyday ritual to a forgotten way of life.

There wasn’t a day in my youth that I can remember my Mom or Dad going down to the Sears Store or the Montgomery Catalog Store and ordering or buying an item for the House or for themselves. Saturdays was set aside to do these things. During the week, you browsed thru the Catalog to find what you needed, and at Christmas time, the Christmas Toy catalog from Sears or Montgomery Wards and even J.C. Penney’s was a exciting way to spend a few Hours, making up wish lists. Dog eared pages, lists conveniently left as bookmarks on special pages.

Now I read that Sears is closing their Flagship store on State St.in Chicago. I’ve heard and read that their in Financial trouble as is a whole bunch of older Chain Stores. I don’t know if it’s that they have gotten so big that they can’t compete with the pace of today’s Markets, or that they have gotten top heavy with executive salaries and wages and can’t buy like the thin markets such as Amazon and e-Bay, I don’t know. I do know that there is probably going to be more that sercumb to modern buying trends.

Stores like Mayfair, The Fair, Goldblatt’s, Wiebolts, Montgomery Wards, Marshall Fields, Circuit City, and now Sears and soon to be J.C. Penneys have all had their Heyday, not to mention all the Restaurants chains that are closing.  The Ma and Pa Corner grocery store that got pushed out because of the new larger grocery stores opening up, and now they’re closing up because of much larger food conglomerates be developed. Purchasing Trends and the ease of shopping from your Computer have all hurt those who didn’t adjust, It’s just a shame that things sometimes have to change, and change is the key word!  Dorothy  said it, “My, people come and go so quickly around here”. If you can’t adapt, your out. I wonder what the future holds in store for us.


The weather now is starting to moderate a little to the point where I  can start-up the Heater out in the Woodshop and start doing some work on projects that I have planned for this year. The Heater is only efficient down to 40 Deg. below that , it just won’t keep up. My involvement here with my Blog will probably take a back seat for the rest of the year unless something really good comes up. Mom and I have some really exciting things planned for the Summer, one of them is a complete revamp of the Flower garden which will include new soil, plants and Flowers and some new border stone. Grass is always an issue under the Maple Tree. Were still looking into solving that somehow. But anyway, It’s starting to look up as far as Spring coming and were going to try to get a head start on it. Keep checking in on us,

Lewis and Clark

I believe it was in 6th. Grade that my Teacher assigned me to give a written  report on the Lewis and Clark expedition and I ,being a History Buff and a part-time day dreamer screamed as loud as I could while running down the hallway ” I can’t do this” But as always once I get involve with a project, I can’t put it down till I’ve completed it.

That afternoon when I got home from school I told my Mom of the project that had been given to me and she told me that all the information you needed was in the Library and that I should plan a few days to visit the Library and research the shelves of books pertaining to the Lewis and Clark Expeditions. “OK” I said and started to plan my trips to the Library. It would have to be on Saturdays as I can’t give up my play time with my friends after school. I gathered up my sharpest pencil and a spiral note-book and reviewed my route down to the Library. Borrow a dime off my Mom, take the Western Ave. Street Car to the Elevated at Wilson Ave. Hop the El down to Division St. walk about a block East to Clark and I’m at the Library.

Saturday came early and I apologize for not going shopping with Mom, But I was on an Adventure, An Adventure to learn about History and Explorers trekking across the country. I often think about my youth in Chicago back in the 40’s as do a lot of us who grew-up back then. There was no fear of living back then, no boundaries that couldn’t be crossed oh there were neighborhoods that you shouldn’t be in because of Racial ignorance, but one didn’t fear for their life as they do now. There was a lot to be said about Racial Segregation in keeping the peace. Everyone stayed on their own side of the fence and there was peace, It may have been the wrong way to treat people but having two different societies worked. OK, I got away from my story.

Chicago Library

I entered the Library and stood for a moment and took in the size of the building, the shelves of books the floors of books all these people walking around with grim faces on. I realized that this building contains every bit if information I needed, then it hit me. How do you use a Library? I never have been in one before. How do I go about finding what I came here for? Nobody ever taught me how to use a Library! Not in school, not at home,  My eyes searched frantically for a friendly face to help me, there, It says Information. I shuffled over to this desk and waited to ask a question to  this lady with horrible complexion. I know, I was taught by the Nuns that we’re all Gods children and everyone is beautiful in God’s Eyes, but I mean, If you looked in the Dictionary under Ugly, There would be a picture of this woman. ” I’m looking to gather some information On Lewis and Clark and I’ve never been in a Library before and I don’t know where to look?” I said,  “Son” she replied, “I haven’t the time to teach you how to use a Library, Bring someone with you next time to show you how to research the information in this library”. “Yes Ma’am” I replied.  I thought, ” Here is another case of me progressing thru life without the basic knowledge of gathering and storing information.” So off to home I went. When I got home  Mom ask me how’d it go? I told her about my dilemma and that I need someone to teach me how to use a Library. Ask your Sister to help you she replied, Tomorrows Sunday and after Church the two of you can go back to the Library.

I guess the procedure for obtaining  information was supposed to be inherent in my Genes. I knew how to ride a two-wheel Bicycle, Operate my Dads record Player, Unlock doors all of which I was taught. I don’t ever remember being taught in how to use a Library, not in school, not by my Family, nor by any of my friends.  I guess by the age of 11 years I should have known, but I didn’t.  Back then if you needed some information, no matter what, You wrote it down on a piece of paper stuffed in your pocket and walked, drove, or took Public Transportation down to the Library and proceeded to acquire what you needed using the tools of the Library. Boy, Do we have it made now. Don’t we! I love to Google!

Prehistorical Googling

Well, needless to say, I learned how to use the library and it wasn’t till High School that I was taught the Dewey Decimal system and the systematic way books on shelves were laid out. I don’t remember what grade I received on my report nor what ever happened to it, but knowing the Nuns at St. Benedict’s they probably burned it and added the ashes to the Palm Ashes that were used on Ash Wednesday.


Were going to take a week off and go visit the Grand-kids. Not taking the Lap-Top or the iPad nor the Work Book. just the Camera.

See Ya,



4024 N Campbell Ave.

I always enjoyed Saturdays around my house back when I was 7, living on the North Side of Chicago on Campbell Ave. Life back then was peaceful. The War was over, People had jobs, it seamed everyone was starting out anew in their lives. Service men had returned, They were getting Married, as did my Brother and Sister, buying new homes ,starting new families, Car makers were back making new cars and people were buying them. Fancy ones. Painted in bright colors and offering new and invented accessories  like Radio’s, Clocks, and fancy upholstering.


Up early on Saturday Mornings. Dad took me to Church at 7:30 in our brand new 1947 Chevrolet as I had to serve Mass at 8:00. I was in 2nd. grade at St. Benedict’s School on Irving Park Road and Levette St. and I was an  Alter Boy there. After Church if the Weather was good, I walked home, about 8 city blocks, If not Mom or Dad were there to pick me up. Back home I changed clothes and had Breakfast which was a new cereal that had come out in the stores, It was called Rice Krispies.  Saturdays meant Shopping day at the Sears Store at Milwaukee Ave. and Cicero Ave. They had a Hillmans Grocery Store in the lower level. Mom and I spent most of the Morning Shopping with a final stop at Lutz’s Bakery on Montrose Ave. for after Dinner Cake or Pies for Sunday Dinner.


My Mom didn’t Bake, She cooked some damn good meals but Baking Sweets was not her thing. That was left to Grandma Girard My Dads Mom,or my Aunt Eleanor my Moms Sister. Sometimes my Sister came along with us but mostly it was my Aunt Eleanor who did her shopping along with us. Back home for Lunch which was a Cold Cut lunch meat Sandwich on a Kaiser Roll, A Pickle, and maybe a cookie for dessert. In the afternoon it was a walk down to the North Center Theater on Irving Park, Lincoln and Damen Aveues for an Afternoon Matinee to see the continuing saga of Tom Mix or Hopalong Cassidy or Superman or Buck Rogers Serials along with 25 Cartoons and a News trailer all for 5 Cents. I always bought a Holloway Bar for 2 Cents. After that show was over I would walk down about a block to the Bugg Theater on Damen Ave. for another Movie and another 25 Cartoons. Usually the feature film was Abbot and Costello. That cost me another 5 Cents and I still had my Holloway Bar. On the walk back home I still had enough to buy a Archie Comic Book for a Dime and I had  some change left over to put in my Piggy Bank. The house always smelled good when I got home as Mom would have the Saturday evening meal cooking and I was hungry by now.

Shopping was different then , There were no Malls to go to. Stores were not grouped together I mean each neighborhood had a building on the corner that was either a small Mom and Pop grocery Store or a maybe a Bakery along side it. Maybe one neighborhood had a Meat market that everyone from several blocks around would go to for cuts of Meat but for Clothes it was a travel to a Sears store or stop at the Montgomery Ward store and order what you needed from their Catalog. My Dad being in Construction throughout-out Chicago found stores that specialized in certain things and we travel on a Saturday to them. Like for shoes, There was this shoe store on Roosevelt road around Halsted St. near downtown Chicago that had as my Mom would say” They have prices that we people can afford.

Thom Mcan

It was a Thom McAn Shoe Store that I always got my shoes from as did my Dad and Brother. There were other shoe stores in and around Chicago but the largest selection was always Downtown. There were Florsheim Shoes, Father and Son Shoes along with those sold thru  the Mayfair  Stores or the Fair. Mom and my Sister use to go to Wiebolds on Belmont and Ashland Avenues for their shoes or go Downtown Chicago to Goldblatt’s  on State Street for their clothing and Shoes. One boring part of a Saturday morning was going with my mom and Sister to Woolworth’s Dime Store and sit and wait while they went thru the Simplicity or Butterick pattern drawers looking for dresses to sew. That always took so long and After I walked thru the Dime Store and looked at everything, they were still there going thru patterns, but I was always rewarded for my patients with a stop at the Candy Store for a treat.

Saturday Evenings were always fun. My Dad had purchased a thing called a Television Set and they had it set up in the Living room and after a good meal prepared by Mom, My Brother and his wife Elvira and my Sister and her new Husband Stan would take some of the Dinning room chairs into the Living Room and we’d settle in to watch what programs were being broadcast that Saturday Evening. I don’t remember what shows were on but It was new and we all sat together and watched. Mom would make Popcorn later and we would have a Pepsi along with the Popcorn. Mom had gone out a few weeks ago and bought about 6 of a new thing called TV Trays. I enjoyed Saturdays when I was young. The big thing was we all were together as a Family. I miss that now and then more than anything.


My thoughts on Hollywood and it inhabitants. As Mom and I sat there and watched the Golden Globe Awards being dished out we both came to the conclusion that as beautiful and Handsome the recipients were, none possessed an intelligent ability to speak or convey a simple Thank You or express their feelings to their constituents. Our thoughts kept going back to Dennis Rodman and his elegant conversation with Chris Como and how much these Hollywood Celebrities must have attended the same diction classes that Dennis attended  ( if they indeed attended). The simple art of conversation is lost or for that matter being able to express ones feelings and gratitude to another without using four letter words.  Let’s face it. The Queens English is dead. But were lucky, It’s beauty and color is forever saved in the Film industries vaults and can be listened too and enjoyed in Movies from a time long past where the interaction between people was  literary genius and taught my generation and generations before me how to converse with other members of the Human Race. These are my thoughts and I could be wrong.


We arrived at this dimly lite section of the Hospital with double swinging doors that looked battered and worn. As we entered my first impression was one of something from a Science Fiction Movie set. From my view point which was mostly up, I could see Television Monitors hanging everywhere along the walls were people looking at Television Screens and Monitors, and in the center of the room was this huge Monolith of steel beams supporting more Television screens which they rolled me under and immediately began to remove the Hospital Gown I was wearing. cute young Nurse placed a washcloth over my Privites and said,” I’ve covered you down there so that your not completely naked”. She began to violently remove any pubic hair I had down there with some sort of chemical, I guess Nair, and then dried me off which at the time I thought was a Burlap bag. Ouch! While this was going on, I was going thru the 20 Question thing again thinking how much time would be saved if the different departments in this Hospital would share Patient information rather than keep asking them the same old Shit every time they are moved from one area to another. If anyone has ever gone thru the procedure for Catheterization or read how it’s done I can tell you it’s painless and fairly quick. The insertion of the dye , the reading of the results on the screen ( which is your Heart and Blood Vessels) gives the Doctors a good idea what sort of blockage their dealing with and where to set the stint in your vessel. Unfortunately or luckily, I didn’t need a stint as the blockage was completely removed thru medication administered back at the Fremont Hospital and during the flight here. I was taped back up were the Dye was administered and sent back to my room. Everything went good and Tim and Alisa headed back home to Chicago and Kay went home for the night. It was a long day. During that night the Nurse would come in every 1/2 Hour to check my Bandage. She said if things look good tomorrow they would transfer me to a step-down room where I could have quieter room and be able to get up and walk around and have regular meals.

The Step-Down room was just like an ordinary Hospital Room full of amenities like a Television, Bathroom and a comfortable bed. Meals brought to you three times a day, not very tasty but palatable. I was now on a Heart Healthy Diet. No Salt, and low Fat. They may as well as put me on a Bread and Water Diet, food with out some Fat and salt was not fit to be consumed, but that was then, now 4 Months later, I have adjusted my eating habits and have found I can survive with out salt and low fat foods are now part of my diet. After taking several walks around the Nurses station and down the hallways I got my strength back and my blood work came back from the lab good and blood pressure was staying steady with the help of new Medication. On Sunday the head Doctor in the Cardiac rehabilitation  wing came in and told me I could go home. Give the Nurses a few hours to get the paper work done and a new list of Medications that I’ll have to be taking now for the rest of my life. About 4 hours he said. I called Kay and told her and she said she’ll be right there.  I’ve been there since late  Wednesday afternoon and was really looking forward to going home and be in my own house. I never want to go thru that again, and have made a really concerted effort to set myself on a strict diet of low salt and low fat and the several blood tests I’ve had have shown my Cholesterol and Triglycerides to be at good levels and a lowering of my blood pressure and Cardiac Rehabilitation and exercise three times a week has given me renewed strength and ambition.I never was a person who abused his health, I ate conservatively and in moderation. Like the Doctor said, it took 72 years of fats that you’ve eaten to finally create a blockage in your heart. so from now on eat health. and we’ll not see you here again.

Aye, Aye Captain!


I’m sorry, but I have to say this. After watching Chris Como  interview Dennis Rodman I began to laugh my ass off thinking about the interpreter assigned to Dennis when he spoke to Kim Jong Un and how the interpreter would use Dennis’s use of the Queens English along with his hand gestures to have a meaningful conversation with the North Korean President. What a Piss Poor representative of our country to anyone weather friend or foe.

$17,000.00 Helicopter Ride

I’ve always had a above average tolerance for pain and the pain of having a Heart Attack was unbelievable! But, the pain of someone ripping out your chest hair was excruciating!!!!  Upon arrival at the ER the Nurses applied these sticky Cardiac pads to your chest, 3 to be exact. Well as they were getting me ready for the Life Flight to Toledo Hospital the Flight Nurse realized that the pads that were on me were not compatible with the equipment onboard the Helicopter to monitor my vitals. So she proceeds to rip them off my chest to apply ones that were compatible with their equipment. OUCH, OUCH and OUCH. DAMN Girl, that hurts!!!! “Oh, Sorry” she says as she gives me this Mona Lisa smile. “Bitch” I thought. She enjoyed doing that!  Being wheeled out to the Helicopter I thought about the last time I rode on a Helicopter. That was back in 1967 in Vietnam. Back then Helicopter weren’t known for there smoothness of flight, in fact, they were down right uncomfortable to ride in. I imagine they have made some improvements since then. WRONG! They inserted me thru the rear of the Chopper and secured me to the inside bulkhead. I was plastered against the side, secured with several belts, I had a window to my right slightly above my head which I could not look out of. There was some sort of electrical receiver/Monitor above my head that I could literally touch with my tongue, The Cute Blond Nurse who enjoyed pulling of my Sticky Pads was tight against my left side, the other Male Nurse and the Pilot must be up front in the First class section of this craft as I never did see them. It was so tight and close inside that Helicopter that if one of us Farted, something or someone would have to be thrown overboard to make room for the gas that was omitted!

Riding in a Helicopter has not changed in 40 years! They are the noisiest, Bounciest, hardest riding Aircraft you can be in. It feels like your riding down a plank road is the only way I can describe it. It took about 20 Minutes to get to Toledo Hospital from Memorial Hospital in Fremont and upon arrival and after being extradited from this flying sarcophagus, I was wheeled down several ramps and into the Hospital and then down numerous hallways to a very small room and transferred to a table where several nurses began removing all the cables and intravenous tubes from me that were applied before my flight here, oh, guess what, the sticky pads that flight crew stuck on me,,,,,, they weren’t compatible with the Toledo Hospital Cardiac Monitors, so off they came, I swear the staff there at The Hospital and even the Blonde Flight nurse drew straws as who got the job of ripping off the old pads from my now almost completely bald chest as I screamed in tumultuous pain and cussed every one of them and they all gave me that “Oh, I’m Sorry” while deep down inside there Florence Nightingale Mind, A smirk of satisfaction exited the corners of their mouth. After answering a few dozen more questions and receiving several more shots and additional fluids feed into my stints I was rolled out of this room and down which seemed an extremely long series of hallways and into an Elevator that I believe they use in one of the scenes from the Blues Brothers when they were in Chicago City Hall and it took forever to get two floors while this hideous Elevator Music played. Mean while every one kept asking me how I was doing and if I was in any pain, and I replied,”Only where you Bastards pulled off those Sticky Pads”. I reached the room where I was going to be in till after The stint was installed. It was the Cardiac intensive care unit and it was here that Kay finely caught up with me and assured me every thing was fine back home and Molly was being watched by Mat and Mindy, Our good neighbors, and my girls where notified about me having a Heart Attack. And for the record, 6 weeks later I received a copy of the billing for that ride that was submitted to Medicare  for $16.875.00 of which they paid all but $1450.00 because there was a Hospital that was closer that could have given me a Stint and treated me for my Heart Attack. I was under Promedica care and flew past a Humana facility. I paid the difference!

Next; A Day in the Life.

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