The short list ....
Christmas lights, and the people who bother to put them up.
Food samples in grocery stores on weekends.
Old photographs in real scrapbooks.
Indian ... er ... "Native American" corn.
Hot dogs with everything at Quick Bite.
Norman Mailer: once a fan, always a fan.
Jeremy Wade of “River Monsters.”
Drawings by kids.
Ralph Kramden, who is real.
Elvis, who is real, too.
Santa Claus, who is even more real than Elvis.
Jack Nicklaus, who will always be unreal.
Turkey sandwiches with mayonnaise.
The collected songs of Cold Mountain.
Harry Potter, who never needed Oprah’s Seal of Approval.
Shared memories that go way back.
Kids who say “Sir” and “Ma’am.”
Neighborhood bars and two-dollar drafts.
Cars that start.
My wife's laugh, that can make a big dog leave the room.
Friends who pick up conversations after several months as though you had just spoken with them the day before.
Pork chops and eggs at the Alpine on Irving Park Road.
People who bought a copy of Lunker Candy and those who still might.
American flags, and the people who bother to put them up.
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