Bridgeport home of Chicago's once and only king

Bridgeport home of Chicago's once and only king
The palace of the king. Richard J. Daley, who ruled Chicago, Illinois, and was a kingmaker in Washington D.C.

Eons ago, a quaint charming village called Bridgeport was settled. For several decades the humble village of Bridgeport supplied the rulers of Chicago and Cook County.

One day a mighty king rose to power. He appeared as a decent, humble, honest, and religious man of the village. Though he was no serf or peon, he was not of royal lineage.

Underneath the veneer of Mr. Villager was a cold cunning mind. The king did not conquer or vanquish his early foes. He merely waited or out lived them. Every step he made towards the throne he gained more power.

One day, unbeknownst to most, he was the most powerful man in Chicago. He could choose the rulers of the city, county, state, and even the nation.

This is the temple where the King worshiped with his subjects. He walked humbly with his God over any and all who opposed him.

This is the temple where the King worshiped with his subjects. He walked humbly with his God over any and all who opposed him.

Then, he struck.

He, the humble villager from Bridgeport, challenged the ruler, a Bridgeportian who forgot where he came from. A man of wealth and power. A polished man. A well tailored, groomed, and manicured man. A man who hobnobbed with commerce, industry, and Chicago's Blue Bloods.


This was the hall where the famed Bridgeport Knight Brigade issued forth to battle the foes of the king. Failure was not an option. They were to be victorious or never return.

The ruler was deposed. Dumped on the trash heap of history.

The humble villager became the ruler. He was made king. King Richard  J. Daley.

Bridgeport remained home to the king. Earls, dukes, counts, viscounts, and discounts who ran Chicago day to day came from the village.

King Richard was a religious man. He worshiped at the temple with his fellow Bridgeportians.

Though he earned well, he lived in a modest palace with his large family. His palace was located among the common dwellings of the village. He remembered where he came from.


The ancient feasting and drinking hall where the Bridgeport Knight Brigade plotted and celebrated their victories. It still stands today serving cold beer, good booze, and terrific food.

King Richard did not just rule Chicago. He ruled Cook County.

He formed an army, the famous or infamous Bridgeport Knight Brigade. They rode through the city conquering and vanquishing any and all who opposed the King and his selected people.

His realm extended to the village of Springfield, where serfs and peons did his bidding. He had courtiers sitting in Congress and the Senate in Washington who did what he told them to do.

The orders were simple. Bring as many state and federal dollars to the Kingdom of Chicago. The king wanted to build, renew, modernize, and keep his kingdom moving forward.

King Richard was loved, loathed, feared and respected. For over twenty years he ruled his empire with an iron fist. He was only cruel to his enemies, opposition, and the newspapers, which he considered the lowest thing there was.


The Tree of Sorrow.

The king was doubted, denied, and betrayed. He was vilified, crucified, and yes, even criticized. Yet, he was always victorious. Though his enemies were legion, they were weak.

He taunted his enemies, treating them like disobedient little children.

The king overran the doubters, deniers, betrayers, vilifiers, crucifiers, critics, and failures. They were cruelly punished. Some never heard from again.

At the southern entrance to the village of Bridgeport stands the King's ceremonial Tree of Sorrow.

The deniers, vilifiers, doubters, critics, betrayers, and failed knights were cruelly punished at the Tree of Sorrow.

Some were flogged. Some hung. Some tied to the tree to be publicly disgraced, shamed, and humiliated before being banished or vanished.

It is said by Chicago's noted Greek philosopher, there is similar tree, the Tree of Woe, far to the west in the land of Madiganistan. A land ruled by a ruthless, bloodless, heartless, and soulless oppressor. Madigan the Merciless.

After 20 plus years the king died. His mystical powers died with him. The Bridgeport Knight Brigade is no more. Many of the earls, dukes, counts, viscounts, and discounts are dead too. Some of their heirs inherited titles but no longer live in the village. Some are apostates. They moved to a foreign land called Suburbia.

The kingdom and empire of Richard faded into the mist and fog of history, myth, legend, and fable. There was no king after Richard. Just place holders and caretakers of the throne. Even his son, Prince Richard, was a mere chair warmer, though he warmed the chair for twenty years.

Why is all this important? The village of Bridgeport is still standing and prospering. It is a quiet village. There is still some unseen power there. It vibrates or resonates in the ether.

The Emanuel and Jesus looming like predatory pterodactyls. (Chicago Tribune photo.)

This is election season. Two men with fabled names are running for the throne of Chicago. The Emanuel and Jesus. The Emanuel is trying to keep the throne. If he wins, he may be the man who could be king. If he loses, many will consider Jesus our lord and savior. Jesus will never be king. He does not have the force of will to bend others to obey.

The lesson of Bridgeport is important. One small village ruled an empire. It was not done by guile, stealth, data, polls, geeks, nerds, or dweebs. There were no experts with no expertise. One small village ruled because the people, the serfs, peons, other royals, and the king himself, worked hard and diligently side by side.

The Bridgeport Knight Brigade went out about the land meeting, greeting, and spreading the message of the king. Day after day, election season after election season, election after election.

The village of Bridgeport was settled by hard working people who took any and all foul dirty filthy jobs no one else wanted. They worked hard. They brought their work ethic to politics. They worked harder. Again doing the foul dirty work no one wanted to do.

The lesson of Bridgeport? Winning elections is hard work. It takes shoe leather. It takes ringing doorbells and making phone calls. It takes people talking to people. Cajoling, convincing, and  coercing. It takes passion. It takes personality. It takes doing the jobs no one else wants to do.

It also takes raw, naked, open ruthlessness. Ruthlessness is more important than ambition.

Bridgeport made elections exciting. Now, they are dull and boring. They are data driven. Debates are mediocre, moderated by has been script readers. There is little mud slinging. It is all oh so veddy veddy polite and genteel.

The days of yore were better. The candidates and their workers were real people. People you knew. People you trusted. There were no Wisconsin mercenaries, phony popular journalists, or profiteering online organizations.

There were no dweebs, geeks, or nerds. No Facebookers or twatters on Twitter.

There were only people talking to people.

Everything today is so impersonal. Even the candidates. Look at them. They loom like predatory pterodactyls. They do not look real.

Bring back the old days. They days of yelling, mudslinging, fist shaking, even torch light parades. Even if the candidates are not believable, the subjects should have some fun.

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