"Look in the window on the second floor," said the Fat Man. "That's where you will see the Devil Baby."
We stared at the empty Victorian-style house's upper floors.
No Devil Baby stared back.
"Well, it's a ghost," said the Fat Man. "They don't always operate on our schedule." He laughed.
We had paid good money to ride around Chicago looking for ghosts, which by their very nature, can't be seen. Suckers! This tour originated at Goose Island Brewery and managed to find a ghost in nearly every eating establishment where the host of the tour got a comped meal.
Hull House is where the Devil Baby supposedly made its after-life home, after being spawned by a down-on-her luck working woman, or such.
Hull House is closing. You can read the Trib story about it.
Jane Adams, the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, founded the social charity institution 123 years ago, but due to less charitable giving and higher operating costs, this rare Chicago institution, founded by an equally rare and advanced (for her time) woman, will close.
There will be some long faces and some tongue-clucking and some "that's too bads", but in the end we figure some government agency will step in and fill the void.
It is ironic that Hull House, founded by a iconic Nobel Peace Prize winner, will shut its doors when another ironic Peace Prize winner, Barrack Obama, who nominally calls Chicago home when not screwing up traffic on Disney's Main Street, is guiding with economy with a not-so-invisible hand.
Ironic and sad.
Maybe the old victorian house can become the city of Chicago near west side office for city services? Or maybe a convenient Department of Motor Vehicles location? Or maybe a quaint office for the newer and friendlier, but ravenous, IRS?
Welcome to the new Government Services Building: Obama House.
On future tours the Fat Man can come along and point to Hull-cum-Obama House as the new Government Services House (nice poetic ring to it, no?) and tell a bunch of mouth breathers like myself that if we look hard we will see ghosts.
Ghost employees, maybe. Operating, as usual, on their own schedules.
The devil is in the economic details, baby.