Why Chicago? Why Now?

Take a look at a rerun from last Summer 2017.  In the wake of another weekend of heavy violence in our city, it's important to reflect on what's still out there.


I took another ChicagoNow Blogapalooza challenge and selected the topic: Write About Your Tomorrow.

Many of us may initially think it’s just another typical day: work, school, run errands, etc.  But each of us does have something going on tomorrow.  It might be something that we’re looking forward to, or perhaps some decision-making needs to be done.

Or maybe we’re planning on making a phone call to an old friend tomorrow or step out in the evening for an ice cream cone before the end of summer hits.  (Do I hear Rainbow Cone anyone?)

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My tomorrow is unusual since it’s my last two days as an alternate Grand Jury member.  For the most part, we the jury hear about crime that one reads in the newspapers or hears on the nightly news.  It can be monotonous as there’s a lot of time spent listening to repetitive narratives from the assistant state’s attorneys.

But at least it gives me a break from my usual day of commuting downtown and working in a very beige office 5 days a week.

I just about have a new routine of driving to the criminal courthouse at 26th and California.  My stop includes a medium black coffee at Dunkin’ – a special treat to myself for doing my civic duty.  As I continue north on South Western Avenue, I honk my support at the striking auto mechanics at the various car dealerships along the way.

At the courthouse, the fellow jurors and staff are friendly. Being from Beverly, it’s typical to run into someone who went to school with your sister and/or dated your next-door-neighbor.  Done.

(And, no… she’s not a criminal… she works at the courthouse.  C’mon, people.)

And there’s been drama at the courthouse.  The first day I filled in as a juror, someone was leaving the building, got shot 2 blocks away, and drove back to the courthouse seeking help.  The scene was taped off and the TV news crews camped out all afternoon.  Unfortunately, the victim died later at the hospital.

Some of us left the building that day visibly shaken, yet at the same time somewhat unfazed.  Sadly, this is all too common in our fair city.

My drive back home always takes longer – another unfortunate trait of Chicago.  I’ve learned no matter where you spend your day, it takes at least one hour – usually more – to get home.  I can also advise everyone to stay off Archer Avenue while road construction is going on.  Not good.

Finally, tomorrow starts our time at home without our daughter.  She took off today to start a new job in a different state. It seems as though we’re always driving her to an airport and wishing her well.  I packed her a turkey sandwich for the plane and we hugged good-bye at Midway.  That’s what I get for raising an independent, driven daughter.

But tomorrow I’m also grateful.  I have great respect for the staff who work in the criminal justice system and still have positive attitudes.  I have a full-time job to return to next week.  My commute to work is expected to be reasonably safe from gunfire or other crimes.  And our daughter is happy to get started in an exciting career, putting her college degree to great use.

So although tomorrow may seem humdrum, I’ll bet each of us has something to look forward to about Thursday, August 31. And the day after that.  And, if you like, comment in the box below (scroll down, down, down all the way to the bottom) and tell me about your day.

Because your tomorrow matters.

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Thank you for reading.

H. Van Howe - PIZZA FOR BREAKFAST

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