When I began this blog in 2014, I had no idea the worlds it would open up to me. The people I would meet. The friends I would make. The ChicagoNow family that would welcome me into their fold. John Arguello, the founder of CubsDen, was one of the kindest voices in that family.
Last week, John lost his battle with cancer. His death deeply saddens me.
John and I first met earlier this year, when I sent out a request for help locating interviewees. John was quick to reply. Graciously, he put me in touch with his favorite Ecuadorian cousin, Maria. Maria's post, published on June 8th this year, includes lush and passionate descriptions of life in Ecuador. It is one of my favorite posts.
I have John to thank for that.
So many people knew John through his writing about the Cubs. But John and I only spoke -- by email -- about his passion for his culture. Here is an excerpt from his last email to me, shortly before his cousin's Talking to the World post went live. We were talking about Ecuador and the Ecuadorian food photos (below) Maria had sent me:
"Ecuador is such a beautiful country -- mountains, beaches, rain forest...has it all. Love the food. There used to be a pretty authentic Ecuadorian restaurant in Chicago called La Pena. Not sure it's still there but we loved it. I proposed to my wife there :)."
Somehow, I have a feeling that restaurant is still there. One day soon I plan on visiting it. Toasting John and his Ecuadorian heritage.