Pretty strange day, people. Strange day indeed.
By now I’m guessing you’ve heard and seen the events in Chicago last night. Yep, I was there and for the dozen of texts and emails I’ve received since about 6:30 Central time….I”M OKAY!!!
The entire was pretty bizarre. Let’s take a look at what happened…
It started for me by writing Happy Trump Day. The opening words to this post are lyrics from a song by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Later that day came the word that Keith Emerson was dead. Are you kidding me? Sometimes we do live in a Twilight Zone world. When I told this to the person I went to the rally with, she jokingly said not to mention her name in this piece. More on her later.
Next it’s off to the rally. I get on the train and the guy next to me is playing the shell game. It’s the one where he has three shells and a little ball and tries to find people who will bet money on where the ball ends up. You see it on the train every so often. It’s usually a team of guys and they’re looking to find one or two suckers. It’s funny because the same people are betting and exchanging $100 bills back and forth. They did find a couple of suckers….errr….gentlemen to bet and lose. What was funny was when the guy with the shells announced it was time to get off, his victims/partners got off too…acting like they didn’t know each other. Doing the math, if you find two guys to play, you win $200, split four ways is $50 each. Not a bad payoff for thirty minutes of work.
So I get to UI-C, I find the Pavilion and the line. It goes on…and on…and on. The line is close to a mile long. It’s 3:30, I’m meeting my friend at 5ish so I figure it’s time to get in with the crowd. Lots of people with different points of view. Some for Trump, some against him, some for Bernie, some just want to be part of the show.
The line moved quickly. No pushing, no shoving, no violence. A lot of remembrances of the olden days. Grant Park and Woodstock. Yep, us old folks have become our parents. Remember back then when things were so much better? Sigh!
We get to the front of the line and my new peeps are going in. I have to wait for “Pam”. She’s coming from work and it’ll be awhile. No problem. I’ll just talk to some more of the folks in line.
About this time, I’m worried about Pam. How are we ever going to meet up in this crowd. There’s protesters and barricades all over the place. We’re trading texts and calls and finally she’s here. “I’m at the Univision truck”. Surprisingly I know where that is so I walk back through the line to find her. Hey look who else is here? It’s my friend/fellow blogger, Bonnie. I tell her I’m meeting Pam and we’ll come back and join her and her friend. Never happened. I did find Pam, though and it was back in the line.
Btw….Bonnie also wrote about this event. Plus she’s running for Judge this Tuesday. If you live in Cook County, punch in #214.
We get to the front of the line…time to see the man. Security is tight. They’re looking inside your wallet. I hope they find that hundred dollars, I lost to the shell dude. Basically they did everything but strip search you. Oh yeah, they didn’t ask for your tickets. Told you it was a strange day.
Pam & I found seats pretty close to the stage but up in the balcony, away from the floor. Lots of Trump supporters close to the stage. A couple of Elton John tunes to set the mood. The program is suppose to start at 6 pm and a half hour later here comes a guy walking up to the stage. I swear I thought it was Chris Christie who was going to introduce Don. I need new glasses.
We know what happened next. Show is cancelled. Lots of yelling and cheering. “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie.” Mixed in with that was “We Want Trump” and “USA”. There was some shoving but the police handled it well. Everything broke up quickly. It really did have a WWE feel to it. The only thing missing was the Iron Sheikh. I never felt in any danger and only had a couple moments of concern. My most nervous moment was walking out of the arena and not finding Pam. Relax…she made it out fine and we started the walk to the car.
Man, did she park a long way away. The protesters were still out but things had quieted down. There was a heavy police presence and they did a great job last night. Pammy probably thanked twenty of them during the walk. In a city where the police and their actions are vilified on a daily basis, this was their shining moment. Out of everyone, the police came off looking the best.
We find the car and it’s time to head out. We’re talking about the event, and families and writing and how real jobs suck away at your art and your soul. Normal friend chat. We get to close to home and there’s a man in the middle of the street….NAKED! Now you’d think this would be shocking but it’s Chicago…not so much. I’ve seen this scene before and maybe even the same guy. It was more sad than anything else.
It was a strange ending to a strange day. But really…has anyone seen the hundred bucks I had in my wallet?
Special thanks to my friend and fellow writer Jenn-Anne for playing the role of Pam and her part in the nights activities. Here’s her take on the show. Plus Rest in Peace to Keith Emerson.
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