If you ever met one of our city’s two Mayor Daleys, you would always count to see if you still had all 10 fingers after shaking their friendly hands. It’s just sorta what any experienced Chicagoan does.
Our last Mayor Daley [Richie] was recently asked about some of the corrupt transactions that came down during his mayoralty. With that only-one-in-the-world Daleyesque expression [nary a muscle in the face ever changes from its congenital who-me? smile], he offered the reporter what will surely go down in Chicago history as another classic Daley-ism: “I don’t know what I knew.”
Stunning…! What a smashingly stunning choke-of-a-phrase that can fit any situation at any time in any court of law or public opinion. I mean, philosophers and astrophysicists should be so stunning.
I wasn’t there so I can only surmise his meaning. But I get the idea he was trying to obliquely say that what he knew about the dirty details of the deal in question were hard [and certainly incriminating] to recall at this time. After all the Daley dynasty were master practioners [Chicago, the city that works], not master political philosophers [pols who liked to speak in full sentences]. So quite naturally he never bothered to ask for any of the shadowy details whenever he ordered something be done. Details were for underlings [the faceless bureaucrats who exist to provide their boss with deniability].
As expected, Richie was not implicated in any wrong doing. However, I would hate to leave a stunning comment like his go to waste. Frankly, I think it’s as good as any Sunday sermon I’ve ever heard, for it seems to remind us of at least one great truth: We are not the same person today we were yesterday. For good or for ill, we change…we grow…we continue to peel back another of those mystic curtains which cloud our journey down the roadway of human existence.
Who knows? By the end of the trip, you and I may meet Richie there. Where we’ll all remember everything worth remembering….
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