The recent re-elevation of O’Hare Field to the rank of “busiest in the nation” is a mixed blessing. The city of Chicago will applaud, whereas some of us living out here under its flight paths may not.
Here’s what strikes me. We so often judge our bedroom communities in the O’Hare orbit mostly in terms of the people gathering AROUND them, rather than those living WITHIN them. True ~ pilots, cab drivers, casino owners, concert audiences, and hotels are all part of the the orbit’s energy and economy; but lets not marginalize the everyday people who work here, service here, and live here. Our O’Hare orbit may smack of the international set, limo elites, and high rollers, but by and large we still are who we were before O’Hare.
Among us are our schools teachers…crossing guards….retailers….doctors, nurses and hospital technicians ….bankers and realtors…police and fire fighters…along with our modest stretches of lawned Ranch homes, Cape Cods, and children’s parks.
So yes, we thrive out this way because of the airport, but imagine waking up some morning without our everyday locals? What barren, dysfunctional communities we would become!
I’m especially thinking here of locals like our neighborhood produce managers. Everyday these folks make the extraordinary ordinary, as in the enormous mounds of fresh fruits and vegetables they bring us each new morning from across this wide troubled world
When you think about it, our produce departments are an exotic little reminder that our troubled world sometimes actually does work. Ya know ~ if we could all work the way they do, why we just might learn Earthlings, like Chicagoans, can really survive together after all.
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