HOG Butcher for the World, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler; Stormy, husky, brawling, City of the Big Shoulders:
They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is:
On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities;
Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning as a savage pitted against the wilderness, Bareheaded, Shoveling, Wrecking, Planning, Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse. and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be
Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.
That’s right, we were in Chicago.
Four years ago, before we were married, Kellie and I met in Chicago during Labor Day Weekend 2003. We flew in seperatly and stayed at a hotel that has since been bought out. We visited the Hancock Tower (which is what you see in the picture up top), ate some Chicago Pizza, and had lunch at Harry Caray’s. It was a truly great weekend. I’d never been to Chicago so everything was new to me from the architecture to the pizza. Back then, it was a just a great weekend during which Kellie and I got to know each other better.
This time, we decided to revisit a city we both loved and take in a few sites we missed the last time. We discovered a very cool wine bar, visited the Sears Tower (which was buried in the clouds the last time we were there), had dinner at the original Morton’s, walked a hell of a lot, had more than a few drinks at The Drake, and had lunch at Ed Debevic’s.
Back in 1993, I had a chance to become a Chicago resident when I was accepted to law school there. But I decided to come to the D.C. area instead. I don’t regret that, but in a strange way I’ve come to think of Chicago as my home that might have been……and I know that we’ll be back there again someday.