What a better way to celebrate Presidents’ Day than by going to the 2010 Chicago Auto Show. I still can’t get used to the new McCormick Place, but it sure is nice and big. My sons loved looking at all the sports cars and so did I, but I no longer fantasized about owning one. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t decide which expensive sports car to drive. A Ferrari? A Maserati? You get the idea.
Now, I’m happy with my 2005 Pontiac Vibe, but I am concerned that GM decided to close the Pontiac division. I know that other GM dealers will service my car and that parts will be available through them, but what about showing a little loyalty to the customers who were loyal to Pontiac all these years? I’ve driven Pontiacs most of my driving life. Oh, well. I should have seen that one coming since my Pontiac Vibe is, in reality, a Toyota Matrix anyway.
Anyway, my sons enjoyed the bright colors and bright lights of all the displays. They also enjoyed the Chicago Blackhawks shoot-out. And they got plenty of Blackhawks posters. They also got an autographed picture of Ben Eager. There were cutout figures of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane that looked lifelike when you took their picture. In the picture, it’s very difficult to tell that they’re made of cardboard. Now that I look at the pictures again, my sons look like they’re made of cardboard and Kane and Toews look more lifelike than my sons!
My father always loved going to the Chicago Auto Show every year. He would go several times each year and he would always take my brothers, sister, and me the first time he went. He always managed to get free tickets either through work or some promotional event. Somehow, he always found free tickets and took us every year.
When I was older, he would go with just me so we could take our time and really look at all the cars. He loved looking at the cars and we loved collecting bags and bags full of automobile literature, pamphlets, key chains, and anything else they gave away there. My father was a mechanic at Curtiss Candy, so he loved to show off his knowledge of all things mechanical while we were at the auto show. So if they had a motor displaying the internal parts, my father would explain how the internal combustion engine worked. My brothers weren’t all that interested in his explanations, but I always tried to learn something new everytime we went to the auto show.
My father always fantasized about owning all the latest expensive sports cars. He would always insist that we sit inside the car, behind the wheel. Then, he would explain all the features of the car, as if he were a car salesman. My favorite part of the show was the celebrities who made appearances. They were so accessible to everyone. Usually all the Chicago sports teams such as the White Sox, the Bulls, the Bears, the Blackhawks, and the Cubs sent a few players to represent them. I don’t really remember exactly who specifically showed up, but I do remember that if you waited long enough after their presentation, you could walk right up to them, shake their hand, and talk to them. We would always wait to meet the celebrities, but I was too shy to actually talk to them. I was content with shaking their hand and standing close enough to listen to them talk to others. The only Chicago player I really remember meeting there was Walter Payton. I also remember meeting Jesse Owens who came every year. He was always so patient just standing there waiting for everyone who wanted to greet him.
And long after the auto show was over, we still had our bags of automotive literature to entertain us well into the summer.