2010 Chicago Auto Show


2010 Chicago Auto Show

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!

DDR

2009 Chicago Auto Show


2009 Chicago Auto Show

Last year, I wrote about going to the Chicago Auto Show. This year I actually went to it. I wrote about how my father used to take my brothers and I to the Chicago Auto Show. This year, my oldest son dragged me along against my will. I find this amazing because my son doesn’t even have a driver’s license. He’s nineteen and he’s never taken driver’s ed. I gave him the Illinois Rules of the Road book to study twice with the promise that if he studied I would take to take the written test to get his driver’s permit. But he never studied and he still doesn’t have his permit. He’s just not that interested in driving or he would have gotten his driver’s license by now. Which reminds me of my friend Vito who has never–to my knowledge–ever had a driver’s license. My life would have been so different if I would have never gotten my driver’s license. I can’t even imagine how could exist without one.

Anyway, the Chicago Auto Show was fun even though I didn’t really want to go. I enjoyed it vicariously through my son who seemed to enjoy looking at the expensive cars that I cannot afford and probably wouldn’t drive even if I could afford them. I took some pictures of the cars. And then I took some more pictures of some more cars, but this time my son was in the pictures because he insisted on being in pictures with him in some of the cars. Of course, he offered to take a couple of pictures of me, for which I posed begrudgingly because I don’t really enjoy being photographed. One thing I did miss was the celebrities that used to come and sign autographs. And they no longer had beautiful models in evening gowns posing for amateur photographers near the new cars. There were plenty of workers continually wiping fingerprints off cars and keeping them shiny. But overall, I did have fun and was glad I went.

Chicago Auto Show


2008 Chicago Auto Show

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.