Daley and me


UIC, Chicago, Illinois

As I sit down to write this I know I won’t finish this blog post tonight. The cast of characters keep changing, but the title is always the same. I’m referring, of course, to Mayor Daley of Chicago.

Well, actually, Chicago has had two Mayor Daleys. For anyone who has lived in Chicago for as long as I have, you know that Mayor Daley and his clan are part of the fabric of Chicago politics. Mayor Daley was the only mayor, or Da Mare as he is known in Chicagoese, that I knew since I was in grade school until his death in 1976. And just when I thought the Daleys were out of my life, his son Richard M. Daley ran for Chicago mayor unsuccessfully. Eventually, we had a second Mayor Daley, henceforth referred to as Richard da First and Richard da Second, respectively. And I just have a feeling that someday we may have a third Mayor Daley when Richard da Second’s son Patrick Daley returns from the army after he fulfills his enlistment. Yes, we could possibly have a Richard da Third.

When I was a boy, sometimes Richard the first would show up in our neighborhood unexpectedly. If we had award ceremonies for our park district tournaments, Mayor Daley would be there to pass out trophies. As I grew older, he was always in the news. His name was on just about every sign in the city of Chicago. One day, I was at the library at St. Xavier University on the south side of Chicago. I looked out the stained glass window when I noticed a little plaque underneath. The window was donated by Richard J. Daley in memory of his father. I often went to the library at UIC to study. Then one day, they changed the name to the Richard J. Daley Library. Just like that.

Ask Marilyn


From the Chicago Tribune Parade Magazine.

I have always been different from everyone else around me. Even as a boy, when my friends were gaga over the bikini-clad girls, I was always attracted to the librarian-type, glasses- wearing, bookworm type of girl. I don’t know why, but I have always fallen for the intelligent girl. In grade school, I had a crush on the smartest girl in the class, who, incidentally, was also the smartest student in the class. In high school, during study hall, we had the option to go to the library instead. I spent every study period in the library reading books of all sorts, instead of doing my homework or studying for my classes. The school librarian took a liking to me and invited me to Springfield, Illinois, for the Future Librarians of America Club field trip. I only went because I knew that I could then spend more time talking to the student librarian who was also in my Physics class. I had a really big crush on her, so I went on this librarian field trip.

Anyway, my latest crush is on Marilyn vos Savant who is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records Hall of Fame for “Highest IQ.” I read her Ask Marilyn column religiously and I’m always amazed by how well she answers her mail with a wry sense of humor. I’ve been meaning to e-mail Marilyn, but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t gotten around to it. Nevertheless, when I finish up my to-do list, I have a few questions that I would like to Ask Marilyn.

  1. Did Microsoft make Solitaire more difficult to win so that employees become more productive?
  2. When you turn on a light, does the light bulb gain weight?
  3. If your car travels at the speed of light and you turn on the headlights, does anything happen?

Nonetheless, these are easy questions for Marilyn since she is so intelligent anyway. Therefore, I’m sure she could answer some of my more deeply profound and philosophical questions. I have quite a few of those questions. Below are a few examples of some of my more ontological question and is not intended as a comprehensive list.

  1. Why do my sons stop listening to their favorite rock band when they realize that I like their music, too?
  2. If the Chicago White Sox board the Red Line from the Southside at the same time that the Chicago Cubs board it on the north side, who arrives at the World Series first?
  3. Why do I only receive important phone calls when I am sitting on the toilet suffering from the runs?

If Marilyn answers these questions, I will never doubt her intelligence (not that I ever did in the first place). I have always meant to e-mail these questions to her, but I’m sure she’s too busy to answer me personally. So here they are for my loyal readers to ponder.