High on LSD


This sign is not on Lake Shore Drive.

As long as I now have your attention, I would like to inform you that, yes, indeed, I am still high from my drive this morning on Lake Shore Drive. That’s LSD as in the acronym for Lake Shore Drive and not the hallucinogenic drug (for those of you who are actually high on LSD).

I have always loved cruising on LSD! I mean, Lake Shore Drive. I love it! LSD begins/ends at Hollywood on the north end; I’m not sure where it begins/ends on the south end because every time I passed the Museum of Science and Industry, I would mysteriously find myself NOT on LSD.

There is something very relaxing about driving on Chicago’s lakefront on beautiful, sunny day. I have so many fond memories to my earliest driving days of speeding on LSD in my buccaneer red 1975 Pontiac Firebird in 1975 when I was only 18. Whenever I felt depressed, or extremely happy for that matter, I would cruise up one end of LSD and then back to the other, for no practical reason other than it was FUN! You see, I loved driving my car! Despite all the usual problems of an eighteen year old, I drove a brand new Firebird that I bought all by myself!

Every time I drove on LSD, I played special driving songs on my car 8-Track player: “I’m in Love with my Car” by Queen, “Ventura Highway” by America, “Highway Star” by Deep Purple, “AutoBahn” by Kraftwerk, and of course, “Lake Shore Drive” by Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah. LSD was so soothing since I was under so much stress at the time. I was unhappy at home, I worked full-time on the midnight shift at the Derby Foods peanut butter factory while I was still in high school. Driving was a nice emotional release from all my problems.

So this morning as I’m driving on LSD, I had this incredible flashback to the days of my youth when I was to know what it meant to be a man. Oops, I just quoted Led Zeppelin, another favorite of mine. I kind of miss my 8-track player now.

Only in Chicago


Chicago chess set.

I love Chicago, that toddling town. The City of Big Shoulders. The City that Works. Chi-Town. The Windy City. Well, you get the idea. Living in Chicago is always an adventure. I love to analyze the little ironies of living in our fair city. Somethime driving directions don’t make any sense. I remember once driving northeast on Southwest Highway, then driving southbound on Western Avenue, then going east on North Avenue, and driving North on Southport Avenue. Only in Chicago. Western Avenue was named Western Avenue because it used to be the western border of Chicago. And North Avenue was named North Avenue because it used to be the northern border of Chicago. Michigan Avenue was named that because it ran along the Lake Michigan shore before it was filled with rubble from the Chicago Fire.

Let’s not forget my favorite Chicago street, Lake Shore Drive. Alliota, Haines, and Jeramiah wrote “Driving on LSD” about that street , but they admit in the song that they were high on LSD. Another favorite street of mine is Wacker Drive with its upper and lower drives. Most Chicago streets run east-west or north-south. However, the almighty Wacker Drive actually runs in all four directions! What other street in the world can use all the compass directions in their addresses and give us such addresses as 200 South Wacker Drive, 20 North Wacker Drive, 5 West Wacker Drive, and 71 East Wacker Drive? Only Wacker Drive in Chicago can make that curious geographical claim!