Still doesn’t want to see the garbage can man

Posted on Jan 29, 2013 in Columns
Still doesn’t want to see the garbage can man

In the picture, he’s squatting, his ball glove on the wrong hand. He was just about 2 1/2 years old then and baseball was something his Dad coached so he wanted to be part of it too. His Dad bought him a little fielder’s glove with a Velcro strip inside the pocket and a cloth ...

Finally remembered that one Alex

Posted on Jan 29, 2013 in Columns
Finally remembered that one Alex

Sometimes we’d play a game. He’d name an old song and I’d have to say who sang it. “Tears on My Pillow,” he’d say with just a hint of that Arkansas drawl. “Easy,” I’d say. “Little Anthony and the Imperials.” He’d smile and nod and on it would go. Sometimes out of nowhere, apropos of ...

Late night conversation stirs memories

Posted on Jan 29, 2013 in Columns
Late night conversation stirs memories

The three of them stood at the end of the driveway, gathered around a car, talking. Two more cars were parked on the street where they had once ridden bicycles, skateboards, chased the dog and played catch not that long ago. All of them had somewhere to be, places to go, people to see. But ...

The life to come

Posted on Jan 29, 2013 in Columns
The life to come

The rain marched across the curling brown grass, splattering dust around the makeshift bases we had constructed. The distant asphalt parking lot steamed as the cool water struck the hot pavement, momentary wisps of thin gas lingering like whispered delight. Our baseball game interrupted, we retreated to the shelter of the sedan that brought us, ...

Elgin’s Firefighter Memorial is more than just a statue

Posted on Dec 14, 2012 in Columns
Elgin’s Firefighter Memorial is more than just a statue

I was there in 1974 on the day Stan Balsis and Mike Whalen drowned. So maybe I take it too personally that someone spray-painted graffiti all over the Firemen’s Memorial near the spot where the two Elgin firefighters drowned in the Fox River on that hot June day 38 years ago Balsis was a captain ...