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Genealogy Road Trip 2021 Vol 4






“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes; it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it!” The Blues Brothers “The Chicago Tribune has come out against syphilis. Bet you 8 to 5 syphilis will win.” Anonymous, 1940 “I think that’s how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, ‘Gee, I’m enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn’t cold enough. Let’s go west.’” Richard Jeni Eight days in Chicago Neal had only seen Chicago from the inside of a cab. Having been raised in the old Polish Chicago neighborhood, I wanted to give him the meta-tour and he was an eager tourist. We walked everywhere. Every day was sunny, 90 degrees, and heavy with humidity. See Wrigley squall Going to a Cubs game in Wrigley Field is the dream of every baseball aficionado. We secured tickets to Cubs v Rockies back in April and eagerly awaited an evening of Chicago hot dogs, unshelled peanuts, and greasy fries. After a wonderful tour of what is probably the world’s best aquarium, the Shedd, we boarded an L-train to “Wrigleyville.” See Wrigley fine dining Within 30 minutes, the sky turned black, and the squall began. Rain came down in sheets and there was a frightening amount of lightening. There were rivers flowing from the outfield to the infield. We watched from under the protection of the 1st base bleachers. After about an hour we aquired our gourmet meal and found a dry piece of concrete upon which to savor it. Dinner with friends Janice and I met Ron and Larhue there for dinner on Weds (August 25) at the Wildfire restaurant in Schaumburg Ill. This 1940s style supper club is classy with jazz music, chops and fish dishes and great service. Ron and I worked together at NTT DATA since 2008. Over the past dozen years, we’ve had many adventures in IT land in the US and abroad. We were both laid off (merger and re-org, yeah?) back in 2017. I was thrilled to meet Larhue and Ron to meet Janice. We all ordered varying versions of the most melt-in-your-mouth filets I’ve ever had in my life. All of the food was fantastic but the conversation unforgettable. Expressions of gratitude and mutual respect were sincerely exchanged. Out of all the people I worked with over the past 20 years, Ron stands out. Looking back, I know that Ron was one of the keys to my own success. I hope we will be friends for life. He must be a remarkable man having attracted an amazing woman like Larhue. It turns out she has been listening to Ron and my conference calls (on the road with Ron) for years! She said she felt like she knew me already. And yet she came to dinner anyway. What a lady! I know she is special because by the end of the evening Janice and she were arm an arm going out and exchanging contacts. Chicago sights The week brought us to the Museum of Science and Industry where saw the captured German U505 submarine, the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House, and the University of Chicago statue on the spot of the first sustained nuclear fission reaction. See U505 We sailed Chicago harbor on a 145-foot sailboat, checked out the Art Institute, went on a fabulous walking architectural tour, biked 12 miles along the lake, and went to the top of the Willis Tower for a 360-degree view. We tasted Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza and had Golupki at Bacowka Polish restaurant. See Tiffany Dome Tiffany dome in the reading room of the old Chicago library, now the Cultural Center. This 38-foot-diametered translucent dome is made of Tiffany Favrile glass and cut to resemble fish scales. See Rookery Frank Lloyd Wright hanging staircase in the Rookery Building. The vertical middle braces were later added, don’t provide support, and are structurally unnecessary. They are there for visual affect as people were afraid to otherwise use the stairs. The Rookery was so named in reference to the crows and pigeons that flocked to its exterior as well as the alleged corrupt politicians it housed. Six Illinois governors have been charged with crimes during their terms, four were convicted. See Tiffany dome Tiffany Dome in the old Marshall Field’s (now Macy’s). The selling floors are under the dome and look onto the main sales floor. See Banksy We ended the Chicago trip with a Banksy exhibit from a private collection. Many of the prints have never been seen by the public. See RV Museum On our way through Indiana, we stopped in Elkhart, home of the RV Museum and Hall of Fame. They had RVs from the 1920s to 1980s. We saw May West and Charles Lindbergh’s RVs. The Hall of Fame focused on the guys who were integral to promoting the RV life or had made great technology or design changes. See Cholera Cemetery In 1849, Elkhart experienced a cholera outbreak. It’s a disease transmitted when you get your drinking water near your sewage collection. 3,500 people left the area and the 400 that remained died and were buried in a mass grave. Cholera now is very treatable with oral rehydration. Next stop, Beaver PA for more genealogy. Love to you all, Neal and Janice
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