Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Toddlin' Town

Chicago, goes the song, is a "toddlin' town." And when I was there last weekend, those words kept buzzing through my brain. I can remember Frank Sinatra singing them. I can remember my dad singing them.

Dad loved Chicago, would come up twice a year to the Merchandise Mart, where he'd peddle new rattan furniture lines. He stayed in the Palmer House, and in between clients would slip out to browse in bargain basement record bins. He came back to Lexington with a whiff of the faraway, bringing tales of this windy city on a lake so big you couldn't see the other side.

"Bet your bottom dollar, you'll lose your blues in Chicago ... the town that Billy Sunday could not shut down. ... On State Street, that great street, I've just got to say, they do things they don't do on Broadway. ...  I had the time, the time of my life. I saw a man who danced with his wife, in Chicago, Chicago my home town."

Those lyrics are from memory mind you. Brought to the fore by a whirlwind weekend in a place I used to call home.


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