Sunday, November 16, 2014
Remembering A Year
Jane Byrne's death prompts a blizzard of memories. In the snowy year of 1979 my husband's business was on Ravenswood Avenue and I worked downtown. Getting to and from work was the challenge. Ravenswood was considered a side street and went completely unplowed after the big storm hit. Even Sheridan Road and Lake Shore Drive were compromised. Service was unreliable at best, and huge clumps of commuters shivered waiting for overcrowded buses.
Our plan was to drop Len off as close to his business as possible, the rest was up to him on foot. I had it easier as I drove downtown and ate (gagged on) the parking fee. From day one I felt so sorry for the people at Belmont, that I stopped and picked up two of them for the ride downtown.
Those same commuters were there on day two so the ride became routine. I didn't think of it so much at the time, but later I thought: "Nobody offered me a penny for gas or to contribute to my parking fees. And one man asked me to go out of my way to drop him off at a more convenient spot. Oh well."
If the winter was bad, the summer was worse. The airplane crash at O'Hare killed five people I knew. One, Judy Wax, had just successfully resumed her career as a writer, and was on her way to the Los Angeles Book Fair. Jane Byrne was making a name for herself. What could Judy have become?
I'm sure lots of wonderful events took place in 1979. I'll remember them eventually.