Hello again, fellow roadies! Have you shaken off the dust of winter yet? It’s Memorial Day weekend, when the Route 66 cruising season here in Illinois begins in earnest, and we have an updated events calendar for you below. Bring out those convertibles and dust off those bikes, because it’s time to hit the road! Even if you only warm up locally to start. Which can be fun. Just remember to buckle up wherever you go, because the Smokies will be out in force this weekend on all the major highways across the nation, making sure you use your seat belts and handing out stiff fines if you don’t. Better safe than sorry, right? Right.
You never know when a relevant surprise is going to sneak up on you and bite you on the gluteus maximus (no, that’s not the name of a fictional gladiator; guess again). While working on tonight’s blog post, I have local public television on and as I’m trying to ignore the boring pledge week promos during the breaks, when I get a big surprise. No, it’s not the news that Pledge Week is over (please God; public television and public radio are well worthwhile investments and important to the community; but the very necessary pitches do tend to go on and on). And what’s the surprise? A WTTW special program about Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at Adams Street and Desplaines Street in the West Loop area, right on Route 66. It’s the oldest public building in Chicago, having survived the Great Chicago Fire That’s all they were showing tonight on channel 11 in the Chicago area from 7pm onward, two showings back to back. I just caught it by accident while channel surfing!
Having missed most of the first showing tonight (this is a brand-new program, and of course the station management saved it for the pledge drive, as they often do), I’ve scheduled it to tape to my DVR at 9pm. But what’s really cute is that Father Jack Wall, the former pastor who is mostly responsible for the church’s ongoing renovation that began back during the 1980s, is answering the phones and talking to people who pledge money to the station, as is the current pastor, the much younger Father Tom Hurley. Niiiiiice. Tonight’s volunteers manning the pledge phones are also folks from Old St. Pat’s. Way to go. Meanwhile, the breaks still last too long while the station people make their pitch again and again and again. Yada, yada, yada. Which is why I’ll be skipping all that when I play it back on my DVR. If you wish to donate to Chicago public TV, however, please do call WTTW at 773-588-1111.
Coming to Chicago in late June and want to do something special outdoors, but can’t wait for the inconveniently scheduled street festivals and art tours? Do we have an event for you – it’s right on historic Route 66 for two nights, and tickets go on sale this week.
Once upon a time when yours truly was just a wee little thing, there was this new thing that happened during the summer that was an event for singles to meet and have great time with live music, beer and food. It was called the World’s Largest Block Party. That sounded friendly enough to me, and lots of other people thought so, too, which was part of the problem. It was a Saturday event, and it was usually mobbed. I wondered at the time who would willingly expose themselves to milling and bumping through such an enormous crowd in the heat, humidity and sun just to hear deafening live music; but apparently swilling beer makes you susceptible to a lot of things you might not do otherwise.