Thursday, November 03, 2016

Once upon a time...

I say I grew up in Atlanta, and I still regard it as my hometown, but I didn't get there until late in my third grade year. I was born in Chicago.

Once upon a time, when I was in third grade, living in the near 'burbs of Chicago, I got called to the principal's office.

Like any kid, I reacted with trepidation. I walked slowly down the hall to the office, playing back all my recent activities to see which one could have gotten me in this jam. I couldn't think of anything I'd done wrong, which only made things worse. Was I going to get jacked up for something I didn't do? Should I maybe go ahead and do something wrong in the hallway on the way there just so I wouldn't get busted for nothing?

On arriving, my dad was waiting there for me in the principal's office. "Come on," he said, "let's go."

"Go where?"

"Just come with me."

Well, okay. When dad says "go", you go and you find out why when you find out. I knew we were going to be moving to Georgia, but that was 'way in the future. Like, whole months from now.

We got in the car and dad proceeded to drive into the city. Well, we must be going to visit Grandma & Grandpa down at Diversey & Laramie, but... No, we passed where we would have gotten off the highway for that. Where were we going? Dad was completely uncommunicative.

Finally we parked the car and walked toward a huge building, a baseball stadium.

"This isn't going to mean anything to you right now," said my father, "but someday I want you to be able to say you skipped school and went to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field before they put lights in the stadium."

And to this day I can say that.