It’s not how it used to be. It never was. The Western Flyover went down quick. Built to ease traffic around Riverview Park, it had, in recent times, become a run-down eyesore. The park—where so many Chicago children rode roller coasters, ate cotton candy, went on first dates—was bulldozed and gone fifty years back whenContinue reading “Flyover”

Straight Life

I’ve been reading Art Pepper’s Straight Life. It’s a junkie jazzman’s memoir which is more talked than written. It’s credited to Pepper and his last wife, Laurie. I imagine she turned on the recorder and he talked and talked and talked. There are many recollections from Pepper’s family, friends, and fellow musicians. It’s mostly interesting because ofContinue reading “Straight Life”

Can’t Recall

Folly greeted me at the door like a long-lost friend. Her eyes, divots in her boulder-like pitbull head, took me in as if from centuries past. Her welcome told me I was in the right place. It was my second date with Callie. Fourth of July. An unbearably humid Chicago summer night. Callie’s block wasContinue reading “Can’t Recall”