The movie “Christmas with the Kranks” starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis. But Dan Aykroyd stands out as Vic, the local precinct captain, who knows everyone in the neighborhood as well as the police chief and mayor.
When the primary was moved up to Feb 2 a few years back, I remember spending 3 hours Christmas morning putting Google maps together for 30 sign crews (groups of 2) and finalizing their supplies to get 2500 signs up the day after Christmas.
That sucked. But it worked. For a full week, only one candidates signs were visible against a very snowy background.
It’s my favorite story now, because even though it worked…I’ll never do it again.
My earliest Illinois political memory dates back to December 30th,1970. I was 14 years old and spending my first day at WMOK radio in my hometown of Metropolis learning how to be a disk jockey. The first thing I ever read on the AP wire was a story that afternoon from the Southern Illinoisan newspaper about the $800,000 in cash that had been found in shoe boxes in Paul Powell’s room at the St. Nicholas Hotel in Springfield. Years later, I had a picture taken of myself with one of the shoe boxes that former Statehouse news reporter Bob Hartley had borrowed from the Rendleman family for a publicity tour he was doing for his book, “Paul Powell of Illinois, A Lifelong Democrat.” The Illinois Bureau of Investigations evidence tape was still legible on what was a brightly-colored lime green and orange Nieman-Marcus shoe box with gold filigree trim. Sadly, the box was empty, but it was sure fun to let my imagination run wild for a while there!
My dad used to make reel to reel audio recordings of him interviewing me when I was a young child. In 1968 he had recently lost a race for States Attorney and on that tape I asked him if he was going to get a different job. Not exactly a fond memory but hearing the audio of my Dad and I talking when I was 6 years old is priceless to me. I only wish our reel to reel still worked!
When I interned during a winter break we did care boxes for needy families, toys included. There was usually 2 or 3 that couldn’t make it in to get their boxes so we’d have to deliver them. I remember one family still. Three kids, and just the happiness to see us, and the family, how grateful.
I’ve tried to remember that and through that winter break internship, it’s still a life lesson today.
A Senate party with Sen. John Grotberg singing a beautiful version of “Oh Holy Night” with his special guest US Rep Bob Michel joining in. It was truly inspiring. (And with this comment, I have now hinted at my age.)
Personally witnessing how fast a passenger jet can accelerate from a crawl to whiplash acceleration after approaching the tarmac at Tempelhof airport on a cold late December day in West Berlin after coming too close to the pack 75mm salute gun section I was on. Dick Nixon was paying us a visit.
Scared him and his flight crew so bad that instead of unloading near us the jet taxied so far away that we could only see him with binoculars.
- Under Further Review - Monday, Dec 22, 14 @ 4:09 pm:
The City of Chicago wasting tax dollars to litigate against the inclusion of a Nativity scene at the Daley Center Plaza during the annual “Christkindl Markt” event. A judge kicked the case out pretty quickly, but it was ironic (to those familiar with German) that the city was objecting to a Nativity scene at a Christmas marketplace that used the name of the “Christ Child” in all of its signage for those who know Deutsch.
In 2002 when we had the office Christmas Party at the mansion, and Governor Ryan surprised us all and gave us a behind the scenes tour. The staff was freaking out with all these 20-somethings with glasses of red wine in their hands going behind the ropes and touching all the artifacts.
Recall some time in the mid to late ’70s the Christmas lights on the Capitol Dome breaking away under the load of ice and sending up rockets of sparks. Quite a spectacular site….likely expensive too. We were enjoying beverages with a group of political friends at Mr. B’s, then off to Two Brothers. Good times.