Scotch in the City: Sappy Family Memories

To some degree, I think everyone turns into one of their parents. Maybe you didn’t inherit his or her love of a particular sports team; at the same time, maybe you’ve noticed you started saying expressions that, five, ten or fifteen years ago, you rolled your eyes at. It doesn’t really matter. If you don’t believe me, ask a friend or family member, I’m sure they’ll tell you which parent you’ve started to act like.

In my case, I inherited a few things from my father*. Right now, I’m finding myself doing something completely new. Since it’s related to Chicago, I figured I’d let you lot in on it.

*Scroll to the bottom of the page.

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My love of this city is my dad’s fault. Entirely. Given his slightly wayward youth, (he was a bit of a hoodlum, but A good South Side Irish lad), he wouldn’t tell many stories about what he did when he “was my age,” for fear of corrupting his suburban son. But when he did talk about his Chicago–the South Side, 26th and California (“the street“), the Loop–you couldn’t do anything but listen to him. His eyes would light up as he talked about working security at old Comiskey Park or the Irish butcher shop down the street. Hiss carefully metered and practiced speech would develop this odd accent that told everyone his address was 79th and Luella.

I’ve probably mentioned here before, but he wasn’t too happy when my brother and I moved to the North side. We were far too close Wrigley. But he forgave us when he saw the bars that were in walking distance. Like I said, he was a good South Side Irish Boy.

Nowadays, I cover the neighborhoods where he grew up. In fact, I’ve got a family that lives a few doors down from his old house. His South Side and my South Side couldn’t be more different, but we both love those neighborhoods as fiercely as the next guy.

The “new thing” I picked up from my dad is enjoying a glass of scotch before going to bed. On a particularly hard day, he would turn off the TV and sit outside on the porch with a glass of scotch. I know he reminisced about his South Side days and his move into suburbia. Now I find myself doing something similar.

As I write this, I’m sitting on my balcony on the North Side of a city we both loved, enjoying a glass of scotch and writing about how much I miss him. I know we have more in common than drinking a glass of scotch or a fierce love of Chicago and the South Side. But right now, all that matters is the scotch, the city and my memories of the person I keep turning into–no matter how hard I fight it.

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