Monday, January 15, 2007

19th Ward Alderman Ginger Rugai's Night- The Proof is in the People!




The Bears really worked over the pace-makers and central nervous systems of Chicago from Noon to about Three O'Clock on Sunday January 14th. But the pay-off was in the playoff advance - Read Chicago Sun Times Mike Mulligan's account of the working-man Robbie Gould's ethic on page 4.

As former construction worker Gould was sealing the deal, the crew at the sprawling Bourbon Street restaurant/Sports bar/Concert Venue/banquet hall/Third-Airport was preparing for the residents of the 19th Ward for Alderman Ginger Rugai's Campaign Kick-off. Valet's worked at the double-quick, security guards roamed the massive parking lot on 115th Street between Central Park on the west all the way to Kedzie- east. It was beginning to shower rain and getting colder. Parking for the Bears Game was probably a cake-walk compared to this venue.

Your Faithful Correspondant and his date Salma Hayek were a bit late getting there and arrived at 4P.M. along with many Bear's Fans from the Ward. Salma was a good sport and did not mind the stretch of the legs from Kedzie to Bourbon Street entrance, where we were greeted at the Door by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart who bussed this reporter enthusiastically and cordially took the first three fingers of Ms. Hayek with courtly deference to her beauty and her age. He did not remark, mercifully, that I was on the arm of a much older woman than normal. A true gentleman and a master of political grace. Tom asked about my Republican brother-in-law with whom Tom worked to fight predatory lenders while Tom Dart made himself remarkable as one of the best Legislators in Illinois. 'Mike is still a Republican, Sheriff, but sends his warmest regards.'

Once inside the massive party facility I was crushed with familiar faces from morning Mass, Kennedy Park Softball ( Czar Tim Manahan and his lovely child bride), the usual pundits of 'coffee and' at Kean Gas including Big Mike Hughes, recently retired from CPD, tree-trimmers, street sweepers, bankers, lawyers, teachers of Public and Catholic Schools, and exotic beauties that somehow through prayer and the arrested boyish inclinations married these guys against all good sense and proportion. Salma paled and fussed with her long dark curls and fumbled for make-up, when I introduced her to the radiant wife of Jack Kelly, Maureen the Director of Communications for St. Xavier University. How, that particular Moon Mullins look-a-like snared Maureen is beyond this reporter's small powers.

There were more people from Mount Greenwood, Morgan Park, Beverly (North, Proper and West) that Bourbon Street looked like the Moscow subway on Vodka Give Away Day! About 1,500 people it seemed. Crushed up ahead of me was Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias who graciously tasked his driving skills through the North Side and the Bears Game crowd to attend. I introduced Salma and she was smitten by the old-world grace, manners, and youthful beauty our Illinois' Treasurer exuded and began to look askance at the Everyman drudge squiring her to the buffet table laden with delicaies of every savory known to South Siders - :'Ooooo Italian beef - try the Jambalaya and . . . Salma, Salma?' Lost in the throng. Alexi? Well, first things first.' I plunged the plastic cutlery into the Italian beef glistenng with hot Giardinara and was immediately transported to Xanadu or Taylor Street. While coming down, I watched the happy crowd.

There was Alderman Ginger Rugai working a room of friends like it was her basement or the opened massive showrooms of McCormick Place. Union guys, the women who manage Trading Companies at the Merc, CBOE and direct lawfirms. I stood around with a plate of Italian Beef and Hot Giardinara looking for Salma, but imagined that she had locked into a discussion of 'fiscal responsiblitities' with Skinny Sheahan and the Treasurer. I hooked up with two women from Mount Greenwood who have been working with Ginger on improving Mount Greenwood Park: the ice rink; the new White Sox Kids Training Camps & etc. but they noticed that I was distracted. 'We saw the girl you came in with, kind of old for you -she's heading to the John with some of the girls - they're doing an assesment for her - dishing the dirt - common knowledge stuff - I wouldn't worry.'

Nor, Did I. This event spoke volumes about what is best in political life - friendship, long memories of kindnesses performed: Ginger at both nights of my wife's wake nine years ago, Senator Ed Maloney showing the kids at Leo High School how to nail a three pointer, while wearing a suit and wing-tips, benefits for sick little kids, and memorial for little angels who have gone back to God - Maeve McNicholas Playground at Beverly Park. The proof of politics is the people. I felt great.

Alexi Giannoulias gave me the high sign and I waved back and he steered Salma back to me and my re-stocked plate of Bourbon Street Goodies. We talked about the core issues of this campaign. Ginger has many, many friends and two other guys are running against her. Salma looked into my eyes - deeply and sadly - 'You are going back to the buffet, that's three that I know of.' I smiled my best Ronald Coleman grin, ' It is my dear, it is. The numbers only make the joy more wonderful.' Salma understood and crooked her head ever so delicately, 'You seem Ok; I'm going to Corrigans with some of the girls.' She did understand.

5 comments:

Levois 10:27 AM  

What's Salma Hayek doing in the 19th Ward. 19th Ward is nice but 19 is too small for Salma. And that sounds like a nice campaign kick off you went to though.

Pat Hickey 10:41 AM  

Levois, She is a nice 'older woman' for me, but she has no real understanding of what a buffet means to men.

It was a very nice get together.

Len O'Connor,  8:24 PM  

Pat was there, My date Morgan Fairchild and I saw him

Selena,  9:52 PM  

No Mexican food
or Lebanese food

Selma might of felt out of place
but at least you got good taste
(in women perhaps not politics)

Wasn't John Sommeriville the campaign manager for Tom Dart?....

Pat Hickey 6:36 AM  

Wasn't John Sommeriville the campaign manager for Tom Dart?....

Tom Dart must be one of the many 'bridges' set to the Kingsford by Mr. Somerville. Now, his confederates are trying to carve up Tim Sheehan on the goofball blag - 19th Ward Agenda.com - nice.

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