Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bombs over Sox Park

After watching the Sox make it to the Big Show, it reminded me of a story in Stuart Dybek's The Coast of Chicago, which is essentially an anthology of his short stories about growing up in the South Side (Pilsen, 18th St...whut!) in the 50's. I read it when it was the One Book One Chicago selection last year. One of my favorite stories in the book, 'Blight', recounts the summer when the Sox last won the pennant. In the story, one of the characters (a guy named Pepper) has these terrible dreams about when the Sox finally win, there would be bombs dropped on the city with a huge mushroom cloud over Comiskey Park. What follows is the perfect encapsulation of what I believe it's like to be in Chicago right now:
A couple of weeks later, on a warm Wednesday night in Cleveland, Gerry Staley came on in relief with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, threw one pitch, a double-play ball, Aparacio to Kluszewski, and the White Sox clinched their first pennant in 40 years. Pepper had already left on the bus for Parris Island. He would have liked the celebration. Around 11:00p.m. the air-raid sirens all over the city began to howl. People ran out into the streets in their bathrobes crying and praying, staring up past the roofs as if trying to catch a glimpse of the mushroom cloud before it blew the neighborhood to smithereens. It turned out that Mayor Daley, a lifelong Sox fan, had ordered the sirens as part of the festivities.
Not much has changed since then.


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