Midwest Is Best

Hey Chicago whaddaya say?
The Cubs are gonna win today!

I’m rocking out to Led Zeppelin on Lombard on my way to the game, when I spy a few guys yelling, aggressively pointing fingers at me from another car riding a couple car lengths ahead of me.

Great. Last thing I want is an altercation on the road. I thought I had been driving carefully, staying in my lane. Of course, I was lost to Zeppelin and excited about attending game two of the Cubs/Giants game. I didn’t want to get in a fight. I don’t have a great history with them; I’ve been in very few. The two most memorable, I’m an even .500.

The one I won did minimal damage to my victim. The one I lost put me in the hospital. With that record, I’d rather avoid a fight. Toughness belongs to both my brothers and my sister. I wouldn’t mess with them.

Anyways, I’m thinking – great, I’m about to get in a fight or a high speed chase involving two cars going 20 mph. I had a game to get to.

At the stoplight, we were next to each other. Rolling down our windows, ready for whatever may come, they were loud and boisterous but very friendly. The driver and his wife were clearly Giants fans; but the people in the back were decked out in Cubs gear. And because I had my Cubs royal blue Aramis Ramirez t-shirt on, I was a dead give-away for a Cubs fan, which I happily am. They all seemed to be my age, the passengers in the back clearly drinking (doing Chicago proud). They were from Wrigleyville and visiting their friends (the couple in the front) in the Bay Area. We actually carried a conversation for half a mile at each stoplight. We agreed that the Cubs were going to the playoffs this year, a year ahead of plan.

Led Zeppelin still rocking, having said goodbye to my newfound friends that would once again become strangers, I had a smile ear-to-ear the rest of the drive to the ballpark.

That’s the thing about Chicago and its people. That’s the thing about the Midwest. For the most part, they are good people. Simple people. Passionate people. Strong people. Strong work ethic. Good people.

My folks could have moved anywhere, but they moved to Indiana, specifically Lafayette then across the Wabash River to West Lafayette. Many of the friends I made back then to this day remain friends of mine, some very close friends of mine. I could have gone anywhere after graduating from Purdue, but I decided to goto Chicago. And the friends that I met in Chicago, whether they were from there, lived there, or were passing through, are some of the closest friends that I have.

I’m not sure if I will ever move back to Chicago or parts of Indiana. I very much doubt it; I’ve fallen for the west coast for so many other reasons. But I will always carry a special place in my heart for Chicago, for (West) Lafayette, for Indiana and for the Midwest.

Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.

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