Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The sun came up anyway

Richard J. Daley* was Mayor of Chicago from before I was born until I was 21. For 10 tumultuous years we had chaos and Council Wars and then, when I was 31, Richard M. Daley took over. Under his loving care, the city has enjoyed a Renaissance and become a truly beautiful place to live and work, with a patchwork of neighborhood activities and a thriving arts/theater community. (No, it hasn't been perfect; I'm aware of the blind eye he turned toward the corruption around him. I guess that as long as I feel safe I just don't care so much.)

So to me, the word "Mayor" is just naturally followed by "Daley." For me, it's been far more good than bad. Richie Daley has been like a stern, blustery, plain spoken father to us all and I really, really didn't want him to retire. Especially with news stories coming out about Bin Laden's plans for my city. I trusted Mayor Daley to protect us.

Now there's a Mayor Emmanuel. Sounds funny. Yet the sun came up this morning anyway. No human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, or mass hysteria. So I will try to calm down and accept the inevitable.

Oh, I know Rahm can be a dick, just like the Mayor could be. But here's the difference -- no one, ever for a moment, believed that Richard M. Daley had any aspirations beyond City Hall. We all knew that governing this city was the end of his personal rainbow, his legacy. But what of Rahm? Are we just a stop on his way to bigger things and a national profile. I hope not.

And I wish Daddy was still here!

*My fondness for the son doesn't extend to the father, who left me a little skin crawly.