July 31, 2011 —
Six years ago today I posted this picture on my Facebook page after the most recent best day of my magical summer in Chicago.
I took the Red Line from the Loop and got out at Addison with hundreds of others, excited and chattering. Most of them had tickets, I did not. Nor was I working “on assignment” for our radio station.
I just wanted to be there.
At the intersection of Clark and Addison a line of buses emptied passengers, ages 8 to 80.
I turned on my recorder and talked with a lot of them. Our excitement was mutually contagious. We clucked and laughed and sang bits of Beatles songs together as strangers yet new friends.
When they were all inside I packed up my recorder and waited on the street in front of Cubby Bear with a few dozen other ticketless but grinning loiterers. There was no place we needed to be.
Right on schedule a roar went up from the unseen crowd and Wrigleyville was suddenly flooded by the opening chords of a Beatles classic and McCartney’s unmistakable voice:
“ROLL UP FOR THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, STEP RIGHT THIS WAY!”
It was magical, even from the outside listening in.