The Beatles — 1966
If you are a young boy growing up in the 60’s in Chicago and you want to be a hockey player you idolize Hull and Mikita. If you dream of becoming a baseball All Star you either go to Wrigley to watch Ernie slug, or you go to Comiskey to watch Little Luis field. Want to be in the movies? You imitate cool Paul Newman or deadly Sean Connery. See a future as a newspaper columnist? You religiously read Holtzman and Bombeck. Wait, did he just say “Bombeck? Erma Bombeck??”
Anyone remember Erma? If you do, it is probably as a contributor to Good Morning America palling around with Joan Lunden and David Hartman. I never caught the show, being a loyal Today Show viewer, but Erma and I go way, way, back. In the 60’s Erma was a syndicated columnist whose “At Wit’s End” column appeared 3 or 4 times a week in the Chicago Sun-Times. She was documenting the life of a suburban mom, a “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,” but with a little more bite. And this is what a city kid from Rogers Park wanted to read about? I must have been having visions of what my life would eventually become. Well not a suburban MOM exactly, but you know what I mean.
Certainly there were other columnists I could choose from. Jerome Holtzman was a sports writing legend. Art Buchwald pointed his finger at the odd doings in pre-Watergate Washington, D.C. Mike Royko did the same for Chicago and the first Mayor Daley. And in contrast to Erma, Royko was always so ^&#$%^ angry. So I settled in with Mrs. Bombeck and learned about suburbia.
Instant karma’s going to get you. Barb and I, suburban parents and grandparents, building our third home and hoping to keep a sense of humor about it. This week we are dealing with windows; picture windows are nice, but we want real windows that we can open to let a spring breeze in. We are hunting for an exterior stone that won’t break the budget, either ours or the U.S. Treasury’s. The architect has sent a drawing entitled “Down spout other info.” If I post it here, maybe someone can tell me what all the “other info” is.
Sometimes it seems painful, but the house will get built. In the meantime, I will just keep posting to ease the pain. And wonder what Erma would have had to say about all this.
Have a great weekend.