Kickass, the doorstop dog, overheard the keeper saying that the highlight of the Chicago weekend for him and Phyllis was watching the keeper’s granddaughter Sarah appear in “Rule of Fools” on one of the Second City stages, and later, meandering with Sarah down past the portraits of Belushi and Aykroyd and Gilda Radner and Tina Fey, and pausing there to be briefly in the aura of Sarah’s dream. The next day Phyllis and the keeper stopped briefly at the Montrose dog park on the scenic lakeshore to watch as a hundred or so dogs romped and recreated with or without the constraint of leashes. The keeper was impressed with the great variety of dogs and the fact that they all seemed to be having great fun with each other without a hostile growl to be heard. Downtown Chicago, on a chilly but sunny Saturday was jammed with thousands of people, and as the keeper cruised the crowded streets, memories of his Tribune Tower days came cascading back. He might have stopped to wallow more deeply except it would have cost $40 to park for 15 minutes. He decided to come back later without the car. So they ate in Swedish, Belgium and Latino restaurants and Phyllis took photographs through the sunroof, and after so much mingling with the big city herd they headed home. It is the fervent hope of Kickass that among the wonderful memories the weekend produced there will be one of how all those very different dogs were having such a great time down by the Montrose harbor. It would be something for the civilized world to dream about while Sarah pursues her more plausible theatrical dreams.
(See billstokesauthor.com for more Kickass and news of the novel MARGARET’S WAR.)