July 25, 2015

Recovery run today. I was thinking about Saturday chores today.

Jimmy Dolan was a busy guy. Up before the dawn, run with the buddies, off to work on the 6:03 Chicago Northwestern, church at St Peter’s, coffee with Richard Dagdigian, work, home on the train thirteen hours later, only to repeat the same series again the next day. Weekends were special. This was a time to bond with the brood. Saturdays were wide open from 0500-0900 to run with the buddies. By 9 am every Saturday, time was reserved for lawn or housecleaning. Summer was all about lawn chores, winter was reserved for cleaning the house, the whole house! As a progeny of this man, I was required to learn the intricacies of making the bed or sweeping the driveway. For the first five years or so, I was the apprentice. Apprenticeship meant learning how to properly make the bed, for example. The bed sheet, if folded onto the bed properly could defy the laws of thermodynamics. If a quarter was dropped onto the sheet at a height two feet, it would bounce to a height of three feet. The sheets had to be wrapped tighter and neater than a stick of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit. Jimmy Dolan was taught the proper way to make the bed by a drill sergeant during his time in the army. It was now his special task to pass this knowledge down to his boys. None of his sons joined the army because we already knew how to make a bed.

In the summertime, I was apprentice for five years to learn how to sweep a driveway. Our driveway in Mt. Prospect is long enough to suit the Biltmore Estate. Start sweeping from the top left and continue until you have swept the driveway and the streets in a four block radius. One sweep followed by a double tap of the broom to remove the debris from the bristles of the broom. Not one pebble or blade of grass was ever left on the driveway (or on the street) but there were always plenty the following Saturday. When you were an apprentice, you never did the work, you only watched. This was the way every nine year old dreams of spending a sunny Saturday afternoon. The funny thing is, this is how I sweep my own driveway. I did it today and thought about JPD the whole time.

The trail. Favorite song today: Jumbalaya performed by Professor Longhair.

The trail.

The trail.

2 thoughts on “July 25, 2015

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