August 12, 2015

Track workout today, I was thinking about the federal bench.

The running buddies stuck together. The Chicago Marathon remained the pinnacle of the racing schedule every year. The running buddies would gather at I-Oka and Lincoln Streets on race day and all pile into one of the many family wagons that, on a day to day basis, was designed to transport small armies of children to and fro and around the town. All the running buddies would travel from the northwest suburbs to downtown Chicago. They would park the car west of Clark Street and walk to the Dirksen Federal Building on Dearborn and Adams. Six and sometimes eight running buddies would enter the Federal Building on a sleepy Sunday morning and rouse the United States Marshal that happened to be on duty. “Whoa, you guys can’t come in here, the big race is five blocks away near Lake Shore Drive”. Jimmy would make his way to the front of the pack and whip out his badge. The guard would apologize profusely. Hiya, Jimmy! I didn’t see you back there. Go right in, is this ragtag bunch with you?”

They would all enter the elevator and ascend the elevators to the 23rd floor where there were a row of federal courtrooms. Civil and criminal trials would be heard in these courtrooms during the week and lives were deeply affected by the rulings of the judges. These judges are appointed by the President of the United States for life and ultimately approved by Congress. On a certain Sunday in October, the courtroom belonged to the running buddies. Jimmy’s office was sufficient for changing into the running gear but they needed the grandiose expanse of the court room for stretching and prepping. One runner might be using the Plaintiff’s table to brace himself for a calf stretch. Another runner might be using the oaken rail of the bailiff’s stand to get a good gluteal stretch. Jerry might be goofing off on the judge’s bench, holding court with the gavel. “McGough, I find you guilty of shortchanging last Tuesday’s run. You did not officially touch the manhole cover at Arlington Heights Road. Your sentence is 26.2 miles of hard labor to be imposed immediately”. Jimmy would walk into the courtroom and gasp. “Alright you bums! Out!” He would shout. “It is time for racing”. This was the day of the year that was more fun than any other and all the boys acted like it.

Happy Birthday to the love of my life!

The days are getting shorter. Favorite song today: Happy Birthday performed by me to you!

Sunrise after the run.

Sunrise after the run.

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