As we approach the Chicago Marathon, these posts will be ending. Here is one more post from guest blogger, Maureen:
I’ve been thinking about shirts.
A few weeks ago, I walked a charity 5K (my running days are behind me). This race benefits a pro bono organization in Chicago, and nearly every law firm in Chicago, the State’s Attorney’s Office, AG’s Office, judges, public defenders–practically everyone in the legal community participates. Each team has its own shirt, and lawyers being what they are, there’s a contest for best team shirt. Since I was with the walkers, I had plenty of opportunity to look at the back of all the shirts. Some were really clever.
I was remembering the summer of 1997 when Dad was in his running prime, he organized a race in Bethany Beach while we were on vacation. Since there were so many of the family and the family friends there that year, he thought it would be fun to put on a race for everyone, young and old, among the Dolan’s, Moag’s and Walsh’s. We pretty much took over the small resort town. We had numbers, water stations, race officials showing us where to turn (the spouses of the runners), trophies (empty gallon milk jugs with Barbie and Ken attached with electrical tape for the top female and male runners), and a post-race party and awards ceremony.
People in the town thought it was an official thing. Luckily, we finished and got all our stuff off the parkways before the BB Police figured out what was happening. Anyway, one of my favorite shirts was in that race. The Walsh boys had shirts that said on the back: “If you can read this, you must be a Dolan.” Of course, one of the Dolan’s (an outlaw, actually) smoked them, so that was great vindication.
I was thinking about how many race t-shirts Dad collected over his many years of running. I’m thinking at least in the high hundreds. Many of them found their way to Good Will or Salvation Army, and I think Eileen used to send clothing to the poor in South America or somewhere…. But there were certain shirts he kept, among them his marathon shirts. A few years ago, Jim and Sherri had them made into a quilt. It’s beautiful. Chicago Distance Classic, Mayor Daley Marathon, Lake County Marathon, and others. And a Best Buddies and University of Chicago Great Books Program shirt thrown in for good measure. The quilt has a special place on a double bed in the guest room.
I’m thinking as the cool weather comes, we should cover Dad with his quilt and he will be quite comfortable, wrapped up in some good memories.