Monday, November 17, 2014

The Commotion on Michigan Avenue AKA Jane Byrne's Funeral Procession

My daughter’s birthday is in two short days. Where in the world did 24 years go? And to think, she feels old. Come on!!!

This is not about that.

I was birthday present shopping for her these last few hours.

This is also not exactly about that either.

While out, the corner of Michigan Avenue and Walton Street was completely closed off with emergency vehicles of all kinds. I paused with concern. Not wanting to be thought a “gaper”, I crossed myself, and said a quick prayer in case any tragedy occurred.  As I said, there were far too many flashing lights for this to be a small thing.

To get out of the fray, I walked a few blocks before hailing a cab. By then, traffic was at a stand still as a procession of 50 police cars with lights twirling whirred by. The cabbie commented that someone important must be coming through, and it couldn't be the president because he was just here

Then a shiny gray hearse passed us, followed black limousines of loved ones, we guessed. With smart phone in hand, the cab driver “googled” the incident.
Cabbie: “It’s Jane Bryne.”

Me: “Didn’t she die a while ago?”

Cabbie: “Only a few days ago.”

Me: “I had no idea. I remember when she was Mayor.”

And I do remember exactly when. Her four year term coincided precisely with my stint in college. 

I remember being happy and proud that a woman was the mayor of our city even though I never considered myself any kind of feminist. I remember she was very strong minded, willful, and feisty at a time when the “good old boys” ran the show around here. I can not recall, however, if she was crooked. I would like to believe she was not. Our governors are! I know the Circle Interchange (aka the spaghetti bowl) was recently named after her. Something else, too, if I recall correctly. I don't know, I felt a bit shocked that she passed unbeknownst to me. Maybe I need to be a little more cognizant of current events.

I looked it up when I got home, and found this extremely current article. As a matter of fact, her funeral may still be going on. She received quite the send off.

Rest in Peace, Jane.

1 comment:

Gina said...

So the deal is this. We learned from the 5:00 news that the commotion at the corner of Michigan and Walton was a separate event front the procession *on* Michigan Avenue. Right around the corner, the Catholic Archdiocese was "swearing in" (not sure that's what they called it) our new Arch Bishop to replace Cardinal Francis. Glad I got that all sorted out!

There is always something going on around here between the Presidential visits, Nik Wallenda, the arctic freeze, ordinary life as we know it. I could go on and on...