Monday, August 11, 2008
Last Friday, 8-8-08, a kick-off parade for the resurrected West Side Rooter's Social Club that was disbanded in 1908, departed from Harry Caray's Steakhouse in the River North neighborhood that I work in.
Several of my co-workers and their family members are, like me, lifelong Chicago Cubs' fans....but one, Kathy, has treasured Cubbie fan family history.
Her momma, a fan since the early 1950's, has fascinating stories of being a teenager going with her girlfriends via bus or el to Wrigley Field, getting in free on Ladies' Day, showing up early for batting practice and getting autographs of some of baseball's legends.
So when Kath read of this old school rooter's club being resurrected and the parade that was leaving Harry Carey's from our neighborhood....we (Kath, her mom and I) had to go!
We tried earnestly to get ourselves onto one of the two double-decker buses that were parading from River North to Wrigley Field, to rub elbows with the likes of Ernie Banks, Dutchie Caray and local legend, Ronny Woo Woo...but, as we expected, all 120 seats had been gobbled up immediately.
We settled for our free fan club button....pinned it to ourselves and went to join the throngs of Cubs' fans we envisioned lining the sidewalks to send this rooter club parade off in style!
After the send off we had 12:15 reservations for lunch at Harry Caray's.
Upon arriving at the restaurant we were surprised to be three of only FOUR fans that stood on the sidewalk waving up at the likes of Ernie, Dutchie, Ronnie and other rabid fans who were up top of the buses in their Cubbie blue with noisemakers and signs, all being photographed and filmed by local media.
Only four Cub fans sending them off?
As the buses got ready to depart we were approached by a member of the rooters club who told us that they had some no-shows for the second bus and asked if we would like to be in the parade.
ABSOLUTELY....so here we are on the top of the second bus,
with our Fan Club goodie bags which included a Ryne Sandberg autographed baseball, Rooters T-Shirt, Rooters Pint Glass, Rooters Pin and Kazoo, heading to Harry Caray's Tavern in Wrigleyville to eat for free (there was drinking involved - Dutchie Caray bought us all our first one..after that we were on our own) and watch the Cubs' beat our arch enemies - the St. Louis Cardinals, on multiple flat screen tv's, while perched in the second story front open window on a beautiful Chicago sunny day, overlooking Wrigley Field and hearing the crowd's live reaction to what we were going to witness via tv in seconds.
Needless to say....
Friday re: work - I took a half day.