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Chicago is a winner – in a morbid sort of way …

This post makes me a little queasy. 

On one hand, my son lives in Chicago and he and his girlfriend love it here. It’s truly one of America’s great cities. 

But while I hate to rag on the city “with broad shoulders,” I will – and will pile on in the process. 

A few days ago I came in praise of St. Paul at the expense of Charlotte in the sense of clean vs. messy. I said Charlotte would only win against Chicago, the next stop in my travels, in the cleanliness wars. And it does. Chicago is an absolute dung heap of epic proportions. 

There is debris and junk and litter seemingly everywhere. The proud metropolis is awash in its own filth. The streets and curbs are clogged with trash. What’s worse is no one seems to care let alone do anything about it. This may all stem from the Windy City’s financial woes. It is in a fiscal bind and perhaps it doesn’t have the resources for civic upkeep. 

Still, citizens here would be well advised to take matters (and litter) into their own hands. Couldn’t individuals claim a square block to keep tidy? Surely that wouldn’t be too much to chew. As it stands now, however, they are gagging on junk. 

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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