President Obama, Aderman Schiller and the Soldier


No wind. Late on a hot Sunday August afternoon setting up the grill on the back deck for pork chops.

And from the sky a rumbling, herd of buffalo rattling the deck, the foundation of the house, whipping the wind, a whirling blast of power shaking your jaw and fluttering your heart. You look at the roof, half expecting Martin Scorsese to be waving in the helicopters for the opening scenes of “Apocalypse Now.” But instead, so close to the roofline you can see the eyes of the pilots, 5 gargantuan green military helicopters, skimming the tops of the trees in your back yard, flying east towards the lake.

The President is home!

So you wave. And you shout, “Welcome home! We’re glad you’re here! We hope maybe for just a second you can just take a breath. Say a prayer. Gather up your strength and march on.

While just a few blocks north in Uptown, if you were to keep walking from the corner of Montrose and Broadway, you would pass good housing that people who are not rich can afford. You’d walk past a Target Store, and Aldi, you’d note that all the neighborhood businesses were still here. And the talk on the street was that the uptown alderman Helen Schiller, the one who was known for years as the alderman who would vote “no” against the Mayor, then known as being in the pocket of the housing developers, then known for NOT being in anyone’s pocket, known for being beyond the simplistic labels that the fear mongers and the frightened slap on whoever moves to change anything — you’d hear that Alderman Schiller was hanging up her Alderman Shoes.

That affordable housing on the corner now. Looking pretty good! Uptown looking better than it did when she found it, maybe that’s all that needs to be said.

Then you’d hear that the soldier in Afghanistan just got off the Skype connection with his family back home. The soldier under the simmering blue heat of the Afghanistan sky, 1/2 a world away. He points at the giant care package of goodies he’d received from a an even bigger family back home, and the soldier smiles and says, “I’m all set.”

So, the soldiers words become the beginning of prayers. For the President and the Alderman, to gather up all the wisdom they can, to stand tall in the face of all who fear, to live to make the last be first, garnering all the power they can to be as misunderstood as they must be, but to still do what’s right.

To be like the smiling soldier receiving his gift and then reassuring all of us, simply by saying “I’m all set.”

One Response to “President Obama, Aderman Schiller and the Soldier”

  1. Dale Says:

    Amen to that prayer.

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