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Thursday, December 19, 2002

Chicago lights at night

Dawn, with her uncommon flair and fashion, has again captured the beauty of Chicago in her journal entry In Love with a City, Part 14,714,268.2. She has a beautiful night shot of the Aon Center and the Stone Container Building.

I used to work in the Aon Center, only it was called the Standard Oil Building (SOB) back then. I love that building. I watched in awe from my office on the 72nd floor as the Stone Container Building was constructed. Totally fascinating.

I used to work a lot of night hours in the Standard Oil Building. Brief explanation: It was a matter of a heavy workload and a matter convenience and efficiency. Back then, the firm secretaries only had typewriters on their desks. The firm had a Wang, but there were only ten terminals for about 50 secretaries. Wang time was scarce during regular business hours. Because both of the associates I worked for had super busy practices, I got to have the Wang all to myself at night.

My best friend worked for a small consulting firm in a skyscraper on South LaSalle. She also worked a lot of night hours. We devised our own little Morse Code of sorts where we flashed the lights in our respective offices to signal when we were ready to leave for the night. Of course, when you're busy working, you're not necessarily paying attention to flashing office lights in skyscrapers. In the event one of us missed the other's flashing lights, we'd call the other on the phone and say, hey, I'm flashing my lights. We'd then hang up the phone and in the spirit of reciprocity, flash back. Yeah, we could have just called on the phone and said, hey, I'm ready to leave, but what fun would that have been.

So, if sometime between 1980 and 1984 you happened to be in Chicago at night and noticed the lights on the 72nd floor of the Standard Oil Building flashing erratically, that was me.

Those were good times.

Posted by Marie at December 19, 2002 1:20 AM