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Monday, September 10, 2012

Turn around


Bunn Park.

* The teachers in Chicago went on strike last night. They have been on strike three times since 1983. The last one was in 1987.

I remember the 1983 strike like it was just yesterday. I was living in an unfinished basement apartment on Wayne Street. It was a cloudless, cool Tuesday morning in October. I think it was the second day of the strike. I had the day off work. The ten year old of the three little girls that lived in the house upstairs wanted me to go with her to get milk at the recently opened Walgreens, about four blocks away. It was the closest place.

On the way back, with a stitch in my side and the glare of the sun on the sidewalk, I lost all energy and had to sit down on someone's door step to rest. I leaned back, stretched my legs out on the sidewalk, closed my eyes and thought about going to sleep right there, just a few feet from a pretty busy street. But, after a few minutes, I finally got back on my feet and somehow managed to walk the rest of the way home, while the girl merrily skipped ahead of me.

As soon as I got home, I fell into bed, and tried to take a nap. But that pain in my side was coming and going and getting worse each time. I grabbed the phone, called the hospital and got the nurse. When I described my symptoms, she said, "you're in the beginning stages of labor." Oh yeah, I was pregnant. A little after 2:30 Wednesday morning, Allie was born. That ten year old girl spent the rest of the 1983 teachers' strike, which was a really long one, doting over me and my baby.

None of that has anything to do with the current strike, obviously. It's just a memory of a moment in time. Of course, I hope for a speedy end to the strike, but until then, I stand with the teachers.

* Total eclipse of the heart (1983).

Posted by Marie at September 10, 2012 10:38 PM


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