Yesterday, I was driving to O'Hare Airport on the Kennedy and was riveted by the above Chicago Marathon Icon - the woman who graces my company and passenger in Phaeton Hickey remarked, "Why, that is Skinny Sheahan* on that wall. That spot is generally given to images of scantily clad children, pouting suggestively."
With my customary focus to the Illinois Rules of Road- Sec. Jesse White editor and publisher- hands at 2 and 10, proper application of my leg, ankle and foot muscles to the accelerator with regard to posted speed limits, all electronic communications devices off, a grin of self-assured confidence strained with pity due to my witness of sinfully self-absorbed bad drivers, my peripheral vision took in the sight of the image of James "Skinny" Sheahan leading the pack of runners.
"Indeed, Madam, Skinny is on the Wall and wherever good and patriotic men and virtuous women and innocent bright-eyed children need a Champion! ( heroic orchestral music rising) There's a new spirit abroad in the land. The old days of grab and greed are on their way out. We're beginning to think of what we *owe* the other fellow, not just what we're compelled to give him. The time is coming, Ms. Sullivan, , when we cannot fill our bellies in comfort while the other fellow goes hungry, or sleep in warm beds while others shiver in the cold. And we shan't be able to kneel and thank God for blessings before our shining altars while men anywhere are kneeling in either physical or spiritual subjection.
But in the days to come, the American people for their own safety and the good of all will walk together in majesty and in justice and in peace. Skinny is on that Wall . . .We want him on that Wall . . .we Need Him on that Wall!."
The elegant woman marveled, "Your words are so noble . . ."
I cut her off, as is my wont, post gerund but mid-thought, 'Not mine, Ms. Sullivan -James "Skinny' Sheahan . . .or from an old Sherlock Holmes movie, or something. I'm getting a big ass popcorn at O'Hare."
"Please, use that language with the boys at Keegan's, I don't care for that."
" Sorry . . .well I'm getting the large one anyway.'
"That's nice. Watch the truck in front of you, please."
In Hoc Signo Vinces!
*Jim "Skinny" Sheahan, 64, is president of Special Children's Charities/Special Olympics Chicago. He's also running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday (his 39th marathon overall). His course:
Huge Cap tip to John Ruberry Our Marathon Pundit!