For the life of me, I can not understand the benefit of, much less the logic behind, Chicago's hosting both the G-8 and the NATO summits in this our international city by the Lake.
Everything is hush, hush, or back pedaling, be it funding the event, or controlling the fruitcakes.
Fortunately, I spoke with City Hall legend - go-fer and counsel - Maurice "Mossy" Harrington. Mossy was born in BallyMcElligott where he was a handball champion mistaken for Mossy Horrington who informed on IRA men in the 1940's. Mossy Harrington could not convince local Republicans that his visit to Manchester, GB had been to play handball and not warn British Intelligence of a bombing on the docks at Liverpool.
By the time that Mossy's innocence was verified by the 'RA universal, he had already buggered off to Canada and illegally crossed into the States arriving quietly in Chicago. When the smoke cleared on his character, Mossy plunged into a most active role in all things Chicago and sundry. Mossy never chewed his cabbage twice, nor needed to do so.
Mossy went to work for the Old 18th Ward and eventually secured a job as an elevator starter in City Hall. His ability to offer no opinion on anything led to a job in the Mayor's Office making himself indispensable to Mayors Byrne, Washington, Orr, Sawyer, and Richard M . . . himself.
I ran into Mossy at 6:45 AM Communion service at St Cajetan this past Monday morning.
I asked if he was enjoying the January weather. " Can't say. Won't say,so. 'Tis fine now, I suppose. . . . not that it won't turn sour given half the chance, so."
I asked if he watched the Patriots beat Denver, " I might have at that. I might have at that. Then again, I might have watched roller derby. Great sport that."
Warming to such rock-sold considerations on matter mundane I ventured further, "Mr. Harrington what do you think is behind the need to host teh G-8/Nato Summits here in Chicago."
" The truth is it? Like your man who sold his brother for a pipeful of 'baccy, I know a bit from the Hall."
Mossy offered the most conspiratorial raising of his wildly thick gray white eyebrows, which matched nicely with his tufts of equally thick nostril and ear coiffs, " I'll say this, though Pat, and not a word to another. so; and, here's the long and short of it - Mossy held forth
Well, now! There was one time a Frenchman below, who got married here and settled down and worked with the rest of us. One day we were outside in the trawler, and there was a French boat anchored a bit of a way off. "Come on," says Charley--that was his name--"and see can we get some brandy from that boat beyond." "How would we get brandy," says I, "when we've no fish, or meat, or cabbages or a thing at all to offer them?" He went down below then to see what he could get. At that time there were four men only working the trawler, and in the heavy season there were eight. Well, up he comes again and eight plates under his arm. "There are eight plates," says he, "and four will do us; so we'll take out the other four and make a swap with them for brandy." With that he set the eight plates on the deck and began walking up and down and looking on them.
'"The devil mend you," says I. "Will you take them up and come on, if you're coming?"
'"I will," says he, "surely. I'm choicing out the ones that have pictures on them, for it's that kind they do set store on?"'
Afterwards we began talking of boats that had been upset during the winter, and lives that had been lost in the neighbourhood.
'A while since,' said the local man, 'there were three men out in a canoe, and the sea rose on them. They tried to come in under the cliff but they couldn't come to land with the greatness of the waves that were breaking. There were two young men in the canoe, and another man was sixty, or near it. When the young men saw they couldn't bring in the canoe, they said they'd make a jump for the rocks, and let her go without them, if she must go. Then they pulled in on the next wave, and when they were close in the two young men jumped on to a rock, but the old man was too stiff, and he was washed back again in the canoe. It came on dark after that, and all thought he was drowned, and they held his wake in Dunquin. At that time there used to be a steamer going in and out trading in Valentia and Dingle and Cahirciveen, and when she came into Dingle, two or three days after, there was my man on board her, as hearty as a salmon. When he was washed back he got one of the oars, and kept her head to the wind; then the tide took him one bit and the wind took him another, and he wrought and he wrought till he was safe beyond in Valentia. Wasn't that a great wonder?' Then as he was ending his story we ran down into Dingle.
" Do you see, now, Pat?"
Like Stevie Wonder, Mr. Harrington.
"Good man yourself, Pat; Fodhlí Dea agus sábháilte sa bhaile."
Back at you, Mossy!
apologies to J.M. Synge