Opening Day

I never knew my grandfather. But I honor his memory where Clark meets Addison, in the shadow of Wrigley’s rotund red marquee. There in the 1950s, every Opening Day, he would sneak my young father into Cubs games through a conveyer belt that rolled fresh beer from the street to the ballpark. With the flair of an Irish-born Chicago cop, he’d flash his badge at the gate for entry, strut to the beer room, and reclaim his son while slaking his thirst. After the game, the ushers would enlist young fans to choose a row and upturn every green wooden seat from one end of the park to the other. For his troubles, each boy would receive a free ticket to the next day’s game. My dad performed this daily duty all summer long, year after year, securing him free season tickets for a decade. It was a different time. You could do that then.

Writer: Matt Herlihy
Location: The Friendly Confines

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