Saturday, February 26, 2011

red shirts and huts of Wisconsin, white flakes of Chicago

As I make my way from the local bus to the Library Mall (where I hope to catch the Chicago-bound bus), I come across two dogs that support Wisconsin.

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I’m not sure if there is one special aspect of Wisconsin that they especially want to stand behind since the t-shirts proclaiming their loyalty appear a tad bunched on their backs and so I can't read everything on them, but these dogs are so lovely to behold, all in scrunched-up red, that they are almost as popular among the crowd as the main speaker.

Almost but not quite. The speaker is our Congresswoman, Tammy Baldwin, and she is addressing a crowd of members and backers of Fair Wisconsin (the advocacy organization that stands behind LGBT rights – a word of fair disclosure: I have contributed money to this group).

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Fair Wisconsin is about to lead a march down State Street to the Capitol, to express solidarity with the unions under attack here, and probably with unions in general. I listen for a while and would have listened longer (again, fair disclosure: I voted For Tammy Baldwin and I like to hear what my representatives have to say on any number of issues, and I, too, support unions), but I do have a bus to catch and so I leave the group and head toward the stop.

The bus stops at Memorial Union, which, most of you will know, is by Lake Mendota. If ever spring felt distant, it is in that one long glance over the frozen waters of the lake. I see that the ice fishermen are still sitting in their red Wisconsin huts. Fair disclosure: I’m hoping that their season of ice fishing will end very quickly and that with one big heave, the ice will soon melt and we’ll be done with this nasty stretch of cold weather.


But, I know better. It’s my 32nd winter in this state. March does not necessarily bring with it real spring.

So, down to Chicago I go, to visit my younger daughter. The excuse is to watch the Oscars together tomorrow. The real purpose is to be in her sweet, gentle company for a day or two.

I get off the El. There is an ever so light snow falling over Chicago.


My girl and I sit down for a late lunch. It's so much better to talk across the table than by phone!

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The room empties. The place is ready to close. We walk home, dusting off white flakes off our coats.