Friday, November 02, 2001

On the last night of my trip to Chicago, I had plans to get together with an old friend I hadn't seen in about six years. Sadly, unforeseeable problems caused those plans to fall through.

While trying to think of a pleasant, low-key diversion to fill this void in my schedule, I spied Buckingham Fountain out my hotel window, its lighted form just becoming visible as the sun set in the west. The fountain is one of my favorite Chicago landmarks, and I hadn't thought I'd have a chance to visit it during my very busy business trip. With a smile on my face, I went down to the lobby, hopped in a cab, and headed north toward the fountain's Grant Park location.

The last bit of residual daylight was just fading from the sky as I reached the fountain. A nice mix of families and couples were there enjoying the place, but it was by no means crowded. I walked around the base, reveling in the sight before me while reminiscing about other wonderful nights spent there.

After a few minutes, loudspeakers began blaring patriotic music in time with a red, white and blue light show in the fountain itself. It was corny and stirring at the same time, as are so many such things these days.

As I was enjoying the show, my cell phone rang. It was the friend with whom I had planned to spend the evening. We talked for about half an hour, catching up a bit and comparing notes.

The conversation was too brief and I still wished we could have actually seen each other, but talking with this long-feared-lost friend while enjoying one of my favorite places from home made for a sweet, magical moment.
Posted @ 11:17 AM


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