Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Random thoughts....

Yesterday and today, I went out and picked NO tomatoes out of the garden. Not even cherry tomatoes. I don't know if my plants just objected to the trip to Vegas (when we got back it right about when they went in the crapper) since I have some new tomatoes upon closer inspection, but sadly, I think my season is coming to an end. I hate that.

At least there is the farmstand on the way home from work. May have to stop tomorrow.

WAY too much good new TV on right now. Mad Men, Feasting on Waves, Eureka, The Shield, House, new Kitchen Nightmares... out Tivo is soon going to be overloaded.

Floods suck.


That picture right there is THE best hot dog stand in the Chicago area, as far as I am concerned. Gene & Judes. In my family, it was the only hotdog, and it was understood that a trip there could take up to 45 minutes (even though only about 3 miles away) since you had to cross two sets of train tracks - right by train yards so trains were often slow, stopped, or backing up, or all three - on one or both tracks in each direction.

But 'twas always worth it. Basic Chicago stand dog... relish, mustard, onion - and not a drop of ketchup in the place (which is why it also happens to be the hubby's least favorite hot dog stand). Hand cut fries. Open late. In fact, where that gas station is behind it.... used to be "my club".... the Thirsty Whale. Where they didn't really pay attention to your ID as long as you were a good kid (and, well, a girl. Chicks bring in the male customers). The many Marks (there were two bartenders and various staff all named Mark). There are times I miss that place (more than just because I used to get ALL my drinks free). I was sad, when the owner sold it. I understood... it was (and still is) a prime piece of real estate (when not flooded) and that the staff was getting older, moving on, and they just couldn't find new guys who ran the place the same.... but seeing that picture... I'm glad they sold it. The last time the area flooded that badly was '86 or '87, back when I wasa living around there, and man, did it suck. And they got pretty much the same flooding this time around... all the same areas, all the same streets.... and I remember that the Whale close for several weeks while they had to do what we also had to do at our ranch house several miles away.... rip out all the carpets, scrub scrub scrub down the walls up to the water marks with Lysol, replace sheetrock that was moldy, and then fix it all.... it sucked. I think it was the '87 flood because it was still summer, and my parents saw fit to let my brother stay with my visiting cousin and his dad a few miles away while I helped with the work.

Thankfully, I do know that Gene & Judes (which was also closed for several weeks back then) re-built at that time to be somewhat flood-proof... they are right next to a small river that floods a lot. Hopefully all they'll need is a good scrubbing to be back in business. And I may have to make a road trip to have a hot dog.

2 comments:

CarolynA said...

Thirsty Whale?! Des Plaines River on the road. 2 sets of railroad tracks! Did you grow up in Franklin Park or Elmwood Park then?

Gaah. How long has the Whale been gone, then? Aging ....

MrsVJW said...

I was in the little section of Melrose Park between North and Fullerton, actually.

I still miss that place....