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What would I say to my five-year-old self?


For those that grew up in Chicago Ridge, Ill., they may remember the old Jack & Pat's 50s.

This is a poem I wrote on Facebook in 2011, but it still rings true today.


That the water tower three blocks from my old house is not a UFO? That the garage I watched get built would later be torn down and a gigantic one would be put in its place because the tollway needed some of our yard and the old garage took up some of the tollway property? That there would be skyscraper of tollway lights where there were none before? That we would lose all the trees in our backyard? That Tropical Sno and Card Stadium would no longer be in the neighborhood? That the village hall would move from being a cozy little bungalow on Oak Park Ave. to a mansion on Ridgeland? That the Commons Theater where I grew up watching Christmas movies would now be an XSport Fitness? That Jack n' Pats is still Jack n' Pats, but without the huge plastic hamburger on top of the building? That Pharmore and Circus World are gone and an Office Depot and Home Depot replaced them? That the T-Ball field I once played on is now covered with grass on the infield and is not kept up? That although I really wanted to be a baseball player, it wouldn't be in the cards? That the Legos I once played with will at one time of day be sold in a garage sale? That the GI Joes I played with will be stashed away as collectors items? Nah, I wouldn't say any of these things. Kids have to be kids. Even though it seems the world has grown up so much, I can still say the water tower is a UFO in my mind.

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