Short June Trips: Chicago, Again, and Lubbock, Again

The varied landscapes and textures of the South Plains of West Texas. Those who imagine the place as flat and boring have never visited. It's a fascinating place, naturally and culturally.


On the last day of May, I flew in the afternoon to Chicago, headed to a SATMAP sales call, a second visit to a good prospect.  We landed 45 minutes late, just after thunderstorms blew through.  As I did a few weeks earlier, hopped the bus and train out to Arlington Heights, where Cousin Jim was waiting.  Zoomed over to see the last few innings of middle-child Charlie’s baseball game, then home for dinner.  Then to Eddie’s bar, by tradition.

Up the next morning, cool and clear, and into Chicago.  On the train into the city, I spotted a Catholic church, St. Mary of the Angels, that Cousin Jim and I had visited on bikes nearly a decade ago.  Back then, as I recall, a few of the angels atop the roofline had literally become fallen angels, but from a distance they now appeared in good repair, and the dome was being renovated.  Once in the Loop, I found a Starbucks “office” and set to work.  Before 11, I ambled over to the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower to meet a colleague and prepare for a sales presentation.   Before setting down to work, I snapped some pictures of the massive Calder mobile in the west lobby.  Meeting went well, zipped back to O’Hare on the CTA Blue Line, and home.

On Sunday the 19th, Linda and I flew out to Lubbock for the day to celebrate Fathers’ Day with Jack, and to deliver about 70 pounds of drum kit that we forgot to load on the truck three weeks earlier.  UPS would have charged about $80 to ship the stuff, so we used our “magic carpet” flight benefits – a nice “two-fer.”  Landed at 11 and headed to brunch at the wonderful Home Café on 34th.  Jack was five weeks into his new job, and listening to him was both interesting and enormously gratifying – he has found his calling.

We took a little city tour, into downtown to snap pictures of the historic Lubbock High School, a statue of Lubbock’s favorite son, the rock and roll musician Buddy Holly (“It’s so easy to fall in love, it’s so easy to fall in love . . .”), and a bit of detail on the former Fort Worth and Denver Railway depot, now the Buddy Holly Center.   Drove back to Jack’s house and just hung out, watching Rory McIlroy play golf and listening to Jack belt out some percussion on his now-complete drum set.  Flew home at six.  A nice day trip, and a wonderful Fathers’ Day.

Lubbock High School, home of the Westerners

Lubbock native son Buddy Holly, rendered in bronze. The transformers and wires (pronounced "wahrs" in West Texas) would have powered his electric guitar!Detail, former Fort Worth & Denver Railway depot, Lubbock, Texas

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