Friday, April 27, 2018

On the Rocks

I’m always surrounded with memories when I’m in Chicago. It fascinates me to look at a space and think of all that took place in that same spot. It’s like time traveling in my mind. On my way to the airport, we waited at the stoplight at 57th to turn onto the Outer Drive. It’s a long red light and I had plenty of time to look at my surroundings. Ahead, I had a clear view of the 57th Street Beach and the Lake Michigan beyond. 
Next to the beach the shore is marked by layers of stone blocks. As a kid, it never occurred to me that someone put them there. I thought they were natural It was always an adventure to walk along the "rocks" as we called them. It was also a spot for "cookouts."
My mother was the Cub Scout den mother and one of the activities my brother and the other boys did was to make stoves out of the big metal cans potato chips came in back then. It wasn’t that complicated. A couple of vents were cut on the side of the potato chip can. A coffee can filled with torn up milk cartons (in those days the milk cartons had a wax coating so they burned slowly) was placed under the inverted can and the metal top of the potato chip can became a cooking surface.
We lived in an old brick building that sizzled inside when the temperature went to 90 degrees. We didn’t have air conditioning or even a fan. The only relief was going to the beach. We took our Jays Potato Chips can stove, hot dogs, buns and probably something to drink to the rocks. Summers were particularly hard for us and we lived on endless bargain hot dogs. A refreshing breeze blew off the lake and long after we’d cooked and eaten our hot dogs we stayed sitting on the rocks until it was dark. The lake became a black pool, but you could see the shape of it by the lights along the shore. The lights seemed magical, even though they were probably coming from oil refineries and steel mills in Indiana.
I can still remember how exciting it was being on the rocks at night.
Then the light changed and the car turned onto the Outer Drive and stirred other memories.
The release of ON THE HOOK is getting closer. In no time May 8, will be here and ON THE HOOK will be out in the world and the mystery I left hanging in HOOKING FOR TROUBLE will be solved.



Linda Osborn said...

"On the Hook" arrived yesterday, and I read it straight through. So many subtle changes in the personalities of many characters this time. The story line was great, kept me guessing till the end! Of course you know, the last sentence of the book was my personal favorite! It was quite a surprise that Amazon released the book so early, loved it ! Don't want to give any details away, but it was fun to have Heather back on scene .

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I am so glad you enjoyed On the Hook. I hope you saw your mention in the Acknowledgements. I liked that last line, too.

Linda Osborn said...

Thank you for the Acknowledgement. I had not taken time to read through them until you mentioned it! I believe there is another crochet book coming soon, and you are working on knitting. You are amazing, your little retreats to Chicago are a necessity in your busy life!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Sounds as if you have some great memories of growing up in Chicago!