I live in Logan Square. If you haven’t heard, it is the restaurant capital of the greater Chicago metro area.
A new one seems to pop up more frequently than Dandelions on the Boulevard in Spring.
The new restaurants are all farm-to-table or sustainable ramen bars.
There is still an old-school pancake and waffle house on the corner of Milwaukee and California. Classic diner food. Eggs. Hash browns. Bacon if you can. And bad coffee with phony milk in those little plastic containers that never need refrigeration.
Which is fine because I have gotten to the age where lactose intolerance has really kicked in.
So, why do I have to travel to the suburbs for my old-guys get-togethers?
When some of my old-guy friends – mostly retired now – get together for breakfast, I have to go to Oak Park.
And then there are the old guys who get together for lunch. To do that I have to drive to this Greek place in Lombard.
(On most Thursday mornings I do my old-guy breakfast with my brother at the local hipster coffee shop here in Logan Square. They have good coffee and they have a pitcher of soy milk for my lactose intolerance. This place is so hip that if you ask for one of those Starbucks-like frappucinno-ish drinks, they will point to the door.)
Monday I’m having lunch with the old guys in Lombard at the Greek restaurant.
It will be celebratory.
Monday is the first anniversary of the Illinois Supreme Court decision that upheld the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution.
The lunch group are all retired teachers. And we all were and are active in the fight to protect public pensions from politicians. A bi-partisan effort on our part to save it and a bi-partisan effort on the part of the politicians to steal it.
Yep. One of our guys is a Republican. Although I would say he is more of an Eisenhower Republican.
He certainly is not a Trump Republican.
Some of us old guys blog and are what former IEA President Bob Haisman calls the perfection caucus. Or The Bloggers.
As if perfection and blogging were two of the seven deadly sins.
Haisman, an apologist for the sellout by the state’s public employee union leadership of our pension rights, attacked the perfection caucus for preferring to fight all the way to through the courts rather than cut a deal with the state’s Democratic Party legislative leaders.
That deal would have cost every retired public employee thousands of dollars in pensions and opened the door wide for even further diminishment of our promised retirement earnings.
Frankly, when it comes to the rights of working folks, I don’t trust the legislators or the courts. It just seemed clear to us that we had a better chance in the courts than with Springfield politicians.
I never thought it was ever a lock either way.
As it turns out, their approach was wrong.
And we, and the thousands of other public employees who fought with us for pension rights, were correct.
Although I am still waiting for the union leaders to say that.
Anyway. Monday we will gather for lunch.
In Lombard at the Greek place to celebrate.