It wasn’t supposed to go this way.
The plan was for me to miss sitting in the co-hosting chair for just one show: The one with Susan Klonsky and Professor Timuel Black.
Anne and I had long ago planned a short vacation to Puerto Vallarta. It’s a direct flight from Chicago O’Hare. We planned it for the end of January when we expected it would be cold in Chicago.
We didn’t expect it to be minus 40 degrees.
The vacation was only to last five nights. I would be back for this past Friday’s show when our guest would be Amisha Patel, executive director of Grassroots Collaborative.
But when the polar vortex hit Chicago on Wednesday with sub-human temperatures, our flight home to Chicago was canceled.
And so was Thursday’s flight.
The soonest we could leave paradise for home was Friday. I would miss the show.
I called my brother on Wednesday and warned him that I wouldn’t be back in time.
He texted me back a little later: “Joravsky will co-host.”
That would be our old friend, Ben Joravsky, veteran columnist for the Chicago Reader. Ben was recently fired from WCPT, the allegedly progressive talk radio outlet in town. Apparently Ben’s critique of Chicago Democrats didn’t make the owner of the station happy.
Who did they think they were hiring? Becky Carroll?
By the way, Ben is a huge Bull’s fan.
Amisha shared that she was also a Bull’s fan and had painted the Bull’s logo on her family’s garage as a kid.
Speaking of sports, many years ago Ben recruited me to his bowling team in a league at Timber Lane’s on Irving Park.
After a while he suggested I go out for another sport.
In other words, he is not the only one who has been fired.
The meat of the show is all about the state of progressive Chicago politics and why, in Chicago of all places, a united progressive electoral movement is not happening at the moment.
Ben thinks we lost the momentum four years ago when Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis had to pull out of the race against Rahm for health reasons.
Amisha thinks we got caught off guard and unprepared when Rahm suddenly decided not to run for a third term.
I listened to the entire thing live on my head phones in the Puerto Vallarta airport waiting for our plane to Dallas and then home.