On Christmas Morning we all went over to my parents home as we have since I can remember. The entire family was there including my new one year old granddaughter.
My son was very interested in watching old VHS tapes of Christmas days of the past. My dad had been taking videos ever since the large bulky two component video recording camera devices came out, He has a rich library of past videos when my kids were very young and before. His father had taken movies with an old 8mm camera and has films of family events dating back to the late 40's.
We all sat down to watch all the old Christmas videos and I could tell it meant a lot for my son to share with his new wife what he experienced on Christmas Day as a young boy. It made for a very enjoyable family experience together.
It inspired me to finally look into getting all these old videos and films converted to digital before they decay and are lost forever. It is so easy to edit digital video and those old tapes have a lot of footage that could be edited out.
Yesterday I was going through some of my office clutter looking for an instruction manual and came upon a photo I had not seen in many years.
This image was taken in 1971 in an apartment I shared with my room mate Barry (on the right). It was located on Cornelia St in Chicago between Sheffield and Halsted. I was in art school at the time and Barry was a music major attending Columbia College. He played the sting bass and was a fanatic about classic traditional jazz. In the middle is my wife who was in town for the weekend. She was a freshman year student at Indiana University in Bloomington.
The rent for this apartment was $230. per month. It had two bedrooms on the second floor in a courtyard or horseshoe style building only three blocks from Wrigley Field. In the summer we could hear the crowd through our open window before it was heard on the television if we were watching the game. That neighborhood was mainly Puerto Ricans at the time with a few hippies scattered about. Drugs were dealt on the street each afternoon about 4pm. We could watch it out of our window. That is why the rent was so cheap.
The previous tenants were Chicago Bear fans. They painted the walls of the living room orange and blue. 1971 was the year the Bears no longer played in Wrigley and moved the games to old Soldiers Field where they have sucked ever since. Except in 1985.
That apartment building was in the process of going condominium as we departed a year later. Condos were a new concept at the time and the landlord bugged us to buy the apartment because our rent would be doubling. We were allowed one more year of rent and then it was love it or leave it.
We left with many memories. Some good but mostly bad. My city living experience at that time made me swear I would never live in Chicago again. I kept that promise to myself.