Funny how things can slip your mind for years and years, and then pop up, isn't it?
I had forgotten this for a long time until the other day, when I was recounting the time a cop I knew was sitting in a nondescript police car, wearing nondescript plainclothes, at a shopping center on the county's east side. A guy came darting over and said, "Hey buddy, can you give me a lift outta here? I just robbed Kresge's!" The guy and his bag o' loot plopped down in the car, and got a free ride outta there and right to the local precinct, where he and his bag o' loot were unceremoniously separated. For all I know, it might have been ceremonious, but I'm certain the guy didn't get to keep the loot when he moved to the license plate factory.
|Kresge's was where the fake clock tower is now.|
But on that same shopping center parking lot several years later, a guy who had the same name as I - not the WWII general, or the slain Black Panther leader or the onetime major league pitcher, to name some other examples of people with my moniker - killed himself and his family, blowing them up in his Ford Taurus station wagon.
I heard the story on the morning news and had the usual reaction to suicide, which is that I feel bad for whatever lunacy would drive a person to miss even one day of this wonderful world that unfolds daily, but mainly really being mad that other people -his wife and kids - had to go with him. The line from Neil Young always comes up: "There's one more kid who will never go to school, never get to fall in love, never get to be cool."
But then the curious thing started happening. No one called to see if I was a) a general in WWII b) a Chicago militant or c) a Chicago Cub, as the aforementioned Marks were, but people we hadn't heard from for years called (this was pre-email, for crying out loud!) to say...how are you? Or they'd call Peggy and say...is everything ok? No one called and said, I was just making sure you weren't the guy who blew up his family at Middlesex...
But you know, they just had to be sure.
And just for the record, I ain't this one, either!