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October 2 ’06

Paul L and wife Victoria, who joined the Hawks in Chicago, are driving back to the Windy City to visit Victoria’s old haunts. They stop for a Dinkeytown (Minneapolis, early haunt of pre-self invented Bob Dylan) breakfast at Al’s, which is just as delicious as it was on the Hawks previous visit, a long narrow womb with just a counter and a brilliant fry cook. Eggs Jose, a peak of breakfast experience. They wander back roads to the western bank of the Mississipi, which is showing off its Huck Finn wide majesty and fall colors, on an eerily warm Indian Summer day. Lazy, in haze, to end of day.East towards Madison, and into a towering and glowering black sky, and as the sun drops big lightning fills the horizons. Big hailstones fall, and traffic on the Interstate stops–these things could break windshields. On and off downpours into Chicago, where it really cuts loose. Victoria’s old neighborhood is flooded, too bold drivers trying to push their cars out of street ponds, fire engines screaming in all directions. Pretty exciting. Victoria and Paul are the only customers in LaRosa’s Pizza on Dempster in Evanston (or are we in Skokie?). This is the real Chicago pizza, not deep dish, but very thin crust, beats L.A.’s best by a mile. The owner entertains by mocking his delivery men, who have both gotten lost and then stuck in flood waters.
At the same time, Paul M is trying to get comfy on a bench at Chicago O’Hare airport. His flight to Omaha to visit son Scott has been canceled by the mad storm. Shawn and Rob are home. As will be the two Pauls and Victoria soon enough.

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