Dinner with Ditka
Long story short, I’m a guy who was never into sports. As a kid we played baseball in the street (CAR!) and ran for the ice cream truck when heard. This was in the 1980s…the best years.
I was very much into the arts, and still am: guitar, photography, cinematography, stop motion animation, music and movies. Us kids saw Star Wars ep 4 when it came out in theaters. I WAS THERE and cherished every second of that film from the score to the cinematography and of course, the story. I was hooked. I knew for the rest of my life, I would be involved in film making of some kind. Years later, I’m right (and I knew I would be.)
There was a kid in our neighborhood. This was years and years ago. Let’s call him Biff. Biff loved sports. Biff wanted to be a famous football player. His dad made him and his siblings practice everyday, whether they wanted to or not. Their dad had a problem, living sports through his kids. At times their father mocked us for not watching sports. He was an idiot.
On any given day, their father yelled commands in the front street. If his boys missed a catch, they were forced to run around the block for every ball missed (yeah this guy had a problem.) When he wasn’t yelling at them he was yelling at his tv, because, the players played better when he spoke to them.
I knew nothing of football and still don’t, and really don’t care. I watch Blackhawks hockey and that’s it. I’m an artist and don’t care for too much else.
Fast forward years later, Biff finds me on Facebook. I’m not into social media, using it to only post my photography or video work. I posted something about a Star Wars write-up and effect I was working on for a film. Out of the blue, years later, Biff chimes in with, “it’s good to see you still like Star Wars.” That was a dig towards me. You’d have to know this guy. I didn’t care, but I enjoyed my response:
One of my clients for photography was the CEO of the Chicagoland sports hall of fame. It was very expensive to attend and I was taking photos. I ate dinner at the table of Mike Ditka and the Mayor of Chicago, Mayor Daley at the time. I saw most of the 1986 Superbowl champion Bears and talked with them. It was really cool, as it brought back memories of being in junior high when all that was happening.
So I wrote, “hey, thanks. Good to see you. Yep, still into photo and video. In fact, I ate dinner with Ditka and most of the Chicago Bears from when we were kids. And you know what? I still don’t even like football. Weird.”
He didn’t respond.
After all the years, seems people are still the same.
A neighbor from the old neighborhood read this post, as I made it available on FB. He was upset that I wrote it. I’ve been unfriended on FB. I’m ok with that. I didn’t say anything bad, just stating the truth. Yes their father harassed us at times for not liking sports, and yes, his brother did the same to a lesser extent. A bully without the threat, if you will. I never felt comfortable around them except for their mother and younger brother who reached out to me. That’s how I feel and it’s the truth. Let me add to the rest of the story since it came up. Our family was the black sheep of the neighborhood. Never invited to the lake. Those families went. We were never invited. We dealt with it. I’m not upset about it. That’s 35 years ago. This story had a moral to it. I don’t carry any pain Ha HA HA hA Ha. It’s a damn story. It’s unfortunate, since he was a good guy. Looks like this story hit a nerve. I wish him and his family well.
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