I get sentimental about places, especially forgotten ones like Monarch Park. They’re a bit of a bummer, a bit sobering, a bit sad. But I think it’s a good kind of sadness.
The untamed energy of the show woke something in me. Carmy’s life in Chicago was real. Authentic. Social. I knew that restaurant and those people. How many times had I eaten at a joint like that?
We would laugh so hard in a place not meant for laughter, feel family in a place not meant for home. We had built a brotherhood in a place meant only to be punitive.
She came from a dying Rust Belt town in southeast Ohio, and I came from a famously dying Rust Belt town an hour north of Detroit. We were both oldest children, with the same letter leading our first and last name. Our birthdays were one day apart. And, we both loved Fleetwood Mac.
Why were these guys alive and my dad dead? My dad’s long game wasn’t good.
By now I should understand that when every choice starts to feel like a miscalculation, a mistake, I’m up against forces bigger than myself. Yet I was secretly, irrationally angry at them for succumbing too willingly to death without any burning or raving or raging. If they’d just tried hard enough, I sometimes thought.
I think of Father Sullivan every time I pass, imagining him walking the circular path between the stations of the cross.
Maybe that’s not enough of a story for some people to understand (or celebrate) the hunting instinct. What I know is my family has depended on it, right alongside the understory and the herds.
On terrible pantyhose, bad sports writing, and the eternal kindness of the late great Franco Harris.
"Sometimes when I am driving down the freeway...I think of the reasons I love Detroit."