The Chicago Tribune’s Mary Schmich won the Pulitzer for commentary this week, and her column today is about that. Well, in a way it is. She’s doesn’t mention Pulitzer even once, but her piece — at least online — has some Pulitzer celebration photos. She tells readers that….
Twenty years ago this week, I drove into Chicago in a used silver Dodge Colt, bought cheap from one of my brothers, to start a new job.
The job was writing a column for the Chicago Tribune, a remarkable opportunity that I had accepted with awe and a pinch of apprehension. About the time I hit the Kennedy Expressway, my apprehension swelled into terror.
After 20 years in the Windy City, Schmich still hears from readers who claim she can’t understand Chicago because she wasn’t born and raised here.
They’re not entirely wrong. There are things you will never know about a place unless you sprang from its soil.
But I understand and love this city in a way I couldn’t have imagined this week in April 20 years ago, and I understand it better because people have let me tell their stories. To the people who have shared their stories, and to everyone who has read them:
Thank you, for the ongoing adventure and privilege of knowing Chicago.