My baby is 21 years old today. Excuse me while I let that sink in for a second. Alec is old enough to be considered an adult in every way except the rental car place. He can gamble in most states. Apply for a marriage license in Mississippi without parental consent. Adopt a child in the UK. Legally buy an ounce of marijuana in Colorado. Oh, and today he can finally drink alcohol. I have to remember to tell him.
He answered his own phone, which threw me when I realized it was really him. But there was little pretense about Birch Bayh, who died today at 91.
I had called to interview him for my book. It was 2005 and the U.S. Senator from Indiana and one-time Democratic nominee for President had no warning that I would call, no staff to hold me off or even make an appointment. He was 77 years old and he said he would be happy to speak to me.
It’s a game I have been playing the last few weeks, sizing up men and women, kids in middle school and up, and trying to figure out if they are potential readers of my book.
But Kristina Meece snuck under my radar.
Under one arm was her daughter’s face, and around Jessie Rodriguez’ neck was a laminated picture of same daughter, the point guard on the Nazareth Academy basketball team.
The daughter’s face was approximately the size of the entire mom, one of those Fathead things that was apparently required of every mother of every girl at the Illinois state basketball tournament this weekend.
Why, you ask, has it been nearly eight years since I last wrote a blog on my website?
Same reason it’s nearly impossible to find Kemp’s Java Chunk at my Mariano’s. There is no earthly explanation. At least not a good one. Because it was pure joy. Not the Java Chunk — though honestly it really is special, trust me, you should try it if you can find it, which you probably can’t — but my blog, which I began in the wee hours of the morning after getting laid off by the Chicago Tribune in the spring of 2009, and sustained me in every way writing always has.