This is a different Magnificient Mile than exists today!
A little of what happened 25 years ago in Chicago on Christmas Eve:
always, some shoppers had waited to the last moment. Marshall Field's,
Carson's, Ward's, and the other State Street stores were busy. VCRs
and the new digital compact disc players were selling briskly. The one
surprise gift of the season was the telescope.
Comet was coming back for the first time in 76 years. Binoculars could
be used to examine the heavenly marvel, but why not get
something special for that special someone? So now telescope
manufacturers were running triple shifts--and still couldn't keep up
with the demand. Comet junkies were shelling out as much as $2,500 for a
Out in Lincolnwood, they were getting ready for heavy traffic. The
homes there were known for their elaborate Christmas displays. Most had
gone dark during the hard times of the Carter years. But now the
economy was roaring, Lincolnwood was again bright, and all the thousands
of drive-by gapers were returning.
Hmmm that seemed like a nice shot at Jimmy Carter. :P
spirit was carried forth in acts of charity. On the South Side, 63
needy seniors received reconditioned fur coats at a free church raffle,
courtesy of Mysel Furs. In Little Village, a thousand chicken dinners
were given away to poor families. The Salvation Army again received an
anonymous donation of gold coins in one of its street kettles. This
year the gift was five Canadian maple leaves, worth $1650.
Well I'm sure someone would consider this very selfish. Not unexpected in Chicago of course:
this being Chicago, politics was in the news. Mayor Harold
Washington and the city council had been feuding for over two years.
But in the spirit of the season, mayor and council had come together,
and found something to agree on. They gave themselves pay raises.
This was doing the era of Ronald Reagan. During the time of President Barack Obama, there's a good chance of an outcry if the mayor and city council attempted that today. Well I would hope so.