Saturday, January 19, 2008


Say what you will about Craig Gernhardt but I’ve always thought highly of him.

For the unfamiliar Mr. Gernhardt is the author of The Broken Heart of Rogers Park which happens to be one of the leading hell raising blogs on the north side.

He questions authority at every turn. Generally giving his alderman and all of the “in the know types” in the 49th ward the business.

That kid takes no prisoners.

A ball breaker extraordinaire.

From political happenings to neighborhood crime to slumlords, Craig finds time to ring everybody’s bell.

Now I haven’t seen him in over eight years but he was no different when we were neighbors in Uptown.

He ran a small flower shop and stayed active in local issues when he was on Wilson Avenue.

He did not suffer foolishness lightly. His fervor for a high neighborhood quality of life was slightly eclipsed by his fervor to take an active part in the solution.

That’s a nice way of saying Craig picked up the trash instead of complaining about it; he confronted the gangbangers instead of backing down and crossing the street; he shooed away the prostitutes and the panhandlers that intimidated most others.

In short, he walked the walk.

He wasn’t (and isn’t) half steppin'.

Personally I remember him for more than his no nonsense demeanor.

I remember him for giving me my first pet.

I remember him for allowing me to buy the funeral arrangement for my mother’s casket on credit because I had to cover the bills at the house in South Bend and had no money.

I remember waving to him and the other ball hawks outside of Wrigley when I was on my way to the bleachers.

I also remember the occasional extra stems he’d slip into a bouquet I’d purchased.

Ever so often I drop in and read his blog. Frankly I think it’s one of the best in the city.

He asks the tough questions and refuses to be led politely down the primrose path.

So I say, “Give ‘em hell Craig.”

You’ve (still) got a friend down in Woodlawn.

No comments: