In the 1840s, what is now Lincoln Park, was the location of Chicago City Cemetery. The southernmost portion of the cemetery, where one may now find two large baseball fields (the area in the photo above), was the location of the potter's field section of the cemetery. More than 15,000 people, among them 4,000 Confederate soldiers, were buried here on the marshy land bordering Lake Michigan. Many more, with families that had a few bucks to spend, were laid to rest to the north, in marked graves and tombs.
At some point in the 19th century, there was an attempt to relocate all of the bodies interred at the cemetery. A couple of the tombs still remain. I've heard variously that the relocation was because of city expansion, and because of bodies surfacing in the marshy land, and because of fear of disease and contamination. There was a cholera epidemic with many of the victims buried here, and Lake Michigan was and is our water supply, thankfully filtered these days.
Over the years, human bones keep turning up with alarming frequency, like every time someone does a little digging with a backhoe, so it's presumed that many bodies are still under the park to the north, and beneath the baseball fields. Today, the dog was doing some intense sniffing and mad digging all over the ball fields, which inspired me to shoot this photo and tell the story of the hidden cemetery.
I haven't done a free associations post in a long time, so I think I'll go for it today. If you're unfamiliar, this type of post typically morphs into something interesting (to me) and entirely unexpected. So here goes.
From temperatures well below zero on Sunday and Monday, we're up to 38F. Downright balmy. I was walking the dog at about 8am (I'm in the first week of three weeks vacation) and listening to NPR. The sun was out, with not a cloud in the sky, but the news person kept reporting cloudy skies with a chance of some sunshine in the afternoon. Hmm... no window in the studio? Not a cloud in the sky, and it's been sunny all morning.
There's still snow on the ground, but the permanent winter salt dust along with higher temperatures leaves us with mostly clean but wet sidewalks. Except there are still a lot of slippery spots that aren't readily visible. I saw two nasty slip-and-falls this morning and almost had one myself, which turned into some stern self-warnings about not ruining our vacation with broken bones or a TBI. I tend to think of the worst first.
Here's an unusual story. An Illinois woman suspected that her husband was being unfaithful. Unbeknownst to her husband, she had copies of his emails forwarded to her own account and received his correspondence with several women. When the husband learned of the electronic spying, he sued his wife.
Newt Gingrich has a take on how Donald Trump can keep from running afoul of U.S. ethics laws: Change the ethics laws.
Trump is currently grappling with how to sufficiently disentangle himself from his multibillion-dollar business to avoid conflicts of interest with his incoming administration, and the president-elect has already pushed back a promised announcement of an ethics firewall.
Gingrich, the former speaker of the House and one-time potential running mate for Trump, says Trump should push Congress for legislation that accounts for a billionaire businessman in the White House.
“We’ve never seen this kind of wealth in the White House, and so traditional rules don’t work,” Gingrich said Monday during an appearance on NPR’s "The Diane Rehm Show" about the president-elect’s business interests. “We’re going to have to think up a whole new approach.”
And should someone in the Trump administration cross the line, Gingrich has a potential answer for that too.
“In the case of the president, he has a broad ability to organize the White House the way he wants to. He also has, frankly, the power of the pardon,” Gingrich said. “It’s a totally open power. He could simply say, ‘Look, I want them to be my advisers. I pardon them if anyone finds them to have behaved against the rules. Period.
We could also eliminate crime entirely by abolishing all criminal laws.