Sunday, July 13, 2008

photo 3: morton salt on elston ave

I've joined the bicycle culture. My old Schwinn had been sitting in my parents' garage up in the suburbs, so I wiped off the grime and my folks got it tuned up for me at the bike shop. Bought that Schwinn new in 1993. Still rides like a dream... the dream where I win the Tour de France (dorky Pee Wee's Big Adventure ref. Nevermind). I had to drop off a script at Chicago Dramatists today, so my ride took me down Elston Avenue. I'm a fan of Elston for its low-volume traffic, industrial charm, and a nice view of downtown as you head southeast; it's a great road to bike. Two reasons for this photo.

1. The Morton Salt roof is visible from the Kennedy Expressway, and it was an important landmark on trips to Grandma's house. Driving from Evanston/Wilmette to the south side of Chicago seemed to take forever when I was five years old. Physical geography and mileage meant nothing. When I saw the Morton Salt roof, it meant we were making progress.

2. I was a temp in the accounting department at Morton Salt for 8 months in 2005. When I told my sister Amanda where I was working, she assumed I was working in this warehouse. I told her, no, I sat in a cubicle in an office downtown. Yet she preferred to visualize me driving a forklift here at the Morton Salt Warehouse. In time, I also preferred to visualize myself driving a forklift as I filed papers covered in numbers into an endless wall of file cabinets. During my long hours in the office salt mines, I would think that the Morton Salt Umbrella Girl might be a rad Halloween costume. But you would really have to emphasize the container of salt. Like it would have to be a comically oversized container of Morton Salt. Otherwise, you just look like a girl in the rain.