In 1995′s iconic film noir The Usual Suspects, Verbal Kint references “The barbershop quartet from Skokie, Illinois.” This one scene immortalized the place I called home during the formative years, also known as The 80′s.
I have this theory that Skokie – Old Orchard, specifically – is the Center of the Universe. Everything you could ever truly want or need for a full life was strategically built within close proximity of Lake Michigan to its east and Chicago to its south: the high school, the mall and the movie theater as well as the hospital and even the cemetery, both within walking distance of this North Shore shopping mecca.
It also happens to be the place where Anita and I both once worked, earning our prom dress money, as we attended Niles North on Lawler Avenue, just across the street.
So, that first Saturday of August, when I flew in from Cleveland to celebrate my cousin Ellen’s engagement to her fiancé Kyle, there was only one place for Anita and I to meet: The Bagel.
Anita brought her Mini-Me, my Mom joined us and the four of us had a wonderful mother and child reunion. After, Anita and I talked shop and enjoyed one of our rare face-to-face meetings. We’ve been doing this project via phone, email, text and Facebook and, over the course of 16 months of dedication, have benefited from only three in-person discussions.
Fun, food, family and focus. Anything is possible, in Skokie, Illinois.