Angel of Mercy


It is a balmy early September day. The kind of day when you can almost believe that winter has been banished forever, but you know it’s lurking behind the lengthening shadows of the trees and the deceptively - traitorously - tender clouds - wolves in snow white fleece. Whether winter’s beast will slip in slowly, almost imperceptibly, or pounce suddenly with teeth and claws bared, you know it will strike. But on this day, though you know you cannot vanquish it totally, on this day, at least on this balmy day - you will make it run.

My best friend, Eddie O'Malley, a slightly built, towheaded blonde from Humboldt Park - he would later become a Chicago Police Officer - pulls up on a new cycle.

“Hey, Paul, wanna see how fast this machine will go?” Not one to show good judgment - at that age, anyhow - I say, “Sure, Eddie. Let’s go!”

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