Mar 25, 2005

Billy Goat Tavern. Chicago. "...the legendary Billy Goat Tavern on Lower Michigan Avenue, where thousands of ink-stained hangovers were born. Mike Royko sat at the bar, as was his eternal wont..." The description is from "The Confessions of Bob Greene" by Bill Zehme from Best American Magazine Writing 2004. Zehme is talking "circa 1990" but it could be 1963-66. I was a young man in my mid-20's, working a night shift at the Chicago Sun Times. I spent many times there, before and after and in between work. Billy Goat's was a block or so (a short walk) from the Times and a similar distance from the Chicago Tribune Building. Tucked down below the Michigan Avenue overpass, perfect film noir, a place to treasure one's angst while soaking up a beer or two, and listening to competitions between papers and staff spill over into verbal punch-outs. And yes, Royko was there then too. Sometimes friendly. Sometimes not.

...stories to tell. And miles to go in my sleep.