This morning, ever with his eye on advancing my career, Dad dragged me to a fundraising breakfast for the Special Olympics, which was, coincidentally, hosted by one of the non-museum partners from my project at work. All of the political elites in state and city government were expected to attend, and many of them were there: Governor Pat Quinn, numerous Chicago Aldermen, including Ed Burke, Dean of the City Council, and Hizzoner, Mayor Richard M. Daley himself. I did some productive networking with several VIPs who we are seeking to interview for the project, but I think that Dad's principle reason for bringing me along was his single-minded determination to get a photo of me with the Mayor.
Of course, as perhaps the most inhibited person I know, I'd been looking forward to this breakfast with intense trepidation, from the fear of looking like a fawning groupie in front of the city's highest elected official, but Dad was undeterred. He marched me right up to the Mayor, prodded me to get aggressive about moving in for the photo, and snapped the picture. No flash, completely blurry, no good. By then, another person had moved in to get face time with the Mayor, but Dad sent me right back for a second picture. I might have been mortified, but Dad was shameless enough for the both of us, and he ultimately got the shot.
I finally found a photo op for my favorite new dress, even if you can't get the full effect here. I've been saving it for just this occasion, determined to make it my "meeting the Mayor" dress.
So, here I am with the Mayor. It never ceases to amaze me that he isn't very tall. As a politician with virtually unchecked power in his domain, Mayor Daley has always been built up to epic proportions in my mind. I've met him twice now (both Dad's doing), and both times I was shocked by his height. Granted, I had heels on in this photo, but not particularly high ones, and I am the same height as Hizzoner.
(Between you and me, it's pretty neat to have a picture of me with Mayor Daley. He's a Chicago legend. Occasionally, even if he forces me to get way outside of my comfort zone, Dad does have some good ideas. Just don't tell him I said that.)