For a week I have endured close association with that foul animal, Loop Lonagan. The more I learn about the man, the more I like my dog. Now, Old Man Ludditis wants a rundown on our trip to Chicago’s hottest startup, so we’re both here at his bar, drinking his liquor. Continue reading
Category Archives: Story
I’ve asked it before, “The way you conduct business—is it meaningful to those left behind?” Is it?
I’m here at the Levy Entrepreneurship Group, talking with some of the most brilliant business minds in Chicago. This group’s been meeting for over 60 years. It’s the genius of Joe Levy, the prolific entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist—the son of a south Michigan Ave car dealer. Joe was an endless entrepreneur—constantly learning, constantly experimenting—the quintessential gentleman who gave everybody an at-bat—who spoke quietly but directly and told the truth as he saw it. He pushed people off the bag. “You’re lousy at this. What are you good at? Contribute. Help somebody.” People found inspiration and hope. Never a disparaging word about Joe. “If you don’t have a satisfied customer, you’re compromising your future.” He was the original automobile mega dealer, angel investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. “God put me on this earth to produce, not to consume.” Joe Levy is dead at 92. Continue reading
“Admirable! Superlative! Top of the list! Gentlemen, you are indeed fortunate that I invited you here!” I study the greedy faces of my two compatriots—the estimable Donatas Ludditis (good old Don) as well as the execrable Loop Lonagan and his stinking bull terrier, Clamps. (Claims it’s a therapy dog.) We are here as judges, along with a crowd of luminaries from Chicago’s startup community for the finals of the tenth annual POWER PITCH competition. Today we will hear pitches from a host of exciting new companies. Yes sir! The enthusiasm is riveting.
Remembering the Olympics
by John Jonelis
“That’s just wrong!” says Loop Lonagan as he grabs his remote control, skips ahead on the DVR, and a major Olympic event flashes by the screen too fast to recognize. We immediately voice our outrage—all of us: Mark T Wayne, William Shakes, Donatas Ludditis, and me.
T.WAYNE – “Go back—go back you idiot!”
ME – “What’d we just miss?”
T.WAYNE – “The entire race—that’s what we missed! Execrable!” Continue reading
“Tell me a story, Uncle John!”
“A story eh?” My pal Loop Lonagan got in big trouble telling stories to Jim Kren’s little girl. “Y’know, Princess, in this case, maybe discretion’s the better part of valor.”
“But I always get a bedtime story. I can’t sleep without a bedtime story. Please, Uncle John! Pleeeeeeeeeze!”
How can a guy turn this kid down? “Okay Princess, just lay back and pretend you’re sleepy.”
“Make it a Christmas story!” Continue reading
How does a Type A find rest from the daily barrage of demands and decisions? Alternate activity, of course! Here’s my best pick for a quick weekend retreat. This is too much fun to keep to myself. Continue reading
“I still say da guy deserves what he got. He ran down dat poor animal on purpose! Hates squirrels. Says so in da papers.” So proclaims Loop Lonagan regarding Alderman Brookins of Chicago’s 21st Ward. Continue reading
We’re here to interview some reprobate named William Shakes for the job of special correspondent. I do not know why I’m a part of this. No sir! Continue reading
by Mark T Wayne
“Whaddaya think is da best Christmas gift o’ dem all?” Loop Lonagan puts this puerile question in a peculiar verbal form he calls the American language just as Donatis Ludditis and I innocently raise a Christmas toast at that notable Chicago landmark, Ludditis Shots & Beer. The place offers several distinct advantages. Our host never presents a bill for our proclivities and the back room houses our magazine offices.
“I got best gift! Is this!” Ludditis states his case in his Lithuanian accent, and passes fancy boxes across the table. “This one for you, Mr. Wayne. Is Christmas!” Continue reading
Howard Brookins Jr, the alderman for Chicago’s 21st ward, was biking along Cal-Sag Trail on Nov. 13, when a squirrel darted into his path. The squirrel wrapped itself in the spokes of the alderman’s bicycle. [The Washington Post.] According to the alderman, “I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge.” [The Chicago Tribune.]
If this is revenge, there is good reason for it. Yes sir! As the Post also reports: “Brookins denounced the eastern gray squirrel in a Chicago City Council meeting and has publicly spoken out about a toothy menace.” He complains of “aggressive squirrels that undermine efforts to overhaul the city’s trash carts.” [Chicago Sun Times] He claims that squirrels are gnawing through garbage cart lids at a cost to the city of $300,000! Continue reading
This thing still replays in my mind. And the news is everywhere!
“The last real American sports story—the story of the team that couldn’t and seemingly never would—is gone for good… [Rick Morrissey – Sun Times] Now I watch in shocked delight as the Cub’s sleeping bats come alive! A leadoff home run…
“…ending more than a century of flops, futility and frustration.” [Ronald Blum – Associated Press] …now more runs—a lot more runs, but way too many innings left to go… Continue reading