My irregular musings on city life, politics, baseball, roller derby, and whatever happens to be getting my goat today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Our Lady of the Fullerton Avenue Underpass

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Holy Mary of the Kennedy Expressway, Mother of Road Rage, Our Lady of Perpetual Slow Motion, Guardian Protector of Crotch Rocket Sport Cycles Who Weave Through Traffic, Blessed Virgin of the Underpass, Holy Mother of Carbon Monoxide, Our Lady of Shouted Cell Phone Arguments, Morning Star of the Rush Hour Pile-Up, Mediatrix of News Helicopters, Advocate for the Shopping Cart Refugees Who Seek Shelter from the Rain, Comforter of the Carpooling, Divine Intercessor of Interstate Trucking, Our Lady of Lane Changes, Blessed Virgin of Morning Talk Radio, Ever-Virgin of the Orange Barrels, Sacred Mother of the Delayed, Angel of the Annoyed, Binder of the Wounds of the Late for Work, Hear our Prayer.

The people of Bucktown and Logan Square humbly thank you for the gift of Your grace and Your presence at our humble underpass.

We ask your blessing upon this season, and plead with you to keep us safe and free of road construction.

We beseech you intervene on our behalf with those who would use our little neighborhood as a shortcut to avoid the stoplight at Fullerton on their way to the expressway, and liberate us from the pestilence of their honking, speeding SUVs in the early morning hours.

We implore you to bring enlightenment and understanding upon the people of the land, to bring commuters into the light so that they the way to the train station, and to awaken the hearts of the bicycle cultists to the knowledge that stop signs and one-way streets apply to everyone and not just cars.

We ask you to move the hearts of truck drivers and inspire them to read the height restrictions on the overpass before they try to drive beneath it.

Most of all, Blessed One, we beg, grovel and beseech you to appear at Springfield and intercede for us with the Illinois State Legislature to look upon us with forgiveness and grace and to bestow upon the Chicago Transit Authority the $50 million it needs to continue to provide us with public transit so we don’t actually have to use the infernal freeway which You have graced with Your presence just to get to the Loop.

We ask these things in the name of the Mayor, the Aldermen, and St. John of the Bootleggers from whom the Expressway takes its name.


Our Lady of the Underpass?

Tribune staff report
Published April 18, 2005, 1:35 PM CDT

Curiosity seekers joined the faithful today to view what some said was an image of the Virgin Mary at an underpass of the Kennedy Expressway on Chicago's Northwest Side, CLTV reported.

About 20 people were among the first to perceive the image shortly before midnight on a concrete wall of the Fullerton Avenue viaduct in the city's Bucktown neighborhood, officials said.

By this morning, television news crews were on the scene and media reports were spreading the word of the alleged apparition.

People milled about, taking photos and shooting video of what some were calling "Our Lady of
the Underpass," WGN-Ch. 9 reported. Some prayed and set lighted candles and flowers at the base of the image.

Officers of the Chicago Police Department and troopers of the Illinois State Police were nearby in case they were needed to direct traffic.

"It's a miracle. It's an image. You can't describe it. It's the first time I've seen something like this," said one witness, Jose Recinos.

Another passerby, Snezana Dilorazo, said she and her family noticed something on the viaduct wall and stopped for a closer look.

"We were driving the car, and we stopped by because we've seen the reflection," she said. "We thought maybe it was Jesus Christ," but on closer inspection, the family decided, "it's the Holy Mother," Dilorazo said.

Some witnesses told WGN the image was more visible on camera or when there was less light. Officials, though, said the pattern on the wall simply might be a stain caused by road salt dripping from the expressway.

Tribune staff reporter Tom Rybarczyk and Tribune wires contributed
to this story.

I blaspheme because I care.

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