Reporters from News India, Unity Times, and American Atheist Press never claimed their seats reserved in the press gallery at Mayor Daley’s inauguration Monday. Interest was light, but some interesting things happened. For instance, a “Minute-by-Minute Itinerary” put out by the mayor’s press office (it was appended to a “Technical Update on Inaugural Events”) correctly predicted the mood change as guests entered the Navy Pier ballroom: “The violins will automatically change the tone from the festive outdoors to the more ceremonial indoors.” And that is precisely what happened.
Poetry was everywhere. Win Stracke’s 1960 ballad told of “prehistoric glaciers” that “gouged a southward thoroughfare” and recalled that “half your homes went up in flames in the fire of ’71.” Patricia Smith’s verse celebrated a tree that “throws her cold tired body open / to her bold, regretless love.” She–the tree–“has a name for the moan / that worries gently in her hair. / It is called Chicago.”
At his 1955 inauguration, Mayor Richard J. Daley stated, “I have met too many people with a defeatist attitude toward our great city.” Repeating “I mean” a dozen times, he articulated a dozen assets of the “real Chicago.” In 1991 Mayor Richard M. Daley said “this should not simply be a day of back patting.”
A couple of vendors outside offered “Daley Double” T-shirts bearing the heads of both Daleys.
Maybe News India, Unity Times, and American Atheist Press are editorially indisposed to covering this sort of reincarnation coronation.