Q: It’s Monday morning, January 4. The city is paralyzed by a blizzard, and the CTA has collapsed. You are CTA president Frank Kruesi, and according to your publicity, you always take the el to work. How long does it take you to get from your home station in Albany Park to City Hall to get chewed out by Mayor Daley?

A: A long time. In below-zero weather, you wait 45 minutes for a Ravenswood train but when it finally arrives it’s too full to board; it’s a half hour till the next one. The train runs to Paulina, where it malfunctions and goes out of service. Thinking quickly, you walk two blocks south to Belmont hoping to get a westbound bus to take you to the Blue Line. Over the next hour three buses go by too packed to stop. Finally, you catch a bus west, and it drops you at the station at Belmont and Kimball. You wait an hour and a half more; the train has broken down at the Jefferson Park station, its inner workings short-circuited by the powdery snow. It finally arrives, but on the way downtown, it stops three times between stations, 15 minutes each stop. Better hurry, Frank. It’s almost dark, and Da Mare is waiting!

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Terry Laban.