There we were with the barbecued chicken, the fat hamburgers, the beer, the wine, the salads, the chips and the cupcakes, eating and drinking and gossiping Saturday, early evening in the alley, celebrating our lives at our annual alley party, grateful for living in our little gated community of 36 homes at Roosevelt and Plymouth and State, when suddenly...a big black plane started circling over us.
I was wrong about the Golden Knights using a C-130, though. I looked up my story in the Trib archive. I was in a C-7A. And today, the Golden Knights use a C-31A
. But someone said it could very well be a C-130 that was being used for some other act in the show and that it
was on a reconnaissance mission.
So over and over it came from north to south over our alley. "They must love looking at our food and stuff from up there," someone said. I thought that may be true; the alley did look good. Especially with the way we had crepe paper and balloons draped on the new fence at the south end, and the food was so nicely strewn on a really long table the width of the alley--along the fence under the decorations. It was really beautiful and soothing and eventful all at once. Why wouldn't any pilot of any stripe of any branch of the military want to circle a few times? Even more than a few times?
On and on the debate went. As the beer was downed, the speculators got fuzzier and sillier. I stuck with my C-130 supposition. But someone else said a C-130 was a jet. "No, it's a prop, a turbo prop. It has propellers," I argued. Which the plane over us had. By this time, we had memorized the outline of the plane, because it had been over us so many times.
I found out yesterday, though, that what we were seeing was not the main contrail of the plane overhead. No--we were seeing the plane when it was backstage, waiting in the wings. Circling in the air for its grand performance at Soldier Field to salute the crowd at the Bears' exhibiton game against the Redskins
. I found out from my Prairie District friend Bruce, who could see Soldier Field from his balcony (while we were in the valley of our alley and unable to see our stadium neighbor) that the plane (was it a C-130?) was making it's way over there--nothing more. Or less. More than likely it was a plane from the air and water show that was making a special appearance since it was in town.
Still, I bet all the time spent over our alley made the occupants of the plane hungry--and yearning for a good old-fashioned summer get-together among neighbors.
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