Chicago Family Wedding: day 5 - Breakfast, Lunch, Ibsen


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March 11th 2018
Published: August 21st 2018
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On the morning after the wedding, Sammi's parents hosted breakfast at the hotel. Besides recalling immediate highlights of last night's memorable event, it gave us another chance to see family before they began dispersing.

We saw Don's great-nephew Ari as he approaches his third birthday this summer. We only previously saw him shortly after he was born at the previous Nadel family fete. His maternal grandfather Elliot Francke gave us the book he wrote and published "Upon a Time: The Darkness behind the Tales". This unusual medieval mystery is an interesting story and we await the sequel.

Ari's parents Russ and Tara and his aunt Fran had to leave soon after breakfast. We knew that as teachers Russ and Fran had to get home before Monday classes. However some bad news made their departure even more necessary. One family member who had been missing from the weekend was Russ and Fran's mother Marcy. Just before she was scheduled to come to Chicago her mother Marian became seriously ill. At breakfast we learned sadly that Marian had passed away.

We were scheduled to stay in Chicago another night and fly toward home Monday evening. We wanted to reroute our homebound travel plan to attend the funeral and pay condolences to Marcy and the rest of her family. However BA quoted an insane price to change our flights so sadly we couldn’t revise our travel plans and get to the funeral on Tuesday.

At the end of breakfast while everyone was still around, cousin Steve organised a grand family picture on the curved hotel stairway. After a few tries the professional photographer was satisfied.

Then as a treat Steve led us to lunch with his daughter Heather. She is a film-maker who was just about to move from Chicago to Los Angeles. Heather has lived so many places we were lucky to catch up with her! Caroline and Don enjoyed the visit but poor Lesley's legs / hips needed to recuperate from her dancing queen activity.

Our last evening with Caroline was spent at the theatre. We saw Ibsen’s play "An Enemy of the People". Don might have made a mistake booking it for Sunday night after all the Saturday night partying, but we managed to stay mostly awake and enjoyed the heavy play.

Henrik Ibsen wrote "An Enemy of the People" in the 19th century about how political corruption and the newspapers can turn a hero into a villain and turn reality upside down. This excellent production had apparently been modernised a bit. The lead character Dr Stockmann ranted about "draining the swamp" and "fake news" and "false truth" and similar phrases. A direct English translation of his original play does not include exactly such wording although 'drains' / 'drainage' are mentioned both physically and metaphorically. Would Ibsen be at all surprised to find that little has changed in 136 years of politics and media?

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