This Chuy guy was like mercury at the Chicago South Side Irish Parade on Sunday – he was hard to catch.
He may be about 10 percentage ticks behind Rahm Emmanuel in the poll for mayor of Chicago, but he is making up for it in Tasmanian Devil-like energy.
Jesus “Chuy” Garcia probably should have run in the mile race that took place on Western Avenue an hour before the step off of Sunday’s parade. He might have given some of the top 10 finishers a run for their money.
The parade started at 103rd and Western and that was Chuy’s starting block as he ran and jogged the 12 blocks, zig-zagging between the east and west sides of Western, shaking hands with members of the crowd, hugging other members, yelling, pointing and giving the thumb-ups. He was passing other floats and marchers.
His people were able to get parts of the crowd to chant “Chu-eee, Chu-eee.” The last time I heard those words together so much was in the late 1960s on my transistor radio thanks to a group called the Ohio Express.
He was a photographer’s dream – when he stopped to shake hands and pose. But he was a nightmare when he would zip off and us pitiful paparazzi goofs had to run after him. I got some clear shots of him. I got some blurry shots of him.
Garcia and his Celtic Boxing group was the 92nd entrant in the 103-entry parade. For those who were getting bored with the show, he gave it a nice shot of energy toward the end.
Way earlier, Emmanuel was in the front of the parade with the Irish American Labor Council and he was also making nice with the members of the crowd but wasn’t as animated at Chuy.
On this day, Chuy reminded me of former Cubs manager Mike Quade. When Quade was a third-base coach, I talked to him during his first spring training about how hyper and excited he was about his job and his response was “I make coffee nervous.’’
Chuy could be viewed the same way. I don’t know how many votes that will translate to, but give him credit for the effort.
Gov. Bruce Rauner was on hand at the parade and, like Chuy, was having fun with the crowd shaking hands and taking selfies with his adoring public.
He got a lot of cheers although he wasn’t popular with everyone. Someone held up a sign that said “Ruck Fauner.”
Despite that, Rauner was having a blast in the infancy of his new job.
We’ll see if that enthusiasm lasts in a couple of years.
Right on the Money
The WeishFest group was at the parade and announced recently that the 2015 lineup will include Eddie Money and Warrant.
This year’s fest will take place from noon to midnight July 18 at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood. The fest is in honor of Andrew Weishar, a Brother Rice student who died of cancer in 2012. The Andrew Weishar Foundation benefits families with kids or young adults battling cancer.
Tickets start at $25. For more information, visit weishfest.com.