We had a day off in Chicago after our show at SPACE in Evanston. While wandering around near Grant Park, a few of us stumbled upon a dark bar, shyly tucked away beneath a visibly aged sign that simply displayed a local beer logo and a small decal that proclaimed “2 DOLLAR DRAFTS”. This sign, as I soon learned, had been on display since the bar’s establishment, over 30 years ago.
As we entered, I heard a small voice calling from the far end of the room, welcoming us. I heard the voice before I even saw it’s source. Then she emerged, a small and slow moving woman, most assuredly in her 70s. Her accent was undeniably foreign. We began talking to her, and learned that she (Rose was her name) moved to the United States from Macedonia many years ago. She was one of the sweetest souls that I have ever met.
She placed bundles of lilacs on the bar for us to smell. It was wonderful.
It wasn’t long until her son, probably in his 50s, entered the bar. He asked if we might be willing to help unload his car (supplies for the bar) because he has back problems and couldn’t lift the boxes by himself. We obliged.
One of the most touching things about this experience was that Rose was very quick to “adopt” us as her grandchildren. Every ten minutes, she would softly call out to us, “I love you”, with sincerity that couldn’t be questioned. Complete warmth.
We weren’t able to stay as long as we would have liked, but as we left, I gave her a big hug and told her that I loved her too. And she told me that she loved me again.
I promised that we would be back in August, and we would most certainly return to Rose’s Bar.
These are the things that make touring a beautiful and meaningful thing.