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The way to the western finals

Video by Melissa DeMoss.

Rick DeMoss,and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo talk about Ohio State's Aaron Craft. DeMoss, former New Riegel head basketball coach, is now assistant coach at Carey.

 The original plan was to take the Amtrak from Toledo to Chicago, stay overnight in Chicago, visit our daughter, then depart on Sunday for Tucson, Arizona, via the Amtrak Texas Eagle.  From Tucson we would pick up a rental car and drive to Tempe a western suburb of Phoenix, visit an uncle and go to the Western Regional Finals.  All I can say about that plan now is, “What was I thinking?”


Stop 1 Saturday, March 17 St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

We arrived at the Toledo train station at around 5:00 a.m. and found about 60 people outfitted in their finest green apparel waiting to leave for Chicago’s St. Patrick Day celebration. The group included a gentleman wearing a green Bubby’s Pizza (New Riegel) shirt, a lady from Michigan who visits a different city each year to celebrate the day, and assorted college students. The train was filled with mainly Chicago bound passengers, and we arrived in plenty of time for the dyeing of the Chicago River and parade.

The unusually warm weather the city was having brought out over 400,000 celebrants. Throngs would cross the street in one massive movement and you moved with the flow or got trampled. Street cops tried to control the traffic but on more than one occasion the pedestrians just did things their way, bringing words of praise from the cab drivers.

After the festivities we managed to make it back to the hotel in time to watch the Buckeyes beat Ganzaga. We then found our way to Wrigleyville, where many of the young professionals prefer to live.  We were invited up to one of the infamous rooftops that you see behind the stadium where the Cubs play. Great view of the party action below, if you like watching young drunks. We didn’t see any unruliness, but later read we missed the incident that’s been posted on YouTube showing a cop with his hands around a Wrigley partier’s throat. Other than taking the Redline the wrong way and having to retrace our steps, we eventually got back to our hotel.

I guess I’m officially out of the loop, because I had no clue what a big event St. Patrick’s Day is in Chicago. Warning to those thinking of going to Chicago on St. Pat's. Go early while everyone is relatively sober. The hotels are overpriced, booked full, and it's difficult to walk around, let alone try to purchase something to eat or buy one of those tasty green beers.

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