The Lakeview YMCA

After I graduated from high school the Lakeview YMCA was my home. Consequently, for my homecoming it seemed fitting that I again take a room at the place where my life as an independent adult had begun.

Although the room I occupied in 1961 had been taken, I managed to get another on the same floor. I had walked down his hallway countless times before, but back then it seemed like a promenade at the Ritz. Forty-five years later I saw it mostly as a grim, dismal avenue to oblivion for men without hope.

With two windows overlooking the building's lower floors,
this room was more spacious than the one I had in 1961.

Measuring 10 feet square, the room had a bed with one thin blanket, one slightly broken chair, a small desk, and a single lamp. This wonderfully simple accommodation would be my home for the next nine days.

To catch up on my reading, I brought with me a copy of D. Kagan's "The Peloponnesian War." Consistent with my spartan surroundings, it was a fitting subject to occupy my evenings.

How many times, I wondered, did I use this bathroom before I left Chicago forever?

At night, when everything was closed down, I spent my evenings in my room at the Y, reading my book.

My ten days in Chicago were all quite full. Here, an October sun rises east of my window on the first day of my stay. Soon I would be out the door and off to visit

The Old Neighborhood.