The Rockford Files

Coming Home

It’s 10:01 p.m. in Florence, and seven hours earlier in Chicago.  According to the live map on the back of the headrest in front of me, we’re somewhere over Canada, making a beeline for Sault Ste. Marie, still in the daylight, but rapidly losing ground.  As we turn ever more to the south, the darkness will catch up, and shortly after we touch down, the first tendrils of dusk will be snaking their way through O’Hare.

Two years ago today, Aaron Wolf and I spent the night together.  The March 2011 issue of Chronicles was scheduled to go to press on February 2, but as the blizzard moved in that February 1, we began to suspect we would be unable to make it back to the office the next day.  We did two days’ worth of work in one, and not long before midnight, when we finished uploading the pages and approving them online, we found that we could not leave.  A few ounces of beef jerky served as a belated supper, and more than a few ounces of my homemade cherry liqueur made sleeping in our office chairs slightly less uncomfortable.

The next morning, before I waded through the waist-deep snow in the driveway of Chronicles’ editorial office and made my way home on foot down the center of the freshly plowed streets of Rockford, Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow.  Oddly enough, none of the good folks shoveling out their...

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