Irving Park and Kedzie

On January 4, 2012, I discussed Howard Gardner’s wonderful book – Frames of Mind. This classic book speaks of seven basic intelligences that all people share:  linguistic; musical; logical/mathematical; spatial; bodily/kinesthetic; interpersonal; and intrapersonal.  I’m not sure where “a sense of direction” comes in, but I will confess to having a total lack of this “intelligence.”

I have no trouble in my own home finding my way to the bathroom or getting to the basement. But once I walk out of the house, it is like my brain becomes a tabula rasa — a blank slate. . . . . Where is the driveway? Oh yeah. . . . How do I get to the back yard? Lemme think oh. . . it’s this w – no that way. Well. . . . it’s not quite that bad but perhaps you get my drift. If you ever want to inspire laughter with members of my family – just say the words “Irving Park and Kedzie.

Forty plus years ago, I was driving alone to a Thanksgiving gathering at my aunt and uncle’s home. They lived on Wolfram Street in Chicago. I was miles away when I realized – I had no idea where I was. . . . So I did what any red-blooded American male would do. I called my father (who was already there) from a local bar (no cell phones). “Dad – I’m at Irving Park and Kedzie and I . . . .” “You’re WHAT?” “Irving Park and Kedzie and . . . . ” “What in the WORLD are you doing at Irving Park and Kedzie?” I said I wasn’t sure where I was and how to get to Uncle Ernie’s. My father instructed me to get a pencil and paper (I walked to the bar and got the necessaries). And my dad explained – in detail – how to get from where I was to where I wanted to go. Nearly an hour later, I showed up. Nervous smiles and apologies. And we sat down to Thanksgiving Dinner. . . . “

I have to say that I am not as dumb as I may look. But if you want me to go from Point A to Point B? Do me a favor. Draw me a map, get me a GPS and allow me an extra half hour to get where I’m supposed to be.