Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Last Interview at WGN

I just finished up my last interview at WGN in the Chicago Tribune tower.  The revered station is moving across the river to 303 E Wacker and this would be it. It was the last time I would wait in the lobby of the Tribune building with the quotes from Presidents, poets, philosophers carved into the granite walls. The last time to go up to the seventh floor with WGN on the wall and walk past pictures of greats past and present. This last time was on Labor Day and the lights were off which made the old black and white photos more of their time.

I sat in the green room and waited once again listening to Rick Kogans interview before I went on. I held my book Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair and readied myself. It is a ritual that I had followed many times going  back to my novel Rocket Man. Kogan is one of the few men who still read books in Chicago and then have authors on his show.  He is one of the greats of Chicago journalism and harkens back to a time when writers and reporters all gathered at Billy Goats tavern on lower Wacker.

And then I am in the studio looking out the window at the Wrigley building and Michigan Avenue below. The gargoyles sit on the ledges and the speaker warns us we have thirty seconds. Rick and I make small talk and then we are on and for next thirty minutes we talk about the book like two old friends. And then it is over and I'm back out on Michigan Avenue. It is raining and I walk over the bridge and look down on the Chicago river and then over at the Tribune building.

Time passes.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Interview with Rick Kogan WGN

Books by William Hazelgrove