I was Born in Boys Town…

I was Born in Boys Town…
in 1951 in Chicago Illinois
At the Illinois Masonic Hospital
Baptized at Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Lived in Dayton Court Apartments they still stand
Near corner of Halsted and Wellington
St. Sebastians school and church are gone, the Tabernacle is gone,
The Ivanhoe theatre is gone, the corner store is gone
as well as the Community store, A and P grocery store
and Sam and Anns candy store on Wellington Ave. under the “el” tracks
But Ann Sathers on Belmont has survived and has the BEST cinnamon rolls!
My world was Broadway, Clark st. Sheffield Ave.
I walked these streets with friends who lived on Oakdale and Mildred
Southport and Roscoe and Fletcher
Spent many an afternoon at Wrigley field!
Walked all the Way to Lincoln Park Zoo
Basked in the sun at Belmont Harbor
I ventured to Diversey Pkwy to swim at Lincoln Turners
My ride was the number 77 bus on Belmont
Ah but now there are greater things, a 5 block Legacy Walk
created with bronze sculptures and rainbow colored rings and plaques
commemorating the great bright stars of the movement,
these visual images louder than language
the yearly Pride Parade that is like no other!
Pride is thick in the air with people who are OK
Being who they are and loving who they love
A colorful coming out in colorful dress
people united in what they want to do and be in the world
My old neighborhood has become sacred ground
For everyone who who desires the freedom of choices and
a place where identities are accepted, hugged into safe havens
Blocks and blocks of beauty and Inclusion, I was Born in Boys Town….

RM Yager