Helping the Bell Ringer at Daley Plaza
My old friend Jim called up and invited the family along for an interesting tour of Chicago. His friend owns and operates O'Leary's Firetruck tours, a company offering tours of Chicago aboard vintage firetrucks. They wanted to get a group together to travel around the loop and sing Christmas Carols at some Salvation Army kettle locations.
We pulled out around 11:00 am on a cold, snowy December 23rd, and headed first toward Engine 13's firehouse. Driving a vintage firetruck really attracts a lot of attention, but singing carols while driving really turns people's heads. There we sang carols to the firemen - most of whom knew and/or at one time worked with the owner of the tour company.
Our next stop was Daley Plaza, the location of the official Chicago Christmas tree. We sang at two locations there, on the southwest and southeast corners of the plaza. We attracted lots of attention and photographers as a large number of donations were dropped into the Salvation Army's kettle. Even the bell ringer joined in and sang.
After about an hour of caroling, we boarded the 1949 Mack Firetruck and headed off to sing by the Marshall Field building on State Street. The Salvation Army had two musicians there, and they were happy to accompany us as we sang about six carols.
Despite the cold, It was really a great time. I certainly hope we helped bring a little cheer to some people this year, either by helping to raise a few extra donations, or just by seeing us driving around in the old truck.