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Angels lifted spirits on 57th Street

May 22, 2020

Did everyone get a chance to see the Blue Angels fly over the city on May 12? Their goal was to honor workers fighting the pandemic on the front lines. But I think they made just about everyone in the city a little more cheerful. As we stood in a parking lot at 57th and Pulaski we–along with the gas company crew working on 57th Street–watched them fly across the sky.

On May 13, the teachers of Peck School held a parade around the neighborhood. They lined up in their cars with our Eighth District police escorting them through the streets where their students live. Cars and houses were decorated with balloons and “thank you” and “miss you” signs. It was a pleasure seeing Greater Southwest News-Herald Editor Tim Hadac and 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares, as well.

The gas pipe work along our block is done–for now, at least. I observed the workers every day. The whole process, in a nutshell, went like this: a sensor was first used to detect water and gas lines under the sidewalk. Then cuts were made to the sidewalk along those sensors and the cement taken out.

Now for the coolest part: the Vactor 2100, a truck which costs about $3,000 a day to operate (we were told), came along and sucked the dirt out while not damaging the pipes. At the end of the block a plastic pipe was run under the pipes and a guy would watch in the holes to ensure that the line would not bump into the services. Then from the hole (which was cut in front of the houses) another pipe was run into the main pipe.

Final step was filling the hole with gravel. That’s where we are now. Next step, someone will come to put the gas meters in. I am looking forward to that. As a caveat, this summation of the work done, was purely my observation. I think it is on target, for the most part.

I sure was eating my words from a previous column. I did put my petunias in during the warm days before Mother’s Day. Sure enough, frost came for Mother’s Day on the 10th. But thankfully my tricks to save the plants worked. I covered some up with cardboard boxes and others with plastic bags. I read that cardboard works better, but they all survived. They did look a little beaten up; but with the sunshine, they slowly started getting their smiles back.

Happy birthday to Krystyna Plewa on the 25th.

Happy Memorial Day to all.

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