Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014
Snow and wind barrels into the city of Chicago as I write this first blog passage prior to launching PUSHCART TONY on KICKSTARTER. It seems right. Winter and wind were always a big part of Tony Cermak’s life. From the hard countryside of Eastern Europe where his father toiled in the coal mines to the Southwest side of Chicago where as a young man Tony sold firewood from a cart to neighborhood homes. During that time, staying warm was something people worried about, as winter was a wolf, not just the inconvenience it is to us.
I am a little nervous to show PUSHCART TONY to the world. So much work has gone into it, so much research done, that sometimes I’ve found it to be kind of a cool secret to simply know the tale of Tony Cermak personally. This man, who came from nothing and worked sixteen hours a day. This man who studied and learned at every stage of his career, and when it was his time, was prepared–not just to take his place as a Big Shot in Prohibition Chicago–but to execute his position as a public servant.
Was he perfect? No. An angel? Not even close. Did he consistently seek to accrue power for himself and his party? Yes. But in the fat days of this Jazz Age, where men of his position embezzled and partied, solicited mistresses and monuments for themselves, Tony Cermak instead perplexed his peers with his compulsive work ethic. He was labeled as the “Master Executive” by the press and public. In his great efforts to improve the lives of the people of Chicago, to squash incompetence and malfeasance, the man was relentless.
In this day and age, Tony Cermak seems a strange bird indeed.
OK, enough musing, Mike. Let’s go hit that LAUNCH button and let the world hear his story.