Today is Valentine’s Day, and I remember the very first VD Earl and I spent together. It was wintry cold, and I lived in a flat in the Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago’s north side. He lived downtown.
Many of our dates in those early years revolved around enjoying Chicago’s diverse cuisines and myriad restaurants. But for some reason, I invited Earl to dinner in my walk-up flat to celebrate the holiday of lovers.
I’m not sure what I cooked – that was years ago – but I’m positive it included the food groups that Earl loves even today: cheese, cheese, and more cheese.
What I do remember is that we each had a gift for the other. He arrived with what looked like a large poster, wrapped with tons of Scotch tape which I have learned is his signature style. I offered a small box, and I’m sure the tape didn’t show anywhere.
So after dinner, we exchanged these gifts. I opened a limited edition print by artist G. Harvey of the Art Institute, while he opened Tiffany’s glass version of a baseball. Today, the Harvey print is framed and hangs above our bed. The baseball can be found in our master bathroom with other various baseball memorabilia.
And I smile every time I look at either one.