The perceived image of the Virgin Mary seems to pop up somewhere on something every six months or so. In frost or water stains on a window, mineral stains under an overpass. Even in the drip pan of a barbeque grill or-my favorite-an old grilled cheese sandwich.
This past Ash Wednesday a cafeteria worker at a Houston elementary school discovered the image of the Virgin Mary as she cleaned off baking trays, leaving me wondering if perhaps it was the same tray used to make the revered grilled cheese sandwich.
Frankly, why the Mother of God would ever choose to return as a water stain on an underpass or on someone’s lunch is beyond my poor powers of intellect to puzzle out.
In any event, the phenomenon has now cropped up in the political sphere. Some say Donald Stephens has returned to this world, not on someone’s sandwich, but in the form of bark on a Sycamore tree outside a Rosemont health club. Of course, the image also looks like Che Guevera and Frank Zappa, among others. People originally thought it was a bearded Jesus, and someone actually left a candle under it. But before people started showing up with arms outstretched and wailing prayers to a piece of bark, it was decided that, no, it wasn’t the Son of God, but merely the Father of Rosemont. The Lady of Fatima returned to plead for world peace. Perhaps Donald of the Blessed Casino is taking one last shot at securing a casino license for Rosemont. Though, so far, no one has left any poker chips or checks for the Rosemont Voter’s League.
The fact is a strong sense of devotion seems to play a key role in these perceived sightings. So the notion that some see Stephens, who single-handedly created the political and economic powerhouse of Rosemont, on a tree isn’t surprising. I once saw Susan Sarandon naked in my scrambled eggs when I was in the Navy. She was poised as she would appear years later in that stunningly sensual scene in “Atlantic City” where she washed her breasts with lemon juice to get the fish scent off.
OK, so I wasn’t exactly experiencing “devotion.” But I was young and far from home and the vision affected me deeply. To this day I have an affinity for scrambled eggs.
Anyways, enough people in Forest Park have demonstrated strong enough devotion to numerous political types here that I’m surprised there hasn’t been a reported sighting locally.
Imagine if someone, say, oh, Anthony Bruno discovered the likenesses of Tony Calderone, Lorraine Popelka, the legendary Howard “Howie” Mohr and Roy “Mayor of Madison Street” Sansone suddenly materializing in the rust of the train overpass above Desplaines Avenue. I’m sure for a six figure finder’s fee Bruno would happily share it with us.
Think of it. We’d have something akin to a Forest Park Mount Rushmore for all the motorists passing by to gaze upon. And because the rail bridge isn’t likely to ever see a new coat of paint thanks to some quirk in federal law that says they have no legal obligation to do so, the image would be assured a long existence. Unless, say, Patrick Doolin or Steve Johnson or some other chronically disaffected person found their way up there and perpetrated an unholy desecration of the shrine. That, of course, could easily be avoided by retaining Vito Scavo’s security firm to keep a well-paid watch over our new treasure.
Cynic that I am, however, I wouldn’t be truly convinced until the likeness of an Illinois Alarm sticker appeared in the rust below Calderone’s image. In any event, I hope Tony Calderone stays out of my scrambled eggs. I’m still anticipating Susan Sarandon’s second coming.