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My Brush with Greatness

My father had a very small cleaning busines (carpets, furniture, walls etc) and I was his only full time employee.

On December 23rd 1981 we had received a call from a man named Ernie Banks. He had a unit in a Hyde Park
condominium that he needed cleaned. My dad said he wanted to know if we could get the unit done by the next day.

My father replied that my mother would kill him if he worked late on Christmas Eve as we always celebrated the Eve
with more fanfare than Christmas Day. My dad didn't believe it was "thee" Ernie Banks but assured him we could be
there on the 26th. I was as excited as all get out having been a Cub fan since I was 5. The thought of meeting Mr. Cub
was thrilling to a 19 yr old die hard Cub fan.

We arrived at the building at 8 AM on the 26th and my dad went up to the doorman to tell him he had an appointment
to see Ernie Banks. The doorman scoffed and led my dad to the unit and both he and my father were floored when lo
and behold, "thee" Ernie Bamks answered the door. He explained he had twin sons who were moving back to Chicago
and wanted to get them settled in a decent apartment and couldn't find any affordable ones but found this condo unit
that was a good deal but in dire need of cleaning.

It was apparent we would be there for at least 10 to 12 hrs so my dad had me go to a local grocery store and get bread
and lunchmeats and chips as well as soda. Ernie was all I imagined. He was as down to earth as anyone I ever met and
truly the optomist. He went into areas sweeping up the floors and picking up the loose debris working right alongside us.

He stayed all day with us assisting as his sons were moving in the next day. My most memorable moment was having
Cotto Salami sandwiches with him along with Jay's potato chips and 7-up. As the day was over and he was truly satisfied
with the work done and paid by check, he pulled out some black and white 8 X 10 glossies and signed them for us.
On mine he wrote, "to Paul  always stay positive - Ernie Banks".

It is a treasured memento I keep to this day. One day I'll pass on how I met the Daley family.
Much can be said about them but they treated us with true respect and dignity.

Thanks for your site Bart, I wear my WPE shirts proudly to this day. Initially took heat when
wearing them back in '04 (especially at Disney World) but nothing but compliments the last 6 years.
Keep swinging the hammer,
 Paul H


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