Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Resurrection Mary Forever

One of the things I think about nearly every day in January is my beloved Resurrection Mary. In the midst of all the other projects and books in the works, I'm finally writing a book devoted just to her, and each night, after my daughters are in bed, I find time to type out a few hundred words just for her.

The story of Resurrection Mary, as every Chicago ghosthunter--and any self-respecting Chicagoan!--knows, is the pivotal tale around which revolves the entire folklore of Southwest Chicago. As a girl, my dad would take me to Resurrection Cemetery to visit the graves of his Polish cousins; inevitably, we'd stop for his shot and a beer (7-Up for me) at Chet's Melody Lounge, the infamous tap across from the cemetery gates. I never could have realized, in those days, that someday I'd frequent this place as a writer, historian, and ghosthunter. I never could have imagined the life that lay ahead.

Each night, after I've finished my typing, after I've finished remembering, I shut off the computer and turn out the office lights. Looking out the window in the darkness, these nights, soft snow is often falling. And I'm taken back to Archer Avenue, so close, so far . . . and I imagine I'm walking with Mary, along the roadside, nearly a hundred years gone by--searching for something we'll never find. Never.

Look for "Beloved: The Lives and Afterlives of Resurrection Mary" this Summer.