Cubs fan Fred Speck would be packing up for Spring Training now for his extended stay at the very moderate Motel 6 in Scottsdale, Az.
More often than not we would meet for a baseball drink at the Pink Pony in Scottsdale and he would be all over me about his latest Mexican food discovery in the Valley of Eternal Promise.
Fred died over the winter.
Cubdom just won't be the same without Fred Speck and Bob Beck.
Here is a link to my post on Fred's passing along with some touching comments from his friends.
Fred used to host an annual Cubs Opening Day party, first at his Wrigleyville condo, and later at Guthrie's Tavern, 1300 W. Addison (773) 477-2900.
The 20-year tradition will continue this year at Guthrie's as a Memorial to Fred.
Doors open at 9 a..m. Monday, April 8 before the Cubs host the Milwaukee Brewers. How appropriate. Milwaukee was Fred's second favorite city. He once fell in love with a girl from Wolski's.
Hawaiian shirts are optional. Brats, chili and potato salad will be served in the back of the bar.
Along with tall tales.
Fred and I argued about everything ranging from the worth of baseball commissioner Bud Selig to Fred's strange affinity for Hootie and the Blowfish.
But we always agreed on the American glory of Merle Haggard.
And we understood the simple beauty of this Haggard song: