I love local news! The wacky “human interest” stories are the ones that are the most fun to talk about and think about and just generally make the world a happier friendly warmer place. And my Dad just forwarded me a follow up on one of the All Time Great Chicago local news stories. I will share it with you, and then you can share your stories with me!
Last summer, Chicago as a city fell in love….with an alligator. One of our most beautiful inner city parks is Humboldt Park. It’s in the middle of a neighborhood deep in the city far away from the fancy lakefront area, lots of families and kids and stuff, it’s over 100 years old as a park and has gorgeous landscaping, a real hidden gem in terms of tourists but beloved by the neighborhood, and the center of the whole thing as an enormous manmade Lagoon. And last summer, a concerned citizen reported to the park department that they saw a crocodile in the Lagoon. And then more and more people started seeing it, including a citizen reporter for BlockClub (great website if you like local news) who confirmed with the parks department that there was actually an alligator there and then reported it. Soon the park was filled with alligator watchers in folding chairs, you could buy t-shirts, there were twice daily updates from all local news sources on Gator Watch. And the public gave him the name, Chance the Snapper (we do love Chance the Rapper here).
After two months of excitement, and a failed hunt by an outside gator hunter, there was finally success from Frank “Alligator” Robb, brought up from Florida for the Hunt. The city also fell in love with him, so many interviews and excitement about him. And then the photoshoot post capture with surprisingly cute and small Chance.
Anyway, today there was a follow up article. Chance and Frank are now settled down in Florida together. Chance is in an alligator sanctuary getting fat and spoiled. Frank visits him regularly. Frank also continues to feel tied to Chicago, saying he speaks up for it when folks in Florida talk bad about big cities, everyone he met was nice and friendly there. Really, read the whole thing! If only for more cute alligator photos!