If you grew up there you never called it that until you left. If you didn’t grow up there. You can’t possibly understand it by visiting.
The Region is unlike any other place in the stateIt’s true
From the heart of most heavily industrialized part of the state and nation, you’ll find a beautiful National Park.
From the middle of urban blight, you’ll find amazing history and hope.
Old towns, now cities.
Unincorporated townships, urban sprawl, country livin.
Every religion, every shade of skin, union pride and undocumented workers found up and down The Boulevard, Broadway, and 9 mile.
Obscene wealth, working class families, as poor as you can be, all along the same roads and bodies of water.
Hohman Ave to Long Beach.
All along and past Route 2.
The South Shore, Wolf Lake, The Kankakee, Lasalle, The Sands, The Slough, The Old Lighthouse.
BP, the Steel Mills, the Casinos, and Nipsco.
We all drank the same waters, breathed the same polluted air.
We root for the Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls with one voice.
We argue about Cubs or Sox.
Emissions tests, toll roads, stop lights, great food and civic pride.
Corn roasts, Pierogi’s, Popcorn, Gyro meat, Tamales, Ouzo and Slivovitz.
A fest for every town and religion.
Every town it’s own traditions. Every neighborhood it’s own story.
European Markets, Supermercado, Empire Carpet, Taco Real, Wagners, Miner Dunn, Hacienda, ‘Round the Clock.
Fierce loyalty, great food, a true sense of family.
Even the places no longer standing like Kiddie Land, Shakey’s, Celebration Station, Kmart, Inland Steel, Y&W, and the Cline Avenue Bridge hold a special place in the hearts and minds of those of us who experienced them.
Long live Southlake Mall and Blue Top.
There’s no escaping it. I’m from The Region. Even though I don’t live there now it will always be and feel like my home.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I won’t apologize, and unless you grew up there, you can’t fully understand it but rest assured it has and continues to build this state and nation.
Thanks for reading.