Home » Uncategorized » Cowboys at the Hyatt?

Cowboys at the Hyatt?

The cab company office had posted a flyer describing a convention for “IML” being held at the Hyatt. IML, I pondered? Maybe trade show participants, or health care professionals? The flyer estimated more than 10,000 people would attend the convention.
My evening had started out busy as I shuttled fares to and from many of River North’s hottest dining spots and nightclubs. When the pace finally slowed, I thought I’d head to the Hyatt to get a piece of profitable convention business. As I pulled up in front of the Hyatt entrance, I saw what must easily have been at least 1000 men dressed in what could be considered modern cowboy attire. Many wore black leather vests, chaps, and/or boots – they all sported some sort of leather apparel. ‘IML,’ I learned, was the acronym for International Men of Leather. The men stood outside socializing and smoking on what was a beautiful Chicago summer night. It was about 80 degrees, even as the midnight hour neared. Most of the men wearing vests were not wearing shirts. The cab line moved quickly, and as I pulled to the first position, two leather-clad men extinguished cigarettes, stepped toward the cab, and entered the vehicle. One wore a vest and chaps ensemble, like many of the other convention goers. The other wore what’s best described as a cook’s apron, made of dark red leather. Neither of the men wore shirts. They gave me a friendly “Hello, how’s it going?” and one of them said, “Halsted and Belmont please.” We chatted during the drive, and they said they were looking forward to checking out the Halsted street bars. One of them said he was here from the UK, and the other was an Aussie. They asked how late the bars stayed open, and I mentioned the names of a couple 4am bars where I often got fares (who happened to dress much like these gentlemen). They thanked me for the information, said good bye, and got out at their requested destination.
Now let me just interject that I am a country boy at heart, having grown up in rural Iowa where my elders still live on the family-owned farms. I’ve always especially enjoyed magical nights when the moon and stars cast a beautiful glow on rolling, green hills. Anyway, that said, let me return to the scenario at hand.
As my leather-clad fares walked away from the cab, I quickly learned more than I cared to know about them. I must say that the full moon was out for both of these men. Being a responsible cabbie, I try to always be prepared. I simply got out my antibacterial wipes, cleaned the back seat, and went back to the Hyatt for what proved to be a very profitable evening.
As I end this post, the words of a once-popular country song by Willie Nelson come to mind, “My heros have always been cowboys…” If I were more tech savvy I’d include a link to the song, but I’m sure you can find it yourself. Thanks for stopping by, and, happy trails – sorry, I couldn’t resist making one last cowboy reference. (image courtesy of 123rf.com).

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