I rise early on the Fourth because I have a Kennedy coming, Bobby and Ethyl’s son who ran the Merchandise Market in Chicago and who is now running for Governor of Illinois, coming to the Irish Rose on his birthday, yes, he was born on the fourth of July. For a guy who owns the Irish Rose and who was eighteen when John Kennedy was assassinated, I couldn’t be much more excited unless it was my own son coming here from Budapest. If only.

But today there is a Kennedy to host and there is much to do. I get the daily settlements done and put together the cash boxes that we need every day and then when I have done that I decide to take a walk to relieve any stress or anxiety I might have built up. I always feel so good after my walk. I set out down to Morgan Street and then cross over under the bridge to take the new pedestrian walkway across like I do most every time I travel this way.

I get close to the start of the footbridge and there is a gate blocking the path. This happens sometimes down here so I don’t let it bother me I just squeeze through and proceed on my way. Then I see that the footbridge is blocked off also so I decide to proceed North, the shortest way back to the Irish Rose. I have 35 to 45 percent ejection factor by my heart and I can only walk about five miles, so I need to take the shortest route back to my restaurant,

I see a park officer walking toward me. He engages me and lets me know that I am not supposed to be in this part of the park because they are setting up for the fireworks. I say isn’t this still a Rockford Park where a citizen can take a walk. Not today he says. He tells me that I must go back the way I came. He is unwilling to listen to me about the amount I can walk and tells me that I don’t have a bad heart if I came from that direction. I guess he is a diagnostician.

Finally, because I have much bigger fish to fry than this judge jury and executioner, I turn around and go the other way. By the time I get to Main and Morgan I am flagging and I call Jimmy who comes to pick me up and drives me back to the Rose. Fortunately he is there early to run the smoker for the party later that day. I hope the park idiot who knows so much about my condition reads this. I cannot believe that the direction I left the property was important it was just his way of punishing me. I hope his boss reads it too.

But a much bigger fish is in my pan and we get on it. Yesterday Chris (Kennedy) had called me on my cell phone and left me a message thanking me for everything in advance. I don’t want to disappoint him. Other than a few things coming out of the smoker late, everything goes great. You can see for yourself in the accompanying video shot and edited by our own Cari Ann. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it goes viral. You can enter a dinner drawing by sharing it with your friends.