95

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So, when I was a little girl (I would refer to myself as Lil Elaine, but the word “Lil” makes me want to puke), I had a Grandma. Well, of course I had two Grandmas, both of whom were splendid in their own (and very, very, verrrrry different) ways. I have only the best memories of both of them and I miss them both intensely.

But this is a tale of Grandma A, my Dad’s mom. She was…one hell of a lady. The thing is, she passed away when I was in the 6th grade so many of my memories of her are a little fuzzy. Both because they happened when I was no older than 11 years old and because I do have some pictures from that era, which of course makes me wonder if I remember or if I am just thinking of the picture.

When Grandma was alive, she and Grandpa lived in Illinois. A few times she took me to Chicago on the train. I don’t remember a thing about those trips other than the times she took me to lunch (dinner? snack?) at the restaurant on the 95th floor of…well, some big building in Chicago. It was where I was introduced to the greatness that is chocolate mousse (thanks Grandma…).

And as the years passed, I would think of the restaurant and the mousse and the fact that it was located nearly 100 floors above the ground and as always, the memory seemed kind of murky. Did I get it confused with a children’s book? Did I dream this happening? Really, 95 floors up? No way.

And then, one day I was reading the comments to a blog post on another blog and someone referenced the restaurant on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building in Chicago as a great place to eat. Thanks to Google (which I’d never thought to try before for this), I found the site for what is now called the “Signature Room at the 95th” and for once I had my memories vindicated. The dim recesses of my memory recognized it. It existed, I had eaten there (even though the mousse is MIA on the current menu), and a little piece of my childhood (and with it, Grandma A) came back to me.


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