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Hey readers…Caitlin Presberg here, Summer Intern for Rockit Ranch Productions. Walking down the streets of Chicago everyday can become a bit of a routine, when you travel down there everyday for work.  Your mind seems focused and pre set on the movements that you make day after day.  However, every now and again something changes your focus and diverts you, allowing yourself to be taken in by your surroundings.

While waiting for an approaching Red Line train my ears were filled with the sound of a saxophone, accompanied by the beautiful notes played on a piano.  They were performing “Sweet Home”, a trademark of our Windy City.  The song brought a smile to my face asI thought of how Chicago, unlike others, can take such a simple place, and breathe life into it.  Everyone listening could be seen smiling, even shyly so.  We as Chicagoans can take such an original idea such as music, and form it into our own individual trademark of originality.  The Blues originated in the south, during the Civil War, however it was in Chicago where it really found its rhythm, and started the nationwide focus on performing.  Jazz as well as other music, found itself being transformed and revered in our city.

In the 20’s was when this all occurred, our culture and our pride was instilled in even the most desolate of places.  Places such as, the Savoy Ballroom, now known as the Harold Washington Cultural Center, where criminal activity was at a high, and extra curricular activities were scarce.  The Savoy Ballroom created an outlet for the people, in a place that was known as the Harlem of Chicago. Performers from all around came to perform at this Ballroom.  People such as, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington made it a point to perform there on a regular basis, along with others.

The Savoy Ballroom however, was still in need of money, which brought in other ideas for promotion, such as Semi-Pro Basketball games.  It was because of this that another idea was touched with our Chicago vibe of originality.  Games occurred here, but Savoy, founder of the Ballroom, decided to create a traveling team, called the “Savoy Five”.  It was these five players that later turned into the national phenomenon, known as the “Harlem Globetrotters”.  So many ideas have been transformed in ways that affect our culture in this city of Chicago, which makes me believe that the possibilities here are indeed endless.  So next time you are walking down the streets of Chicago, think about who might have walked them before you, and be ready for the possibilities that you yourself may be presented with, in this city of second chances, and endless possibilities.

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