Jason and I arrived at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont around 2 PM that Friday afternoon. He’d flown in from Rhode Island the day before and my local friends, Ron and Angie, were already waiting in the lobby. Everyone had their vaccines (this blog brought to you by the good people at Pfizer!) and were looking forward to a gathering. I did have some trepidation about doing this show but it was less about catching the virus than it was my being inside too long. My job became a permanent ‘work from home’ position last June and, with respect to one brutal Chicago winter, there’d literally be entire weeks I’d spend inside my apartment. Apparently, the longer you stay in, the harder it is to rejoin society. Seeing the happy, albeit masked, faces of my friends immediately signaled I’d made the right choice. The only person missing today was the hotel’s gregarious Don Johnston. His palpable absence made the entire weekend seem “off” as the once familiar Crowne Plaza suddenly didn’t seem itself anymore. Likewise, Days of the Dead didn’t seem like Days of the Dead either with so many of its missing familiar faces.