On September 2, 2010, photographer Al S. Podgorski came to my office to take a picture for Mike Thomas' Chicago Sun Times story about Royko in Love. I was surprised and delighted by a working contact sheet he gave me of photos of Dad horsing around at the Billy Goat in 1981. Al captured Dad in a good mood, hanging out in a favorite home away from home with people he enjoyed, and has very graciously given me permission to put up this page. Thank you so much, Al!!! Besides Sam Sianis (proprietor of the Goat, top row, 3rd and 4th from the left and the second row, first 3 from the left), the other person I can identify is legendary photojournalist John H. White (embracing Dad in 5 pics). The full contact sheet is below, and beneath that, I've pasted the pics (slightly enlarged) of Dad from the sheet that had been taken vertically.
Al recalls the career advice delivered by Dad that evening:
The story of that night for me was when Mike Royko said to me (a student in John H. White's Photojournalism class at Columbia College), “Why do you want to try to work at a major newspaper as a photographer? Do you know how hard it is to get a job at the big newspapers? Your teacher is a great guy, but he thinks the world is legit. It isn't. Be smart and be a carpenter or an electrician. Work as a tradesman. You'll be a lot happier.”
Then he looked me close in the eyes and said, "Well, your eyes are clear... you're not on drugs or drunk...
"Who knows? Maybe you'll make it."
Sad Addendum, May 30, 2013: Today, the Chicago Sun Times fired all 28 of their photographers and will now use freelancers and reporters' cell-phone snapshots instead. Fantastic photographer Al Podgorski and the legendary Pulitzer-winning John H. White are two now-former Sun Times photographers.
All photos on this page are the property, and under copyright control, of Al S. Podgorski, and may not be reproduced without his permission.