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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

such a long drive for such an old woman, and for nothing

Yesterday I obeyed a letter from the presiding judge over the Law Division of Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois instructing me to appear on 01-18-18 for a hearing before a trial judge in my late father’s loss of limb lawsuit against his former nursing home; even though I had argued in half a dozen motions and telephone calls over the past two months that a trial hearing should not be required at this time as the motion judge had ruled that one of my co-defendants was in default for not answering my summons, and the other co-defendant had evaded service by not opening his door to accept my summons (security at his luxury homes in a nice Chicago suburb and Miami Beach, Florida facilitated this maneuver for him), and the nursing home refused my summons saying that they knew nothing about anything and they were not an agent for either defendant.

Sure enough, when I got to the high-ceilinged courtroom on the 22nd floor of the Richard J. Daley Center, the trial judge’s clerk told me “You have no hearing today. When your motion judge scheduled your prove-up, the system knocked the trial hearing date out of the system.”; which is exactly what I had been saying, that since I was scheduled to prove-up my case before the pre-trial judge passed judgment on it, logically there was no need for a trial hearing as my case would not be going to trial. At any rate, there would be no hearing today. Never mind that no one notified me that the hearing was cancelled, that the presiding judge had instructed me in writing to attend the hearing, and that the on-line case docket continued to show that the hearing was scheduled for 01-18-18, there would be no hearing on this date. What is that emoji for a screaming, crying face? I tried to stay calm and steady and not become dispirited; and not let it kill me with another stroke or heart attack. I was grieving on this day, this was the two-year anniversary of my father’s passing.

At least the weather held so driving conditions were good on the long drive home, and the midweek traffic was light. When I was young I did not dwell on driving conditions, once I made the decision that conditions were good enough to drive, I went with competence and confidence, stopping only if conditions changed. But now my dry, old eyes scanned every patch of road for winter ice patches, particularly along the bridges over Illinois’ many creeks, rivers, and canals. I got a two-hour stabbing pain behind my right eye. The whining, rumbling, two-story tall trucks going seventy miles per hour right next to me tightened my hurt back; and I felt cold fear. When I was young I felt warm, and happy, and strong when I navigated the roads of America.


I wanted to have the reward of creating something from the world on this day, but the combination of the arduous drive and stressful non-hearing was so fatiguing that I limited myself to what I might express about world-renowned artist Pablo Picasso’s sculpture which was installed in front of The Richard J. Daley Center in 1967. The sculpture has no name other than the moniker The Picasso (which is a clue as to its perceived merit), it was given without charge by Picasso to the City of Chicago (another clue), and it was constructed of the same Cor-Ten steel as the Daley building behind it so it tends to blend into the building (which in my opinion is as it should be). There is unamusing debate as to whether Picasso’s sculpture represents a dog or a cow, either way the best view that I could find was of its behind, taken from my vantage point of inside the Daley Center, out of the chill wind. This is the view most people have of The Picasso, its behind from inside the Daley Center.

I have seen the work of this proud Spanishman in person, and I can say that to comprehend the magnitude of Pablo Picasso's art, it must be seen in person. Even an extra large icon on the highest resolution screen cannot convey the emotional impact of seeing something like his massive humans in strange colors on a wall directly in front of you. The presense of his work has knocked my socks off in many art galleries. He is acclaimed for his massive mural on the horrors of the 1937 war in the town Guernica, which is in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, Spain.

I had the good fortune to see an old film of Picasso actually creating a piece of artwork on a glass pane, so that through the camera I looked into his face as he worked, I saw his brush sweeping in the air before me, I saw him stroke the paint into art. He was magnificent in his persona, his style, his savoir faire. He had élan, meaning that even as an older man he sprang about like a thrown lance of energy. They say that he created fifty thousand pieces of art.

Caption: Rear view of The Picasso on Daley Plaza in Chicago.

photograph by Annmarie Throckmorton on 01-18-18.

Caption: Front view of The Picasso, sourced online from City of Chicago.


Caption: My late father’s trial hearing is still on his case docket,

even after it was automatically cancelled by the system

due to Defendants’ default.

Screen Capture by Annmarie Throckmorton on 01-18-18.

And, why does this docket label me a "participant"?

I am a litigant, specifically The Plaintiff.

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