On the verge of his 80th birthday, here’s what an under-the-radar Richard M. Daley is up to
SNEED: Check out Soldier Field’s amazing concert lineup this summer.
Former Mayor Richard M. Daley, whose fans wish was still in office, celebrates his 80th birthday Sunday.
It’s time for a Daley schmooze update.
Sneed hears the Bridgeport native likes …
• Living downtown … but refuses to give interviews to the “gazillion” reporters trying to get his take on crime spiraling out of control in Chicago.
• Going periodically to social events, but NEVER to political events.
• Being called “RMD” or “Rich” rather than “Richie.”
• Wearing his old cowboy boots … everywhere.
• Eating at home, which has basically been his base since COVID hit.
• Ordering towering desserts at Gibson’s for his five grandchildren to dismantle, although he is not personally big on sweets.
• Continuing to work out … although not at a level anywhere near his ardent physical routine before suffering stroke-like symptoms that affected his speech in 2014.
• Reading historical novels — but not necessarily tales of the West despite his incredible “love” of horses!
• Going to the Daley family compound in Michigan, where the entire clan gets together periodically.
Sneed is told Daley still displays the photo taken of him with then newly elected Mayor Harold Washington the day after he took office in 1983. (Washington, who would have turned 100 this past April 15, beat Daley and Jane Byrne in the primary. Daley later became mayor in 1989.)
“Rich was quite proud of that photo and it remained in his office for the entire time he was mayor” from 1989 to 2011, said a close friend. “It’s now at his home.”
And finally, a fish tale: Does Daley still destress with the help of a fish tank, like the one he had in his City Hall office, which had a calming effect on his legendary temper?
Glub, glub, glub ... Happy Birthday, Rich.
Soldier Field’s concert conquest
The Bears may be threatening to check out of Soldier Field, but check out this summer lineup at the lakefront stadium:
• Coldplay: May 28-29
• Kenny Chesney: June 25
• The Weeknd with Doja Cat as opener: July 24
• Elton John: Aug. 5
• Red Hot Chili Peppers: Aug. 19
• Bad Bunny: Aug. 20
• Rammstein: Sept. 3 (Wasn’t their latest album banned from display in Germany over S&M lyrics?)
Then toss in the Mexican national football team hitting the stadium in June for a soccer match against Ecuador.
“People want back, they want to be together, they enjoy the excitement of being part of a crowd … and nobody will be wearing masks,” said Tim LeFevour, Soldier Field’s general manager. “Everyone is excited!”
He added: “It’s shaping up to be the biggest summer ever in Soldier Field’s history of hosting concerts.
“And it’s due to the sheer determination and desire of the artists and fans to come back to live events after the pandemic.”
• Buck shot: The stadium’s mighty musical rollout comes as the Bears look to move — even hiring an architecture firm and consultants last month to help them draw up plans for a new stadium in Arlington Heights at the shuttered Arlington International Racecourse.
• Bank shot: Last fall, the team agreed to pay $197.2 million to buy the 326-acre site from Churchill Downs Inc., but the sale isn’t expected to close for another year. Meanwhile, the sale also depends on zoning approvals from Arlington Heights village officials despite Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s desire to keep negotiating to keep the team on the lakefront.
“We love the Bears,” said LeFevour.
“The Chicago Bears are great for the city.”
“And we would do anything to keep the Bears at Soldier Field!”
Royal ranting ...
Let’s lighten things up a bit and have a wee tee-hee.
What’s in a nickname … on the British royal scale?
Fluttering about in the royal hallways are whispers of informal nickname endearments affixed to Queen Elizabeth II by children who had a hard time pronouncing her name: Thus “Gan-Gan,” “Gary” and even “Cabbage” are grammy names.
But did you know the queen’s husband, the late Prince Philip, was known around Buckingham Palace as “PP”?
Now you know.
Congrats to C.C. “Glori” Sirirattumrong and Mark Valenti on their engagement in below-zero weather in the middle of Alberta’s famous and frozen Lake Louise last Tuesday. C.C.’s daughter, Lulu, is over the moon. Saturday birthdays: actor Dev Patel, 32; actor John Cena, 45, and comic John Oliver, 45. Sunday birthdays: singer Kelly Clarkson, 40; comic Cedric the Entertainer, 58, and actress/singer Barbra Streisand, 80.