Bill Cahill, and a glorious day at Wrigley, RIP

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Wrigley_Field.jpg

Today, with a new shroud of snow topping the remains of a winter that refuses to let us out of its grip, the late-summer day last year when I met Bill Cahill seems like a dream.

The sky was blue, the breeze at Wrigley Field was a gentle caress, and the Cubs were winning.

Cahill, sitting next to me in the stands, talked about seeing his first Cubs game with his father. That was in 1929, when he was eight years old. And he talked about his days as a journalist, before he turned to financial public relations.

We discovered that he'd worked with my good friend Betty Rubin after returning home from overseas duty in World War II.

He remembered that she was a star reporter at the Chicago Journal of Commerce when he was first hired there, a few years before it was purchased by the Wall Street Journal.

I remembered something she told me: that she got the chance to prove herself only because all the men had been away at war.

Cahill became part of the only game report I've ever written for the Reader. And—after a break of a half century or so—he and Betty Rubin renewed their acquaintance by e-mail.

He died January 24, at home in Wheaton.

I didn't know that until his obituary popped up Tuesday in the print edition of the Tribune. (He'd been a frequent letter-to-the-editor contributor in his retirement years, and the Tribune has posted his last missive to them, published shortly before Christmas, online.)

It took me back for a minute to that perfect day. Life, with all its happy coincidences, was in full bloom, and another eight-year-old was at a Cubs game he'll never forget.

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