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An old man got on the Ravenswood el at Armitage. He was singing and talking to himself--scraps of hymns like "Rock of Ages" and "In the Sweet Bye and Bye," bits of sermons addressed to nobody in particular.

"Lord, if you take me today, I'm ready," he said at one point. "And if there are tears in my eyes, they're tears of compassion--compassion for the sorry human race."

As we pulled out of the stop near the Sulzer library he paused in singing "Bringing in the Sheaves" and intoned, "Now Lord, I'm going to be getting off at Adams. I want you to be with me at Adams. Because Lord, when I'm walking along Adams, you and I are going to have to have a long talk."

--Lee Sandlin

Reader to Reader welcomes (and pays for) anecdotes, overheard conversations, and slices of city life from 20 to 200 words in length. Send yours to Reader to Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611, or

E-mail to R2R@chicagoreader.com.

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