O Me of Little Faith

I’m a Cubs fan. Have been since 1980 or so, when my brother and I discovered WGN on cable during those long summer afternoons when we were tired of building 12-inch-high forts out of the big pile of extra bricks in our backyard. The Cubs are a sad, sad thing to be passionate about, but there it is. Even sadder is the fact that I’ve ended up turning my wife into a Cubs fan, too. Which is great and everything because now we’ll always have something in common: late-September irritability and depression.

Anyway, we always try to make at least one or two games every season. Last year we watched the Cubs lose two games to the Rangers in Arlington (though we were there to witness Sammy Sosa’s 600th home run, which was sort of bittersweet in itself). In recent years, we’ve traveled to Houston to watch them play the Astros. But the best trips are always when we go to Chicago to watch them play at Wrigley Field. Our last trip there was in the late summer of 2006.

But I have a plan to get there in 2008, and best of all, you get to help me do it.

My friends at CHANGE Design Group in Chicago have changed their name to CHANGE Effect. In a cool marketing campaign to make sure everyone knows about the new name, they’re inviting people to submit stories of how a certain change has had a profound effect on their lives. All the stories will be gathered this week, and then visitors to the website will vote for the best story. The winner gets a three-day, two-night, airfare-and-hotel-paid trip to Chicago, complete with a game at Wrigley. And that winner? Is gonna be me.

I’ve submitted a story about my paternal grandfather, Paw-Paw, and how a lot of things changed for me when I heard his tale of being shot down and imprisoned as a P.O.W. in Nazi Germany during World War II. Paw-Paw still lives here in Amarillo with most of our family, and he continues to inspire us. Anyway, I need your votes. The first round ends January 15, when the top 20 vote-getting stories will move on to the next round. (If my story moves up, I’ll need your votes again next week.)

So will you help my wife and I go to Chicago this year? Go here to read about Paw-Paw, then go here to vote for the story. I’ll owe you one.

I’ll owe Paw-Paw one, too. We’ll just add it to the tab.

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