October 17, 2013 • Posted in blindness, Flo, guest blog, Uncategorized by
That's Floey helping me  field questions during a visit to her school last year

That’s Floey helping me field questions during a school visit last year.

I have a seven-year-old great-niece with a big name: AnnMarie Florence Czerwinski. I call her Floey for short, and you know what? She kinda likes it. Here’s Floey now with a guest blog post about our visit to the Chicago History Museum last Friday.

The Great Chicago Fire: Chicago is Burning!

By AnnMarie Czerwinski

Last Friday, October 11th, I went to the Chicago Historical Museum and learned about the Chicago Fire. I went with my Aunt Beth and my mom and my brother.

It was my job to help my aunt Beth, who is blind. I did this by leading her around and read her things that were in the museum. So, I will tell you what I learned.

The Great Chicago Fire all began in 1871. Here’s how it began: In Chicago, there was an Irish neighborhood. In that neighborhood, there was this Irish lady named Mrs. O’Leary. She had a cow to sell. One of her friends smoked a lot and probably dropped a cigar on the grass. Then the grass caught on fire and that’s what we think caused the Great Chicago Fire.

Floey is returning this Saturday to join a friend and me for a New World Symphony concert at the Harris Theatre in Chicago’s Millennium Park and a slumber party afterwards. Sorry this blog post is so short: gotta go lie down for a nap to prepare.

Lauren On October 17, 2013 at 6:41 am

Late last night, when we were all in bed,
Old Lady O’Leary left the lantern in the shed,
Oh, when the cow kicked it over,
We blinked our eyes and said,
“It’s gonna be a hot time in the old town tonight!
Fire! Fire! Fire!”

Fun fun fun–first you invite me to remember my favorite childhood toy, then you bring this song back to mind, one of the first I remember learning under the instruction of my always-singing daddy. Thank you!

bethfinke On October 17, 2013 at 7:04 am

And to think the poor cow got all the blame, when all this time it was just some friend of an Irish lady who liked to smoke.

Don Horvath On October 17, 2013 at 7:19 am

Excellent post.

bethfinke On October 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I bet you can relate, you have such fun with your own nieces and nephews, Don.

Carla On October 17, 2013 at 9:02 am

Floey is a great writer (must take after her great aunt?!). Can’t believe she is seven. Some adults I know don’t write that well.

bethfinke On October 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Well, she *is* almost 8, you know…

Anne Hunt On October 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

You have so much fun!!!

bethfinke On October 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I sure do — I’m a very fortunate woman.

Janet On October 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Hi Beth, this is AnnMarie. I hope we have fun at our sleepover. Thank you for putting me on the blog. Ray said his favorite part of the museum was being turned into a hot dog.

bethfinke On October 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Hmmm. This one might require some explanation: Floey’s 4-year-old brother Raymond made himself into a giant Chicago-style hotdog in the “Sensing Chicago” exhibit, surrounded by pillows of onions, peppers…not sure how they represented the celery salt, though.

bethfinke On October 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm

I think I meant celery seed, isn’t that what makes a Chicago hot dog ddistinctive? For what it’s worth, *my* favorite part of the day was sitting outside on a beautiful day eating a real-live Chicago-style hot dog with Janet, Floey and Ray at Lincoln Park Zoo after the museum.

Benita Black On October 19, 2013 at 10:24 am

“…holler and whoop/all through the Loop/Shout “how now”/at Mrs O’Leary’s cow/No chi-chi/Life’s peachy…” (lyrics by Fred Fisher)

Sound the trumpets — and the trombone | Safe & Sound blog On November 5, 2014 at 6:49 am

[…] photos and memorabilia from my York days, two other sisters are coming in from out-of-state, and my eight-year-old great niece Floey will be joining them at the head table along with Mike, Whitney and me. From the District 205 web […]

LGBT community is not alone | Safe & Sound blog On April 4, 2015 at 6:29 am

[…] Indiana governor signed the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. Nine-year-old Floey loves to practice her sighted-guide skills with Great Aunt Beth, and 6-year-old Ray never tires of […]

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