© anomalies-unlimited
One I got to see myself...

I'm probably too jaded to be fair about this. Maybe. I went and looked anyway.

During the week of April 17, 2005, someone noticed that a stain on the concrete wall under a highway looked like the Virgin Mary. Ergo, it was the Virgin Mary. The media was reporting it, of course. People jammed the underpass to see it. The police showed up to control things. Jokes were made that the Virgin would show up at the Fullerton underpass because a lot of homeless people slept around there. The city of Chicago said it was just a salt stain caused by all the water and salt and slop trickling down through the cracks of the road above all winter. Some joked it was a pee stain from all the winos who hang out under the highway.

Well, it's a salt stain. You can clearly see the gobs and crystals of yellowed road salt in the center and it isn't too hard to figure out the rest is road dirt, exhaust, and very-busy-expressway gunk. Interesting simulacra.

What freaked me out a bit were the people who were there. They had left a sea of candles and bouquets. Helium balloons. Even greeting cards. Hallmark for the Hallowed, I suppose. People were crying, clutching Kleenex, walking up and hugging the image, kissing the thing, kneeling and praying, telling it their problems, making their kids do the same. Writing prayer requests on the wall with marker. They were armchair-quarterbacking why it showed up - Pope John Paul's death? War? Peace? A sign to shape up or else? We're all saved, we're all going to Hell? A sign that God loves winos? A hint to Mayor Daley to fix the damned public transportation system since our highways are cracked and jammed with cars all day and night?

It was a bit nuts. Reporters were there, TV was still there. The newest angle was that it had rained the day before and yet the stain was still there. Woah. It was all being encouraged, people were falling into stranger's arms saying how wonderful it all was. I got the hell out of there. It was a bit ridiculous, and a bit touching at the same time.

<--- this is from Channel 7 news.

On May 5, a guy was arrested after writing "BIG LIE" across the image with shoe paint. City officials decided to have the image painted over. Outraged, many spent time trying to rub the paint off, which caused a shape to be worn into the surface that was about the shape of the original image. Many said the imagine/stain could be seen bleeding through the paint, coming back. A miracle! Others said no, you idiots, it's nothing but a glop of paint that you idiots rubbed a shape into. More people went out to see the image, to argue about all this. One or two men who were in the construction business said it would possibly come back because the wall hadn't been properly sealed, so the moisture leaking through the concrete would just continue to do so. The debate of Our Lady of the Underpass continues...

this is from Channel 7 news
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