A front seat to NATO motorcades

A backyard wedding reception gives kids a great view of the motorcades headed to NATO talks.

May 20, 2012

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(WBEZ/Linda Lutton)
Kids at a Northwest Side wedding reception watch motorcades go by on the Kennedy Expressway Saturday afternoon.
(WBEZ/Linda Lutton)
The bride and the groom.

On Chicago's Northwest Side, on a quiet part of Central Park Ave., a simple wedding celebration spilled out of the back yard into the garage and the alley Saturday afternoon.

"Today is my aunt’s wedding, and we’re all celebrating here, " said Mariana Rodriguez, one of a dozen or so kids at the party.

Across the alley, a cyclone fence separated the wedding from the Kennedy Expressway.

It didn’t take the kids long to notice the flashing police lights and black limousines racing by, carrying world leaders downtown from O'Hare Airport in motorcades. Helicopters buzzed overhead periodically.

"NATO," explained Brian Liberato. "All the people — the richest countries — are coming to Chicago." He said he knows this from the news.

In their satin dresses and Sunday shirts, the kids at the wedding held onto the fence and guessed which countries were driving by.  

"I think I saw the Colombian [motorcade]," said 15-year-old Raymundo Liberato. "‘Cause it had the yellow, the white…."

Colombia wasn’t expected to come to the summit, but maybe they’re crashing the party.

Or maybe it was another country.

Maybe other world leaders saw the bride and groom posing for snapshots in the alley. Maybe they wondered about the young Chicagoans holding onto the fence, wondering about them.

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