There is always great high school basketball atmosphere to be found in suburban Chicago during the week of Thanksgiving.

My brother Chris and I found an especially fun hoops moment the night before Turkey Day at the District 87 Tournament at Glenbard West High School. The three night round-robin tourney featured all four Glenbard high schools – North, South, East and West.

West hosted.

Their gym had a good crowd for East vs. South with big, boisterous student turnouts for both schools. East won 66-60. East’s students stood throughout the contest opposite their team bench. They rushed the floor after it was over knowing the win clinched the tourney title and the big trophy that goes with it. The scene turned slapstick when West’s public address announcer overreacted hilariously with a shouted plea for East’s students to stay off the court.

Order was quickly restored. My brother and I laughed hard. We watched two and a half quarters of the anticlimactic West vs. North mismatch and then went to Noon Whistle brewery in Lombard. Noon Whistle occupies a large space in a strip mall that otherwise looks like it‘s gasping for life. Noon is making excellent hazy NE-style IPA’s including the newly-released Mosaic Gummy which tasted and smelled terrific. At times Wednesday evening, the line for growler fills and four-packs to-go was more than ten deep.

Bird was served at my Mom and Dad’s house in Huntley for Thanksgiving. It was fun seeing everybody under one roof. Cub Fan Dan again brought the pie – including the cherry he’s famous for.

I flew back Friday morning. O’Hare was surprisingly mellow and stress-free. I think I’ve learned now how to avoid air travel madness associated with Thanksgiving. Leave as early in the week as possible. Sunday or Monday before – and then return the morning after Thanksgiving. I’ve tried a bunch of combinations over the years and this particular routine is the way to go.

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