Who sent me The Rahmfather? I want to know. Please.
If you know the answer, let him or us know.
One morning, John showed up for work and found a mysterious portrait in his office. It was a large framed movie-style poster of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as some Jewish Al Pacino – and the words, “JOHN FRANCIS KASS’S The Rahmfather.” (sic). Then follows the phrase “All the power on Earth can’t change Chicago.”
The portrait displays a strikingly handsome Rahmfather, thoughtful, pensive, his chin propped on his left hand, a hawk at rest. He is in a dark suit, conservative tie, wearing his Chicago flag lapel pin, and his steel-gray hair slightly spiky, just like Pacino’s in “The Godfather: Part III.”
Oh yeah, and the eyes. The eyes follow you wherever you go.
In Kass’ Tribune Article, he wrote that over the years his readers have sent him some amazing treasures but nothing is as cool as The Rahmfather.
When John sent a photo of the portrait to an aide of Rahm, the aide replied, “Oh, my God, He’s really going to want this.”
Kass replied, “Yeah, I know he’s going to want it. He’s going to want it bad. But tell him he can’t have it. He can send his buddy Jimmy DeLeo over with a box of cannoli and I’d say no. Rahm could put my head in a vise and still I wouldn’t give it to him.”
John asked the Tribune’s editorial cartoonist, Scott Stantis, to evaluate the painting. “This is really good work. This was done by a pro,” said Stantis.
But who painted it? Who sent it? John only knew that a few weeks ago, it was dropped off by a nondescript person at the Tribune Tower.
The story gets even more weird - the painting was addressed to: “JKFC John Kass Fan Club, 211 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 4250.”
There is no fan club at this address. Suite 4250 also does not exist. There are only 41 floors in the building.
Someone asked, “Maybe it was a joke?” An editor reminded John of what a wise columnist often says: In Chicago, when it comes to City Hall or the Outfit, there are no such things as coincidences.
John asked the editor, “Should I sweep it for bugs? Could this be a Trojan Rahm? The editor replied, “It’s up to you, but I would.”
That’s all Kass had to hear. Having the Rahmfather hanging on the wall behind him, peering over his shoulder as he is talking on the phone, he couldn’t take the chance.
So he drove the painting over to the U-Spy Store, 2406 W. Fullerton, to have it examined by counterintelligence experts.
Kass writes about his experience at the U-Spy Store: Waiting for him were Emil Pressman, the experienced operations boss, white-haired, pale, thin, hard eyes, every inch the seasoned pro, and Theresa Cheriachangel, a young investigator brandishing a radio frequency wand.
Emil’s eyes widened when he saw the Rahmfather, but quickly he got down to work, running his fingers over the frame, looking for faults, cracks, someplace to hide a recording device. Theresa ran her electronic wand over it, searching for radio signals.
Theresa handles the countermeasure services for MSI Detective Services, which owns the U-Spy Store.
John then writes of the conversation that took place between him and Emil: “You care for this poster, no?” asked Emil, sounding like Sir Laurence Olivier playing an Eastern European spymaster. “You like it, yes? You will keep it in your office, yes?” Yes, Emil. Where are you from? “Chicago,” said Emil. No. Before. “Odessa,” said Emil. KGB? He laughed without sound. He and Theresa exchanged a look.
“There are no recording devices in this,” Emil said. “But it is nice work.”
In John Kass’ Tribune article, he wrote:
Yes, it’s nice work. Excellent work. But who did it? Rahm? Someone else? Who?
One of you knows the answer. And when I learn who did it, you know what’ll happen. I’ll just have to make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Maybe one day John Kass will learn who is behind sending him this mysterious painting. Until then, it will be hanging over him – both literally and figuratively.
Read story@ chicagotribune