The Trip.

Paul L. Bucklaw
12 min readMay 8, 2022

I came to Chicago approximately 11 years ago. Did you ever want to get to something and just not get to do it?

I have been going to the gym since 1991, I just never get there.

It has been a lifetime dream to do Chicago.

While watching the Bucket List, and as I moved deftly on the floor crawling so as not to block the view of the television set from others, and during a state of unknowing in my life someone asked me, “Where are you going to go?”

I answered flippantly, “Chicago.” I applied to Catholic Worker in Minnesota. the backup plan was Americus.

The guy from Americus was rude-and my qualifications being human and hard working weren’t good enough. I wonder if it had anything to do with volunteering for Obama.

The Catholic Worker place in Minnesota-stated they take anyone. That left me befuddled and I questioned it and then a day before I was ready to leave they cancelled my visit. Hello Chicago.

They assured me that I would be accepted time and time again. They told me that they accepted everyone. Hmm. And yet in retrospect that might have been all for the good…

I would live with the poor for a year on purpose to see if I could do it and if with little or no money would I be able to contribute to society. Poverty on purpose was born.

As I was leaving to travel to Chicago they stated otherwise changed their mind(s). I marched on.

My backup plan went into action. Arriving in Chicago I went to 53rd and Laflin to the Catholic Worker House there.

My boss where I worked last, said “You’ll be shot.” Thanks for the send off. Keep it positive. And this Catholic Worker House seemed to parallel his sentiments. Although scared I told myself that I needed to find the beauty in this area. I did. I meet with the people in the neighborhood and they accepted me. I picked up papers on lots where garbage came up to my ankles.

Years before in Newburgh NY I had to do the same. Sitting in the car I didn’t want to go into work because I was moody. How to find the beauty in a place that automatically doesn’t to be in awe.

I was threatened and using the power of the pointed finger those who did it backed down. I was fresh…

Paul L. Bucklaw

Who am I ? That is the eternal question. Writer ? Hero ? Motivator ? Environmentalist ? If you know let me know. Visit