I was honored to be invited to speak at the North Shore Senior Center Tuesday
Morning Program. Each week, over 200 retired north shore citizens attend a
morning presentation from such distinguished speakers as Northwestern University
President, Henry Bienen, the Commissioner of the Illinois Department of
Transportation, Tim Martin and the Chief Economist for Bank One, Diane
Swonk.

It was a great audience for me to speak to as many of the attendees had
visited my dad’s first restaurant on the west side, Eli’s Ogden Huddle, at Ogden
and Kedzie. More hands when up as I asked about Eli’s other restaurants, from
Argyle and Sheridan on the north side, to Oak Street with Eli’s Stage
Delicatessen and now Eli’s the Place for Steak.

I shared my experiences growing up in a household with such dedicated
parents, Eli and Esther, who worked so hard in their business but made so much
time for me. I recounted how Eli’ dreamed of a signature dish that he could sell
outside the restaurant and, how fortunate I was, that Eli’ picked cheesecake and
not his popular Liver Eli.

In a very interesting question and answer, I was asked why I didn’t share the
stories of Eli’s in the service during World War II. He served with my dad in
Salt Lake City when Eli was in the Army Corp and ran the PX for the base.
I
thanked him for bringing it up as it was a great time in my dad’s life. Below
are some of favorite photos of my dad from his time in the service, one in
flight gear and one serving a big cake (something we like to make).