My wife Linda and I were showing Chicago to her brother Bruce who was visiting from the east. We were driving around the University of Chicago area on the southside of Chicago, and Bruce was saying, "Say this is a pretty campus, what kind of people teach her?"
I was driving and started in, "Well, this is one of the great universities in the world. There are probably more Nobel Laureates teachng here than in any other school in the midwest."
Bruce is a scoffer and he said, "Yeah, like who, any names an average guy would recognize?"
I'm driving around these narrow streets around the school and trying to avoid hitting anybody because it's a Saturday and people are walking to and from shopping.
Bruce thinks I'm ignoring him and he says again, "So name some of these Nobel guys!"
I say, "Well, one of my favorite writers is Saul Bellow and he won the Nobel prize and he teaches here."
And Bruce says, "Yeah? What's he like."
And I slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a guy with two bulging grocery bags who just stepped into the intersection, and I say to Bruce, "That's him. The guy I almost hit. Saul Bellow!"
And Bellow must've heard me call his name because he looked up at me and smiled, and nodded his head.
I felt a blessing descend on me, a connection I'd never forget.
I was the man who did not kill Saul Bellow.