March First

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March First Army Men

Six years ago (!!) Fuzzy and I participated in one of the coolest things I have ever been involved in in my almost 12 years of living in Chicago. My amazing and wonderful friend Shannon, along with 3 other women, coordinated and organized an event that was part war protest/ part art project--placing 4300 green plastic army men with tags saying "Bring Me Home" over 5 miles of Lincoln Avenue. The project was based on Mouth's Wide Open's Bring Me Home Project. What started as a simple email inquiry of "who is interested in doing this" quickly turned into an EVENT, with over 70 volunteers taking different portions of Lincoln Avenue. We did the work overnight and into the early morning, convening at the Lincoln Tap Room for celebritory beers. We had 5 or 6 blocks areounf the Lincoln-Addison area--to this day, I can't drive down that stretch without thinking about all our little men that we laid down. It was a cold night, but it was awesome work.

Bags of Army Men Bottom of Army Man Shannon Shannon, with 2 of her friends. Erica and Shannon Me and Shannon goofing around. (Yes, I had blue hair.) Shannon says that I was the first responder, emailing her back saying YES to the project mere moments after she sent it out. I am proud of that. Army Man Placing Army Men Me, putting some men down. Army Men along Lincoln Ave Years later, a friend of mine was talking about how people would always give her things that were found on the street. She said one of the coolest things she was ever given was a green army man that a friend had found on Lincoln Avenue. Among hearing this story I exclaimed "I KNOW WHERE IT CAME FROM!" and told her the story of March First. Apparently, the Army man was alone and solitary, so it must have been a little while after the project. 

Erica and Shannon A crazy Erica and a sleepy Shannon hug it out after a hard night's work. Army Men along Lincoln Ave (All photos by Fuzzy Gerdes. Full set here.)

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I love the army men! And your hair turned blue!