Eye-catching photos are a writer’s best friend, drawing the reader into the story while fleshing out an element or two contained in the piece.
Case in point: my November 2004 story on Larry Dominick when he was an early-bird candidate for town president of Cicero, Illinois, on Chicago’s western border. My most frequent photographic partner in those days was Antonio Perez. On this assignment, as usual, Tony stepped up. I wasn’t on hand for the photo shoot, so I don’t know if the moment required much coaxing, but Dominick rolled up his sleeve to show his Cubs tattoo.
Among other qualities, the photo captured Dominick’s larger-than-life personality as well as his passion for baseball–especially, of course, the Chicago Cubs. Earlier, when we met at a restaurant for the interview, Dominick congratulated me on the Red Sox finally winning it all after a 86-year drought. He also showed me his tat–which, upon further reflection, leads me to conclude that Tony didn’t need to prod Dominick much at all.
Just the same, a great shot.
Campaign Pledge vs. Elected Position
Interesting to note that my story included Dominick, the candidate, pledging not to accept the pay raise that the Cicero Town Board had recently approved for themselves, effective the following year. That decision included a $30,000 hike for town president (de facto mayor), to over $164,000 annually.
After Dan Proft helped engineer Dominick’s election squeaker over incumbent Ramiro Gonzalez, a change of heart set in. He accepted the pay raise, after all. And who can blame the guy? Tickets to Wrigley Field ain’t cheap. And based on Dominick’s re-election upon re-election (he’s now in his fifth four-year term), voters didn’t fault him, either.
Today, nearly 18 years after his emergence on the political scene, the Cubs have a World Series title under their belt, Dominick remains in charge in Cicero…and this November 2004 article, with that indelible image of the burly retired cop aiming for public office, serves as a first draft of what has become a remarkably enduring local political history.