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Musick: Win or lose, Cubs' passion at Wrigley endures

about the closest thing that there is to it.”

You want to know the depth of Bonano’s dedication to the Cubs?

“I actually dropped out of school in 2003 because I was following that 2003 season so much,” said Bonano, who was pursuing a political science degree at Northern Illinois. “I fell some credits short because I just missed class after class after class.”

Bonano wasn’t kidding. At least, I don’t think he was kidding.

Elsewhere in the noisy bar, passion teamed up with poignancy.

Juliann Atkinson of Winthrop Harbor wore a button with a picture of her late brother-in-law, Chuck Gesky. Atkinson sat beside Sara Ames, Gesky’s daughter.

Gesky attended 30 consecutive Cubs home openers before his death in 2009. His family has preserved the tradition as a happy remembrance of their loved one.

It’s part expectant-father excitement and part in-memoriam bittersweet. It’s part skipping-school devotion and part since-the-’60s tradition.

“I love the team, I love the neighborhood,” Bonano said before heading to the park. “It’s very welcoming and open to having a party.

“And if you’re going to have a party about anything, why not have a party with the team that you cry and bleed with, year after year?”

After year, after year, after year.

• Northwest Herald sports columnist Tom Musick can be reached at and on Twitter @tcmusick.

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