Tony Bowe Asks Bill Bowe about Settling Down after the Army

Editor’s Note: In this series of interviews by my cousin Tony Bowe, Tony asked me about what I was up to after my three-year Army Intelligence Branch enlistment was up in May 1971.

I first discussed my failed attempt to write a book with some history of military intelligence coupled with reflections on the Army being pulled into the domestic cauldron of American politics during the Vietnam War period.  In lieu of writing the book, I tell of  filling this break with travel before my return to Chicago to practice law.  Choosing to practice with Roan & Grossman, a spin off from my large firm experience prior to the Army, I discussed living briefly in my old apartment on Elm Street.  This was before my mother, Mary Gwinn Bowe, and my aunt, Julia Lecour Bowe, the widow of Tony’s grandfather, Augustine J. Bowe, helped get me settled in a bachelor apartment in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.  When Tony asked about the Freborg painting in this apartment, I had a chance to talk about the work of Dodie Freborg, Tony’s great aunt, and her professional artist husband, Stanley Freborg.

In answer to Tony’s questions about my personal life in the 1970s, I reported on my brief marriage to Judy Arndt, and later serving as Research Director and General Counsel of my then brother-in-law Bill Singer’s losing mayoral campaign in 1975 against Richard J. Daley and his powerful Democratic political machine.  Tony and I discussed the long history of Chicago’s Democratic political machine, and the beginnings of its weakening beginning with Singer’s loss to Daley in the Democratic primary election of 1975.  Daley’s death followed the next year, and the machine never fully recovered.

I closed this part of our conversation by recalling my marriage to Cathy Vanselow in 1979 at the old Arts Club in Chicago.  In the case of my first marriage, its landmark Glessner House venue had been able to survive the test of time, but the marriage had quickly come a cropper.  As proof of my change in fortune, my marriage to Cathy Vanselow proved to be long-lived, but shortly after our nuptials the old Arts Club fell to the wrecking ball.  Go figure.