A digital special section of | Subscribe

Bob O’Dekirk

Bob O’Dekirk

Joliet mayor | Former police officer | Class of 1991

As part-time gigs go, Bob O’Dekirk couldn’t have had it much better than he did as an undergrad in 1990-91.

The job: O’Malley’s Pub bouncer. Among the perks: “We were allowed to drink while working," he says.

The late, great Campustown tavern was also the spot where Joliet’s mayor also met his future bride, Rebecca. They’re the proud parents of an incoming member of the UI's Class of 2023.

“Going back to the campus today, it is striking how different some things look, especially Green Street,” says the former Joliet police officer, law partner and city council member. “My daughter is attending U of I in the fall and I have spent some time on campus the last couple of months and found myself being very nostalgic for the old days at Fourth and Green and all of the good times people enjoyed.

“Plus, I probably heard the midnight rendition of ‘American Pie’ several hundred times, and the O’Malley’s version is still stuck in my head 28 years later.”