TimeOut Chicago gave him a great mention this week as one of three "unboring" city tour guides. I urge everyone to go on one of his tours if they get the chance.
Chicago Neighborhood Tours and Chicago History Museum Tours
None—Walavich is a master of the art of tour guiding.
How they got their starts
Walavich’s grandmother believed they should visit deceased family members on Memorial Day, so young Al made an annual pilgrimage to six graveyards. Years later, he started giving Graceland Cemetery tours as a fund-raiser for Uptown Historical Society.
Why you’ll love each tour de force
With 25 years of tour experience, there’s nothing this man doesn’t know about the Windy City. He gives tours on the Great Fire, Devil in the White City, literary Chicago, the North Side, Chicago highlights, lake history...
Little-known monuments in Graceland: the graves of John Dickey, the city’s first firefighter to die in the line of duty, and John Huck, the last person to die in the Great Fire and the father-in-law of Marshall Field’s daughter.
“I’m a disgusting ham who can’t control myself! I love sharing things!”
How tourists react
Each year, 300 to 400 people vie for his tours, including repeat customers who’ve been loyal for seven years.
Catch their tour
Walavich will give five Graceland tours (his specialty) on October 27, 28 and 31. For tickets, go to www.chicagohs.org.