PILSEN — All over Chicago, a vandal has been defacing property with a simple message.
"Keep Havin A Good Day!"
Sometimes accompanied by multiple exclamation points, but otherwise consistently styled, the cheery message has popped up in neighborhoods from Lincoln Square to Pilsen over the last several months.
Hundreds have posted sightings on social media embracing the mystery tagger's positive message and wondered who the person bringing smiles out all over town is.
Tanveer Ali says he's made some progress in finding out more about the mysterious tagger:
"There's a lot of consistency in them," said Dale Roberts, a professional handwriting expert from the west suburbs, after examining several examples of the tagger's writing.
"The type of 'a' they use is all the same," Roberts said. "Looking at the mix of capitalized and lowercase letters: It's exactly the same way every time. The odds that this is written by the same person are pretty good."
Sometimes written in chalk, other times spray-painted, the message has been seen in the following locations:
• The roof of a house that can easily be seen from the Damen Pink Line s tation.
• The bowl at Uptown's Wilson Skate Park.
• A metal post near Odge's hot dog stand in Ukrainian Village.
• Below an electrical box on the Magnificent Mile.
• Mailboxes, alleys and parking meter machines around town.
The earliest example of the message was posted on Instagram in June 2013.
Scrawled in what looks like ink on a wall separating Upper Wacker Drive from the Riverwalk, the writing looks a little different than what's popped up around town, especially when looking at the pointy "a" in the middle.
"It still looks like the same style," Roberts said. "Based on where this was taken, right there on the Chicago River, it might look different because of the angle of where he's standing and what he's writing on."
Clues point to the tagger being part of Chicago's skateboarding scene.
"He's doing them so that people keep having a good day," said Josh Elvidge, a 26-year-old skateboarder living in Pilsen. "It's a good thing that he's doing this everywhere."
Elvidge said he knows the tagger, who periodically visits his home on Damen Avenue near Cermak Road — dubbed the Damen Skatehouse — where the interior walls are decorated with all sorts of graffiti art, including several bearing the message "Keep Havin A Good Day!"
The tag is also sometimes seen in tandem with the logo of Get Real, which sells clothing to skateboarders and is based in the Chicago area. (The company even has a promotional video using the message.)
"It's a homie. We think the message goes well with what we represent, so we support it," a representative of the company wrote via a Facebook message. "We like to help local skaters and artists."
Neither Elvidge nor Get Real would identify the tagger, or where the tagger lives. The vandalism may induce some joy, but it is still illegal.
"It's fishy," Elvidge said. "Even though it's a positive message popping up everywhere."
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