Craig Lykes, The Tides

Craig Lykes, Doorperson at The Tides (360 E. South Water St.), learned some of life’s most valuable lessons from his mother.

“She was an educator my whole life,” he explains. “She knew all the teachers and the principals, so I was always able to get help because they knew my mom personally.”

img_0388aHer extended network, he says, was his “most favorite thing” about having a mom who was a teacher. It not only helped his academic pursuits, but it also kept him honest and allowed him to develop great sense of humor.

“My least favorite thing about having a mom who was a teacher,” he jokes, “is that she knew all the teachers and the principals, man.”

By the time he graduated from Morgan Park High School in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood, Craig definitely appreciated the value of a hard days work. But he wasn’t sure exactly how to make use of that appreciation. So he decided to join the army.

“I was not so much a troublemaker,” he explains. I was just all over the place. The military helped me get focused.”

For the next five years, he was stationed in places he had never seen before. “I was just all over the country,” he remembers. “Wyoming, Texas, Virginia.”

The journey continued even after he completed active duty and transferred to the reserves.

“When your contract is up, for two years after that, they can call,” he says. “Which they did.”

By the time he received his honorable discharge two years later, Corporal Lykes was a Chemical Operations Specialist with experience training soldiers how to identify and decontaminate biological weapons, nerve agents and poisons.

He returned to Beverly and worked security until a friend introduced him to the service industry. He became a member of the staff at a Lake Shore Dr. property and also filled-in at the Tides. When a position became available in the New Eastside building, he applied, received an offer, and said yes.

His previous experience is perfectly suited for the position.

“The military helped me deal with all walks of life,” he says.

“It taught me patience and how to deal with people. The values and the lessons that I learned from the military, they are priceless. I use them every day.”

But he’s quick to add that the challenges at the Tides have never tested this military-grade patience.

“I love the people here,” he says. “You have people from all walks of life, all places of the world. Everyone gets along just perfectly They make my job easy.”

The same goes for the building’s four-legged tenants.

“I’m a dog lover,” he says. “I’ve had dogs growing up my whole life. I love that this is a dog-friendly building.”

And it’s especially true of The Tides youngest residents.

“The kids here are so lively. They just put a smile on my face. They walk out that door, my whole morning lights up.”

— Daniel Patton

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