Val, Ryan talk Tom Brady retirement, Valentine's Day spending and 'Pamela, a love story'

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, February 3, 2023
Val, Ryan talk Tom Brady in 'Windy City Weekend' host chat
Val and Ryan talked about Tom Brady during the "Windy City Weekend" host chat.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- This week on "Windy City Weekend," Val and Ryan chat it up with some Host Chat topics.

Tom Brady retires (again): Retirement is once again calling to famed quarterback Tom Brady. Will he accept it this time?

The No. 1 job in the world is a pilot!? You were probably asked hundreds of times as a kid what you wanted to be when you grew up. Well today, a survey shows a lot of people think becoming a pilot is the coolest thing!

The average American spends $193 on Valentine's Day: Do you have a special someone to give flowers to on Valentine's day? Or some candies? Or maybe a four-day cruise? However much you spend, an annual survey says the average amount Americans spend on the big day of love is $193.

What should the two ends pieces of bread be called? Do you eat the end piece of a loaf of bread? Well, people are debating on Reddit what they should be called.

Ignition Community Glass

Ben Tullman's life was changed through glass making as a teen. Now his studio is paying it forward by partnering with Ignition Community Glass to create more people like him.

Founder Trish Tullman Atha of Ignition Community Glass (ICG) doesn't mind putting 4,000-degree torches in the hands of teens not old enough to vote yet.

"They sort of stand back, and they say 'wait, you're going to trust me with this?,'" Tullman Atha said. "Just that alone, that someone actually trusts you with 2,000-degree molten glass. They see the possibility within themselves."

Non-profit Ignition Community Glass was founded nine years ago to help educate teens in underserved communities in Chicago about the art and science of glassmaking. Tullman Atha said with the help of a high school teacher, her son, Ben Tullman, discovered the medium and changed the trajectory of his life.

"The teacher called and said, 'I'm worried about your beautiful boy, and I think I can help,'" said Tullman Atha. "That teacher was a glass blower."

Twelve years ago Ben Tullman co-founded Ignite Glass Studios (IGS) in Chicago's West Loop, a gallery, artist incubation space and production facility for glasswork. Art lovers can purchase sculptures and vessels at the studio's gallery in the front of the building while torches, annealers and a 2,000-degree furnace burn brightly in the back. Ignition Community Glass rents space in the location for its programs in partnership with IGS.

"We make custom orders, and we do a lot of work with local restaurants," said Eleanor Harvey, an artist at IGS and instructor with the non-profit. "Right now we're working on a big order for an essential oil company."

Trish Tullman Atha said Ignition Community Glass was birthed out of Ignite Glass Studios because she knew there were teens like her son who could find healing through glassmaking.

"The light bulb went off and I said, 'Whoa, let's do youth programming,'" said Tullman Atha. "I really felt like there were other young people besides Ben that were struggling mightily in their lives."

Jalen Pittman said he made a full 360-degree turn after participating in Ignition Studio Glass' After School Matters program in high school. He now works at IGC as a teaching artist and says he's happy where he's at.

"Glass is intimidating at first," said Pittman, speaking of the medium's unpredictability. "Sometimes we get those happy accidents and that's just like the beauty of being a glass artist."

Students who participate in ICG's programs can learn about glass blowing and fused glass, and advanced learners study flameworking: using a torch and glass rods to create unique pieces. Tullman Atha said thousands of students have engaged ICG and many standouts have gone on to pursue fine arts degrees to work as professional glass artists. She expressed her excitement about the future of ICG and glassmaking's power to unleash creativity and confidence in young people so they can reach their full capability in life.

"The transformation that can happen, forged in heat, forged in challenges and adversity, and then what can come from it," said Tullman Atha. "(When) they can see their full potential, the magic happens."

For more information on Ignition Community Glass, visit

Edward Vaughn

Edward Vaughn was valedictorian at his high school and studied aerospace engineering in college. Now he dreams of flame throwing guitars, calling himself Rockstar E.V.

He will impress you by shredding his guitar with ease and then playing it with his teeth! Talented guitarist Edward Vaughn the Fifth, hails from Chicago's South Side, and went from a rocket science degree to rock star dreams. Born and raised in Englewood, considered a tough Chicago neighborhood, Vaughn, or "Rockstar E.V.," graduated valedictorian from Leo Catholic High School. He visited the school to talk to the students about his journey.

"I'm from the block; I'm not hood, but at the end of the day I'm from the block, so don't let any of that stop you," he said.

His Leo Math teacher said, "Edward went to the University of Illinois, (Urbana-Champaign) and got an aerospace engineering degree, but we were very proud of him. We still are."

Although Vaughn excelled and enjoyed math, his passion is music. He talks about how his dashed hopes of being a Jesse White tumbler became a "lemons into lemonade" experience. Vaughn's mom remembers how badly he broke his ankle doing flips and could not try out for the team, which meant home confinement. Being stuck at home for weeks only gave Vaughn extra time to play Guitar Hero and from there "practice five to seven hours a day" with his guitar.

"I was starting to get really good at it in a couple months," Vaughn recalls. "I played this crazy Steve Vi solo, and I said, 'Wow! You really just did that!'"

That was the moment Vaughn knew he wanted to be a rock star.

What Vaughn does on guitar stands out.

"I do think I'm trailblazing my own lane because not a lot of people are fusing that fast, shreddy 80s style music with any type of R&B," he said.

His ultimate goal is to be on stage with a big name artist like Travis Scott.

"I actually want to flame throw a guitar, and when he's doing his rap stuff, I just have a flame going up the top of my guitar. I think that would be super cool," Vaughn said.

Currently Vaughn is in IT as a network engineer, while also pursuing his music.

"So basically I'm fusing my love of tech, the math skills, with my love of music," he said.

Vaughn's final words of wisdom for his Leo High School students were "We're always starting behind the starting line, from the area we grew up in, to the resources we have, to the people that we know. You just got to believe in yourself, It sounds cliché, I get it, talk to yourself nicely, take your time, but definitely whatever you're thinking about achieving, go crazy."

Vaughn plays publicly, does private events and does studio session work.

If you want to see more of Rockstar E.V.'s music or book him for a private or public event, he is available on Instagram @rockstar.ev or at

Roeper's Reviews

Here's what you should spend your money on this weekend.

'Knock at the Cabin' - SPEND

M. Night Shyamalan's newest thriller, "Knock at the Cabin," is about a young family who is taken captive at a cabin out in the woods.

'80 for Brady' - SAVE

"80 for Brady" stars a cast of award-winning actresses who are on a quest to make it to a Super Bowl.

'Dear Edward' - SPEND

"Dear Edward" is an adaptation of the 2020 novel, which tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who is the lone survivor of a plane crash.

'Pamela, a love story' - SPEND

"Pamela, a love story" is a documentary on the life of the well-known actress, Pamela Anderson.