Dan Haley is editor and publisher of the Journal and has been since its first issue on July 31, 1980. He remembers those early days – the excitement and the hardships – but no one wants to hear about it. Maybe he'll write a book.
Haley is a native of Oak Park. His first publishing venture was in the mid-1960s when, at age 10, he started a newspaper for his block on South Taylor. He remembers those early days – especially the heady smell of the mimeograph fluid. "Mighty fine," he says.
In 1980, with the old Oak Park News floundering, Haley turned down the job of Lively Arts editor at the Pioneer Press/Oak Leaves. Instead, along with his founding colleagues, Anne Duggan and Sharon Britton, they rounded up 65 locals to invest in the notion of an independent local newspaper.
Today from Wednesday Journal World Headquarters on Oak Park Avenue, the Journal publishes newspapers and websites for five city and suburban communities. The company also publishes Chicago Parent magazine.
Haley and his wife Mary (the former editor of Chicago Parent) live in an old house in Oak Park and have two kids.
Well, welcome to Oak Park. And congratulations on buying the loveliest home Oak Park has to offer. You bet. Yes, right here on North Kenilworth Avenue. Wednesday Journal Facebook fans became all agape and a-twitter when your lovely, sweeping, super-sized, yet understated, hydrangea bejeweled, Queen Anne Victorian, grey home was first listed.
Last week Frank Sinatra Jr. died of a heart attack. He was 72 and he was in Daytona Beach, Florida, on tour, as always. Put us in mind of the night in the early 1980s when Sinatra Jr. played the Oak Park Mall (now Downtown Oak Park).
Right there in the lobby, ready for members, guests or residents of the West Cook YMCA to grab, is the daily dose of fresh fruit. Could be an artfully stacked triangle of bananas. Or it might be apples or pears. Or whatever is in season.