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.
Monday night was the final night for La Majada, a pioneering restaurant on Harrison Street, which once had the easy panache of being Oak Park's destination spot. The Haggar family — Mom, sister, brothers — were the face of the place, welcoming, sometimes gruff, always present.
At least a few people around town remember that the Oak Park village board set a very firm deadline of Feb. 28 for proof positive that developers — some developer, any developers — had obtained financing to build the tall, shiny high-rise at Lake and Forest.
Looking at the crowd the past two Saturdays at the main library one would have to conclude that Oak Park's jaw-dropping, unparalleled efforts 45 years ago to stop the rapid racial change that had gripped and unhinged Austin — and instead somehow fostered actual racial integration — was nothing more than a lesson in nostalgia.