The stories of two Oak Park same-sex couples illustrate how far society in general has changed in the last 30 years. When Leah Fowler was a teenager in the early 1990s, she would, from time to time, have crushes on girls she knew, but she resisted the possibility that she might be gay.
It was a dream eight years in the making. When Oak Park artist Mike Hedges and his wife Julie purchased a home across the street from her parents, they knew what they were taking on: a mortgage and a plan for their future family. Hedges knew the responsibility came with a downside.
Dr. George Dietz, 82, never dreamed of a day when he might retire. The Oak Park resident maintains a practice on Chicago's South Side and makes house calls three days a week, often driving more than 100 miles in a day to treat the bed-bound.
To honor the mother of Jesus, many Catholics adorn her statue with a crown of flowers each May. But St. Luke Parish School in River Forest does not just crown their statue. The second- and eighth-grade students, dressed in First Communion and Confirmation clothes, lead a procession, bearing the statue from the school to the church on a special bier.
Most ballet pointe shoes are hand-made, expensive and provide little protection from the pressure put on dancers' feet. Oak Park and River Forest High School senior Noelani Ho, inspired by the young dancers she teaches in the Austin neighborhood, set out to solve these problems.