I must admit I wasn't very interested in the local elections. Having lived here since 1976, I have voted in and observed a lot of these celebrations of participatory democracy. This election was typical — low turnout, a number of uncontested contests and a couple of contests that "will shape the future of the villages."
At first impression it is hard to imagine a more different place than Downton Abbey in Yorkshire England compared to Oak Park, Illinois. In England before WWI ,women can't vote. The landed gentry is fighting desperately to hold on to a rigid class structure that has been in place for hundreds of years.
I quit drinking in 1989 at the age of 40 after burning my 10-year-old son Nick with a cigarette. It was an accident. I didn't drink for 20 years. At first it was kind of tough, but after a while I became "the guy that didn't drink." You can be defined as something worse.
I think the real problem here may not be the prophecies of doom and gloom but rather the prophets. Our print and electronic media are premised on the capitalistic imperative that the more eyeballs watching, the higher the advertising revenue.
Last week was filled with important news. Closer to home, there were two important hirings. The Bears hired Marc Trestman to be their new head coach, and Oak Park hired Cara Pavlicek to be our village manager.
Our elections in Oak Park are surely a great futility. Along with golf, cheering for the Cubs and finding the perfect gift for your spouse, there is no greater pointlessness than voting in an Oak Park election.
I wish I had known Redd Griffin sooner. Redd died suddenly of a heart attack on Nov. 20. I will leave it to others who knew Redd much longer than I to remember for us the many, many contributions he made to his country, community, friends and family.