Ken Trainor has been working for this newspaper since the last millennium, since copy was pasted on boards using hot wax ... in other words since 1990. Like the newspaper industry, he has changed with the times. The analog auteur is now digitally multidimensional and annoying a much wider audience as a result.
A free-thinking weekly columnist for Wednesday Journal for the past 19 years, he turns into a paragon of objectivity as he edits the Viewpoints section, the LifeLines section, the Obituary section, the Inside Report section and each week attempts to repair, rectify and remediate an avalanche of newspaper copy written too close to deadline.
In his spare time, he is working on a book about his Catholic roots. He also loves riding his 1974 Schwinn LeTour bicycle on the Salt Creek Trail, and attends local theater productions and concerts and as many films at the Lake Theatre as he can squeeze in.
A native of Oak Park, he can frequently be found wandering the streets looking anything but lost as he steeps in the two most aesthetically pleasing and historically rich villages to be found this side (or that side) of the continental divide.
It's tomato season. Yes, you can still find sweet corn — and peaches, pears, apples galore, zucchini, bell peppers, even pumpkins — at Farmers Market each Saturday morning. But the epitome of ripeness is red and round and a pleasure to slice. How to describe the flavor, the fragrance, the color, the fullness? Spanish has a good term for it: "Que Rico!" How rich.
Donna Carroll, president of Dominican University, welcomed the crowd to Lund Auditorium on Sept. 11, for a Wednesday Journal Conversation with Steve James, director of the new series America to Me, which she described as a "truth-seeking documentary."
The season turned decidedly toward autumn last week. Gloomy, rainy, breezy, chilly to the point where jackets were at least contemplated, if not worn, and umbrella-ed pedestrians dodged each other in passing on the sidewalks. Thursday, Friday, Saturday. A seasonal shift was in the air.
Last week, many marked the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic Convention protests. Which reminded me of Joe Powers, and a column I wrote about him back in 1998, when the convention was only 30 years past. Now it's 50 years, but reviving the memories — and the memory of Joe — feels like a worthwhile enterprise as we celebrate Labor Day.
The Fourth of July is a great day to be in Oak Park, starting at 10 a.m. when the ever popular, and occasionally controversial, Oak Park Parade demonstrates our vaunted "step out of line" independence.