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.
Frank Lipo is excited about the old Cicero Firehouse No. 2 — excited about the potential and the possibilities of turning this 1898 building at the corner of Lake and Lombard into the long-sought-after permanent home of the Historical Society of Oak Park-River Forest.
You might expect local dance legend Stephanie Clemens to be winding down, especially during the summer months.
"We felt we needed to rebrand the Academy and be more contemporary," she said at George's Restaurant recently, one of her favorite haunts. "I've been resting on our laurels for entirely too long, depending on word of mouth."
It is a measure of Frank Lloyd Wright's genius that even a century later, his work is still ahead of the times. That is evident walking through any of his homes, but particularly the Avery Coonley estate in Riverside.
Although there is still much to be done, the Historical Society of Oak Park-River Forest has been opening their future home to the public to educate and generate interest in what will eventually become a genuine community asset: a permanent home and exhibit space. Most suburban communities have relatively tame histories, and museums to match. Not Oak Park and River Forest. Few other communities, can boast an exhibit on the creator of Tarzan, for instance.
And speaking of ceremony, nothing says "economic development" like shovels in the ground, which took place May 14 at Chicago and Maple avenues to kick off construction of The Residences at Maple Place, which also happens to be "the first Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-registered condominium development in Chicago's western suburbs," according to Paul Zimmerman and Jonathan Shack of Altierra Development Group LLC (hence the groundbreaking in more ways than one).
The River Forest Memorial Day Parade is one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year in these parts, partly because it's a great old-fashioned celebration of Americana, but also because it is one of the most eagerly awaited times of the year: Summer (and the end of the school year).
Although we're still technically in the "doldrums" of the movie year, the Lake Theatre continues to try to squeeze in better-than-average fare for Oak Park film buffs. Tomorrow night (May 9), for instance, in honor of Mental Health Month (which May is), The Lake presents a one-night showing of the documentary Walking Man: No One Does It Alone. The 70-minute film will be followed by a 10-15 minute Q&A.