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.
March 8th, I noticed on my kitchen calendar, is International Women's Day. March is also Women's History Month. A good time for some awareness-raising. Nicholas Kristof has done admirable work on that front in his New York Times column. If he hasn't already received one, he deserves a humanitarian award.
Last Friday, I met with three dear old Oak Parkers (aka DOOPers) — Bob Trezevant, John Thorpe and Frank Lipo — to talk about a particular era in local history (late '60s to the mid-'70s), which we hope to highlight in some future edition of Wednesday Journal, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright virtual theme park we have — thanks to the efforts of a good many good people — created, developed, nurtured and sustained over the past four decades.
In 1994, Oak Park resident Isabel Wilkerson, then the New York Times' Chicago Bureau chief, won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her articles about Mississippi River flooding (our profile appeared in the April 20, 1994 issue of Wednesday Journal). The following year, she took on a much more ambitious project — a book-length treatment of "America's Great Migration," the exodus of some six million African Americans from the South to the North and West over a period of six decades.
This winter has reached epic proportions. How are you handling it? Grousing has limited value. Are you able to appreciate the beauty along with the inconvenience? Or has it gotten to you — the same thing, day after day after day. Are you sure it will never end?
A memorial concert, a special remembrance of Rev. Julie Harley with music, poetry and scripture, will take place this Sunday, March 2, at 4 p.m. at 848 Lake St. The concert, led by First United musicians and Chancel Choir, is offered in thanksgiving of the life and witness of Harley, former pastor of First United Church of Oak Park, who died recently of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). A reception to thank Julie's caregivers will precede the concert.
Chris Ware can do more than just illustrate. The Oak Park resident and author/illustrator of Building Stories was one of numerous contributors in the New York Times Book Review section last Sunday, answering the Valentine's Day-inspired question, "What has literature taught you about love?"