If you asked 100 people what their favorite holiday is, I'm betting not one would say Easter (unless, of course, I was one of your 100). So I was surprised to see the headline last week on page one of the National Catholic Reporter: "We are an Easter People."
Sunday morning past had that "true-Sunday" feel, which I seldom feel anymore. Sunny (befitting Sun-day), more early spring than late winter, strollers out in force in Scoville Park with parents in tow. Residents rediscovering the out-of-doors after a long, hard winter. Kids in T-shirts, shorts and even bare feet with the temp barely topping 50.
Today is Autism Awareness Day. The statistics are striking. One in 88 children is diagnosed with autism, one in 54 males. It is a somewhat mysterious "disorder," but occurs much more frequently than previously thought. In fact, a case can be made that all of us can be found somewhere on the autism "spectrum," and what we think of as "autism" may simply be the dysfunctional extreme of a much wider spectrum.
The Oak Park Public Library's series, "Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle," ends Saturday, March 29 with a panel discussion titled, "What Did it Take to Integrate Oak Park Schools?" To provide some background for the discussion, we are revisiting our story on District 97's efforts to balance the minority student population, which ran on Oct. 25, 2000 in our Viewpoints section.
Frankly, I look gruesome. Not a term I expected to use describing myself, but gruesome fits — fortunately, only for the time being. The good news is I'm not dying and I'm not contagious. The bad news is this will last a few more weeks.
When you live alone, there is no division of labor. The buck starts and stops with me. I am upstairs and downstairs, outside and inside. If Downton Abbey is a microcosm of society, I am a microcosm of that microcosm.
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?