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?
The best book I read in 2013 was Passionate Marriage by a therapist named David Schnarch, who says that what passes for love is often little more than seeking external validation. We "love" the other person as long as he or she validates us, but since that level of regard usually wanes over the years, it's not a surprise that couples frequently grow more distant.
I've been enjoying the 40th anniversary edition of The Sun, a monthly magazine out of Chapel Hill, N.C., started in 1974 by a Brooklyn transplant named Sy Safransky, who is still at the helm four decades later.
The Culture War is gearing up for its next mud-wrestling match, otherwise known as the Congressional mid-terms in November. This election is pivotal because it will determine whether the do-nothings or the do-somethings have the upper hand for the foreseeable future — which will have very real consequences for the rest of us.