Last week I spotted a bumper sticker on a Prius that read, simply, "Think Good Thoughts." Sounds like good advice given the incoming broadsides of the upcoming campaign. Good thoughts may be our only defense.
Francis E. "Bud" Corry tells a wonderful tale — of growing up in an idyllic place where the neighborhood playground was the hub of a kid's life. That place was Oak Park in the 1920s and '30s, and the way Bud tells it, you really should have been there.
When I heard about George Zimmerman killing Trayvon Martin in Florida, I thought about the 1992 Clint Eastwood film, Unforgiven. I wondered if Zimmerman had ever killed a man before. I wondered how he was feeling about it.
The annual wisteria tree display at 9 Elizabeth Court is rapidly fading as spring progresses, but it was glorious while it lasted. Kristin Lister is the master gardener behind the annual showcase of intriguing plants that decorate what was once a front lawn (when she moved in 18 years ago). Since then, she has planted plenty.
I spent more time at 627 S. Ridgeland, the Gunderson home Marie Wackrow lived in for 62 years, than any house except my own. When I was growing up, I only knew her as the mother of my best friend, Jerry. From 1960 till 1965, especially in the summers, I spent most of my time in one house or the other, the alley that connected them, and Longfellow Park across the street.
Forty-four years ago today, like most days, Harriette Robinet, like most mothers of that era, was home with the kids. Her husband, McLouis, better known as Mac, was teaching at UIC. No different, really, from most other days. Except April 4, 1968 was no ordinary day. Several hundred miles to the south, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
Sunday morning, I headed to First United Church of Oak Park (Kenilworth and Lake) to visit the Tree of Hope. Or Tree of Life. Or Easter Tree. Take your pick. If you're looking for a Metaphor Tree, this would be it. If you're looking for something that captures the essence of this fast-tracked, hyperkinetic spring, look no further.
Next Tuesday is the Illinois primary, and I was sorely tempted to declare Republican so I could vote for Newt Gingrich, just to see how weird that would feel. But then I saw a public service announcement on the side of a bus that read, "Get the facts, then vote."
A troop of robins hunt for worms amid the softening soil and greening grass on the slope of Scoville Park, singing as they go. There is joy in spring's beginning, even as the flurries of winter's residue continue to fall.