When Oak Park Festival Theatre begins its run of The Glass Menagerie at Madison Street Theatre, Oct. 6, Zoe Palko, the actress playing the famously fragile Laura Wingfield, will be following some pretty big — and local — footprints. Julie Haydon, who originated the role of Laura when the play opened on Broadway in 1945, grew up in Oak Park and River Forest.
As of late Sunday afternoon, my latest column [Before bearing arms, bare your soul, Viewpoints, Sept. 21] had generated 256 comments at OakPark.com, the clear majority coming from arms-bearers baring their souls. Interesting souls. As I predicted in my column, their reactions ranged from "explosive rage to derisive contempt to arrogant condescension."
The only citizens — non-law enforcement/non-military — who are mentally stable enough to carry a loaded gun in public are those who refuse to do so. Yes, that's a Catch 22, but we have to draw the line somewhere, right? Well, maybe not if you're an NRA partisan.
Barack Obama's speech about jobs last Thursday night reminded me of an Ivan Reitman film from 1993, a forgotten gem titled simply, Dave. I pulled out my old VHS copy and watched it the other night. It stars Kevin Kline in the role of a temp agency owner (he finds jobs for people), who moonlights as a double for the president of the United States because he's a dead-ringer (hey, it's a Hollywood fantasy).
This column ran on Sept. 11, 2002, the first anniversary of the terrorist attack that "changed the world." Did the world change on Sept. 11? That's what everyone has been saying for the past year. So I reviewed the past year to see how my corner of it had changed. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I helped put together this newspaper. World-shaking events swirled around us like a hurricane, but we stayed in the eye, working our usual six-hour-straight Tuesday-morning marathon.
Oak Park and River Forest are suffering from referendum fatigue. And no wonder — it's been a busy couple of decades. Just look around. Thanks to a referendum, there's a massive, modern new main library in Oak Park, shining like a beacon on the western edge of Scoville Park.
All I know is what I read in the paper, as Will Rogers used to say. So I haven't been privy to all of the deliberations over in River Forest, but based on what I read, governance his its good days and its bad days.
Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care? Whatever the rock band Chicago was getting at with the rhetorical questions listed above, they clearly apply to Oak Park's public clock situation. Some run right on time. Others don't — and haven't been for a long, well, time.
I know what you're up to, sidling up so nonchalant, like you don't care a whit, and should I happen to drop a potato chip or bread crust, you'd accept it, but only to keep the park free of litter. You don't fool me. Your nervous little dance betrays your desire.