Our religion writer, Tom Holmes, a retired Lutheran minister, wrote last week that he doesn't attend the annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Service because he can't pray with people of other faiths. His blog (see OakPark.com) surprised more than a few of us because no one is more open-minded and eager to explore other faiths and faith communities.
Normally, I don't respond to online comments about my columns. I figure people have a right to react. I don't need to have the last word. But I can't resist replying to "Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park," who posted the following comment about my recent column, Long live the (new) American Dream [Oct. 26]:
"I thank my lucky stars that I landed here," says Stephanie Clemens, who turned 70 this year and is marking 40 years since she first "rolled up the rug in my apartment" and started teaching dance in Oak Park. So maybe she's in a retrospective mood. Maybe that's why her Momenta dance troupe's fall program, which runs the next two weekends, includes so many historical works.
With "potluck" you don't know what you're going to get. Life isn't a box of chocolates, it's potluck. Which is fine because you're bound to find something you like — especially with more than 200 dishes to choose from. That was the situation a week ago Sunday at the Andersen Rec Center, a lovely stretch of green space nestled among single family homes on Hayes Avenue just north of Division.
Is the American Dream merely deferred or has it died? Deferred is tragic. Death might be catastrophic. The American Dream is the social covenant that says if we follow the rules, work hard, live as law-abiding citizens — in other words become team players — then it will pay off somewhere down the line. We'll move up economically and our kids will be better off than we were.
In any democracy, inequality is a sin. The greater the inequality, the greater the sin. And the greater the sin, the greater the unrest. Environmentalist Paul Hawken called it "Blessed Unrest," which is the title of his 2007 book.
Going into my grade school reunion Saturday night, I entertained a tiny terror. It was 45 years, after all, since I'd seen many of these people. What if, one after another, their faces said, "Were you in our class?" while their voices (overcompensating) said, "It's so good to see you!"
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."