It's been a good month or two for Ernie's image, rejuvenated by Woody Allen's hit film, Midnight in Paris, which elevates the Hemingway of 1920s Paris beyond his usual depiction as over-testosteroned, drunken buffoon. After being caricatured for decades, this was a refreshing change of pace. The film, if you're interested, continues its long run at the Lake Theatre, though it will likely be leaving soon.
I've never understood why Oak Parkers hold Ernest Hemingway at arms' length, but gradually, over the last 20 years, I have become a fan. What put me over the top was his memoir, A Moveable Feast, about his life among the Generation Perdue in 1920s Paris. If you saw Woody Allen's wonderful new film, Midnight in Paris, you got a taste of it. Judging by the film, Allen is more than a little familiar with Hemingway's Feast.
A century and a half after the start of the Civil War, the war continues — or else we're in the midst of another. This one is a slightly more "civil" Civil War. So far, we're not actually firing shots at one another (although one side is trying to arm everybody, which can't be a good sign).
When Dan Kill started working for Family Service and Mental Health Center of Oak Park-River Forest in 1974 as a "generic social worker," the village was tearing up Marion and Lake streets outside the offices at 101 N. Marion St. to make way for the pedestrian mall. Thirty-seven years later, as he prepares to depart the agency, now called Thrive Counseling Center, the village is tearing up the street again.
Catholic Church reform, health care reform, budget reform, TIF reform, Marion Street reform, online comment board reform — all are well and good and have their place, but when are we going to discuss something central to the core of our community character? Like, say, fountain reform.
Any event or occasion that draws large numbers of people you rarely see — or don't see as often as you might like — creates a sense of community. Every town has such occasions, but Oak Park offers more than most. The more you nurture a sense of interconnectedness, the theory goes, the stronger your community. Add to that list the annual Fourth of July Parade, which was revived in 2001, and the GALA (Great American Light Association) which has been sponsoring the fireworks show at OPRF High School since well into the last millennium.
On Pentecost weekend (no coincidence), 1,800 progressive, reform-minded Catholics came together from across the U.S. and Canada (plus a smattering from other parts of the world), to attend the American Catholic Council conference in Detroit.
Micro-opinions, notebook nuggets, and pedestrian peeves that need to be periodically vented. Workers I feel sympathy for: First and foremost, the kids at the Lake Theatre who have to clean up the incredible mess left at the end of each movie.