Gloria Groom had this idea. "I was working on some paintings and writing about Monet's The Artist's House at Argenteuil where you see his son, John, wearing a dress with a big blue sash in the back. I thought, 'What's this about?' so I wrote a friend in London and she said, 'Oh, that's a sailor's outfit and that was the trend that year. It shows he's a very upper-class little boy. That was the summer Monet actually had some money.'
I am, apparently, summer's only fan. At any rate, I'm in the minority. One never hears anyone, bursting with exuberance, say, "God, I love summer!" anymore. God, I love summer! Granted, the season has its downside. "Too hot!" "Too humid!" "Too many bugs!" "Too much rain!" "Not enough rain!"
Gloria Groom, the Mary and David Winton Green Curator of 19th Century Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute, whose new exhibit, "Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity," which was a hit in both Paris and New York, and seems bound to make a big, well, impression in Chicago this summer, is a longtime Oak Park resident. She will be speaking about the exhibition at the Oak Park Public Library in the Veterans Room on July 10 at 7 p.m.
Recently, I wrote a column on what I love about this town [Embracing the hassle of Oak Park, June 12]. A reader who thinks conservatives are more patriotic than liberals challenged me to do the same for America for July 4th.
What does it mean to be a man? Courage, certainly, would top most lists though courage is by no means the exclusive province of the male (In fact, much of what follows likely applies to women as well. I'm just not qualified to compile that list).
I spent Father's Day afternoon with my son. Nothing fancy, a movie and dinner. Going to movies is one of the things we've always enjoyed doing together. Simple and relaxing. I wish I had a list of everything we've seen over the years.
At Day in Our Village on March 2 (the calendar said "June," but it must have been March. I could see my breath), Tracy Brooker of OPRF Embrace, a new initiative to accentuate the positive, said they were videotaping responses to the question, "What do you love about Oak Park?" A worthy endeavor since Oak Parkers tend to criticize more than praise (though one of the things I love about Oak Park is that we're willing to criticize and not just engage in mindless boosterism. We want to make things better).
In the film Win Win, a high school wrestling coach, during a reflective moment, asks his star wrestler, a bona fide prodigy, "What's it like to be that good at something?" Most of the people in the audience for the OPRF High School Orchestra's Senior Farewell Concert, May 15, probably wondered the same thing as Scott Daniel, one of three winners of the 2012-13 OPRF Concerto Competition, launched into Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major.
This column about one of my old college profs ran on March 16, 2011. Afterward, I decided to track him down and found him retired and living in Palos Heights. In fact, he was about to conduct his final concert.