"Life's been good to me," says Neil Sheehan, enthusiastically, as he seems to say everything, and some of his best years were spent as a District 97 principal from 1967 to 1987. The man from Libertyville became principal at Whittier School in 1967 ("Being a principal in Oak Park was a real feather in your cap," he recalls).
During Whittier School's class of 1969 reunion, Charlotte Csakai Mesimore led attendees in a song she had adapted to the tune of Paul McCartney's "Yesterday". The song honored teachers, and those in attendance.
It's funny how memory works. We tend to magnify and pick at the small disappointments, hurts and slights. I think that's why some folks (myself included) were reluctant to reopen that chapter in our lives and attend our 41st Whittier grade school reunion.
Oak Park was not hip when we graduated in 1969, so visiting now is a bit of a shock. I still expect it to be the 'Leave It to Beaver' town I grew up in. I can't quite take in the polish it's acquired. Downtown Oak Park has gone from Woolworth's to sushi restaurants. It's a relief to see the Cozy Corner restaurant is still there -- I used to get a cheeseburger and a Coke for under $2.