'Laid-back' Trapani shoots the breeze with Windy City


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Windy City Times recently profiled soon-to-be ex-Village President Joanne Trapani in their March 30 edition. Andrew Davis wrote, "As laid-back as she is candid, Trapani is a refreshing change from the political prototype."

Asked why she decided not to run again, Trapani, a 1993 inductee into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, joked that her partner would divorce her, then noted that she didn't want her to have to deal with the "very personal" attacks anymore. "She's been an extraordinary trouper [sic] over the last four years."

As for the future, Trapani said they're thinking about spending a month volunteering at an AIDS hospice in South Africa in the fall.

Sidd Finch rears again

Many in Oak Park know Joe Berton as the longtime art teacher at Julian Middle School. But to some baseball fans, especially those who once read the late George Plimpton's Sports Illustrated article, "The Curious Case of Sidd Finch," Berton?#34;well, Finch?#34;is a hero of sorts.

The article ran 20 years ago?#34;when SI's publication date happened to fall on April 1?#34;as an unannounced April Fools' joke on its readers, heralding Finch as the greatest major league prospect of all time, having learned to pitch by throwing rocks to shoo away snow leopards in the mountains of Tibet, giving him the ability to hurl 168-mile-an-hour fastballs with a boot on one foot and the other bare. Berton "modeled" the role of Finch for the SI photo shoot (the photographer was a friend).

The New York Times picked up on the anniversary of the article and extensively quotes Berton in its April 1, 2005, article. Berton to this day is recognized as Finch by fans, and many ask for an autograph.

"It's never old to him," Berton's wife Gloria told the Times. "He absolutely loves it. ... He's just tickled because he was never an athlete. He doesn't deny that he had heroes as a kid. And suddenly, he was one himself."

WJ profiled Berton as Finch in August 2000.
?#34;Ken Trainor and Drew Carter

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