As a handicapped senior citizen, I'd like to complain more about the Ridgeland Common facility, with a very long walk from the pool to the far west entrance and all the way back again to customer service.
But I'd rather ponder why Oak Park is called snobby. First off, we must rank high among small cities who are seriously committed to diversity. Surely that takes us off "snobby." Then I think of the Farmers Market and its wild gathering of bluegrass musicians. Snobby? Our gorgeous diversity of trees, wild prairie-style gardens everywhere, well-used bike paths, soon a food coop. We have community theatre, ethnic festivals, much involvement in world and local problems by our citizens, services for the homeless, the poor, the disabled. We even have a preservation of wildness in our downtown area in Austin Gardens. And I never stop being amazed at the frequent politeness of Oak Park drivers indicating "Go ahead. You first!"
Sixty percent of our population is college-educated. Calling that snobby is a put-down of education and smells of an uneducated person threatened by the strength and independence that education gives people.
Yes, maybe we get a little taken with ourselves over famous residents and a little silly about our new identity as beer drinkers, but to me Oak Park is not snobby. We are civilized, down-to-earth, and real. It's an honor to be part of this lovely community that works together respectfully.
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