In Oak Park last spring, we had a food truck rally that can only be described as a "disappointing success." This parking lot-based (Pilgrim Church) gathering of food trucks generated a huge turnout of villagers — so much so that some vendors ran out of supplies within the first 30 minutes and many more within the first hour.
I was not fully prepared for the new show enjoying its world premiere at Open Door Repertory Company called "Clara," by McKinley Johnson. I knew it was about Clara Ward (1924-1973), a gifted and hugely successful gospel artist of the mid-20th Century, but I guess I was anticipating either a musical revue or a dramatized history lesson.
Taron Pellettieri, 9, opens the wood box and deposits food scraps for hungry worms. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where life begins in the Pellettieri-Molony garden but the worms are a good place to start to understand the cycle. The food scraps, much of which came from the garden, make the worms produce waste that enriches the soil that allow plants to grow.
Months ago, when I heard that Sugar Beet Co-op was staging its 2nd Annual Edible Garden Tour on Saturday, July 27 in Oak Park, I was intrigued. Frankly, I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to answer the question of our times: "What the heck is permaculture, anyway?"
In walks the client on two good legs ready for his massage. As a dog missing the other two legs, his life depends on it. And the sweet 8-year-old pit bull named Fifty seems to know it as he hops over to Denise Theobald and lies down, exposing the overworked legs that carry the strain of his muscular, energetic body.
Did you know there's an official Hemingway rum? Papa's Pilar ("Solera aged and artisan crafted"). Pilar was actually the name of Papa's beloved fishing boat in Cuba, but no doubt rum was a frequent accoutrement. Regardless, Papaficionados can celebrate his birthday this Sunday evening, July 21, at the Hemingway Museum (6-10 p.m.) with an exclusive tasting of Pilar, accompanied by live music by Pennies from Heaven and appetizers and cocktails from Maya del Sol.
Passersby and even puzzled shoppers at a nearby Jewel sometimes wander over to a little park on Lake Street in River Forest to inspect a group of participants playing an uncommon game and having an uncommonly good time doing it.
Every Fourth of July, Oak Park's Independence Day Parade embarks from the northwest corner of Longfellow Park and - this year 60 groups strong - and heads north up Ridgeland Avenue to Augusta Boulevard. Spectators line the parkways, sitting on curbs, in fold-up chairs, on house steps and tucked away on porches, many of which sport flags and red, white and blue bunting.
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.'