The time has come for a lofty compromise in the dispute about lighting the stadium at Oak Park and River Forest High School. On one side of the controversy stands the Huskie Booster Club, whose members support lights in the stadium. On the opposite side stand neighbors of OPRF, who fear the light spillage from the stadium will beam into their homes so brightly they will think they’re having a near-death experience and stand on the verge of “the other side” where deceased relatives are waiting for them.

The solution to break the impasse lies exactly in the middle: OPRF students should play and practice at night without any lights.

The Booster Club will doubt this proposal. However, if the organization really wants to provide “Those things that are best” to the students, it will support a lightless stadium because playing in darkness will make the students better athletes and increase their awareness.

At first, the students would have difficulty playing in the dark, but in time they will learn vision is overrated, especially when it comes to viewing present prime-time television. Eventually, they will use other senses to compensate for their lack of vision just like James Longstreet, the blind insurance investigator in the 1971 TV series Longstreet. I don’t know how he became blind. I think he stared at a solar eclipse for several hours with a magnifying glass.

In one episode, a transcendentalist horticulturist has him walk through a park in his bare feet to teach him how to distinguish different species of grass by feel. The lesson ends abruptly when Longstreet steps on a lit cigarette butt and spends the remainder of the episode hopping on one foot, screaming in pain. He would have screamed into the next episode, but ABC canceled his show.

If OPRF athletes play in darkness long enough, they could develop hypersensitivity beyond the five senses?#34;like extrasensory perception or telekinesis. They could gain the ability to bend spoons, a most useful skill to possess. I don’t know how many times I have sat down to eat a bowl of microwave porridge and said, “Dang, I wish I had a bent spoon,” and had to go down to the basement, put a spoon in a vice, and bend it with a pipe wrench.

Think of the advantage OPRF students would have in college admissions if they had telekinetic capabilities. On their applications to Ivy League schools, they could answer the questions inquiring about other skills or aptitudes they might have with “can bend spoons with only the power of my thoughts.” That would make them stand out among the pool of applicants.

So I say to the Huskie Booster Club: Leave the stadium lightless for the benefit of the students. Use your money for other urgent needs of the high school, such as changing the lyrics to the High School’s “Loyalty Song.”

“We’re loyal to you, Oak Park High. We’re orange and blue, Oak Park High. We’ll back you to stand ‘gainst the best in the land, For we know you’ve got sand, Oak Park, Rah! Rah!”

How insipid is that? Surely, Oak Park can come up with something better than these lame-o lyrics. How about something you can sing to a house music beat or Old School Hip Hop, something to inspire people to stand up and get jiggy?

Then again, perhaps not?#34;this is Oak Park.

Byron Lanning
An Oak Park Blog:

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