The Chicago Tribune ran a rather lightweight article May 25 on the top 10 area rivalries (after the Sox-Cubs feud?#34;or is it Cubs-Sox?). Number one is the multifaceted, intraparty, internecine squabbling among the various “power families,” i.e. the Daleys vs. the Madigans vs. the Lipinskis vs. the Strogers vs. the Hyneses vs. the Burkes vs. the Laurinos vs. the Cullertons. The other rivalries were East Aurora vs. West Aurora, Quartino vs. Osteria Via Stato (restaurants), Naperville Garden Club vs. Community Gardens (give us a break!), University of Chicago Hospitals vs. Northwestern Memorial Hospital vs. Rush Medical Center, Francis Parker vs. Latin School, Marshall vs. Whitney Young girls basketball (what about Fenwick?), Woodfield Shopping Center vs. Streets of Woodfield (what about River Forest Town Center?), Ultimo vs. Ikram (fashion boutiques?), and last, but certainly not least, North Oak Park vs. South Oak Park.

If you weren’t aware of Oak Park’s geographical rivalry, you probably didn’t grow up here because it’s not as intense as it used to be, but once upon a time … hoo, boy.

Anyway, here was the Trib’s take on where it stands now:

“The houses are bigger and lawns are broader on the north side of town. But the south siders claim they have more cultural diversity, which is one of the hallmarks of the suburb. The north has Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home & Studio and Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace and boyhood homes. The south has the gem of a conservatory and the better swimming pool, not to mention the best bakery in town [that would be Oak Park Bakery for all you snooty north siders who never venture south of the Eisenhower]. Then there’s youth sports?#34;in particular the highly competitive baseball and softball leagues?#34;where teams are split into two divisions: South Side and North Side, culminating in the often intense crosstown village championships.”

Oak Park … intense?

Anyone have an opinion about the North-South (or is it South-North?) rivalry in Oak Park? Does River Forest have a rivalry? Let us know. We’re always interested in squabbles.

Hit the road, George?
If the Republican’s in Congress didn’t have enough problems with President Bush’s War in Iraq, fundraising scandals, and lingering anger from the incompetent Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, etc., now they’ve got angry Oak Parkers to contend with.

Oak Park members of MoveOn, a national anti-Bush organization, will hold a rally June 28 at a local gas station in Oak Park to “expose Republicans in Congress as ‘caught red-handed’ in accepting campaign contributions from big oil companies and then doing their bidding,” the group says in its press release.

The rally takes place at Harrison and Austin at 5 p.m. June 28 Oak Park is part of a “National Day of Action” with events scheduled in 250 locations across the country, according to the release. The day of action comes as families traditionally prepare to hit the roads on July 4.

No normal necromancer
Did you know Oak Park has a resident necromancer? It’s not an official or elected position or anything like that. Neil Tobin just lives here?#34;and happens to be a necromancer, which you don’t run into every day. At least we don’t. But you can run into him on July 7 at 8 p.m. According to the press release he sent us recently, “Neil Tobin is celebrating his 40th birthday at ‘Supernatural Chicago,’ his one-man, interactive, paranormal, storytelling-and-psychic-magic show that’s currently in its third year at the reputedly haunted Excalibur nightclub (632 N. Dearborn).”

And just what is a necromancer anyway? Someone who romances death?

According to our May 2004 profile of Tobin, it means “someone who communicates with the dead to predict the future.” But mostly he’s a magician whose job is “to make your evening as strange as possible.”

Kind of like the average village board meeting.

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