Editor’s note: The following speech was delivered by Lee Brooke at the Senior Citizens Center Ulyssean Awards earlier this month. Brooke was one of two recipients:

As an infant, I slipped out of bed to hear Chopin, Beethoven and many others my mom was performing on the piano. Thanks, Mom.

As one of the three sons of the coach, I could tag along. As a teen, I had Chuck Hoag on my baseball team. Thanks, Dad.

“Who wants to take this bassoon home?” Mr. Little asked all of the 16 clarinetists in the 1944 band. Thanks, Mr. Little.

One of our clergy-faculty, Dr. Mueller at Elmhurst College, built his Elmhurst home with his own hands. Thanks, college professors.

The paint, varnish and lacquer odors were all over our basement at home. Dad sold chemicals, following in his father’s footsteps. Thanks, Dad and Grandpa Brooke.

Mr. Dick Daniels at Proviso High School let me write my own teaching materials in the 1960s. Thanks, Mr. Daniels.

We were in church three or four times a week at First Presbyterian. Thanks, clergy.

Rosary’s Library School taught more and more about books, periodicals, indices and cataloging from scratch. Thanks, Rosary library professors.

When policeman Dick Stratton was just a boy, he could and did throw my whole body into the next yard. When Chief Fremont Nestor was in charge, he took me by the beard to his office. For being so strong, we thank police.

For 25 years in library consulting, planning, administration and public relations, thank you, my libraries.

For 22 years already invested, we thank our thousands of book buyers.

For my partner of 11 years, I say thank you for loving music, libraries, art galleries, local history, editing, and of course, travel around this globe and around this nation. Thanks to Marcy Kubat, my partner.

And a glorious thank you to our Senior Citizen Center board and staff for your generous recognition here tonight.

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