Many Oak Parkers really helped one another out this past winter season, as I saw several neighbors out early in the morning using their snowblowers to clear snow beyond their own property.  But, how many of those operating the snowblowers are in their 70s?  I would like to nominate our neighbor, Flo Shumpert, who was up early and running her snowblower numerous times this winter. At 70-something years old, she had the energy and the willingness to run her snowblower down the sidewalk and even clear out the aprons of driveways. (And yes, she is the proud grandma of that talented OPRF basketball player, Iman Shumpert.)

Maureen Magner

I nominate Jay Fahn for the Snowblower Hall of Fame. He is so thoughtful in blowing the snow from six families’ walkways on the day of onslaughts. He usually does it before before he goes to work. Thanks, Jay!

Marty Swisher

Glad you thought to ask about this. Our next-door neighbor, the wonderful Roby Jahn, is one of these snowblowing samaritans. My husband and I get up pretty early in the morning, but often Roby has already been out with his snowblower, taking care of our walk as well as the walks of several other neighbors. And he even has one of those dreaded corner houses, so he has plenty of work without helping out the rest of us. It’s such a kindness that he does, though he always claims that it was nothing.

Susan Messer

Our neighbor, Parke Brewer, has done a wonderful job of snowblowing the front sidewalks on our whole block! We live on a stretch of Ridgeland that has lots of foot traffic, including folks walking to the el and kids going to Julian and the high schools. We also have a few elderly neighbors on the block.

Parke is an early riser, so he often does the whole block before any of us even venture outside. With the “historic” sidewalks in this area of town, Parke’s snowblowing is particularly appreciated-it is tough to shovel all of that uneven slate.

Not only do we neighbors benefit from his making his way down the entire block, but certainly the pedestrians do too. Rumor has it that Parke has even worked his way all the way around the block when he got on a roll!

The unfortunate conclusion to this story? Parke’s snowblower has burned out before our relentless weather has.

Kathy Lewis

Jordan Shapiro has been blowing snow off the sidewalks on the 300 block of
North Harvey all winter-and because of his kindness, the winter snow hasn’t seemed quite as onerous.

Kathy Stohr

I would like to nominate my husband, Augie (Bud) Bernahl for Good Samaritan shoveling/snowblowing.

My husband of 38 years has been snowblowing the sidewalks on the our side of

South Elmwood Avenue
Fillmore Street
Roosevelt Road
for the past 15 years. We’ve been residents of Oak Park for the past 38 years and have been living on our block for the past 30 years. My husband at times would go out 2-3 times a day, depending on the snowfall, just to make sure that the sidewalks are clean. It doesn’t matter what the conditions or the temperature or the weather is.

He also does about four houses behind ours because some of these homeowners are senior citizens. I get upset at times because he does this either when he is sick or when he is just tired. He will go out there before bedtime, so he won’t have to clean the sidewalks when he wakes up the next morning. He really enjoys this and there are times he would sneak out of the house, so he won’t hear me complaining.

The fire department should also be proud of him because he makes sure the fire hydrant is clear of snow. Being a retired police officer, he is very concerned for the safety of citizens, especially our neighbors. Though retired, he just had to get back into this field again and now works for another police department because he says he enjoys helping people. He has been doing this now for the past 28 years.

He never receives money for doing this, and few of his neighbors give him any recognition for this chore. He never complains about this, and only says this keeps him in good shape and health, and that he will do this no matter what.

Oh, by the way, he also cuts grass for some of the neighbors. He says cutting grass for the whole block would be just too costly, especially with the gas prices!

Angie Bernahl


What a great idea to commend those wonderful people who brave the elements to help out their neighbors in times of too much snow!  I am blessed with the best-Dave Keneally,

317 N. East Ave.
He wins the contest hands down! If he’s not out with his snowblower cleaning off my driveway, he is shoveling the patio, stairs and walkways by hand.

I am so happy for the opportunity to express my appreciation fully!

Jane Johnson

There can be no argument that our neighbor, John Tuhey, of the 1100 block of South Lombard deserves a prominent place in the 2007/08 SBHOF (Snow Blowers Hall of Fame). He is a tireless warrior, clearing the perimeter of his corner lot (going a few extra houses up) and then crossing the street and doing our corner lot.

This was our family’s first Midwestern winter in about 10 years, and we found ourselves armed with only two snow shovels, gleefully given to us by my sister and brother-in-law before moving to southern
Florida. The novelty of shoveling snow wore off about three snowfalls into winter, so the whirr and grind of our good neighbor’s snowblower quickly became music to our ears.

Here’s to Tuhey!

Lori McConnell

I would like to nominate my neighbor, Mark Leipold, for a “Good Samaritan” award.  He has a snowblower and has gotten out early on weekdays and weekends to clear the snow for nearly the entire block of 700 S. Ridgeland for months! He surprised us all with help last year too. Heck, he’s even tried to help in the alley.

There are many school children from Longfellow and Percy Julian who would be trudging to classes if it weren’t for Mark. So, hurray for the Good Samaritan at 721 S. Ridgeland!

Mary Kate O’Mara

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