I am one of the happy homeowners who share the distinctive “worst alley in Oak Park,” as determined from a recent village study. [When alleys go bad, news, May 27] My 5-year-old son has conducted a similar survey – I call it the Red Flyer wagon survey – and has arrived at the same conclusion that no other alley in Oak Park compares.

As I tow him down our alley in the wagon (with enough padding to make it comfortable), I smile and gaze back. His teeth are clattering, head bobbing and his steady “hmmm” bounces uncontrollably and makes him giggle. I say, “Careful, dear. You might chip a tooth.” We have tested other alleys, and I find myself having to weave back and forth to hit the potholes to get the same experience.

As an urban dweller, I like to give my son those “down home” country experiences I had as a child. Back in my day, we had to drive for miles to get to those gravel roads and outhouses. But here it is right at my own back door!

Thank you, village. It’s so worth the money we pay in taxes and the wear and tear on our cars – not to mention the overall appearance. What’s the rush to repair? Perhaps you could drop off a rusty old car at the entrance to the alley to keep the theme consistent. We don’t mind. And when my son asks, I’ll say, “Don’t worry, dear. It will be like this for a very, very long time.”


Phyllis Gunning
Oak Park

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