We live on “The Avenue” just off Lake Street, so-called to bring attention to the heroic shopkeepers and businesses that have survived the economy and village tax structure on the avenue in Oak Park. We love our condo and its location.

Today (April 15) on the return from a walk as I approached our condo, the sidewalk in front of the Music Studio was crowded with maybe eight 30-something moms and dads with kids. One father had parked a huge, three-wheeled stroller afoul of the walk and in concert with his peers, completely blocking the sidewalk, and all were deep in conversation.

Mostly, us Oak Parkers will walk off the sidewalk or find another path, letting the young people congregate to discuss whatever they’re discussing. This too was blocked, with SUVs and other cars tightly parked and not allowing for passage. My choice was to retrace my steps and tempt fate with noon-hour traffic on Oak Park Avenue where it merges back into one lane. Bad choice.

The topics of their conversations must have been captivating, so focused were they, that they didn’t hear my voice as I said, “Excuse me please!”

No movement.

Louder, “Excuse me please!”

No movement or even eye contact.

Now I feel my blood pressure rise (not good for a 75-year-old dude).

Still louder, “Excuse me please!”

Absolutely no movement, eye contact, access or response! Maybe there was an understood response – Push your way through old person!

It is difficult not to be cynical with the general state of things when people from that generation seem so focused on themselves and their own needs.

Jim Ihrig
Oak Park

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