Part II

There’s an old-time slang term still in use around here: Dooper. The origin of this word is vague but its local definition is precise. Doopers are enthusiastic Oak Parkers who tirelessly promote and adore their beloved village’s image and history. 

Perhaps the term derives from “super-dooper,” a vintage adjective applied to whatever is truly awesome or amazing. Older folks insist DOOPer is an acronym for “Dear Old Oak Parkers” (based on an early book titled, Dear Old Oak Park) — those proud, energized boosters who are indefatigable cheerleaders for their community.

So are you a Dooper? Grab a sheet of paper, number it from 1 to 20, and take Part II of the Dooper Challenge.

 1) Which former Oak Park resident assassinated President James Garfield? 

a. John Wilkes Booth

b. Charles Guiteau

c. Lee Harvey Oswald

d. Leon Czologosc

2) As a child, which famous entertainer lived in Apt. 3A, 218 Pleasant Street? 

a. Fannie Brice

b. Carol Burnett

c. Goldie Hawn

d. Betty White

3) Which early 20th-century developer, whose first name was Seward, has a street named after him because of his extensive, well-built subdivision in South Oak Park? 

a. Gunderson

b. Wesley

c. Humphrey

d. Scoville

4) Which community does not share a border with Oak Park? 

a. Berwyn

b. Maywood

c. Forest Park

d. River Forest

5) Which business is not located in the South Town District, centered at Oak Park Avenue and Harrison Street? 

a. The Avenue Ale House

b. Kinderhook Tap

c. Carleton Hotel 

d. Divine Consign

6) The population of Oak Park boomed in 1871 due to: 

a. the arrival of the railroad

b. the Great Chicago Fire

c. a local prohibition of alcohol went into effect that would last a century

d. waves of new immigrants gravitating to cheap housing

7) Which of these books by Oak Park authors was published first? 

a. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

b. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

c. There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz

d. Open House by Elizabeth Berg

8) Which of these innovations by Oak Parkers is attributed to Ray Kroc: 

a. founded McDonald’s

b. created the “Twinkie” 

c. invented the Yo-Yo 

d. established the first hospital blood bank

9) Which is not a North Oak Park street? 

a. Edmer

b. Schneider

c. Rossell

d. Fillmore

10) The Oak Park Farmers Market, held every Saturday, 7 a. m. to 1 p. m., from May through October, takes place where? 

a. Pilgrim Congregational Church parking lot, 460 Lake St. 

b. The parking lot of Brooks Middle School, 325 S. Kenilworth Ave. 

c. The park adjoining Rehm Pool, 515 Garfield St.

d. Fox Park, 640 S. Oak Park Ave.

11) The Sculpture Walk, which features 12 pieces of original art, makes a perfect self-guided tour along which street between Austin and Ridgeland? 

a. Division Street

b. Lake Street

c. Chicago Avenue

d. Madison Street

12) Which person is not currently one of our village trustees? 

a. Cedric Melton

b. Adam Salzman

c. Glenn Brewer

d. Collette Lueck

13) What is located at 615 Garfield St., facing the Eisenhower Expressway at East Avenue? 

a. Open Door Repertory Company 

b. Oak Park Conservatory

c. Val’s halla Records

d. Maze Branch Library

14) Which statement is false? 

a. Restaurants called Philander’s, Poor Phil’s, and Barclay’s American Grille were named for early 20th-century photographer and drug addict Philander Barclay. 

b. The Wright Plus Housewalk is the 3rd Saturday of May. 

c. The Tale of the Tombstones is the Historical Society of Oak Park-River Forest’s annual walk at Forest Home Cemetery 

d. Downtown Oak Park Thursday Night Out is a restaurant event that takes place in the fall.

15) She was a fair-housing organizer in the 1960s who, with a few others, founded the Oak Park Housing Center in 1972 to promote integration by ensuring equal access and discouraging “white flight.” 

a. Sherlyn Reid

b. Elsie Jacobsen

c. Bobbie Raymond

d. Virginia Cassin

16) Which children’s toy was invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright, the second son of Frank Lloyd Wright? 

a. Erector Set

b. Legos

c. Froebel Blocks

d. Lincoln Logs

17) Which is located closest to the 1909 “Horse Show Fountain” at the southeast corner of Scoville Park? 

a. The Brown Elephant Resale Shop

b. The Academy of Movement and Music

c. The Buzz Cafe

d. The World War I memorial, Peace Triumphant

18) The population of Oak Park is: 

a. 43,290

b. 52,524

c. 66,029

d. 69,374

19) Which happened last? 

a. Oak Park Junior College opened in what is now the Dole Branch Library.

b. Chicago Cubs shortstop Joe Tinker (who lived at 832 Gunderson), led his team to back-to-back World Series championships.

c. The Eisenhower Expressway, which involved razing a large number of homes and businesses, was opened to traffic.

d. Realtor and politician Henry W. Austin purchased all the saloons in the village and personally poured every drop of remaining liquor into the streets. 

20) Which tactic was not utilized to promote racial diversity, soothe fears, and stop “white flight” in the early 1970s? 

a. Many border streets became cul-de-sacs to discourage easy access from the east.

b. Village hall was moved to the eastern end of town. 

c. For Sale signs were prohibited to prevent panic-selling and feelings of insecurity that the neighborhood was “changing,” 

d. Block parties were discouraged to keep strangers and riff-raff out.


1. B; 2. D; 3. A; 4. B; 5. C; 6. B; 7. B; 8. A; 9. D; 10. A; 11. C; 12. A; 13. B; 14. D; 15. C; 16. D; 17. D; 18. B; 19. C; 20. D

 If you scored within the 16 to 20 (perfect paper) range, you are indeed a dyed-in-the-wool Super Dooper — a Village Virtuoso. You may run the risk of boring your friends and family with your non-stop-though-enthusiastic plethora of local knowledge. If your score falls between 11 and 15 correct, you are a Hometown Hotshot, an ace full of fascinating local minutiae but not quite a Citizen Maven just yet. If you’re in the 6-10 correct range, you’re a Wannabe Whiz Kid who must be a new kid on the block — far from a true Township Egghead. Stay plugged in and open to all things “Oak Park.”

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Doug Deuchler

Doug Deuchler has been reviewing local theater and delving into our history for Wednesday Journal for decades. He is alsoa retired teacher and school librarian who is also a stand-up comic, tour guide/docent...