As summer arrives, it’s a good time to reflect on the good we see all over our villages.
We’ll be back to chaos and nonsense next week but for today here’s the sunny forecast:
You have to love Reggie Love
It started with one email to Wednesday Journal shouting out the neighborhood mail carrier on his coming retirement. Then there were two, three, four, five completely unconnected entreaties that the Journal had to write about Reggie Love, the mail guy on Kenilworth, Clinton and Home for the past 24 years.
Our reporter, Stacey Sheridan, talked with Reggie Love and with neighbors, listening to stories of Mr. Love ringing the doorbell daily to check on an elder, turning up at block parties, at funeral services for neighbors, carrying treats for dogs, cats and, yes, for squirrels.
At a time when most Oak Parkers are fed up with poor mail service and our most recent story on the postal service was about a carrier dumping mail in the garbage, this is a reminder that longtime mail carriers can be essential glue connecting a neighborhood.
Thanks to Mr. Love for his service.
Memorial Day done right
Both River Forest and Oak Park returned to Memorial Day traditions Monday and it surely felt right.
The Memorial Day Parade in River Forest was back and as big as ever. Under sunny skies, dozens of organizations, from marching bands to enthused gymnasts and a certain local newspaper, made their way through town down streets lined with folks eager to see something as simple and normal as a parade.
In Oak Park, there was a somber and powerful Memorial Day service at the crest of the hill in Scoville Park, at the foot of the “Peace Triumphant” monument. A good-sized crowd heard words of remembrance, saw the Oak Park police color guard, and listened to Taps being played to honor our men and women who have gone to war on our behalf.
And by way of observation, it was a long line waiting for Rehm Pool to open and also for a cone at Hole in the Wall.
Beer and baby formula
It is always worth noting when a local business steps up to help address a problem that is fully outside its wheelhouse just because the need is real and immediate.
The Beer Shop on North Boulevard in downtown Oak Park has been collecting baby formula, diapers and other basic needs for little ones at a time when supply chain disruptions have left young families in immediate need.
News this week is that Oak Park’s Fenwick High School closed its deal with Dominican University to purchase the 7-acre Priory property at Division and Harlem. This is both a building and open space, and Fenwick is still considering its plan for future uses. A year from now, Fenwick will close on the purchase of 11 acres of athletic fields it currently leases from the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great.
This realignment among the various versions of local Dominicans appears to meet the needs of all involved. The university no longer had a need for the Priory site. The province we suspect will be happy to turn its 11-acre asset into cash. And Fenwick now has a second campus and full control of its athletic fields.
A good outcome.