Not Everyone Was Brave: Henry Gerber and the Beginning of the Gay Rights Movement in Chicago

Not Everyone Was Brave: Henry Gerber and the Beginning of the Gay Rights Movement in Chicago
Not Everyone Was Brave: Henry Gerber and the Beginning of the Gay Rights Movement in Chicago ( Note: a while back, I did a series on remarkable women. Now, I’d like to give the men equal time with essays on a few remarkable men who made a difference.)  Part I Henry Gerber was not a lovable,... Read more »

All That I Remember: Encounters with Bigotry and Racism

All That I Remember: Encounters with Bigotry and Racism
          Not Good Enough We can forgive, but we must never forget. Dr. Jack Brauns  I was five years old—going on six when I learned about bigotry. I lived in a small town at the southern tip of Illinois above my father’s grocery store (I would later choose to call it... Read more »

Beyond Twelve Years a Slave

Beyond Twelve Years a Slave
The Legacy of Slavery I stepped inside the door and turned off the lights. Then I walked to the window and pulled down the shades. “Close your eyes,” I instructed the students in my high school U.S. History class. “Imagine that you are standing in the center of your living room. Discard all the furniture.... Read more »
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Nelson Mandela: Hail, Farewell, and Thank You So Much

Nelson Mandela: Hail, Farewell, and Thank You So Much
Hail, Farewell, and Thank You So Much This is a story of three threads. Thread one was spun many years ago when, as a graduate student in history at Northwestern University, I took a course in archeology. In that course, taught by a professor we affectionately called “Goofy”, I learned about the Egyptian practice of... Read more »

The Day Kennedy Died

The Day Kennedy Died
e Day Kennedy Died It has been fifty years, but I remember it as though it were yesterday. Those of my generation can tell you exactly where we were and what we were doing when John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States was shot. While we push the tragedy to the back... Read more »

The Gobble-uns'll Git You: An Old Town Halloween

The Gobble-uns'll Git You: An Old Town Halloween
  A Little Halloween History Love it or hate it, Halloween comes around every year on October 31st. It began with the Celts, about 2,000 years ago. They celebrated their New Year on November 1—a day that marked the end of summer, the harvest, and life; and the beginning of the dark, cold winter and... Read more »
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Old Town, Crilly Court, and a Tree Named Ethel

Old Town, Crilly Court, and a Tree Named Ethel
Old Town, Crilly Court, and a Tree Named Ethel   It has been 35 years since we moved to Old Town. I came reluctantly. Norman practically ran here. We had been living in Evanston, a place Norman hated, but endured for me. I was heading off to the Cordon Bleu in Paris to learn to... Read more »

Slouching Toward Autumn

Slouching Toward Autumn
  Slouching Toward Autumn             Oh, it’s a long, long while, from May to December.             But the days grow short, when you reach September   Anderson/Weill Summer is gone—and I, for one, do not mourn its passing. Here are some of the things I will not miss about the season that stretches from May to... Read more »

I Read the News Today Oh, Boy

I Read the News Today Oh, Boy
I Read the News Today Oh, Boy             I read the news today oh, boy…             A crowd of people turned away,             But I just had to look…   John Lennon, Paul McCartney I read the news today oh, boy. U.S. edges closer to Syria action—Kerry condemns apparent toxic gas attack as ‘moral obscenity’ and... Read more »
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The Old Town Players: Curtain Call

The Old Town Players: Curtain Call
  Curtain Call: The Old Town Players “I can’t wait for the future, Joe,” says Mag, the young heroine of Brian Friel’s play: ”Lovers (Winners and Losers)” imagining a life of happy tomorrows. But the audience knows what Mag does not. Her tomorrows will not be happy. She is 17, pregnant, and three weeks away... Read more »