We’re in Phase 4 of reopening, now, and there’s more traffic along Roosevelt Road. A long way from everything being shut down, except for essential things– like mail service, auto mechanics, gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores.
The Turano Bakery along Roosevelt Road kept working, bread trucks traveling east and west, making deliveries.
At the height of the shutdown, there was almost no car traffic along Roosevelt Road. There were a few busses. I saw vans for plumbers, roofers and carpenters. There were semis making deliveries to Walgreens. I called it Apocalypse Road, and it was eerie to walk past the closed-up storefronts, the begonias wilting in the barber shop windows.
Now, the barber shops are re-opening, masks and appointments required, but the signs on the doors are encouraging.
The vintage shop has special hours. How many times on my way to the Jewel did I stop to marvel at the things behind the glass?
The locksmith, too is open– by appointment only, but open for business.
People are walking into the Bank of America lobby again.
Dunkin Donuts is still dark inside, but the drive-thru is a line of traffic. Will people sit outside on the picnic tables again?
Across Roosevelt Road, the tables are set up for outdoor dining at Fitzgerald’s. There will be music there again.
And people are lining up for Gina’s Italian Ice! Everyone careful to keep distance and wearing masks. This is summer 2020. A young guy passes me on roller skates, wearing baggy cargo shorts and a mask, eyes on his phone.
The Jewel still has special hours for Seniors on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are still one-way signs and masks required, but today there are cucumbers! And watermelon! Coffee on sale! Masks and baggy shorts are the summer style, although here in south Oak Park, I see some women are wearing breezy summer dresses. Oh, don’t they look cool!
If the Salvation Army store along Roosevelt Road was open again, maybe I would go there, and look for a summer dress, or a big man’s shirt like I do every summer. But that Salvation Army store is closed, and gone for good.
Some things won’t be coming back.
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