I’m from Highland Park.
Yeah, my time there wasn’t my happiest. My high school years were filled with angst, insecurity and immaturity. As I found out later, I wasn’t the only one. Far from it. Damn, I wish I knew that then. Still my life was full of privilege growing up in that community. I also wish I knew that then.
While I haven’t lived in Highland Park for more than five decades, I spend plenty of time there now. Between grocery shopping, eating at their restaurants or seeing a concert at Ravinia, I’m in H.P. almost every week of the year. I feel a part of their community.
I also belong to a few Highland Park Facebook groups. This morning, someone posted the above photo. This is the original Stash’s, which was a hot dog stand in Highland Park’s downtown area. Great dogs and French fries. The fries came in a small brown paper bag with the grease dripping out of the bottom. DELICIOUS!!
More than fifty years later, I can remember this clearly. The memories help bring a touch of peace and calmness after the events of yesterday. I know it doesn’t change a thing. We’re mourning the six who senselessly died yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the twenty-plus who were injured. This will continue for a long time to come. But, the memory of a hot dog stand from long ago, brings a smile on a day filled with tears. On July 5, 2020, in Highland Park, Illinois, a quick smile is a much needed thing.
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