Category: Uncategorized

My Stone Mountain story, and how I became the most objective person Rita ever knew

My Stone Mountain story,  and how I became the most objective person Rita ever knew
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who is black, told a story recently about a trip he made as a young man to Stone Mountain, near Atlanta.  Speaking to members of the Chicago Bar Association via zoom, he explained that while he was visiting the famous geological site, with its carvings in bas relief (the... Read more »

One little story of what it was like to be a woman reporter 40 years ago (a pregnant one)

One little story of what it was like to be a woman reporter 40 years ago (a pregnant one)
A couple of years ago when my good friend–writer, editor and publisher Pat Colander died, I wrote a memoir about our friendship. Pat’s–and my–good friend Dave Hoekstra read the piece and invited me–and Pat’s sister, Marian O’Quinn and Pat’s best childhood friend, Marilyn Lenti Joyce and Pat’s one time Chicago Reader editor, Mike Lenehan to... Read more »

Lori Lightfoot, take a page out of your predecessor Jane Byrne's political playbook and move to where the bullets are flying

Lori Lightfoot, take a page out of your predecessor Jane Byrne's political playbook and move to where the bullets are flying
Last weekend: 55 shootings. 11 dead. That was the score the weekend before this Memorial Day weekend.  Few pay any attention. It’s just a number happening somewhere else. Unless a bullet goes though your window.  Or though a loved one’s heart. Or…. Lori Lightfoot, you must do something. And I have an idea.   You... Read more »
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April, 1945: Ahlem concentration camp outside Hanover, Germany was liberated--and among the liberators were Vernon Tott, Henry Kissinger and my dad

April, 1945:  Ahlem concentration camp outside Hanover, Germany was liberated--and among the liberators were Vernon Tott, Henry Kissinger and my dad
On April 10, 1945, Ahlem, a concentration camp near Hanover, Germany was liberated by the US 84th Infantry Division–nicknamed “The Railsplitters” because its roots went back to Abraham Lincoln. The 84th entered France in 1944, following in the bootprints of the Normandy Invasion and fought the Battle of the Bulge. They soldiered on into Germany... Read more »

Everyone's looking forward to "getting back to normal" but me

I just got an email from a woman who runs one of the book clubs I belong to. She says she’s decided since “we all had our vaccine,” it’s time to start meeting in person again in each other’s homes. I clutched. My heart stood still. She wants to go back to normal? Now? Just... Read more »

It's pretty obvious what's wrong with Marjorie Taylor Greene, don't you think?

It's pretty obvious what's wrong with Marjorie Taylor Greene, don't you think?
My mother called me a couple of days ago and she said this:  “You know I hate to talk politics with you, but I’m really curious about one thing:  Can you keep it to 10 words or less?” I told her I’d be glad to.  Whatever the question. “What do you think of Marjorie Taylor... Read more »
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I was born on either December 25 or 26. Who cares? Social Security, Comcast and my mom, for starters

I was born on either December 25 or 26.  Who cares?  Social Security, Comcast and my mom, for starters
On December 25, 1950, my mother was at a Christmas party in Englewood at my father’s mother’s house.  She was pregnant with me. And her water broke about 8 PM.  My dad took her to Michael Reese Hospital in a snowstorm and I was born there at midnight.  I was named Benita Carol, my first... Read more »

To take or not to take the new vaccine: my existential history with inoculations

To take or not to take the new vaccine:  my existential history with inoculations
It’s barreling down the track a mile a minute. Everyone from President Trump to Dr. Fauci is thrilled. Not me; I’m having an existential vaccine crisis. Trump is thrilled because he did it.  It worked.  (At least so far.)  He used his business acumen to jump-start science in a bureaucracy.  He’ll take it with him... Read more »

RBG, ACB and Me....Federalism, Friendship and the A-words that matter most of all

RBG, ACB and Me....Federalism, Friendship and the A-words that matter most of all
  So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune                             —Ruth Bader Ginsburg   I started law school in January, 1991.  It was a new decade, and I’d just turned 40.  I was... Read more »
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So there was this one day recently when...everything was sort of normal

So there was this one day recently when...everything was sort of normal
Even though the name of the outdoor photo show I went to see recently was “These Extraordinary Times,” everything was sort of normal. South Loop Neighbors—one of the earnest, very hardworking community organizations in the neighborhood—organizes a photo show every year of South Loop scenes.  This year there were two showings.  Both were at neighborhood... Read more »