Two from Blithe Spirit Weekly


July, ’96, black-white dialog hot and heavy. Harangue or not to harangue 26 years ago. Back and forth in the newspaper. Those were the days. . . .,. . . when you could talk and talk and talk . . .

School principal talks nonsense, Mrs. V. talks bureaucrat-ese, the Evanston High experience, the Hemingway lesson, the Lefkowitz book, Afrocentrism . . .

Blithe Spirit

5/8/96: Wednesday Journal in vendetta against principal, read all about it!

I reject the idea that the Wednesday Journal is trying to make an Oak Park elementary principal look bad, but the evidence is mounting. First it quoted her saying kindergarten is for “problem-solving” by five-year-olds, even as it’s “unrestricted play time.” Now (5/1) it presents her as wanting a “child-centered program,” again in the context of her approach to kindergarten.

Child-centered? As opposed to what? A pregnant observation.

Aren’t all schools that way, including hers? This can’t be new for her school, unless she’s admitting something horrendous; but WJ with straight face presents it as a helpful comment. The sound you hear is hair being torn out in the face of folderol.

Let us remind ourselves that this is one of the district’s ten principals whom the notorious League of Women Voters were not allowed to interview last year…

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BLITHE SPIRIT 4/3/96, Color-blind, religion-blind, politics-blind . . .

Blithe Spirit

Two Cents and worth it

It’s said we can’t be a color-blind society, because there are too many skeletons in our closet. We’re religion-blind, glossing over religious differences for the sake of religious peace. Where would we be if we drove home religious differences with the same zeal with which we drive home racial differences? Call it your revolutionary thought for the day.

For example . . .

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BLITHE SPIRIT A Weekly Commentary, March 20, 1996 — the schools, the schools, can’t live with ’em . . . without ’em . . .

Blithe Spirit

Two Cents and worth it.

Oh happy day . . .

Allow a little chauvinism here: THE HIGH SCHOOL REFERENDUM WON, thanks to a lot of lions lying down with a lot of lambs. New board member Gerry Jacobs, whose River Forest home has also made news, obviously played a key role, brokering togetherness.

Beaucoups de kudos also to three main groups, not in order of importance: those willing to rethink opposition, those willing to repackage advocacy, and those willing to take pay cuts. It takes a whole village (in this case two of them) to pass a referendum (in this case two of them). Let’s hug one another. (Unfortunately having to avoid unfriendly glances of taxpayers with or, more likely, without kids in public schools. This is a 2022 editorial addition/comment.)

Job action, anyone?

General Motors is up for grabs because of outsourcing. The auto workers know…

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Free speech in the ‘nineties, in Oak Park IL

Blithe Spirit

There for the man who owned his own darn weekly newsletter. Blithe Spirit explains itself in its inaugural issue, 3/6/96.

What’s This All About?

In the course of human events comes a time for declaring oneself. It’s not good for man to be alone with his thoughts. He must unburden himself, or explode. Suppression, says Freud, is bad for the soul — but he flourished in the steam age. What if he’d been a computer age baby? Would he have said garbage in, garbage out?

We’ll never know. Meanwhile, allow me to unburden myself — of thoughts large and small, largely about our community, Oak Park & River Forest, but not only that. Let chips fall.

It’s an exercise in self-declaration, you might say. Good for the soul, if nothing else. And full of short paragraphs.

Gentlemen, start your engines.  . . .

The rest of it is here …

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When Alderman Graham listened but kept mouth shut

Blithe Spirit

The Harmon and Lilly town hall meeting in Galewood, Sept. 12, 2013, questions and complaints:

It was 7:30, 45 minutes into the meeting. A pleasant-looking young woman, Harmon’s aide, stood with a clip board, said it was time to gather written questions. She began walking the room gathering questions.

Meanwhile, questions and complaints continued from the floor — about illegal immigrants using scarce resources while not paying taxes, declining property values, lack of a public library “we can take our kids to,” a North Avenue pawn shop.

“Residents need a voice,” a woman said. “We are stuck. You have to listen.”

Ms. Graham, alderman with a history:

The airing of North Avenue problems prompted a call for comment from the alderman, Deborah Graham, who had sat quietly through it all, unannounced.

She had been a state rep for Oak Park and Austin, winning election in 2002 over an Oak Park woman…

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Kids without masks in an Oak Park school, a child’s reaction to seeing a friend unmasked: “Mamma, you know my friend from carpool? I got to see the rest of her face today!”

Child being one of her three, a mother telling this in the 412-member Public group Oak Park [IL] Back to Normal:

Today was my kids’ first day of school with masks optional. They are in 4th, 1st, and Pre-K.
My youngest’s first words when I went to pick her up: “Mamma, you know ***’s sister ***? My friend from carpool? I got to see the rest of her face today! She is so beautiful! And she wears the prettiest blue earrings.”

And at bedtime: “You know Mamma, I never really saw Ms. ***’s lips and teeth and smile before today. Just a little bit quickly when she took a quick drink of water. I really like her smile.” Ms. *** has been her teacher since August 2020!

The 3 and 4 year olds in her mixed age Montessori class still aren’t allowed to unmask because…Oak Park. One of her 4yo friends apparently cried the whole drive home from school because she didn’t get a choice.

It’s so unbelievably sad that people are ok with doing this to children…


Letters: A loving tribute to a longtime Tribune letter writer

Jack Spatafora, Fenwick, ’49, a classmate and friend.

The latest on St. John Cantius, Latin Mass Central for hundreds (thousands?) of Chicagoans

It’s here, from the church’s web site:

. . .  for the foreseeable future, the Canons Regular will continue to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass both according to the 1962 Missal and according to the 2002 Missal. We will continue to pray ad orientem. We will continue to praise God and lift souls aided by our renowned Sacred Music program. And we will continue to cultivate a culture of beauty in the Archdiocese of Chicago and beyond. Cantius will remain Cantius as best it can, and we [the Canons Regular] are committed to continuing our ministry with you to restore the sacred in all things.

All things considered, so far, so pretty good.