When I was in eighth grade, our English teacher, Mrs. Hall, asked all the students in class to write an essay on why we thought our dads should be “Father of the Year.”
Charles Schultz wrote two memorable square-shaped little "Peanuts" books in which each page expressed a single, simple thought about love or happiness. You can click to see these classics on Amazon: Love is Walking Hand in Hand and Happiness is a Warm Puppy. Well, I think my mom's following diary entries of falling for my dad could add something to those books:
At West End and Keeler Avenues in Chicago's West Garfield Park, an elliptical blue-green dome rises above the surrounding bungalows and two-flats. It is the pinnacle of Bethel Church, a symbol of community and an anchor to this neighborhood for 125 years.
When an assassin felled Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4th 1968, it was not just the murder of the greatest leader of the Civil Rights Movement, it was the murder of hope for so many of our country's African American citizens.
My grandmother's madness seemed to come about suddenly, based on what I read in my mother's diaries. It was clear to me, however, that Grandma K (for Koroschetz) always displayed what today we'd call "anger management" issues. In Redlined, I write about my maternal grandmother's slide into serious mental illness, just a couple months before my parents were to marry. Was it a coincidence that Mom's mother started down the road to paranoia and psychosis just before she lost her only daughter to marriage?
Alcoholism. Psychosis. Strange men renting our bedrooms: these were just some of the stressors my mother had to handle alone when my Dad traveled hundreds of miles away for up to seven weeks every winter. This Women's History Month, I honor her grit, even if I question the choices of both my parents!
My dad and my two brothers, ages nineteen and thirteen, started shoveling out our car that had been mired for two days in snow after the city's greatest twenty-four hour snowfall had brought Chicago to a standstill. They were down near thirty-third and Wentworth, close to IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology) where my older brother, Paul attended, but commuted from our home on Keeler near Montrose. As they dug in their shovels around each of the tires, tossing snow over their shoulders, a group of twelve African American men moved toward them with determined strides.
Two Chicago shootings within 16 hours of each other: a man was shot dead in East Garfield Park this past Friday afternoon. Saturday morning, another man was seriously injured: shot in the knee and stomach. The 2nd man isn't dead, but his injuries will surely compromise his quality of life as long as he lives.