Love is dancing by ourselves

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:

Bethel Church helped the West Side rise from the ashes

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.

Martin Luther King-Chicago West Side Memories

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.

Madness and Marriage – Sneak Preview

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 in our home

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!

Chicago’s 1967 snowstorm and 12 black men

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.