Since we feature a new columnist who writes in short bursts, it seems appropriate for The North Shore Weekend’s First Word column to somewhat mimic that format, sharing quick thoughts, opinions and snippets of information. Readers enjoying their first long weekend since February can pick and choose from the grab bag below:
- Former Chicago Tribune writer and longtime advertising executive Mike Lubow launches his North Shorts column in The North Shore Weekend and Daily North Shore. His weekly musings will offer a lighthearted (and brief) look at life on the North Shore and beyond.
- The World Squash Doubles Championships concluded on the North Shore recently and were a smashing success, featuring a grueling, hours-long finals match at the Onwenstia Club won by John Russell and Clive Leach. Thanks to companies and individuals alike, hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised for MetroSquash, the Chicago non-profit that helps inner-city children learn squash. A number of teenagers who have played in its program have ended up competing for Eastern prep schools and in top colleges.
- Lake Geneva Restaurant Week starts Friday, May 29. Steakhouses and pubs alike will be offering three-course $35 dinner menus through June 7.
- I visited AC by Marriott, a hotel embracing a European flair, in Chicago. Named after Antonio Catalan, a well-known hotelier in Spain and elsewhere, the Rush Street spot serves European breakfasts (cheeses, prosciutto) and features minimalist design in its rooms and elsewhere. Rooms start at $179.
- A few weeks back, I explained how the NFL Draft in Chicago — with college players strolling along its gold carpet and a festival drawing thousands to Grant Park — was vastly different than one without bells and whistles I covered in New York in 1996. But what about earlier drafts? Former NFL writer Don Pierson of the North Shore shared his memories of covering them in the early 1970s — when they weren’t even televised, and players stayed away.
- “We would call each pick and get him on a speakerphone. It was 17 rounds, and we would be calling guys in the middle of the night to ask how they felt about getting drafted by the Bears,” says the former Chicago Tribune columnist. “Some of them weren’t even available.
- “When ESPN got involved, of course, everything changed, as it did for all sports. As (former Bears general manager) Jim Finks used to say, ‘Everything is for sale.’ “
- The Winter Club will greatly miss Diane Suciu, the preschool director who is retiring this month after 32 years. Our three children greatly enjoyed her warmth and kindness. A woman who understands each child to his or her core, she has been a pleasure for parents to deal with. Says one mother, “She is just amazing. She really relates to kids.”
- Gorton Community Center will host a Kids Film Camp June 15-19. Students ages 8-14 will work with professionals to conceive, write, act, shoot and direct a short film. Great idea for the spot which will soon unveil a state-of-the-art movie theatre prompted by a large donation from the widow of legendary film producer John Hughes.
- There will be many fine ceremonies on the North Shore this weekend to rightly honor our deceased military men and women. Though Memorial Day is concerned with the dead, I would also like to thank those veterans still living who have served our country and protected our freedom.
- And finally … It’s always frustrating to see an e-mail subject line slugged “Re:” as if it’s a response to an e-mail I sent when I don’t even know the person. Stop the skullduggery! (I may even trademark that phrase.)
Enjoy the weekend.
Editor in Chief