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NEWS DA BEARS Cont. from PG 1 “The whole thing was more fun than I thought it would be,” said Pierson about the three-year project. “I really enjoyed looking up the old games. But about halfway through the book, I said to Dan, ‘This isn’t funny enough. We need to do stuff on guys who are just characters.’ They blew it up into a major section.” Perhaps the most obvious character is Mike Ditka. Once, when he played for the Bears, a fan ran onto the field near the end of the game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Ditka knocked him to the ground. As legendary Chicago columnist Mike Royko wrote, “The fans booed Ditka, but that was wrong. Ditka has been trained since

high school to knock down anything that moves.” Of course, Ditka coached the 1985 Bears, and Pierson was an eyewitness. “They were such a fun team to cover. They were so open,” Pierson recalled. “I make the argument in the book that was the best NFL season ever. “They weren’t a dynasty. But I defy anyone but the most rabid sports fan to tell me the difference between the 1962 Green Bay Packers and the 1965 Packers. The 1985 Bears—people in China knew who The Fridge was.” Though Pierson’s ties to the team run deep (he covered them until 1987, when he moved to the Tribune’s NFL beat), they aren’t as long or thorough as those of one woman: team owner Virginia Halas McCaskey. Born in 1923 to George Halas— founder of the Bears—she is old enough to re-

Changes for 2019 lead back to the origins of the event. There will be a tent dedicated to TACHP students and faculty. Classes will conago TACHP outsourced most of the management tinue as usual and festival goers will be invited to of FOFA to Amdur Productions. “I was not here tour the center. Faculty members will hold “TAC when they decided to outsource, but if I was I’d Try a Class” demonstrations throughout both days have voted 100 percent for this strategy,” says and hope to involve people in some hands-on current TACHP Executive Director James M. projects. “There will be a cooling center in our building Lynch, “Amy Amdur and her team have been great partners. Obviously, with so many festivals lobby to invite people into the building,” says in their portfolio, they’re a great asset for us and Lynch, “to reinforce with our visitors and our we can rely on them for professional level event guest artists that this is about us, TACHP, our management.” professional level galleries, and our hundreds of TACHP’s Festival of Fine Arts has had many classes each year. We want our 7,000 to 10,000 iterations over time, starting first as a venue for visitors to buy art from our amazingly talented the teachers and students of the then Suburban artists and then consider taking a class with us Fine Arts Center to showcase their work and raise during the year.” money for the center. Over the years it has opened The festival, starting in front of the TACHP to artists from all over the country, sometimes all building at 1957 Sheridan Road, and extending over the world, and attendance ranges between to Central Avenue and surrounding blocks, will 7,000-10,000 people. Some critics of the festival feature more than 100 artists. Each have been say that it had been “getting away” from its local carefully chosen for their unique offerings, salroots as artists from their own classes (over 400 ability, originality, and professionalism. That makes professional level classes offered a year) and faculty this festival, of the dozens offered this season, one were only marginally involved in the show. of the “must-see” events of the summer circuit. So. this year TACHP listened and is taking Music, food, and drinks complete the event. action. There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door NAME Cont. from PG 1

member the cross-country barnstorming days of halfback Red Grange and the 1940 championship victory over the Washington Redskins by the astounding score of 73-0. “She hasn’t forgotten a thing,” said Pierson, who with Pompei spent about 14 hours interviewing McCaskey over numerous visits. “Red Grange would carry her through train stations in the 1920s so he wouldn’t be bothered by autograph seekers. It’s just fascinating.” Though Pierson knew plenty about Halas, he was still inspired by his impact on the sport from the beginning of the NFL in 1920. “His fingerprints were on everything,” Pierson said. “The history of the Bears so mirrors the history of the NFL, from the shape of the ball to the rules.” With the deadline for the book slated for the

middle of the 2018 season, Pierson had a question for the editors that summer about the squad coming off a 5-11 campaign. “I said, ‘What if they make the Super Bowl?’ Everyone laughed.” Then, as the Bears thrived under new coach Matt Nagy, going 12-4, the deadline was pushed back. But the double doink in the playoffs ruined any chance of a Super Bowl ending to the opus. From Sid Luckman to Dick Butkus to Walter Payton and beyond, there was plenty to write about. Pierson pointed out the Bears gave a free hand to cover what he and Pompeii wished, even if it wasn’t flattering. Said the veteran scribe, “I would say this is the definitive history of the entire operation.”

but organizers hope people are c o m f o r t able giving that much or more to ensure TACHP programs continue. TACHP is poised to celebrate its 60th anniversary in Highland Park with a yearlong agenda to expand horizons and make art available to everyone. “None of that $5 donation at the door goes to anyone, Amdur The Art Center Highland Park’s Festival of Fine Arts is back for its 21st Productions inyear. c luded,” says Lynch, “It is how For more information about this event or other we pay teachers’ salaries, invest in new programming, fund outreach, scholarships, and continue programming, contact or call 847-432-1888. to do our important work.”

COLOR RUN LAKE BLUFF’S 5K RUN AND 3K WALK IS A VIBRANT DEPARTURE FROM THE NORM. The run and walk will begin at 9 a.m. The band Grapefruit, composed of students from Lake Forest High School, will perform at the starting line. They play mainly alternative and classic


Your ordinary 5K run doesn’t call for 500 pounds of corn starch. But then, GO Color Lake Bluff is not your typical 5K run. On June 22, runners and walkers of all ages will gather for a 5K run and 3K walk that kicks off at the Lake Bluff Metra station parking lot and runs along the Robert McClory Bike Path. At each kilometer, the participants will be soaked from shoulder to toe in a different color of corn starch. The event will benefit Lake Bluff Preschool, which is in the market for a new playground. Lake Bluff Park District Preschool and Early Childhood Director Dana Hansen says their current playground is beginning to rust. “We would like to provide to the children an updated playground that includes musical instruments, stepping stones, benches, and a lower-tothe-ground play module,” she says. Their goal is to raise $65,000 for the new playground. Hansen says they will also apply for state grants for land development.


GO Color Lake Bluff infuses splash of fun into inaugural event.

rock. “When I was asked if we had a good band to play this event, I knew Grapefruit would be a good fit,” says Lake Forest Student Union Program Manager Rick Day. “These guys are great musicians who all enjoy performing. Being that they are all from Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, they always enjoy being involved in community events.” Emceeing the event is comedian Rick Young—a longtime resident of the area and the manager of the Chicago Comedy All-Stars. At the starting line, groups of 25 people will be released every 90 seconds. Runners will go first and walkers will follow. They will be doused with


colored corn starch at each of the five color stations along the way. “If you’ve ever done a color run and walk, you know how much fun they are,” says Lake Bluff Park District Fitness Center Manager Cati Christensen. “This event is a fun activity for the entire community especially families and kids of all ages.” The event will also feature a Taste of the North Shore, with food vendors from Burnsie’s Uptown and Donati’s Pizza to Milwalky Taco and Suzy’s Swirl. “There will be a photo wall for participants to take colorful selfies after the race,” Christensen says. “Some local businesses will be on hand with helpful information and demonstrations.” They’ve signed up about 20 volunteers so far. Hansen says they could always use more. “People should come to be a part of the first annual color run,” she says. “All those who come are guaranteed a great experience. Whether they would like to participate or simply be an observer, all will enjoy in color, food, and lots of fun.” To register, donate, volunteer or learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit THE NORTH SHORE WEEKEND

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The North Shore Weekend, Issue 347  

The North Shore Weekend East is published every week and features the news and personalities of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northfield,...

The North Shore Weekend, Issue 347  

The North Shore Weekend East is published every week and features the news and personalities of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Northfield,...

Profile for jwcmedia