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Stacey Keeler, RN Program Coordinator, Cardiac Innovations & Structural Heart Center®
No matter where we are, we never really leave our patient’s side. Stacey Keeler may be done working for the day, but in her head she’s still with her structural heart patients, finding all the little ays she can treat them less like patients and more like family. It’s that never-o°-the-clock a ttitude that’s led Edward-Elmhurst Health to become a nationally recognized leader in heart care. Take your free HeartAware Assessment at ThisIsPersonalEEH.org
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Messages and images of anger, sorrow, fear, and support blanketed our marred streetscapes, calling out injustice and exalting solidarity. The paper hearts and painted murals became a salve that imparted to passersby both healing and hope. We could not have predicted the addition of this impromptu outdoor art in our cities, but we certainly have an appreciation of its impact. From Elgin to Elmhurst and many towns in between, art is all around us. We may not have taken enough time to stop and perceive its beauty and meaning in the past. But we have more reasons than ever to do so now.
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s with most pursuits, planning magazine content requires both long- and short-term time management. We strive to maintain a constant balance between the preparation required to report, photograph, and illustrate feature stories and the need to create content that still feels fresh and relevant by the time the magazine lands in a reader’s hands. In late winter, when we planned this month’s cover story on outdoor art (p. 42), we knew long walks and alfresco dining were on the horizon, and we wanted to give readers a potential itinerary for exploring the outdoor creativity found in the west suburbs. Little did we know how much the pandemic would force us to treasure the outdoors in new ways, or how the expressions of these artists would resonate deeply with local people desperate for meaning and security. And then came the protests. When unrest followed the peaceful demonstrations and local businesses were damaged, hundreds of residents descended upon suburban downtowns with buckets and brooms to help with the cleanup. And then came the artists. When storefronts were boarded up, all that plywood became a canvas for an outpouring of creative expression.
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TA B L E
Getting Fizzy With It Gaijin’s beverage director, Julius White, suggests three effervescent highballs to drink on your deck.
Moneygun’s Donavan Mitchem has developed the ultimate Cosmo recipe. And it’s totally worth the effort.
IGHT NOW, DRINKS LIKE THE COSMOPOLITAN
and other ’90s jams are getting a lot of love,” says Mitchem. But the best new versions aren’t sickly sweet relics from the Sex and the City era. His version calls for making your own hibiscus-infused Triple Sec and cranberry cordial. “You want your Cosmo to trend toward tart, and the fresh cranberries and lemon peels will get you much closer than anything store bought.”
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MONEYGUN COSMOPOLITAN 1 Make the cranberry cordial: Blend a 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries then strain to make juice. Combine ½ cup of the juice, ½ cup sugar, 2 cups water, and the peel of 1 lemon in a large pot and heat over medium, stirring frequently, until sugar melts. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Makes 2¾ cups. 2 Make the hibiscus-infused Triple Sec: Add ¼ cup dried hibiscus flowers (Mitchem uses the Starwest Botanicals brand, available on Amazon) to ¾ cup Triple Sec and let sit for 30 minutes, then strain and refrigerate. Makes ⅝ cup. 3 Take 1 ½ oz. of the cordial and ½ oz. of the Triple Sec and add them, along with 1½ oz. vodka and ¾ oz. lime juice, to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a flamed orange peel.
GAIJIN TOKI HIGHBALL
Pour 1 ½ oz. Suntory Toki whiskey into a highball glass filled with ice. Top off with Topo Chico and garnish with a lemon twist.
Pour 2 oz. of Hangar 1 rosé vodka into a highball glass filled with ice. Top off with Q grapefruit sparkling mixer and garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Pour 1 ½ oz. Bombay Sapphire East gin into a highball glass filled with ice. Top off with East Imperial yuzu lemonade and garnish with a lemon slice.
Island Imbibing Lost Lake’s Paul McGee reveals the pleasures of Plantation Xaymaca, a versatile — and affordable — Jamaican rum. n Jamaican rum often means one thing: funk, and lots of it. While those pungent, banana-esque notes are catnip for connoisseurs, they don’t always lend themselves to mixed drinks. When McGee is looking for a mellow Jamaican spirit with just a little funk, the tiki guru goes for Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry rum, a blend from two island distilleries. It’s ideal for cocktails — both shaken and stirred — especially since a bottle comes in at just under $26 at Binny’s. Try it in the classic Golden Stag (2 oz. Xaymaca rum, ¾ oz. lime juice, ½ oz. simple syrup, and 1 dash Angostura bitters, shaken over ice and strained into a coupe) or a Kingston Negroni (1 ½ oz. Xaymaca rum, ¾ oz. sweet vermouth, and ½ oz. Campari, stirred over ice and strained into a rocks glass with ice). Too much work? “I enjoy Xaymaca neat as well,” McGee says.
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oneygun’s Donavan Mitchem has developed the ultimate Cosmo recipe. And it’s totally worth the effort. “Right now, drinks like the cosmopolitan and other ’90s jams are getting a lot of love,” says Mitchem. But the best new versions aren’t sickly sweet relics from the Sex and the City era. His version calls for making your own hibiscus-infused 8:54Triple AM Sec and cranberry cordial. “You want your Cosmo to trend toward tart, and the fresh cranberries and lemon peels will get you much closer than anything store bought.” MONEYGUN COSMOPOLITAN 1 Make the cranberry cordial: Blend a 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, then strain to make juice. Combine ½ cup of the juice, ½ cup sugar, 2 cups water, and the peel of 1 lemon in a large pot and heat over medium, stirring frequently, until sugar melts. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Makes 2¾ cups. 2 Make the hibiscus-infused Triple Sec: Add ¼ cup dried hibiscus flowers to ¾ cup Triple Sec and let sit for 30 minutes, then strain and refrigerate. Makes 5⁄8 cup.
www.BarryGreenbergLaw.com 55 S. Main Street, Suite 359 Downtown Naperville | 630-416-4747 12 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
3 Take 1½ ounce of the cordial and ½ ounce of the Triple Sec and add them, along with 1½ ounces vodka and ¾ ounce lime juice, to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a flamed orange peel.
Bryan Foy, MD Cardiothoracic Surgeon
No matter where we are, we never really leave our patient’s side. Dr. Bryan Foy may be getting ready for work, but mentally, he’s already with his patient, helping dispel their fear and worry, and preparing them for surgery later today. It’s that never-off-the-clock attitude that’s led Edward-Elmhurst Health to become a nationally recognized leader in heart care. Take your free HeartAware Assessment at ThisIsPersonalEEH.org
Healthgrades, Edward Hospital, 2014-2020 20
Healthgrades, Edward Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital, 2020
INFLUENCERS, EVENTS AND ISSUES ON OUR WEST SUBURBAN RADAR
LABOR LEADS Hunting for a position during a job-crushing pandemic is daunting, but not impossible By Christie Willhite
or so many who have lost jobs or fear a layoff is looming, the pandemic is particularly scary. Health concerns are suddenly tangled up with questions of economic survival: How do I pay the bills? How do I find a job when businesses are closed? How do I compete with 30 million other people looking for work? Searching for a job is daunting in the best circumstances. But even amid Illinois’ social distancing rules, would-be workers can find coaching, networking opportunities, training, extended support, and—ultimately—a new position.
14 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
“The thing we teach our clients—and that was true before and still is now—is stay engaged, be proactive, and make your job search your full-time job,” says Kimberly White, executive director of the Naperville-based Career and Networking Center. The nonprofit organization has been helping workers make career transitions since 1992, with a broad slate of offerings, from one-on-one job search coaching to networking and accountability groups to self-care seminars and leadership development. “These are very challenging times,” White says. “Folks need to continue to
look at what they bring to the table and think about how to transition those skills into multiple industries.” March alone saw a 33.6 percent increase in unemployed workers in Illinois—a figure largely attributable to the first two weeks of the state’s shelterat-home order, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. “This is an unprecedented time that we’re going through,” IDES spokesman Sam Salustro says. “In the first five weeks, we had more claims than in all of last year. This is five times greater than the Great Depression. The speed and velocity is astounding.” Not surprisingly, the sectors hit hardest initially were professional services, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality, according to IDES reports. And White says the Career and Networking Center has begun hearing from entrepreneurs who have seen their customer base shrink or disappear. Yet some industries and job categories are growing in this new-look economy, says DuPage County Board member Tim Elliott, who chairs the county’s Economic Development Committee. “There are growth sectors, and we want to make sure people are aware of them,” he says. “Customer service, sales, retail at the big-box level, transportation, and warehouse operations. All the types of businesses that are remaining open, they are actively searching for employees.” Northeastern Illinois has thousands of job openings in customer service, healthcare, software development. and information technologies—a particularly strong sector with businesses and school systems operating virtually, says Lisa Schvach, executive director of workNet DuPage, a partnership of government agencies and employment services. Workers may need to reach beyond their previous industry to find employment, advises Schvach. “The big tip we give to people is to examine their transferrable skills,” she says. “If you’re transitioning from hospitality, you don’t need to limit your
search to only to hospitality jobs. Cast a wide net. You probably have good customer service skills, and probably good soft skills that would apply in a different role.” Job search coaches can help people figure out how their skills would be valued in a different industry or can guide job seekers toward training that would help them enter a new industry or move up the ladder.
If you’re transitioning from hospitality, you don’t need to limit your search to only to hospitality jobs. Cast a wide net. You probably have good customer service skills; probably good soft skills that would apply in a different role.” —Lisa Schvach Through workNet DuPage, people can access federal grants of up to $10,000 per person for training and certification programs, Schvach says, through its Layoff to Launch program. “If you’re looking to transition from a layoff and use a training grant to increase your earning potential and to get into new careers, that will really change the trajectory,” she says. “A layoff is not an end. You may be able to come out stronger by acquiring a certification.” Training grants through workNet were in place well before the federal government enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and will continue after the pandemic, Schvach says. Under the act, Salustro says, workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic are eligible for extended unemployment benefits. Typically, those eligible for unemployment receive payments for 26 weeks at an amount determined by their previous salary. The CARES Act adds $600 to the weekly benefit through the end of July. Also, unemployed workers can receive 16 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
There’s no getting around it: Searching for a job during a pandemic is tough. Career coaches say there are a few strategies that can help you. Kimberly White, executive director of the Career and Networking Center, and Lisa Schvach, executive director of workNet DuPage, offer some practical advice: Take advantage of coaching and counseling “We see people who have been in the same role for 20-plus years,” Schvach says. “If that was last time you looked for a job, there’s a lot you need to know about how an online job search is conducted. Our team can impart how to tell your story accurately, how to network, how to find the hidden job market.” Counselors are continuing to work with job seekers in online coaching sessions. They can help you plan your search, assess your skills, help you select industries and companies to focus on, and help you polish your pitch and interview skills. Like so much now, even interviews will be conducted in virtual meetings. Plan for that, White says. “When you’re meeting with a potential employer virtually, what does that look like? Literally,” she says. “What’s behind you? Are you prepared? We’re even going to look at lighting in your room and how it makes you look.” Network Both workNet DuPage and the Career and Networking Center have moved their networking sessions and job clubs online because they’re so essential for job-hunting success. The first virtual networking session workNet DuPage offered drew nearly 100 participants, Schvach says. White is seeing 30 to 50 people on weekly networking calls. “Look for opportunities to virtually network. You have to feel confident talking to people and letting them know you’re in a search,” White says. “It really comes down to the networking piece.” Use the time to your advantage “This is the time to really do all the research. You’re home. Do as much research as possible on industries, on target companies,” White says. “Even if you’re happy with your current position, take time to do research.” Stay in the job market “Employers and hiring managers look for someone who has tried to continue to do something during their job search,” White says. “I have had people take jobs at Amazon, Starbucks, or as an Uber driver. People have to do what they need to do to offset income loss. Hiring managers will appreciate that. Unemployment doesn’t cover everything.”
payments for an additional 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks. Benefits also are being paid to workers who typically aren’t eligible, such as self-employed and contract workers, Salustro says. Even once the pandemic passes, a new normal may emerge that incorporates more telecommuting. Schvach says a greater acceptance of remote work could open up jobs for people who have been limited by mobility, transportation, or childcare issues.
And White suggests such changes to commuting needs could improve employees’ work-life balance. “Right now, people are getting used to being around their families and still getting work done,” she says. “Employers will have to look at their infrastructure. How can we streamline things so families can be together? Maybe we have Joe work at home two days a week so he can take a walk with his kids and be connected at home, not just to work.”
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DUTY CALLS Two first responders begin married life together after meeting through work By Lisa Arnett
Theis family. They married in a traditional ceremony at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Aurora, which the bride attended growing up. Because the church doesn’t have a foyer, Theis and her father waited outside for their cue to go down the aisle. With the front doors flung open, a breeze blew in and caused some minor mayhem. “I had said to my dad, ‘What is taking them so long?’ and he was chuckling. He said, ‘There’s one, two, three, four guys, your sister, and Father Patrick trying to get your aisle runner untangled,’” Theis says. Reece was relieved moments later when they finally made their entrance.
PHOTOS BY LILLY PHOTOGRAPHY
mily Theis, 30, and Jim Reece, 32, have their jobs to thank for their first meeting. Batavia native Theis works as a 911 dispatcher, while Jim Reece, who grew up in Bloomingdale, is a police officer. They met on a messaging system that dispatchers use to communicate with police. “We both happened to be working outside of our normal shifts … and we were both trying to stay awake in the early morning hours,” Reece says. “We exchanged phone numbers and continued talking throughout the day and pretty much every day after that.” Reece later proposed on a snowmobiling trip in northern Michigan with the
18 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
CONTINUING TO CARE FOR YOU, SAFELY
Maintaining your health is more important now than ever. At DuPage Medical Group, the health and safety of you and your family has always been our top priority. We continue to provide primary and specialty care as safely as possible through our pre-appointment screening process that separates ill and well patients, physical distancing, infection control best practices, enhanced cleaning processes and more. With outpatient clinics located throughout Chicagoland, you’ll ﬁnd the safe care you need close-to-home.
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“With probably 200 people looking at me, I was getting a little nervous until I saw Emily start walking down the aisle,” he says. “An overwhelming sense of calm came over me and I was good for the rest of night.” They kicked off their reception at St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago with a cake cutting set to Maroon 5’s rendition of “Pure Imagination” (from Theis’s favorite movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) followed by a first dance to Rachel Brown’s acoustic spin on “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. “It was very personal to us because we love that song as a couple,” Theis says. As a surprise to the bride and groom, their DJ asked all the first responders in attendance to stand. “About a third of the wedding guests stood up,” Theis says. “I come from a very big law enforcement family and the groomsmen, most of them are cops. That was really cool to look around and see everybody standing who are firefighters, police, and paramedics.” In lieu of favors, the hosts donated to the Humane Society of Aurora, where Theis adopted her dog, Buddy.
They now live in North Aurora and hope to reschedule their June honeymoon for later in the year.
WEDDING DETAILS Venue Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, Aurora; St. Andrews Golf and Country Club, West Chicago Bride’s attire Stella York from The Crystal Bride, Geneva Bride’s accessories Betsey Johnson shoes and Givenchy jewelry from Macy’s Bride’s hair and makeup Focas Salon, St. Charles; Cassie Barron, Chicago Bridesmaids’ dresses David’s Bridal, various locations Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire Vera Wang Black from David’s Bridal, various locations Catering St. Andrews, West Chicago Cake Oak Mill Bakery, Arlington Heights Invitations Marry Me! Designs, Aurora Florals Wild Rose Florist, North Aurora Entertainment DJ Josh Walton Rings Jared, St. Charles Transportation Limo and party bus by Chicago Cloud 9 Limousine, Elk Grove Village; guest shuttle by Spare Wheels Transportation, West Chicago
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SOWING THE DREAM A local builder grows more than seeds in the west suburbs By Julie Duffin
hen Rob Vaughan woke up one December morning in 2016, he had one thought on his mind: starting a nonprofit farm. He had no idea where the idea came from or even how to execute it. He didn’t have a background in farming, except for a garden he had as a child. But he knew he had to make it happen. Vaughan combined his entrepreneurial drive with his desire to give back to the community, and within a couple of months he had formed Charity Blooms. The nonprofit organization now grows fresh fruit, vegetables, and 22 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
herbs for local food pantries and other nonprofit organizations. When he launched the company in 2017, Vaughan had four friends helping him at a community garden plot in Aurora. That first year they harvested 600 pounds of produce and donated it all to the Interfaith Food Pantry. In 2018 he met Diane Renner, who is the executive director of the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry, at a grant-recipient luncheon. When he mentioned he was looking for more land, she told him about the half-acre plot the city of Aurora had given the food pantry to use for a community garden across the street from the Highland Ave. pantry. Five houses originally stood on the site, so it needed rehabilitation to make it suitable for farming. Vaughan jumped at the chance. “Even though it was in ruins, I thought it was paradise. It was the perfect opportunity for us to get up and running,” he says. In the first year alone, they produced 1,900 pounds of produce on the land and donated all of it to the Marie Wilkinson Food Panty. “People started seeing improvements to the property and wanted to help out,” he says. “Volunteers started coming out of nowhere.” Last year over 300 volun-
teers helped with the garden. Vaughan now farms half the Highland Ave. gardens plot for charity, and rents the other half to community growers. In addition to the original garden, Charity Blooms manages three satellite locations: Ginger Creek Community Church in Aurora, Mooseheart in Batavia, and a fall garden near the Highland Avenue location. Charity Blooms also supplies several other area organizations with seedlings, flowers, and plants for their own gardens or fundraising needs. Vaughan’s plans for expanding Charity Blooms are ever-growing. His latest efforts include raising chickens, growing seedlings in his greenhouses, and operating a pollinator farm. He has incorporated educational programs for children and cooking classes for adults, and this year he plans on pioneering a Monarch breeding program and offering Sunday brunches at the farm. “People have flocked to our programs. They want to be a part of something big and share in the excitement. I’m just overjoyed that we’ve been received so well and we can continue to grow this business—pun intended,” says Vaughan. “For only being about three years in, we’ve created something amazing.”
PHOTOS COURTESY CHARITY BLOOMS
This garden off Highland Ave. feeds clients of an Aurora food pantry.
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HUMANITARIAN What is truly remarkable is that Vaughan does all this for free. “One hundred percent of donations and sales go to Charity Blooms. I do this just for fun in my spare time,” Vaughan says, estimating he spends about 20 hours a week on this business. “My full-time job takes great care of me. I’m in construction and flip houses during the week. I love the nonprofit concept and giving back to the community. I don’t need anything,” Vaughan says. “I just want to do something for other people.” Charity Blooms has volunteer opportunities for all ages and abilities; it especially needs help with weeding and harvesting. Last year Vaughan estimates hundreds of pounds of produce went to waste because they didn’t have enough volunteers to harvest it. For information on volunteer opportunities and upcoming events, visit charityblooms.org.
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COMMUNITY GARDEN Volunteers and garden supplies are needed in Aurora to support Marie’s Community Garden Park. Members take care of their own plot and common areas with support from the University of Illinois Extension educators. For a garden application visit mariewilkinsonfoodpantry.org.
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NAPERSCENE 1 Balboa’s Cheesesteaks delivers meals to Edward Hospital emergency room staff. 2 Allegory sous chef Charlie Eure prepares beet salads. 3 A Fat Rosie’s delivery is gladly received by Naperville firefighters.
FEEDING THE FRONTLINE
Inside the Allegory kitchen
A coordinated effort helps restaurants, medical workers, and civil servants
aperville restaurants have been serving meals to frontline workers since the beginning of the pandemic, thanks to the Naperville Helps campaign. Within hours of the stay-at-home order being announced, the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Naperville Alliance banded together to create the program as a means to support local eateries, medical staff, and first responders. “The idea came from the community and we ran with it,” says NACC president and CEO Kaylin Risvold. “We started a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $10,000. I think we met that in the first six hours, so we kept increasing our goal. In less than five days, we raised more than $25,000. The community’s generosity exceeded all our expectations.” With a lot of behind-the-scenes coordination, the program has supported many first responders.
Here’s how it works: GoFundMe donations (gofundme.com/ naperville-helps) pay for the meals. Restaurants sign up online to provide and deliver individually prepackaged meals to the Edward-Elmhurst Health system, the Naperville Police Department, and the Naperville Fire Department. “The restaurants have been so grateful. One owner told us it helped cover payroll for the week. This is a win-win-win on so many levels,” says Risvold. “Not only is it giving restaurants the cash they need, it’s giving fantastic meals to our healthcare workers and first responders.” Over 1,000 meals per week are now being provided, a number that keeps growing—at press time over $76,000 had been raised to purchase meals. “We couldn’t do any of this if Naperville didn’t rally around the businesses and all those working to keep us safe. It’s a true testament to our town,” says Risvold.
26 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
PHOTOS COURTESY EDWARD-ELMHURST HEALTH, NACC, FRANCESCA’S RESTAURANT GROUP
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MANUFACTURING HOPE Local companies shift resources to focus on safety and medical needs
n a time of pandemic—when health care workers, first responders, and patients need equipment and services to stay alive and healthy—west suburban companies are providing crucial products and services, sometimes at no cost to users. One of those companies is Plainfield-based TechPoint1, which manufactures a variety of custom products, including computer and lighting systems. When COVID-19 first struck Illinois in March, the company started making something it hadn’t before—transparent face shields and frames. To date, the company has made about 400 shields that have been donated to local hospitals and health care workers, with plans to make between 800 and 900 more. “We’re blessed in that our business is doing well and we have the skills and equipment to make something that others can’t,” says President Mike Olsen. The need for protective equipment for healthcare workers hit home for the staff at TechPoint1, some of whom have relatives working in hospitals. Olsen’s wife is a nurse who is currently not practicing. “We’re healthcare-oriented,
Ventilator parts manufactured by Smith & Richardson
28 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
and I have a particular fondness for what nurses do,” he says. It costs between $8 and $10 to make each frame and shield. TechPoint1 first started making the shields using thin sheets of plastic but had to switch a thicker version of the same plastic when prices soared. “Our biggest problem is the .06 plastic is so thick that we have to shape it in an oven,” Olsen says. The company also has had to repair its 3D printers because the material tends to make them break. Despite these challenges, Olsen says there is nothing he’d rather be doing then making the shields, which can be sanitized with heat or alcohol and are re-usable. “I know we’ve prevented people from getting sick because we’ve provided them with these shields,” he says. Another local company focused on helping people on the frontlines of the pandemic is PetAirapy in St. Charles, which uses ultra-violet germicidal irradiation to clean the air inside ambulances and other emergency vehicles. The company was founded in 2008 by Annette Uda, and normally it uses its equipment to treat indoor air in veterinary offices and other animal care facilities to prevent transmission of upper respiratory infections. Uda started the company when her pet, a Shih Tzu named Tasha, had allergies that wouldn’t go away and caused her to lose hair and scratch her body. Since COVID-19 is so new, there has not been a chance yet to test against this particular pathogen. “However, our products have been tested against much tougher pathogens than this,” says Uda. “Our studies show we can achieve a greater than 99 percent kill rate of enveloped, RNA viruses, as well as many of other varieties in our air cleaning systems.” When COVID-19 began to strain first responders, Uda saw a need to help them sanitize their vehicles and fire houses in a timely way. “Everybody was running out of PPE, and they
wanted a quicker turnaround for sanitization,” Uda says. After first responders have cleaned the surfaces within their ambulances and fire stations, the company invites them to drop by the PetAirapy office for the UV treatment, or company staff members visit their stations to sanitize the air. The process takes about five minutes per vehicle and is free of charge for first responders. “This isn’t just a publicity stunt,” says Uda. ‘We are really concerned about the health of first responders. Our specialty is air cleaning and reducing viral loads within a facility.” The company has visited the Mundelein Fire Department twice, which invited other nearby fire departments to bring their vehicles for cleaning. About 45 showed up. “They each had their vehicles sanitized and then were on their way,” says Darren Brents, deputy fire chief in Mundelein. “There’s such peace of mind knowing that both the air and surfaces are clean.” While Uda is helping first responders maintain a clean environment, Smith & Richardson in Geneva is manufacturing parts for ventilator valves and other medical delivery systems using 12-foot bars of steel. In late April, President Rich Hoster says the company made 56,000 parts over the prior four weeks—normally it would have made about 2,000 parts during that same time frame. The company, which was founded in 1921 and employs 54 people, had to make some changes to meet the extraordinary demand. “We’ve had to ask customers for relief in some of our deliveries, and subcontracted some of the work,” says Hoster. Knowing that the parts are going into machines that can aid patients’ breathing and save lives, says Hoster, makes the extra hours and effort being put into making the ventilator parts worthwhile. “I know I, and our employees, are happy to help where we can.”
PHOTO COURTESY TSMITH & RICHARDSON
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An outdoor TV (not shown) and comfy sofa make the Freimuth’s patio an extension of their living room. “This sectional is from Summer Classics, and it’s really easy; you put the pieces together to create the shape you want,” says Renee DiSanto of Park & Oak.
A white pergola and freestanding umbrella cast plentiful shade on this stone patio. “We spend a lot of time out there, especially in the summer,” says homeowner Carey Freimuth. “I’ll go out there and have a glass of wine and watch my shows after the kids go to bed.”
Cafe-style chairs in navy and white invite outdoor dining for this family of five. “That look is a great option for chairs because it goes with a lot of different styles, but it’s something a little bit different,” says DiSanto.
This Western Springs home boasts family-friendly spaces, indoors and out By Lisa Arnett
30 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
PHOTOS COURTESY PARK & OAK
BREATH OF FRESH AIR
hen Carey and Karl Freimuth started building in Western Springs with Tartan Builders, they knew they’d need help with the home’s interior design. “My husband, style-wise, is more traditional and I’m more modern or contemporary, so we were looking for someone to help us bridge that gap,” Carey says. They hired Renee DiSanto and Christina Samatas of Park & Oak Interior Design in Glen Ellyn, who embraced the challenge. “It’s very rare when a couple ... just loves all the same things,” DiSanto says. Moving from Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, the Freimuths pictured a family-friendly space with plenty of room to relax and play with their three young children. DiSanto and Samatas crafted a neutral palette with splashes of deep blue and green for the five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home. Highlights include a stone patio for outdoor lounging and a basement outfitted with a fireplace, bar, and wine cellar.
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“We wanted to do something unique in here, so we painted the ceiling dark, which is a contrast to the white millwork,” DiSanto says of the formal dining room. Eye-catching elements include a rustic square table in a near-black hue, an industrial lighting fixture by Restoration Hardware, and woven leather chairs. Pre-pandemic, the Freimuths used this space occasionally for entertaining; they recently transformed it into a family coworking space. “We call it our e-learning center,” Carey says. “We do have an office, but one of us takes turns sitting here with all the kids set up with their school stuff.”
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CANTIGNY GOLF The kitchen’s breakfast nook is where the Freimuth family eats most of their meals. A custom table from Rest & Repine Furniture Studio in Wheaton and a built-in banquette provide ample space. “That’s [the kids’] spot if they want to color or work on a project or crafts,” Carey says. “When they have friends over, it’s pretty big and you can throw all the kids back there and give them pizza.” NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / JUNE/JULY 2020 31
GOT GRILL? Turn on the heat with these outdoor kitchen tools Styled by Joanna Aloysia Patterson 1. Corn grilling basket Crate & Barrel, $13, 2. 14-inch mini grill Buikemaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ace Hardware, $35, 3. Bourbon barbecue sauce Vom Fass, $19, 4. Split-leg apron Filson, $125, 5. Instant pen thermometer Williams Sonoma, $40, 6. Adjustable burger press Sur la Table, $30, 7. Ceramic griddle grill set Sur la Table, $60, 8. Seasoned salt Vom Fass, $17
32 JUNE/JULY SEPTEMBER2020 2019 // NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
PHOTOGRAPH BY OLIVIA KOHLER
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TABLE FOR TWO their new neighbors as they all looked forward to brighter days ahead. “We just wanted to do everything we could to keep things as safe and comfortable as possible for our team members and our guests,” Breijak says. “And we’ll continue to take that approach as we’re allowed to slowly reopen and start welcoming guests back to the restaurant in the months to come.”
DOGGED DAYS Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar navigates its volatile Naperville opening By Mark Loehrke
iming may be everything in the entertainment world. But the proprietors of the new outlet of the nationwide Lazy Dog chain (lazydogrestaurants.com, 436 S. Route 59) of casual, dog-friendly eateries have to be relieved that the same axiom isn’t as all-encompassing in the restaurant business. While every bar and restaurant in the area was thrown into the same state of suspended activity (not to mention suspended disbelief ) by the pandemic-related stay-at-home orders that came down in mid-March, few could lay claim to the inauspicious timing of Lazy Dog’s grand opening—which unfolded with excitement and anticipation less than seven weeks prior to the shutdown. 36 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Just as patrons were coming out to sample the restaurant’s scratch-made comfort food, enjoy the covered patio with their faithful canine companions, and express gratitude for a new dining option to replace yet another “bed box store” along Route 59’s Mattress Mile, the virus slammed the brakes on just about everything. But Lazy Dog general manager Nikky Breijak says she and her team simply made the best of the challenging circumstances by working within that window as much as they were able—quickly pivoting to a delivery and curbside carryout model, including Pantry Meal Kits like pizza night and backyard BBQ, that allowed them to keep introducing themselves to
SUPPER TIME Those drink options pair well with Lazy Dog's small-plates offerings: sweet potato tots with roasted jalapeno-lime aioli, buffalo cauliflower slathered with high altitude hot sauce, or sweet-andsalty bacon candy. The expansive main
PHOTOS COURTESY LAZY DOG
BBQ bison meatloaf
STREET EATS As June got underway, that meant once again serving diners (and their pups) on the restaurant’s handsome covered patio—albeit with fewer and more widely spaced tables and a host of new health and safety procedures for staff. (Carryout and delivery service continue as well.) While the spacious yet cozy dining room remains closed for the time being, guests can at least gather in the glow of the outdoor fireplace and get a general feel for the comfortable, relaxed community vibe Lazy Dog is aiming for in its second Illinois location (a Vernon Hills restaurant opened in January 2019). Expanded cocktail rules now allow carryout diners and and not just patio patrons to take advantage of the bar’s many offerings, including a variety of house beers like the Huckleberry Haze IPA (one of several craft selections brewed exclusively for Lazy Dog by Golden Road Brewery) and creative mixed drinks like the bacon bourbon Old Fashioned.
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NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / JUNE/JULY 2020 37
TABLE FOR TWO Smoked maple bacon Old Fashioned
menu features an array of salads, sandwiches, burgers, entrees, and wok-fired build-your-own rice and protein bowls. On Breijak’s recommendation—and a serious craving for true comfort food—our carryout order simply had to include the BBQ bison meatloaf: a rich wedge of Durham Ranch grass-raised Wyoming bison wrapped in bacon and slathered in a sweet and tangy sauce. Alongside mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach, this felt like the embodiment of the Lazy Dog philosophy on a plate. The beer-battered fish and chips, meanwhile, was a towering mass of not-sogood-for-us goodness. Perhaps the chocolate brownie sundae and apple-huckleberry open-face pie, likewise, were not the healthiest options with which to wrap up our moveable feast, but they sure hit the sweet spot just when we needed it most. In the end, then, maybe Lazy Dog’s timing really isn’t so bad after all. 38 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
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VEGAN SKILLET BROWNIES Yield: 8 servings 1 box brownie mix 2⁄3 cup non-dairy milk 1⁄3 cup coconut oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract graham crackers 1 bag vegan marshmallows 40 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Spray a cast iron skillet with nonstick spray and preheat grill.
getting stuck to the roof. Set the skillet on the grill and close cover.
Beat together brownie mix, nondairy milk, coconut oil, and vanilla until batter is formed. Spread batter evenly in the skillet. Cover with marshmallows.
4 Cook for 10 minutes, then remove foil and cook for 5 more minutes.
Make a dome out of foil and cover the skillet, leaving space for the marshmallows to expand without
Remove the hot skillet from the grill and let cool. Scoop up entire mixture with graham crackers.
Recipe by Chelsie Jangord/ Dandies Marshmallows
PHOTO COURTESY DANDIES MARSHMALLOWS
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After a long spring spent in suburban quarantine, outdoor art installations can ease even the most severe case of wanderlust, while generating much-needed peace and reflection BY PETER GIANOPULOS
42 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Fermilab BATAVIA Long before tech firms began using sleek architecture as recruiting tools and academic journals started exploring how art can spur creativity, physicist Robert R. Wilson was probing the hidden connections between science and sculpture. Much ink has been spilled about Wilson’s achievements. As the inaugural director of Fermilab, from 1967 to 1978, Wilson worked to untangle the twin Gordian knots of space and time, producing theories that, for most of us, are as dizzyingly opaque as the inner workings of a particle accelerator. But those who visit Fermilab’s campus in Batavia—where Wilson oversaw the creation of an impressive collection of outdoor sculptures— will find his outdoor artwork to be a far more accessible mash-up of science, nature, and art. Note the lab’s “Mobius Strip” sculpture (below), which was constructed from 3-by-5 slats of stainless steel that Wilson welded together himself. Or the stunning 32-foot-tall “Hyberbolic Obelisk” standing guard over the central laboratory (far left), which seems to glorify both the beauty of human craftsmanship and the inescapable pull we feel to push our ambitions further skyward. As lab archivist Valerie Higgins notes, Wilson was a committed conservationist who prevented employees from cutting down a single tree on the lab’s grounds without his permission. Go back further, says Higgins, and you’ll discover Wilson studied sculpture at the Accadamia di Belle Arti di Roma. “He was undoubtedly a Renaissance man,” she says, which may explain why the Fermilab sculptures project such powerful emotions and lofty thoughts. Collectively, perhaps they suggest that the distance between art and science, two pillars of human existence, is not so great. NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / JUNE/JULY 2020 43
A 10-foot-tall “Cat in the Hat” sculpture—donning the iconic red-and-white accordion hat and trusty parachute umbrella— strolls along a sidewalk, honoring nearby Nichols Library.
44 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
2 Century Walk NAPERVILLE When it comes to outdoor artwork, Naperville is as aesthetically dense as a Richard Scary drawing. There’s artwork everywhere. The more than 50 nooks, squares, and alcoves that house outdoor pieces along the town's Century Walk aren’t meant to be mere eye-candy. Each piece of art is meant to tell a story about the history and values of the town. Together, they create a dazzling pop-up history book like no other. And there’s an interesting origin story hiding within these outdoor storybooks that involves local lawyer Brand Bobosky, without whom none of this would have be possible. In 1994, while he was paging through a Smithsonian magazine, Bobosky came across a story about a struggling lumber mill town in British Columbia called Chemainus, which attempted to boost its sagging spirits with outdoor artwork. Long intrigued by the intersection of art and history, Bobosky launched a one-man crusade to launch a similar initiative for his beloved Naperville. Soon, Abe Lincoln sculptures were taking up bench space in breeze-swept parks and a giant mural depicting a local parade brightened up an often-overlooked brick alleyway. “I think public art should reflect the fiber and character of a community,” says Bobosky. “It can tell interesting stories: These people were here, they built this place. And now they won’t be forgotten.” NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / JUNE/JULY 2020 45
Art Museum ELMHURST If art has the power “move” us in incalculable ways, who’s to say it can’t also guide our physical movements, as well? John McKinnon, the executive director of the Elmhurst Art Museum, is proud of his city’s art—whether it’s his own museum’s revolving exhibits, the city’s murals, or the impressive collection at nearby Elmhurst College. But how, he wondered, might the outdoor art be able to draw the shy and uninitiated to take a closer look? The answer: improved curb appeal. In many ways, the museum’s outdoor pieces are meant to draw visitors away from the sidewalk and toward the city’s art. Early inspiration came from local multi-media artist David Wallace Haskin, whose frequent walks across the museum’s lawn inspired the 2015 creation of “Skycube,” (below) one of the museum’s most beloved sculptures. At first glance, the three-ton steel and glass square appears to be a giant LED screen, streaming zen-inducing clips of clouds and sunlight in motion. It beckons streams of giggling children and awestruck adults wanting to touch the screen. But upon closer inspection, whether by circling
the piece or by tucking their heads inside the mysterious square, it’s clear there’s no screen nor digital tricks at work. The images are merely mirrored reflection of the sky above, a gesture that brings the heavens down to eye level for all to see from a different perspective. It’s not the only outdoor piece that encourages passersby to reject stasis in favor of exploration and movement. Matthew Hoffman’s diabolically simple “You Are Beautiful” sign, which is attached to the museum façade, simultaneously affirms inner beauty and suggests something equally beautiful lies inside. Others can’t help but peer inside the glassy façade of the McCormick House, a 1952 Mies van der Rohe single-family home that sits on the museum grounds. Still others run their fingers along John Nester’s “Art from the Heart,” a series of four contoured clay pillars that pay tribute to local art programs. “Art can be an invitation,” says McKinnon, whose pieces celebrate Midwestern artists. “We want our outdoor art to help beautify the city and encourage people to come inside and take a look.”
Butterfly Wing Mural LOMBARD 46 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
For a moment, case aside every dictum, decree, and directive ever posted on an art gallery wall. To properly experience Kelsey Montague’s 13-foot-tall floral-patterned butterfly wing mural at Yorktown Center, you’ll want to undergo a reverse metamorphosis. Go back and find your inner-kindergartener because this piece wasn’t built for gazing and contemplating. Montague’s wings, aptly named “What Lifts You,” were meant to be played with—to be slipped on as if they werea vast immovable Halloween costume. So go ahead, don’t be shy. Touch it. Pose with it. Photobomb yourself inside of it. And
then share your happy selfies on every social media platform you can download. That’s Montague’s chief aim: to create wearable, Instagram-ready street art that acts as a joyous crosscurrent to the tidal waves of negativity that so often dominate social media. Montague’s winged murals, which have transformed drab walls from Hong Kong to Cape Town into glowing auras of light, are—by her own admission—incomplete without the viewer’s engagement. “I create interactive art that invites a person to become a living work of art,” says Montague.
“I don’t believe art should be separated from the human experience—instead human experience should have a hand in creating the art.” By choosing to paint her Yorktown wings on a wall within the Self-Care Precinct, near fitness and beauty shops, she hoped to generate feelings of regrowth, freedom, and inner beauty. “My work is all about getting people to stop and reflect on what’s important to them,” she says. “I genuinely want them to feel lifted up— even if only for a moment or two.”
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Public Art Tour ELGIN When it comes to indoor artwork, we rarely consider the importance of the spaces that surround it. What lies behind becomes an afterthought; what’s in the foreground is all we see. Not so in Elgin. Consider the rainbow-colored “1835 Exhibit” sculpture that brightens the city’s river walk (see cover). Davis McCarty’s piece is a geometry teacher’s dream: a collection of multicolored plexiglass shards that erupt from a star-shaped core, as if McCarty had frozen them in mid-explosion. Depending on the position of the sun—not to mention the direction from which visitors approach the piece—the sculpture spills different blocks, quivers, and polygons of light onto the nearby sidewalk. The piece’s beauty is a direct product of its riverfront surroundings. When the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission funded its self-guided public art tour in 2016, it wanted to push against the tired notion that art is an elitist endeavor. By using urban spaces less as backdrops and more as co-creators, the commission hoped to create a three-way dialogue between the town, the art, and residents. With that aim, Elgin commissioned mural artists to create high art in what some might consider ordinary places. Melina Scotte’s vibrant “Las Raices del Alma” (“Roots of the Soul”) (upper left) depicts a woman in repose, but applies bright yellows, teals, and oranges onto a drab parking deck. And consider the striking “Shape of Happiness” sculpture by Ben Pierce (lower left), which suspends giant circles in the air. It’s meant to capture the fevered joy of children chasing bubbles, but was strategically placed in a spot designed to encourage people to sit on benches and slow down their daily lives.
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6 Art in Public Places AURORA When Aurora’s new public art app launches this summer, it will guide locals and visitors alike on art-themed “treasure hunts” across downtown. Over the years, Aurora has amassed an impressive collection of outdoor art pieces, from both local and internationally acclaimed artists, but the town lacked a wayfinding tool capable of directing art lovers to its many treasures. Not only will the new app allow for customized art urban hikes, it will provide detailed information about each piece, from artist bios to historical context—thus allowing viewers to delve deeper into the creation and meaning of each piece. Those who visit Bunnie Reiss’s “Great Blue Heron” mural under Aurora’s New York Street bridge (lower left), for instance, can learn more about the folksy style of the 50 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Los Angeles–based international artist, as well as the local flora and fauna that she incorporated into the piece. Others who visit one of the city’s many decorated utility boxes may discover a local artist worth hiring or championing. Jennifer Evans, Aurora’s director of public art, sees the app as the first step in a far more ambitious augmented-reality program. Think “Pokemon Go—Art Edition.” She foresees a future when pedestrians can point their smartphones at a sculpture and generate digital rainfalls or rainbows around the sculptures. Others may want to grab a swoosh of paint from a mural and glide it around their screens like a magic carpet. Or better yet, come across a poem and listen to its author read a stanza or two aloud. “We’re trying to look at downtown Aurora as a giant
game board, as one composition with many parts,” says Evans, who is a large-scale multimedia painter herself. Evans says her interest in interactivity was inspired by many of Aurora’s existing pieces, including Christian Tobin’s “Isaac 2/Swimming Stones,” a sculpted fountain that sets four 12-foot-tall granite obelisks upon a pillow of water (lower right). The tops of each column twist and dance, releasing chaotic sprays onto giggling children below. Might it be possible, she wondered, to provide adults that same gleeful love of art? “What’s exciting about downtown Aurora, in terms of its art, is how dense it is,” says Evans. “Sometimes, it’s hard to see all of those layers, but they are there. We want to help move people across the board so they can enjoy them all.”
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STATE OF THE
KIDS PUMPKINS CANDLES POPSICLES NETFLIX
UNIONS 52 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
AND SCORES OF OTHER SECRETS TO BUILDING MODERN RELATIONSHIPS THAT CAN STAND THE TEST OF TIME INTERVIEWS BY PETER GIANOPULOS
The secret to a successful marriage? That’s
BILL AND NICKI ANDERSON
easy: It all comes down to listening. Listening
JIM AND ILEANA BLAKE
to your spouse. Listening to yourself. And
KEVIN AND AMY KWILINSKI
listening, when the opportunity presents
MIKE AND CAITLIN ROME
itself, to couples who are willing to open
DANIEL AND DANIELLE RUCCI
up about what they’ve learned about love,
BRETT AND KATHLEEN SATHER
parenting, challenges, and a beautiful little thing called married life.
Naperville, married 36 years Wheaton, married 22 years Downers Grove, married 30 years Naperville, married 5 years Lombard, married 2.5 years Naperville, married 7 years
JOEL AND ANITA STRASSMAN Naperville, married 31 years
JOSUE AND OFELIA VAZQUEZ Joliet, married 3 years
NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / JUNE/JULY 2020 53
I liked him immediately. He had a real serious air to him. I was intrigued. What can I say, I like a challenge.
LOVE AT FIRST BLUSH EARLY ROMANCE
Him: I walked over. I was introduced. And I asked her if she wanted to dance. And what did you do?
I moved back to my hometown after college, and I was
Her: I said, “No, thanks, I have to pee.”
like, “There are going to be no men here. I know every-
Him: I’ve suffered 36 years of PTSD ever since.
body. This is not going to work out.” And then, he came out of the woodwork. Literally out of the woodwork. He
He came to pick me up, but he was afraid to get out of the car. I was like, “Are you going to get out of the car?”
was working for a general contractor at the time. And I was like, “Who’s this?” Her: Didn’t we meet that way? Him: Kind of …
One of the things I felt, soon after I met him, was that I’d always be safe with him. After we’d been dating a week, we were walking home after class. I was carrying a backpack, and he turned to me said, “If you ever want me to carry something for you, I’ll do it.” And that’s what he’s done, in many different ways, every since.
I remember we went out one night and we were at a table with a bunch of people and she was talking to one of her friends. I looked at her and I was like, “God, she’s really beautiful.”
I got a voicemail from him, and it was like this slick kind of salesman voice. He said, “I just have a quick question, so if you can give me a call back that would be great.” And I was like, “That’s kind of interesting.” He sold himself well. He has a good voice. His delivery was good. I was like, “I would have bought something from that guy, if he was selling something.” Which, in retrospect, he kind of was.
I went downstairs to meet this so-called
It was in high school. I’d always had a crush on her, so I kept asking her out: Do you want to go on a hot
date? That was my thing: Do you want to go on
and the White Sox were playing on TV. It was their playoff
a hot date? She would always give me the no and what not. Finally, senior year, I said, ‘I’m going to take
year, in 1983, and
you to prom.” That’s how it started … Persistence.
he didn’t notice me until I said, “You know, I have a friend who plays for the White Sox.” And suddenly I was the most important person in the room.
He dated a friend of mine briefly, who said he should really date me. We started dating in the spring, and by the fall, we were engaged.
It went well. He had just had jaw surgery when we started dating. There are times when I wish his mouth was still wired shut, but that’s a different conversation.
Every year for Thanksgiving, we
DOING IT OUR WAY FAMILY TRADITIONS
write in our “thankful book.” We write down different things we’re thankful for. It’s not just the obvious things, but the little things
Every time we went through [piles] of paper, we would uncover a piece of artwork, something from the past. And we would say, “Oh, this was his Goth phase, his brooding phrase.” And that was “his shit doesn't stink’ phase.” We’d take pictures of everything we found and just text it to them, as we were doing it. 54 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
that are worth remembering. There’s something special about growing pumpkins—watching them sprout and take over the whole garden. Plus, the grandkids love them.
Every year, we try to take a trip for New Year’s. It’s a good way to start the year and come back to work with the right attitude.
The pastor at my parents’ church said, “You guys are
HE SAID/SHE SAID HOW TO TALK LIKE A MARRIED COUPLE The one word that I don't think either one of us overuse is “need.” When we really need something from the other person, that’s the word we use: I need you to understand. I need you help me with this. I need you to do this for me. That’s always helped diffuse difficult situations.
There are good ideas in each of us, but the better ideas come from both of us working on things together.
Her: I don’t want to do all the talking, honey. Him: No, that’s fine …
Usually we compromise, and she gets exactly what she wants. I think you were shaking your head “no.” And I was shaking my head “yes.” No. No. No. That’s not what happened at all. Well, I’ll take over from here ...
so much alike that you’re going to have to be careful, because you’ll think you’re right and everyone else is wrong.” Which, actually, is probably true. Her: I decided to plan a road trip through Minnesota. We’re packing, we’re getting all excited. And he sits down and starts creating a tally sheet: Who’s going to pay for what? How are we breaking this all down? And I was like, “UGHHHHH.” All the air went out of the room. I was thinking to myself, That’s the most unromantic thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. I was like, “Chivalry just died.” Him: The monologue in my head was, “Oh, how chivalrous of me; I’m treating my woman as an equal. We’re on the same page. We’re going to figure this out together.”
I called my mom,
We may have opposite thoughts on some things, but we still share the same values. It’s like driving two different cars. They still take us to the same destination.
laughing, and I said, “You can’t believe what he just said!” Her: Every time we have a disagreement, I kind of a need a second to think rationally, then we can usually discuss it.
Say what you have to say, right away.
Him: A second, or a minute, or an hour, or a week …
You’ve always known that I’m right, right?
You know the old adage, “Love is
WITH THIS RING, I DO ADVISE WORDS OF MARITAL WISDOM Anything that’s important is worth working for. So if you value your significant other, you have work for them.
Don’t get so busy doing stuff that you forget to live.
I think when you get married there’s a tendency to want to get everything as perfect as you can. Your house. Your lawn. And this and that. Pretty soon, you find you can’t have everything all at once. You have to play the long game.
blind?” I think that’s bullshit. Love people with your eyes open.
We’ve never lost respect for each other, because we know it’s hard to get something like that back when you lose it. I really believe in dating for a long time. You need that time to grow up together. Him: I think both of our stories can be true. Her: Um … no.
There are some couples who say, “We have separate finances.” But to me it sort of sets up the idea that “This is mine” and “That is yours,” which makes it a little harder to get to “This is ours.” It’s not impossible, but with those boundaries it takes extra work.
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SPARKS STILL FLY KEEPING THE ROMANCE ALIVE
In my eyes, he doesn’t age. I see the same young spirit—the same 24-year-old I met decades ago.
Some of our friends are going through divorces because on
I know I can trust him—that’s what I value the most.
One of our favorite things to do is on Sunday morning, we pour a cup of coffee and sit out in our living room and we just talk. Sometimes it’s half an hour, sometimes two and a half hours. We need those conversations.
We went out to dinner the other night, and I was like, “Oh my God, I haven’t gotten dressed to look nice in forever. I don’t even know where my good clothes are anymore.”
some level they’re drifting apart. I don’t think we’ve ever drifted apart, because we both work hard at staying connected.
I write love letters. It’s a way to express, sincerely, the thanks I have—not only for everything that she does for me, but for everything that she has done for our family and our extended families.
He’s the one who can calm me down. He calms us both down.
She’s always has a way to get me unstuck It’s not necessarily about having to go out to a fancy restaurant and getting dressed up, because there have been multiple times where I’ll say, “Let's go out to eat,” and then I'll come home and he’s prepared a dinner just for us. Sometimes, you don’t know that’s what you needed, but it’s exactly what you needed. We don't get each other gifts for Valentine’s Day. We just give each other love letters. It’s about expressing my gratitude for him and our relationship—you know, taking the time to celebrate your spouse and the relationship you have with one another.
from any situation, especially when I’m feeling anxious. It may not always be the advice I want to hear, but it’s always good advice. I’m a walker. And I also walk really fast. People always joke that I walk with purpose. I always liked that he could seam-
on Instagram, I’ll start following the same things. Sometimes, it’s just for conversation, but I’ll bring things up that even she doesn’t know about the people she’s following.
me down. He never disrupted the pace that I’d found; he kind of just joined me.
I think your confidence level goes up when you take a little time for yourself. Get your hair done, your nails done. When I transform out of my sweats into real clothes, I go from mom mode to feeling attractive again. It’s just the look of love in her eyes. It’s always been there. I know I can always come home and get a hug and an encouraging word. And I know she’ll always be there.
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I always thought it was important that we do what we want to do, not what our peers expect us to do. And I feel even more strongly about that now than I did before.
lessly fall in with me, and he wasn’t slowing
The short answer is: fierce tenacity. Whatever she follows
Constant hugging and kissing—and public displays of affection.
I’ll say, “Can we just put our phones away?”
On hiking and walking together: We did a lot
Two words: sushi and Netflix. The one thing we do all the time, to this day, is laugh at—and with—each other.
more than an average couple, and I didn’t feel pressure to fill the air and talk during those times. We just liked the art of doing it.
Her: Then we went down to the lake. We’re sitting there trying to take pictures, and then this outrageous storm comes barreling in, so we literally had to go running to the car. Him: From a meteorological standpoint, this was actually a beautiful moment. It was peaceful and serene and then in an instant a 30-mile-per-hour wind starts whipping on the beach. And it was like, “Let’s go home right now.”
We know what we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to schedule a regular
BUMPS IN THE ROAD OVERCOMING FAMILY CHALLENGES
date night—every other Saturday night. Then Saturday night comes and all I want to do is have a babysitter come over so I can get to bed. You have to keep a young mindset—stay in that boyfriend and girlfriend stage where you started. Keep dating your wife.
There’s one thing we’ve done since we’ve been married: We turn the lights down and light candles for our dinner—every night. There’s something about a little fire glow; it calms you down. It brings us back to our center. The only issue we’ve ever had with that? We had a new kitten once who burned off the whiskers on one side of his face. He never went close to those candles again.
I tend to be more impulsive with money. So the first few years I had to kind of get the message hammered home to me: Don’t make any major purchases without consulting your wife. Talk first, buy later. The one thing that helps me the most is knowing that
He’s hands-down ready for anything, really and truly. There’s never been a situation—well, with the exception of moving to the East Coast and ripping him away from his mother, that was tough. Anything could happen—he’s not only a good sport but he has a good attitude. It could be the most devastating thing and he’ll be like, “OK, this where we’re at; so what are we going to do now?” He’s just a good partner.
we see ourselves as a team in life. We’ve been together so long that we know exactly how the other likes to be supported.
I don’t have to
The fact that she knows I’m going to be with her until the end—no matter what—I think that makes a difference.
explain it to him or reference something from my past; he was
Him: The spreadsheet takes your last three months of spending, averages it out, and forecasts it out for you going forward. You’ll know basically what your burn rate is and what your income is, so you can plan everything out. Her: For the record, I hate spreadsheets.
Then we realized [our sons] had Usher syndrome, and they were both
What I thought would have been a struggle we’ve turned into a source of amusement.
losing their vision. What I’ve learned over the years is that what you really want from your kids is for them to be brave in the face of adversity.
a part of it, so he knows.
We’re able to turn to each other, even if it’s just a look or a wink before we go to bed that says, “It’s going to be okay.”
Sometimes stuff just happens in life and you have to try to see it as a teaching moment—an opportunity for learning. Having gone through two miscarriages, I know this: It’s the things that are difficult that are always worth fighting for. When our kids were younger, we used to read a book called Tiny Bear’s Christmas and thought, for a few years, they really looked forward to it. And they just kind of humored us when they were teenagers. We thought our kids would still get a kick out of it, but both of them groan and say, “Please don’t read that.”
The MS [multiple sclerosis]. That’s really been the biggest struggle, because she’s gotten progressively worse. She rides around in an electric wheelchair and basically needs full-time care. I knew that it would probably be like this. But, you know … I mean, I love her. NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / JUNE/JULY 2020 57
I’m going to leave the
WORKING 9 TO 9 WORK/LIFE BALANCE
Him: It’s amazing how she handles all the mom stuff and the work stuff and is so committed to making everything perfect.
company that I’m working for and get a new job
Her: You’re making me sound like a Stepford Wife.
because I want balance in I’m home. I run the household—the laundry, what are the kids eating. Any time there’s a bug to kill or something is broken or something is yucky, that’s his department.
my life. I don’t want to lose One of the biggest gifts that my husband gave me was allowing me to spread my wings. Because I had a husband that supported me, I always pursued things that were interesting to me.
my identity as a mom or a working professional.
He’s always supported the things I’ve chosen to do work-wise, family-wise. I could count on that, and I never had to worry that he’d feel neglected. That kind of support, it really enhances a relationship.
PARENTHOOD 101 JOYS, STRUGGLES AND POPSICLE STAINS It gets so busy sometimes, you just kind of have to look at each other and say, “Hey I still see you. I still love you. You know that, right?”
We’re role models for our kids. They see everything you do.
We’ve always believed it’s more important that our children are more good than great. Which means we’d much rather have them turn out to be good people and average in terms of their success. I don’t know who shared this with us, it was from a man, but he said—and I agree with him—the best gift you can give your children is to love their mother. I think that goes the other way, too. The best thing you can give your kids is to love their father.
You have to let your kids make their own mistakes and learn from them. But you’ve got to do that early. Mistakes aren't really going to matter too much when they’re young. Hopefully they will have experience making mistakes so they'll know how to avoid them when the stakes are higher.
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It’s all about trying to strike a balance between letting your kids know you’re there for them, but also allowing them to figure things out on their own.
Looking back now, after raising our kids, a lot of the time periods were defined by what phase our kid was going through. You just gotta let your kids weather the storms and progress through each phase.
The dog we currently have, she came with me as a package, so he married into the family. We knew we were going to have a child, and we looked forward to it. And then all of a sudden he became the bright shining star of our universe.
We wanted to show our children that we could have disagreements in front of them in a constructive way. Our youngest daughter, who we adopted, has Down syndrome. She is such a joy. She’s just the most happy person you’ve ever met. We think a lot about the fact that we’d be really sad if we didn’t have her to snuggle up with every time we go to bed.
Sometimes we see people with kids, and it seems like they’re missing their old life. Luckily, we had so much time together, just the two of us, that we made a conscious decision we were ready for the next stage. At some point, you just know—you’re generally excited and ready to move on to the next stage.
I’m a happier mom, a happier person, and a happier wife when I read—because
In the business world and the parenting world
When it comes to work/life balance, if I can be very honest, it doesn’t exist. And it never will. It’s not about work/life balance, it’s about life/work integration.
there are so many things that are beyond your control. But when you’re gardening, you can craft it and make it as perfect as you can get it.
it allows me to shut my brain off for a while.
We’ve both tried to stay healthy and physically fit. I think people who are fit probably have more energy to put into things beyond their work schedules.
My mom has the hardest time figuring out why I stress about things she didn’t stress about.
We have grown into people who can go out in the world and do our thing, but then we come back to each other to support and share. It’s a way of refueling for both of us.
I don't like to let myself think too
We didn’t ask our kids, “What would you like? How can I help?” We very
SWEET DREAMS HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS
much about the future, because I’m so aware of how quickly the time is passing with the kids so little. I don’t want to miss any of it.
much wanted to them to think about decision making and what goes into decision making. All of us need practice. It’s a process.
With four kids, sitting and hanging out for 30 minutes with no screaming or yelling—just us— that would be nice.
Him: For, instance, I’d like to move to Florida …
Well, our son is 18 months old, so I’m
Her: In a million, billion years, I’d never go to Florida.
I don’t have to scrape cottage cheese
I just dream about taking a nap. I think about sleep a lot. I’m like, “Is there any morning of any week when I can sleep? And how late, exactly, can I sleep in?”
It’s a challenge— anyone who tells you otherwise, they’re lying.
There’s no silver bullet. Every child is different. Hold on one second— I’m looking at a kid dripping popsicle juice all over our rug.
Right after 9/11, I lost my job and I was off work for over a year. And just about every day I would walk my kids to grade school and be there to walk them home after school. I looked at that as my time with them. And they remember that. They remember those things.
just looking forward to the day when off the kitchen floor.
Her: I think we both have simple aspirations. We’re very down-to-earth about these things. Him: Just being loved, each and every day, that’s been enough.
Dreams? How about solvency.
Sometimes I'll tease him and say, “What would I like? How about a 10-carat diamond and all of that.” But in reality, you know, it’s really all about the opportunity to spend time together. I’m looking forward to a future where our kids can stay up a little bit later and we can go to a family party or to a friend’s house and not leave at 6 p.m. We used to do that a lot and enjoyed it, so we’re looking forward to when the kids will allow us to have a later night.
I wish adoption was more acceptable to more people. As parents, you really sort of sublimate your own aspirations—or temper them—to make sure that your child is getting the best of what you have to offer.
We didn’t have to talk about the fact that we could do it. It just easily developed. NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / JUNE/JULY 2020 59
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Morning with Your Mutt
PHOTO COURTESY ST. CHARLES PARK DISTRICT
TO-DO LIST Through July 11
Through August 2
Through August 3
DRIVEWAY PICASSOS Chalk it up! In celebration of Unplug Illinois on July 11, chalk artists of all ages are encouraged to use their St. Charles driveways as a canvas and get creative. Submit your photo with the title and artist’s age to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 11. Photos will be posted on the St. Charles Park District’s Facebook page on July 13 for voting. The photo with the most likes will be announced at 4 p.m. on July 17; the winning artist will win a prize. stcparks.org
CLASSIC CHICAGO: THE ART OF ARCHITECTURE While practicing excellent draughtsmanship and detailed graphite rendering, Jack Nixon documents grand urban landscapes and vignettes of Chicago’s buildings, monuments, and decorative stone fragments in this exhibit. Free with admission. $15/adult (age 18+); $12/senior; children free. Galleries open June 30; Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst. elmhurstartmuseum.org
SKYWAY SELECTIONS In this art exhibition, the Waubonsee Community College’s Art Department presents student works in painting, drawing, photography, design, and ceramics. Online only. Free. waubonsie.edu Through September 24 SEASONAL
95TH STREET FARMER’S MARKET Shop for fresh produce, homemade goods, and other delights on Thursdays in this open-air market. Check the
Addresses in event listings are located in Naperville unless otherwise noted. Please verify event details with sponsor organizations; events are subject to change after the press deadline. Email your event for consideration, 45 days in advance, to email@example.com, subject line: calendar. NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / JUNE/JULY 2020 61
95th Street Farmer’s Market
presented by Ettie Randles from Heritage Wine Cellars. Register at firstname.lastname@example.org. 6 to 7 p.m. SixtyFour Wine Bar & Kitchen, 123 Water St. sixtyfourwinebar.com July 8–August 12 MUSIC
WEDNESDAY AT THE PLAZA Enjoy live music each week, streamed via Facebook/YouTube from private locations in downtown Aurora. Free. 6 to 8 p.m. auroradowntown.org July 8–August 12 SPECIAL EVENT
website for evolving COVID-19 guidelines. 3 to 7 p.m. 95th St. Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Rd. napervilleparks.org Through September 31 FITNESS
PADDLEBOAT QUARRY Rent a paddleboat, paddleboard, or kayak in the quarry located along the Naperville Riverwalk. Paddleboats carry up to 4; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Paddleboards and kayaks may be rented by those 13 and over, but an adult must be present to sign a waiver. Rental fees vary; see the website for details, including participant guidelines. napervilleparks.org
WINE DOWN WEDNESDAY Laid-back luxury is the vibe at these weekday polo tailgating events. Bring your own blankets, folding chairs, tables, food, and beverages. $40–$50/ car. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.; polo match starts at 6 p.m. Arranmore Farm
+ Polo Club, 34 Rance Rd., Oswego. arranmorefarmandpoloclub.com July 14–July 16 SPECIAL EVENT
ART CAMP In this outdoor camp with ample shade and spacing, children ages 10 to 14 will experiment with myriad media and create over seven projects, including an 18-by-18-inch canvas acrylic painting. If weather threatens, students will go inside with masks and six-foot spacing. Supplies included. $150. 4:30 p.m. Kim Roth Fine Art Studio, 1839 Wehrli Rd. kimrothart.com July 16 CULINARY
CHAPPELLET WINE DINNER Enjoy a delicious multi-course meal, each plate paired with a Chappellet wine. $98/person (21+). To make a reservation, Classic Chicago: The Art of Architecture
Through October 12 SEASONAL
FARMER’S MARKET Find farm-fresh produce, meat, seafood, and homemade baked goods at this weekly summer market. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Burlington Park, 30 E. Chicago Ave., Hinsdale. hinsdalechamber.com
FRENCH MARKET The summer tradition of obtaining fresh foods directly from vendors continues in downtown Wheaton. Both vendors and shoppers will be required to follow evolving health and safety measures. Check the website for current guidelines. 8 to 9 a.m. for vulnerable populations; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for all. Downtown Wheaton, Main St. and Liberty Dr., Wheaton. wheaton.il.us July 7 CULINARY
SOMM’S TABLE: TOUR DE FRANCE With a $5 donation to DuPage PADS, enjoy a complimentary tasting of wines 62 JUNE/JULY 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
PHOTOS COURTESY NAPERVILLE PARK DISTRICT, ELMHURST ART MUSEUM
Through October 17
email email@example.com. SixtyFour Wine Bar & Kitchen, 123 Water Street. sixtyfourwinebar.com
July 18 MUSIC
CABERNET CABARET The hottest talent of the Chicago entertainment world will play songs for this year’s theme, The Beat Goes On. Every song is a dance jam mega-hit that will get everyone on the lawn shakin’ their groove thang. Bring your own party: blankets, folding chairs, tables, food, and beverages. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from the Allegory food truck. $30–$50/person. Early-entry gates open at 5:30 p.m.; general admission gates open at 6:30 p.m. Concert begins at 8 p.m. Arranmore Farm + Polo Club, 34 Rance Rd., Oswego. arranmorefarmandpoloclub.com July 20–24 SPECIAL EVENT
PAPER PALOOZA Get ready for a fun morning of color, texture, pattern, layering, and more. Use painted papers to create beautiful flowers. Tear, cut, glue, and print paper to make a fish print. This live Zoom course meets for 1.5 hours a day for five days. A recording of each session will be available for you to view if you are unable to attend a live session. Ages 6–12. $85. 9 a.m. Virtual. Water Street Studio, Batavia. waterstreetstudios.org July 23 FITNESS
SUNSET YOGA Center and balance your body, mind, and spirit with a sunset yoga class at
Arranmore Farm + Polo Club, hosted by 360 Studios. After class, take advantage of the beautiful surroundings. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.; class starts at 6 p.m. Bring a yoga mat. Outside food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted; a cash bar is available onsite. $25/person. arranmorefarmandpoloclub.com July 25 SPECIAL EVENT
MORNING WITH YOUR MUTT Whether you added a new four-legged friend to your family in the last few months or you’ve had canine companions for years, there’s no better time to treat them and yourselves to some exercise and a chance to mingle with other pet owners. The free event includes a beautiful morning walk through the natural area. Register early as
this event will limit participants due to COVID-19 restrictions. 7:30 a.m. Primrose Farm, 5N726 Crane Rd, St. Charles. stcparks.org August 2 MUSIC
ANIMAL FARM Fun for all ages, Animal Farm performs original music and educational comedy exploring themes of community, self-expression, and the environment through the eyes of our furry, feathered, scaly, and shell-dwelling friends. All concerts are outdoors and feature lawn seating. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets, and picnics are welcome. Concessions are available. Free with parking ($10). 11 a.m. Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Rd., Wheaton. cantigny.org
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TIERINII JACKSON The electrifying performer fronts blues band Southern Avenue Interview by Mark Loehrke
but blues is the one that comes most naturally. It’s a sound that I grew up in, so it’s a part of who I am. FORCED HIATUS We as a band are doing our best to stay safe and to continue writing during this time. We really miss being on the road with our fans every night, but we appreciate their continued love and support now more than ever.
64 JUNE/JULY MAY 2019 / 2020 NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
THE SILVER LINING I think that on the other side of this, you’ll have artists and musicians writing some of their best work. It’s a crazy time for us—music is not considered ‘essential,’ but it really is our therapy, so it’s very essential for us and others who need it. And I think you’ll feel those emotions reflected in the music that comes out of this pandemic.
EDITOR’S NOTE Memphis-based Southern Avenue was scheduled to play the Blues on the Fox festival at Aurora’s RiverEdge Park in June. Although that show was canceled due to the ongoing pandemic, Jackson and the group hope to be back in the Chicago area soon.
PHOTO BY DAVID MCCLISTER
BLUES CLUES I decided that I was going to pursue music as a career when I was about four years old. I was watching Michael Jackson on TV and I was filled with emotions that I’d never felt before. I knew right then that music was what I wanted to do. But I never really decided that I was going to be a blues artist—the blues chose me. I’m a lover of all genres,
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