The start of a new year is a reflective time for a columnist. As I replace the old calendar with the new and begin hashing out ideas for 2016, it’s nice to look back through the old files and think about the columns that brought us here.
I might have had the most fun writing “An Election Poem”
for April 6. At the time, there was such a hotbed of election tension between the candidates for District 181, 86, and village that I decided to try my hand at writing a poem. Artistically and rhythmically describing the craziness of the culture we were living in, I found myself laughing like a mad scientist in my study as I banged the keyboard late at night. There was so much comical material available that it really was easy to pen the stanzas, and with each one, I laughed harder!
It’s hard to believe there was this much mudslinging in our 2015 small-town election, but I have proof! You can almost always find supporting “evidence,” photos, and fun facts pertaining to these columns on my blog — and there was no shortage of evidence here. A mailer sent out by Saving Clarendon Hills said that one candidate supported prostitutes and illegal aliens, and another mailer had pasted two buildings together to show readers what would happen if they voted for the wrong candidate!
The April 30 “Art of Coaching”
column prompted a lot of comments from readers, most likely because so many moms and dads have been involved as coaches in our community. It takes a lot of effort to run and volunteer for organizations like AYSO, Biddy Ball, baseball, Falcons football, and Jodie Harrison basketball. And our children benefit when we use a positive style of coaching. Unfortunately, anyone who has coached children has also had a run-in with a coach who just didn’t get it. This column was not only a way to set the record straight on my philosophy of coaching but also to honor a great coach in my life — my dad.
In a May 14 column titled “Parked on the Benches — A Futuristic look at the Village of Clarendon Hills
,” I laid out my lifetime dream for our village. It was a simple idea that could have the possibility to take hold and grow into a branded and known value. For the record, I still believe that Clarendon Hills could be known as “The most welcoming village in the country.” All we need is a few civic-minded people to decide we can make this happen.
on July 9 was another expression of my desire to tell stories. It was a completely made-up tale about a police officer with a disturbed youth that had fashioned him into an out-of-control, ticket-issuing machine as an adult. He loved to slap down tickets, especially on one particular Caddy. Some of the local officials and police didn’t think it was very funny, though. Looking back, I realize that column may have been poor timing — especially since 2015 was riddled with bad press for police officers. For the record: I love our police here in Clarendon Hills and am grateful for their service to our community. But at the time, I was shocked my late-night fiction hadn’t gone over so well. I do now understand why.
The October 29 column, “The Move”
probably struck the biggest chord with readers. Lots of people told me their stories about moving and what they went through. It was an introspective, deeply emotional (and spiritual) examination of moving to a new home and leaving the other behind. It had been 15 years since we had last moved, so this was an opportunity for me to understand what my clients go through. It was good for me to feel it and articulate it — the pain, the struggle, and the adventure of moving.
As a journalist documents a town’s events and news, a columnist document the thoughts and lives of its people. It has been a privilege to play that role for our wonderful village over the last year, and I look forward to continuing our journey together in 2016 and beyond.
Mike is a Clarendon Hills
resident; husband; Indian prince; Indian Guide Dad; a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker. Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around the area. It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlights a new business, or announces school happenings. He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting residents and even a little about history
. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.
Here are some pictures from some of the CRAZY:
The very beginning of my understanding of sports – Colts Circa 1970