This is my farewell to Beverly Hills/Morgan Park.
I was born in, grew up and have resided in the Beverly/Morgan Park area all my life. Over the last 45 years, I was fortunate to run my business, Standring Financial Insurance Services, Inc., in the area. On a personal note, among the biggest assets that I received from the community were two employees that worked with me for over 22 years each: Nancy Leiser and Bess McCord.
I feel lucky and proud to have been raised in such a great neighborhood.
I first lived in St. Cajetan parish, which was (and is) a wonderful school. I spent “eight days a week” at Kennedy Park where I learned and played many different sports with boys and girls from the neighborhood.
For high school, like many Beverly Hills/Morgan Park students at the time, I chose Leo High School. The Christian Brothers of Ireland ran Leo, and I learned discipline and to respect others. My school experience matched life in Beverly Hills/Morgan Park, which is a diverse community where people truly respect each other.
After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1974, I moved back to the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park area. I have been blessed with meeting countless great people during the journey of my life. I enjoy many friendships that I believe are because of the “down to earth” culture that I learned while growing up in this community.
We all know that this community is a melting pot of professionals (such as attorneys, accountants, doctors, and professors), city of Chicago employees (such as police, firefighters, Streets and Sanitation employees and teachers), along with many union employees (such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, pipefitters and coverers, and operating engineers). This mix and diversity, along with cooperative integration, allowed my wife and I to give our children a broad education and well-rounded knowledge of how to communicate with all types of people.
As I drift into my senior years of life, I worry about the future upbringing in communities like Beverly Hills/Morgan Park. People are getting away from actually talking (conversation) face to face with other people. Unfortunately, the pandemic does not help. When the COVID-19 problem is over, it is my hope that the school systems will actually mandate face-to-face conversation!
My idea is to take 20 minutes (or more) of each school day to talk (conversation) with a new and different student each day. This means no texting, no tweets, etc.
I want to put the good with the bad, put the honor students with the average students, put the good looking with the homely looking. Hopefully, you get my idea of rotating until all the students have met each other one on one.
I want each student to learn the likes and dislikes of the other and really try to get to know each other. I am not saying that everyone will come away as close friends, but hopefully, they will have an understanding and respect for each other. That is how communities like Beverly Hills/Morgan Park have been and will continue to be a desired place to live.
I realize that I might have went over the top to say goodbye to a great community, but I’m thankful for the time and place in which I called home for all these years.