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IN APRIL’S LETTERS: Searching for answers in Lost Chicago

Trip Down Memory Lane

I was captivated by the article “The Memory Collector” [by Geoffrey Johnson, February], and I’m looking forward to reading the new edition of David Lowe’s Lost Chicago. I have a few years on Mr. Lowe, but my experiences as a youthful denizen of the downtown Chicago scene seem to coincide with his to a considerable degree. Our family also used to dine occasionally at Henrici’s and at King Joy Lo just down the street. Perhaps Mr. Lowe recalls Henrici’s slogan, “No Orchestral Din.”

My dad had his law office in the Loop and would often take me downtown with him from our Oak Park home. Dad made me aware of the history of the city and of the pride and appreciation most residents had for its uniqueness and wonder. My mother had once worked at Carson’s and often shopped along State Street, acquainting me with the bewildering variety of retailers. The area of Lake Shore Drive in your 1940s photograph also contained one of Mother’s and my favorite structures, now long lost: the Potter Palmer Mansion [not visible in photo].

CHARLES A. SNYDER Sturtevant, Wisconsin

 

In “The Memory Collector,” the photo of North Lake Shore Drive is great! One question: Why does it appear that all the cars on the Outer Drive are going north on both sides? What’s up with that? (I guess that’s two questions.)

CLAYTON NOVAK Channahon
 

When this photo was taken in 1941—sometime in the late afternoon, as the long shadows extending out into Lake Michigan attest—work was nearing completion on the extension of Lake Shore Drive from North Avenue to Fullerton and Belmont Avenues. To facilitate the flow of traffic during construction, cars could only travel northbound on the Outer Drive north of Oak Street during the evening rush hour (from 4:05 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.; there was a similar southbound-only arrangement during the morning rush).

 

PRIVATE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

In our October 2011 issue, Chicago will publish a survey of some 500 private elementary schools in Chicago and the suburbs. Due to the complexity of the project, we were unable to deliver it in February as we had promised in “Winning Combinations,” our October 2010 story about public elementary schools. We apologize for the delay.

 

CHICAGO ASKS, FACEBOOK RESPONDS

“Is it lame to call dibs on shoveled parking spots after a blizzard?”

I think it’s one of the last gestures of grace and civility left in the city. Respect for another’s effort and hard work.
—EDWINA OWENS ELLIOTT

If everyone just dug out their spots, it would be fine. I’d like to have a spot waiting for me, but it’s a jerk move. Pay it forward.
—KAT SILVERSTEIN

As a teen I helped Dad clear a spot so Mom had a place to park when she arrived home from work. A “neighbor” threw Dad’s lawn chair aside and parked in the spot. Dad offered to help him clear a spot, words were exchanged, and the neighbor said, “I pay my taxes, pal!” and went inside. Dad calmly returned all the snow to that spot and packed it in around the doors, too. Ah, the memories!
—LON THOMAS

I slung three plastic chairs and an ironing board into a snowdrift. I’ll do it again if I have to. This whole dibs thing really gets my goat.
—PATRICK ROLLENS

ON JEFF RUBY’S CALL TO END DIBS

I cannot tolerate someone who breaks the law by littering the street and performs an act of aggression against anyone encroaching on his or her illegitimate claim on public property. My guess is that most dibsers would object to a squatter in any other circumstance.
—SCCA RACER X AT CHICAGOMAG.COM

For Jeff Ruby’s “If You Didn’t Call Dibs, Remember Where You Dug,” go to chicagomag.com/dibs.

 

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