In your review of Piper Kerman’s new book, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison [“Judgment Day,” Arena, by Sarah Downey, April], I was perplexed to read that the reviewer, and presumably Ms. Kerman, consider the ghostwriting of term papers to be as honorable an occupation as electrician or baker. If Ms. Kerman wrote term papers for other students to submit as their own work, she assisted those students in committing a serious act of academic fraud, no matter how much “strength and wry humor” she brought to the task.
My husband, neighbors, and I read with delight that you listed our neighborhood in 20 Great Towns and Neighborhoods [by Dennis Rodkin, April]. Or at least we think you did.
The residential neighborhood referred to as Rockwell Crossing in the article is actually called Ravenswood Gardens. Although we understand that Rockwell Crossing is gaining traction as a name for this area—and not just in your article—we continue to have an identity crisis when mentioned in the press. We just don’t recognize Rockwell Crossing as the correct name of our neighborhood—at least among ourselves, we don’t. I do understand that the real-estate market has a lot of influence on these things, but I wanted to ensure recognition of our neighborhood.
I was at a doctor’s office when I saw Bryan Smith’s article about becoming a figure skating champ at the ripe old age of 47 [Ice Folly, December]. What a delight to read. In the 1960s, I skated extensively in Chicago and was coached by Evelyn Robson at Rainbo when it was located at 4836 North Clark Street. I started lessons too late (age 14) to compete, so it was exciting to discover that there are now expanded opportunities for adults!
I was pleased to read in the April edition of Chicago that Western Springs was chosen for 20 Great Towns and Neighborhoods. However, I was disheartened to learn that the schools were given three out of four stars.
Lyons Township High School’s ACT and SAT [scores] are at historic all-time highs. The Chicago Tribune issued a ranking of state-mandated standardized test scores in 2009, in which LTHS placed 32nd out of 270 public high schools in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, Will, and McHenry counties. The district also earned a silver medal in “America’s Best High Schools” from U.S. News and World Report. However, as with any successful high school, achievement is not measured by test scores alone. Perhaps our most significant accomplishments are those that cannot be rated or tested at all.
Without set criteria and with nothing more than the writer’s “own long experience in assessing schools,” a disservice has been done to LTHS. While I couldn’t agree more that Western Springs should be among Chicago’s top 20 great towns and neighborhoods, I would argue that its schools should be ranked among the best as well.
Timothy B. Kilrea
Superintendent, Lyons Township High School
Glory, left; photo of Dunn, right
In the March issue, Geoffrey Johnson shed light on the little-known photographer Beatrice Tonnesen [Camera Obscura]. The first person to use live models in ads (circa 1896), Tonnesen shared studio space with the artist R. Atkinson Fox, whose painting The Glory of Youth was inspired by one of her photographs taken around 1920.
Shortly after publishing the article, we received a letter from Bridget Brennock-Roth, who believed the model in the photograph that inspired Fox’s painting was her grandmother Veronica Hedderman. A few weeks after Brennock-Roth’s letter was published in the May issue, Rose Lloyd of Lake Forest wrote with information on her grandmother Beulah Clark Dunn, who Lloyd claimed was the Tonnesen model.
When we put her in touch with the Tonnesen collector Lois Emerson, Lloyd provided Emerson with a wealth of information and nearly 40 photographs of a young Beulah Clark Dunn, including a copy of the original photograph from which Fox painted The Glory of Youth. Lloyd also proffered another photograph of Dunn taken at the same shoot, as well as one of Dunn inscribed by Tonnesen and dated 1920. Emerson says she now believes Dunn was the original Tonnesen model.