Jul 19, 2013

John J. “Jack” Simmerling

John J. “Jack” Simmerling, a longtime resident of Morgan Park, local business owner and renowned artist, died July 18. He was 77 years old.

Visitation will be held at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, 9300 S. Pleasant Ave., on Monday, July 22, from 4 to 8 p.m., followed by a funeral Mass on Tuesday, July 23, at 11 a.m. Interment is private.

Simmerling is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marjorie; his sons, John (Julie) and Carlos; his daughters, Victoria (Christopher) Sobczak, Mary (Thomas Epting), Meg (Paul) Faeh; and his grandchildren, Katherine, John Andrews, Thomas, Matthew, Cary John, Stephen, Maria, Paul, Kalven Jack, Wilson Jack, Graham and Eliza.

He was preceded in death by his daughters Elizabeth and Catherine (Kirk) Shepherd.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Weill Cornell Medical College, Office of External Affairs, 1300 York Avenue, Box 314, New York, NY 10065, or weill.cornell.edu.
 For more information, contact Donnellan Funeral Home at (773) 238-0075 or donnellanfuneralhome.com.

Jack Simmerling

Artist's passion for the past preserves old Chicago

March 01, 2012     Rick Kogan's Sidewalks

Jack Simmerling is an artist of great and endearing and enduring talent. You can see this for yourself by walking into The Heritage Gallery at 1915 W. 103rd St. in the Beverly neighborhood. His watercolors, drawings and prints, numbering a couple of hundred, hang on the walls and in colorful fashion bring this city to life.

Though some of his works are rural landscapes, most are firmly focused on Chicago. There may not be a person alive who has painted more local buildings — those that are and those that once were.

Click to Read More:

Thanks to Jan Brennan for submitting.

Everything is Normal - Cubs and Sox Lousy

Everything is normal this year as in most years. 
Both Da Sox and Da Cubs are Lousy.

Jul 18, 2013

Beverly Hills Cycling Classic July 18, 2013

The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is held in July. The Classic is presented by the Beverly Area Planning Association, and the major sponsor is the Beverly Bike & Ski - Vee Pak Racing Team.

Now a race in the Prairie State Cycling Series, the 11th Annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic will be held on a new night - Thursday, July 18 - and feature a pro am women's race at 4:40 pm and a pro am men's race at 6:30 pm. The Prairie State Cycling Series is part of USA Cycling National Criterium Calender (NCC), so this race is sure to draw some top level riders eager to make points and win prizes- the competition will be fast and furious.

Click to Read More



Beverly Photos

Jul 17, 2013

Gambling Cats

If you would like to share photos or stories send them to:    morganparkhigh@gmail.com

MPHS Connections - Building Bridges With Our Past

MPHS Mid 60’s Graduates

Staying in Touch

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Morgan Park High Reunion Committee
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See you on line or at the next reunion. To contact us email:

Unattended Children

Jul 15, 2013

Rotary International Was Formed in Beverly

Rotary International was formed in Beverly at the home of Paul P. Harris on Longwood Drive, and today the house is owned by that organization. 


"The world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to capture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The Rotary name derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.
Rotary's popularity spread, and within a decade, clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York to Winnipeg, Canada. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents. The organization adopted the Rotary International name a year later.
As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving club members’ professional and social interests. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need. The organization's dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its motto: Service Above Self.
By July 1925, Rotary had grown to more than 2,000 clubs and an estimated 108,000 members. The organization's distinguished reputation attracted presidents, prime ministers, and a host of other luminaries to its ranks — among them author Thomas Mann, diplomat Carlos P. Romulo, humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, and composer Jean Sibelius."


"Rotary's 1.2 million members believe it starts with a commitment to Service Above Self.
In more than 34,000 clubs worldwide, you'll find members volunteering in communities at home and abroad to support education and job training, provide clean water, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, and eradicate polio."

"The Four-Way Test

In 1932, Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor created The Four-Way Test, a code of ethics adopted by Rotary 11 years later. The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:
Of the things we think, say or do
  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"

Jul 14, 2013

The Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas

We are attending the Sister City International Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Great conference, with attendees from all over the world. And the San Antonio Riverwalk is a great urban space.


Tom Halbert, Gayle Maxey, Ray Gossett, Beth Ruyle, and Craig Hullinger are attending from Sarasota Sister Cities. Ruyle and Hullinger have just returned from the Sarasota Sister City visit to Vladimir, Russia.      vladimirsarasota.blogspot.com 

The Riverwalk in San Antonio is one of the great urban spaces of the world. According to Wikipedia it was nearly paved over and replaced by a storm sewer. This plan was blocked. 

"In San Antonio native and architect Robert Hugman submitted his plans for what would become the River Walk. The leadership of former mayor Jack White was instrumental in passage of a bond issue that raised funds to empower the 1938 “San Antonio River Beautification Project”.

The plan was controversial and took a long time to implement. Today it is a very special and popular place and the heart of San Antonio.


The Conference theme is "The Power of Exchange - Creating Sustainable Cities and Sustainable Relationships". The San Antonio River Walk is a great example of sustainable development. 

Click for a Video of the River Walk.

Click for a Video of a Band on the River Walk 

Bob Rivard is a San Antonio journalist who gave the Sister Cities Conference an excellent presentation on the use of media and on San Antonio. His excellent web site on San Antonio below:


Jul 13, 2013

The # 1 Summer Hits of the Mid-1960s! Fifty Years Go Bye-Bye!

Memories are made of these songs.

Bill Kamenjarin MPHS 66

The #1 Summer Hits of the Mid-1960s! Fifty Years Go Bye-Bye!


Long before the AMC network brought modern society the hit TV program Mad Men, there was a decade called the 1960s when real people walked the earth and listened to their music on quaint little radios and groovy looking hi-fis that neither streamed nor downloaded a thing.

In order to hear the music you liked when you wanted to hear it, you would visit your local record shop where for a fee they would sell you either a big record with quite a few songs on it or a little record with only two songs with one being particularly good and the other not so hot. Occasionally, you got lucky and both tracks were excellent.

Today, we'll focus on the songs that were #1 on the charts during the summer months of 1964 through 1966, a time when most artists were less concerned with the big record format (the LP, long player) than the little record format (the 45 -- for the speed at which the record turned on the electric turntable).

Doesn't this sound exciting? And, kids, don't forget to keep asking your parents if they were ever caught necking to this music! Or maybe your grandparents! One of these fine songs could even be the reason you're here today!


25) Love Me Do -- The Beatles (1964): By the summer of 1964, Beatlemania was in full swing and anything 'Beatles' was a surefire hit. "Love Me Do" had been their modest debut single in the UK where it fared decently at #17. However, US markets in 1964 took the song to #1 because the Beatles had started running low on new singles.

24) Chapel of Love -- The Dixie Cups (1964): A Brill Building specialty, written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, "Chapel of Love" was recorded by a number of nice folks, like Darlene Love, The Ronettes, the Blossoms, Bette Midler, the Beach Boys and Elton John. Most recently, it was covered by Holly Beth Vincent for a 2011 episode of American Idol. The Dixie Cups had the hit version that was heard in the film Full Metal Jacket.


23) A World Without Love -- Peter and Gordon (1964): Paul McCartney wrote this song at 16 years old and knew it wasn't good enough for the Beatles so he offered it to anyone desperate enough for a hit. The taker turned out to be Peter Asher, whose sister Jane Asher dated McCartney for years, and with whom Paul "roomed" with for a few years.

22) I Get Around -- The Beach Boys (1964): The Beach Boys' first #1 hit in the US was also their first top ten hit in the UK, where drafty young Brits got their first inkling of sunshine on a faraway coast. The single featured "Don't Worry Baby" as its B-side, being one of those times I spoke about when you got full value for a single. Some may be inclined to say you got more than full value here -- though mathematically that's not possible.


21) Rag Doll -- The Four Seasons (1964): Number one in July 1964, the song was ranked in 2010 as the #1 song of all-time by the listeners of New York City's oldies station, WCBS-FM, who apparently reside in Hell.

20) A Hard Day's Night -- The Beatles (1964): The Beatles were looking to get as much done as they could in their first year of worldwide fame, still thinking they were on an 18-month schedule of fame, with Ringo eyeballing those hair salons!


19) Everybody Loves Somebody -- Dean Martin (1964): The song was written in 1947 and had been recorded by other artists without success until Dino took it up the charts to knock the Beatles out of the #1 slot to spite his 14-year old son who preferred the mop tops to his dad's music. And you think your dad could be a jerk?

18) Where Did Our Love Go? -- The Supremes (1964): The song peaked weeks after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yes, that Civil Rights Act of 1964.


17) The House of The Rising Sun -- The Animals (1964): Alan Price got the composer's credit on this ages-old folk song since there was "insufficient room" to name all five members on the record label, an issue that rightfully annoyed the other members of the band when they discovered what not ever being paid those publishing royalties meant to hungry young musicians -- and eventually to old musicians, too!

16) Help Me, Rhonda -- The Beach Boys (1964): The single version included on Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!!) is the revolutionary version that captures the magic and the innocence of an era that would be over sooner than anyone could've predicted.


15) Back In My Arms Again -- The Supremes (1965):"Stop! In the Name of Love" had been a hit in the late winter-spring, with this single following to keep people thinking about these three lovely gals and capping off their streak of five straight #1 singles. The remaining #1 hits were "Where Did Our Love Go," "Baby Love" and "Come See About Me."

14) I Can't Help Myself -- The Four Tops (1965): This single was their third to chart and their first #1. Though the group would continue to have many hits, only "Reach Out I'll Be There" would also make it to the #1 slot.


13) Mr. Tambourine Man -- The Byrds (1965): Though music historians have tidied up the narrative over the years, at the time when stuff was happening, some stuff seemed to be happening quicker than other stuff. It sure seems like by the summer of 1965 that the idea of electrifying a Bob Dylan song would've been done many times over. But then Dylan didn't do the electric thing on stage until the Newport Folk Festival of 1965.

12) (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction -- The Rolling Stones (1965): Surely, this sounds less revolutionary today, but if you listen consciously to the track, you can still hear a snarl that most music of the time does not have. Those lips make be trademarked into a corporate logo, but there was a time when it sounded like they were up to no good. What teenager couldn't love that?


11) I'm Henry VIII, I Am -- Herman's Hermits (1965): Just in case you thought the wheels were coming off the bus there, Herman and his Hermits (it says so right there with the possessive apostrophe s) assured us the 1960s were still full of respectable teens fully capable of being polite.

10) I Got You Babe -- Sonny and Cher (1965): Folk rock might seem like a made-up function, but most hyphenated genres are dubious at best. Heck, most genres are dubious. There aren't many of us who would admit to liking "Crap Rock."


9) Help! -- The Beatles (1965): The second film gave them another synergistic push for their second summer of world domination. Surely, someone at Brian Epstein's address kept a calendar around and knew the importance of timing your releases properly.

8) When A Man Loves A Woman -- Percy Sledge (1966): This song became his signature tune and for it he went into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You might think people would care a bit more about a singer who landed such an iconic track, yet whether it was "Out of Left Field," "Take Time To Know Her" or "True Love Travels On A Gravel Road," the results were never the same. Shame on us!


7) Paint It, Black -- The Rolling Stones (1966): Those snarling brats are back. Now they're back demanding someone paint their doors for them. The lesser bands would still rattle around with last year's sounds but the bigger bands led the way to what everyone else would be doing next year. Sir, your marimba!

6) Paperback Writer -- The Beatles (1966): Amp manufacturers and tech wizards deserve much of the credit for the revolutionary sounds of the day. No fuzz boxes, slower progress. Of course, leave it to McCartney to put a pretty smile on it, so everyone could like it and feel safe. In the back of his head, Lennon heard another way to express his anger.


5) Strangers In the Night -- Frank Sinatra (1966): Sinatra himself hated the song and made no secret of this hatred. Yet, it was his first #1 hit in 11 years. It gave non-teens a chance to think they still mattered to the culture in much the same way a new Bruce Springsteen song gives hope to his rapidly aging audience.

4) Hanky Panky -- Tommy James and the Shondells (1966): If you haven't read Tommy James' autobiography Me, The Mob, and The Music, by all means please do so.


3) Wild Thing -- The Troggs (1966): Sometimes the simplest idea is the best idea. Three chords and the truth! Or just three chords. To hell with the truth! The single was issued by two companies in the US, Fontana and Atco, with the Atco single offering up the better value with the B-side "With A Girl Like You," which would be the next single for the Fontana label. This is the only single to reach #1 by combining the sales of two different companies!

2) Summer In the City -- The Lovin' Spoonful (1966): The Spoonful had already had four top ten hits, including two that reached #2, when this became their only #1 hit, surely due in part to being released in time for the summer! Like comedy and sex, music is all about timing!


1) Sunshine Superman -- Donovan (1966): Donovan's only #1 hit in the US only made it to #2 in the UK, likely because it was held up by six months and not released until December, a time when England doesn't see much of sunshine and certainly doesn't need to be reminded that it exists elsewhere.

Interesting to note that the original single version was 3 minutes and 15 seconds, with each version on a Greatest Hits collection getting longer until it's now clocking in at 4 minutes, 41 seconds. If all songs grew like this, it's possible that most Don Henley hit singles are now seven minutes in length. And "Sunshine Superman" will be six minutes itself by 2031. We must stop music from growing in this way! Write your congressman!

Beverly Arts Center

Mud - July 17, 7:30pm
Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon star. Two teenage boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and to reunite him with his true love. Special summer REEL TALK[more]
Summer Camp & Class Registration
Plan summer fun now!
Camps sessions start throughout the summer.
New sessions begin July 8th.
Download the Summer Camp & Class schedule here
SAVE THE DATE! Fall class sale dates are Aug 5 and 6th! Fall schedule coming soon.

BAC Yard Music Fest
July 13
, 2-10:30 pm
Annual summer outdoor music festival featuring local bands and vendors. Festival-goers can enjoy a day of music and food. Rain or Shine the fest will go on. No outside food or coolers please.[schedule]
Disney's Winnie the Pooh Kids
July 12 - 7pm and July 14 - 2pm

Come to the Hundred Acre Wood, where Winnie the Pooh is once again in search of honey.  Along the way, he meets his pals Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit, and Owl, but soon discovers that Christopher Robin has been captured by the Backson! A BAC Star Student Production.[more]

Maggie Speaks performs A Tribute to the Eagles
July 26, 8pm

Don’t miss this special one night only concert as Southside legends Maggie Speaks perform a tribute to the Eagles.  This two hour note for note concert brings you all of the classic hits of one of the most successful musical acts of all-time.[more]
Our members help support and fund the BAC. Member benefits include discount on classes, shows and cinema tickets. Please join today!

July 14, 3 pm
Author afternoon presents John Records Landecker . When you’re born with the middle name “Records”, your destiny has been chosen for you. His former long-time producer, author Rick Kaempfer, has managed to pull those stories out of him in the pages of “Records Truly Is My Middle Name.[more]
The Figure as a Storyteller- 2nd Floor East Gallery-
Members Only Show - Atrium
Super Luke - Atrium
yes, yes, yes!!!! - Theater Gallery
Free Admission to all galleries. Free Receptions J
July 12, 7-9pm[more]

Jul 12, 2013

Hello fellow Morgan Park Alums

Hello fellow Morgan Park Alums – it’s been a while since you heard from your Reunion Committee, so we thought we’d better bring you up to date before you are completely embroiled in summer vacations with family and the prospects of your favorite baseball team. Speaking of sports, how about those Blackhawks?
Still on the subject of sports, the 2012 Mustangs football team were City Championship Runner Ups -  2nd Place in the entire City!  They did that with no access to a weight room over last summer due to the construction that also prevented us from touring the school during the August reunion.  The weight room they were finally able to access is woefully inadequate, and a group has been organized to totally renovate the facility.  (Frankly, the equipment might be the same as when we were there!) Check out the options for contributing at http://mustangsfootball.eventbrite.com/#. All contributions will be acknowledged with plaques and such – and YOU can help raise the estimated $5,000 needed to give the Mighty Mustangs the weight room they deserve.
Do you remember the excitement of a new Principal when Dr. Moore arrived at Morgan Park High School?  Well, this past March, another new Principal began HER tenure at Empehi. Read about Beverly resident Dr. Carolyn Epps at http://beverly-mtgreenwood.patch.com/groups/schools/p/morgan-park-high-school-new-principal-showcase-academic-offerings.
Sadly, your Reunion Committee must advise you of the death of two outstanding members of our Mid-60s classes.  Jennifer Elaine Adams distinguished herself as the first African-American senior class president at Morgan Park High School in 1967 and later as the first African-American woman to chair the board of the San Diego Foundation  These were just two of many personal and professional achievements before her death on April 11, 2013 from cancer.  Please read her beautiful and comprehensive obituary athttp://m.utsandiego.com/news/2013/apr/15/adams-brooks-dead-housing/.
In late May, Empehi’s own Lewis Yocum, Class of 1965, passed away after battling cancer. Dr. Yocum, “a giant in the world of sports orthopedic medicine,” was in his 36th season with the Los Angeles Angels and was considered to have saved the careers of countless professional athletes, many of them major-league and minor-league pitchers who underwent Tommy John surgery.  His equally impressive obituary can be found at http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/29/local/la-me-lewis-yocum-20130529.
We hope you will let us know of the death of any of our classmates, as each is respected and mourned by his/her family, friends and community.  Please post links or announcements on our website at http://www.morganparkhigh.com  And yes, we know it’s been months since we updated the website, and we fully intend to attend to that very soon.  We’ll start by re-posting the list of Missing Classmates.  The list is just too long to believe, and WE know that YOU know where many of these folks are located.  Don’t become one of the missing – let us know if you retire, move, give up your land line or otherwise change your contact info.  E-mail us atmorganparkhigh@gmail.com with the Subject “Change of Information.”
Can you believe that 2016 will mark 100 years of Morgan Park High School serving the families of the Morgan Park/Beverly Community?  A committee has been formed to plan an entire year of activities in celebration of our school’s history and achievements.  If you’d like to be a part of the planning, contact Carisa Parker, Class of 1992, at 773-967-5310 or via email at morganparkmustangs@gmail.com.
Your Reunion Committee must confess that there is tremendous appeal in the idea of a 50threunion for the Class of 1966 (and Class of '67 friends, of course!) nestled among the hoopla of Empehi’s 100th birthday celebration.  We’re looking at options, and we'll let you know as plans develop.  Have a great summer!

Jul 9, 2013

Back From Russia

Saying Goodbye to our Sister City of Vladimir, Russia.  Vladimir was the capital of old Russia in the year 1,000 and is a Sister City with Sarasota, Florida. The Mayor and his staff treated us very well and we stayed in their homes during the visit.

                               We had a great time in Vladimir. The Mayor and his staff 
                               and the Police Chief took great care of us and showed us
                               the town and region.  Vladimir and the region are 
                               beautiful and the people are very nice.  Our thanks to 
                               them and an open invitation to visit us in Sarasota.  
                               The photo is at the Vladimir train station.


The Vladimir Team From Sarasota

From Left to Right - Richard “Yuri” & Betty “Lara” Greenspan, Richard “Dema” & Vicki “Vika” Swenson, 
Fred “Vladimir” Bloom, Craig “Igor” Beth “Lissa” Ruyle Hullinger, Yulia “Yulia” Alexander “Sasha” 
Gaukhman (Shown below).

Vladimir / Sarasota Team

Our team is composed of nine individuals who are part of the Sarasota Sister Cities organization.  We are 
pleased to meet with the leadership of our Sister City of Vladimir, Russia.  A brief summary of our 
backgrounds below:   
Dr. Richard “Yuri” Greenspan is a Dentist and US Army Veteran.

Betty “Lara” Greenspan is a Registered Nurse.

Richard “Dema” Swenson is a US Army Major retired.

Vicki “Vika”Swenson was formerly with the International Monetary Fund.  

Dr. Fred “Vladimir” Bloom is an Allergist practicing in the Sarasota area.

Craig “Igor” Hullinger is a City Planner and economic development consultant.

Beth “Lissa” Ruyle Hullinger is a City Consultant & President of Sarasota Sister Cities.

Yulia “Yulia” Gaukhman is a Entrepreneur and Real Estate professional.

Dr. Alexander “Sasha” Gaukhman is a Dentist and an expert in technology.

sarasotasistercities@gmail.com        sarasotasistercities.com             sarasotavladimir.blogspot.com             

Click for a Printable Version



Lovely Churches 

Meeting with the Mayor

Presenting Awards to the Young Vladimir Playwrights

Meeting at the American House

Lovely Gardens in the City

Meeting With Vladimir Rotary Club

On July 1 Rotary club Vladimir received nine guests from Sister Cities Association of Sarasota. Beth Ruyle and Craig Hullinger, Dr. Richard and Betty Greenspan, Richard and Viki Swenson, Dr. Fred Bloom, Dr. Alexander and Yulia Gaukhman were invited by Vladimir City Administration and spent in Vladimir several days.Taking into consideration the long and close friendly relations between Rotarians of Vladimir and Sarasota guests from Sister City attended Vladimir Rotary club meeting, during which the president rotation procedure took place. Alexander Shinkovich entered on President’s duties, and Elena Baklanova entered on Secretary’s duties. (Look photo report) 

Lovely Historic Church in Souzdal

We also visited Moscow and St Petersburg and several smaller historic communities. Details on our blogs.