...And That's My OpinionŠ

By Sandy Goldman

The Rogers Park Community Curmudgeon

Circus! Circus!

Last week, I went to my favorite Circus!

Not the circus in Decatur, led by Ringmaster Jesse Jackson, posturing, rhyming and missing the point.

Not Alderman Joe Moore's (49th Ward) three-ring circus in Rogers Park, which features in the center ring the Rogers Park Community Action Network (RPCAN) suing to prevent the Department of Housing and Development (HUD) from selling its foreclosed Peoples Housing properties North of Howard to developers of affordable condos. In the right ring the newly formed Forum 49 who originally positioned themselves as community oriented, but whose focus is now clearly political!! (perhaps with the tacit approval of some elected officials.) In the left circle (pun intended) the year 2000's NEW Rogers Park Community Council and its subsidiary, the Rogers Park Community Development Corporation (RPCDC) trying to find any kind of focus in the world of reality in rapidly gentrifying Rogers Park.

No, last week I went to the real Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey 129th presentation of "The Greatest Show on Earth".

By my count this is the 30th circus my family has attended. It has become a family tradition - first our children and then our children's children. We have traveled from the Ampitheatre to the United Center with Rosemont in between; from the Stockyard Inn to the Como Inn with a few other restaurants in between.

There are other traditions. We've had father-son Bear football outings and father-daughter luncheons at Don Roth's Blackhawk Restaurant on Wabash Avenue. Carol has taken them to Christmas shows: The Nutcracker and Holiday on Ice.

Nothing has remained the constant family tradition as has the circus. On one occasion-the retirement performance of renowned Gunther Gebel Williams-our daughter flew home from Seattle, simply to be together with us at the circus. Our circus gatherings have been one of the pillars of our families' foundation.

As I looked around the United Center that evening, I observed other family units: black white, Hispanic, Asian; parents with children and grandparents with grandchildren.

It was Scout Day as well. There were hundreds of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Brownies! All were kept in tow by nurturing adult leaders and by volunteer parents.

It was then that I wondered "Where was the family unity of those thugs in Decatur? Where was the adult leadership which allowed the acceptance of such a thing as three three-year freshman students? Can you imagine repeating the freshman year of high school three times and nobody does anything?

Instead of trying to recreate Little Rock, Selma and other events of the turbulent 60's the Reverend Jackson should have investigated and examined the family life of these miscreants. Instead of trying to force the kids into regular school classes, he should have taken the parents to school-parenting school. Instead of seeking five million dollars for each of the fighters (a purse worthy of a professional boxer, not a street fighter) he should have sued the parents! While parents are not responsible for the actions of their adult children, they are and should be responsible for their adolescent children. Where were the parents in Decatur? Missing!!!

Here's a rhyme for the Rev. Rhymemaster:

"Lack of good parental time,

Will often lead to a life of crime."

...And that's my opinion.

And I'm Sandy Goldman

Send me your e-mail address or those of others who would be interested and I'll add them to my rapidly growing distribution list.


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To Email Me: smgoldman@ameritech.net