Category Archives: Joliet

Labor-Managment Conflict in Blue-Collar America: The Caterpillar Strike in Joliet

Without Caterpillar Corporation, I probably wouldn’t exist. Once upon a time, a Kansas farm boy (my grandfather) moved to central Illinois with some of his brothers to find work. He eventually caught on at Caterpillar in Peoria, where he became … Continue reading

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A Tribute: Remarks at My Grandmother’s Funeral

If you had met Millie Bryson for the first time in the last few months of her life, it would have been easy to underestimate her. She was 98 years old, blind, hard of hearing, and increasingly forgetful. She lived … Continue reading

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A Remembrance: Millie Bryson, 1914 — 2012

My grandmother Millie was one of the most important and influential people in my life, and it was a distinct honor to write her obituary this week. Here is the full text, which is reprinted in today’s edition of the … Continue reading

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Walking to Grandma Millie’s

Not long ago I walked with my kids from our home in Joliet to my Grandmother Millie’s house to pay her a friendly visit. The distance is nine-tenths of a mile: long enough for me to get a little exercise, … Continue reading

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Bulldozing the Rights of the People: That’s the Illiana Way

Remember the Prairie Parkway? Just a few years ago, it was the Big New Road Project of choice in northeastern Illinois. A monumentally dumb idea for a whole host of reasons, the Prairie Parkway fortunately fizzled after the recession of … Continue reading

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Nature and Culture Explorations in Chicago and Joliet

This weekend I’m schlepping my two children around the Chicago region from one interesting bit of landscape to another. I’m testing their patience, as Lily and Esmé are only ten and five years old, respectively; but the beautiful weather and … Continue reading

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Celebrating Sustainability at GR2012 in Joliet

This past Saturday, I attended GR2012, the 3rd annual Celebrating Sustainability festival in my hometown of Joliet, IL. The past couple of years I had attended with my family purely in the role of visitors to the festival’s original location … Continue reading

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The Airport Nobody Wants or Needs

The Saturday before Earth Day, Jesse Jackson, Jr. and a contingent of political supporters rode down to the farmlands of eastern Will County to spade up a little dirt in a pious promotion of the ill-fated Great Imaginary (aka Peotone) … Continue reading

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Gardening for Life: Lessons from Hufford Jr. High

I’ve met Doris Hamm only once, but she’s already one of my heroes. She’s started something here in Joliet that’s going to change the world, one school and one kid at a time. Hamm is a teacher’s assistant at Joliet’s … Continue reading

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Urban Agriculture in Joliet

The phrase “urban agriculture” might seem like an oxymoron. But this burgeoning social and economic movement is revolutionizing food production, land use, K-12 education, and community development in big cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Oakland. But smaller cities like my … Continue reading

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