Above / Dr. Daryl Wilson and Doug Skotnicki represented Edward Hospital in April when they presented the 2016 EMS (Emergency Medical Services) “Run of the Year” to Naperville Fire Department Station 7/Red Shift, Engine 7, Medic 7 and Medic 9.
PN first became familiar with his taller-than-most stature and long dreadlocks whenever Edward sent news about the “Run for the Quarter,” stories featuring local heroes from the Naperville Fire Department, recognized for quickly responding to medical emergencies.
Friday afternoon Gayle Lee contacted PN with news that Dr. Wilson is featured in “Men,” a short film being shown in the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival.
The 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival is set for May 17-28. The invitation-only film festival held in Cannes, France, previews new films from a variety of genres around the world.
“The website just went live today,” she said.
Lee went on to say a portion of the documentary was filmed here in Naperville. “It seems newsworthy,” she added.
The film portrays the lives of four American men in three parts, each with its own subtitle: “Chef Opera Singer” features Alexander Smalls; the “Texas Cowboy Twins” are the Moody Brothers, Eric and Derrick; and the “Punk Rock Doctor” is Dr. Wilson.
After watching the trailer, we agreed that the film is newsworthy. We also noted and respect that Dr. Wilson calls himself an “independent thinker.”
During a subsequent phone conversation, Wilson provided some vital statistics. He’s a 6’5” African American man. He was reared in Michigan until he moved to Naperville his senior year in high school.
To relieve his teenage angst, Wilson recalls taking up skateboarding and connecting with the aggressive edge and raw energy of punk rock music, discovering that all kinds of music helped set the balance for all parts of his brain.
The Naperville Central graduate went to Illinois Benedictine College (now Benedictine University) in 1989 to study biology. Later he received his medical degree from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, internship at MacNeal Memorial, residency at John Stroger Hospital of Cook County, and he’s been in practice ever since.
Wilson returned to Naperville 14 years ago where he and his wife are raising three young daughters and a Labrador-Pointer mix, and he’s in charge of EMS at Edward. On the flip side, he’s also is a professional singer, songwriter and punk rocker. In fact, he started singing vocals for the BollWeevils in 1989. All these years later, he still does.
He notes his after-hours gig as the lead singer of the Chicago band helps release tension. Through music, he can let go of the frustration and elation that come with losing and saving lives every day.
“My music is a great outlet. I get to jump around on stage and fling myself all over the place, even falling down sometimes.”
From Wilson’s point of view, the purpose of the documentary is to show African American life “the way most of us truly are. We’re typical middle of the road, trying to live a middle class life.”
He added, “To be good, you have to experience failure and learn from it. Every good doctor has failed at something to become successful. Just like every great chef has burned a few dinners.”
Though the trailer is simply a snippet of the final cut of the short film, we observed three different slices of life; each depicting outspoken men seeking freedom, self-interest and independence, with goals to accomplish what they believe from the heart.
We look forward to seeing more after the Cannes Film Festival.
PN File Photos submitted by Keith Hartenberger for Edward.