Above / Our 4-year-old granddaughter loves to sing songs from the soundtrack of Annie. She knows every word to “Tomorrow” and you can bet your bottom dollar she’s quick to correct me if I dare to miss the right word. With love in her heart, she’ll tell you when you’re silly and that there are seven colors in every rainbow. When she’s not humming while working puzzles or playing ice cream shop, she sweetly sings, “The sun will come out tomorrow.”
Let us entertain you while trying to weave lyrics from Carousel, Oklahoma, Porgy and Bess, Hamilton and other musicals into this month’s commentary. Thanks to singing along with memorable show tunes, I never walk alone, even when I’m all by myself. So here goes…
June is busting out all over as we promote good old summertime events, featuring fun from Centennial Beach to Frontier Park, from Central Park to the Riverwalk, from Commissioners Park to Nike Park, from now through Labor Day.
After more than two years of dealing with the unknowns of lockdowns, business disruption, distribution costs, rising inflation and higher gas prices, we’re still here, looking forward to previewing events more than reviewing them. Some inquiring minds expressed disappointment when informed it’s not our mission to “cover” what’s happened. We prefer encouraging words about upcoming events to engage folks in what’s being planned.
Mindful of our rich, sometimes imperfect history, and the challenges that unite us right here in River City, that’s the way we were when we first launched PN in 2001. And it remains our primary plan.
Moving right along…
In late May, the U.S. Census released data that the population in Illinois lost more than 104,000 people in the 12 months up to July 1, 2021.
Back up a decade. Counts tallied from the 2020 Census Illinois showed declining population, resulting in the loss of an Illinois House seat. Now there’s been a recount of the 2020 Census that boasts Illinois grew by more than 250,000 people. Our city on the DuPage River reports a slight population bump, too.
Yet, we’re aware many solid citizens split for Arizona, Florida, Texas, Tennessee and the Carolinas. We wonder what information to trust.
Oh, Mamma Mia, I can still recall. Our last summer, I still see it all…
Our pages featured the great outdoors, reminding folks to keep their distance, promoting common-sense behavior. We provided common advice given to us for everybody, all ages, to wash hands as long as it takes to hum the “Happy Birthday” song.
Reminiscing by singing along with songs on our playlist allows us to focus on the upbeat, the fearless and the bright side.
We imagine our 4-year-old granddaughter’s singing along with Olaf while she watches Frozen, “When life gets rough, I like to hold on to my dream of relaxing in the summer sun, just lettin’ off steam.”
And there are beautiful mornings when “I’ve got a beautiful feelin’ everything’s goin’ my way… All the sounds of the earth are like music…”
Summertime, and the fish are jumpin’ at May Watts Pond, Lake Osborne and in the DuPage River. “One of these mornings, you’re going to rise up singin’. Then you’ll spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky” like Mallard ducks and other local waterfowl. Just don’t feed them human snacks.
Sing. Sing a song…
Considering recent challenges, we hope voters in our community, county and state have been paying attention. Hope. We’ve got high hopes!
Though this community publication does not publish press releases from elected officials, our head isn’t in the sand. Especially during campaign season, we’re inundated with news that we try to follow. We don’t live in La La Land. (Moreover, most movies made out there without meaningful words and sounds of music put us to sleep.)
Yet, in our own corny way, we still imagine the starry possibility of looking into “somebody’s eyes to light up the skies. To open the world and send it reeling. A voice that says, ‘I’ll be here and you’ll be alright.’”
Then there’s the scene from Hamilton set in 1789 when voices sing to Thomas Jefferson, “We are engaged in a battle for our nation’s very soul. Can you get us out of the mess we’re in?”
And we digress to the enthusiasm of Lucille Ball in Wildcat back in 1961 when she sang, “Hey look ‘em over, lend ‘em an ear.”
On that note, we hope voters become familiar with all candidates running in the Primary. Be prepared to vote Tues., June 28. (Polls are open from 6AM to 7PM on Election Day.)
More than ever, we’re grateful to our advertising sponsors, contributing columnists, photographers and our web printing press. Thank you for reading.
Editor’s Postscript / A week ago while preparing to go to press, we were met with challenges of scheduling press time during the Monday holiday weekend to commemorate Memorial Day. Other obstacles out of our control, complicated by unreliable e-devices, have the June publication running behind schedule. Thanks for all the inquiries. We plan to have the racks around town with the June edition filled sometime Tuesday. Thanks also for your patience and kind words. —Stephanie Penick