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Friday, June 21, 2024

September Editor’s Notes: 21 Years of Positively Naperville


Let us begin the way we usually end: Thanks for reading!

This month’s front page features “Cheers to 21 Years” as PN passes its 21-year mark in print and online. This issue as well as the next 11 issues will take a peek at people, places and projects that can be associated with the good luck of 21, sometimes on a rocky road.

And let us express gratitude to wordsmith Chuck Corrigan for the idea to feature a “21 Pun Salute” on the front page. Irish we’d thought of it earlier!

Instead, the deal on the front page features Blackjack, an ancient card game that is won with an ace (11 points) and a face card (10 points) totaling “21.” The headshot of our city’s namesake, Joseph Naper, as the jack of hearts connotes whatever you wish. Yet, for a little history lesson, Naper’s image was designed by cartoonist Dick Locher using the only photo of the Great Lakes sea captain in the Naper Settlement archives. Locher’s maquette was sculpted into bronze by artist Jeff Adams for Century Walk. Since 2013, the sculpture has stood 9.5’ tall in the historic block called “Naper Homestead,” located at Jefferson and Mill streets.

Visit Naper Homestead where history comes alive via stories presented along the path carefully planned by Naper Settlement and Century Walk. As former Mayor Chet Rybicki used to say about Naper Settlement, “Visit Yesterday Today.” (PN Photo, Sept. 1, 2022)

Meanwhile, I’ve been flipping through printed pages of old PNs, rambling and reminiscing with memories that reflect the changes in our community as well as the challenges that we’d hoped would unite us with can-do spirit to accomplish good things.

Thanks for supporting local businesses

We’d hoped to be an authentic voice for small businesses, presenting the value of shopping and dining locally whenever possible in support of the community, its charities and its rich history.

Back when PN was launched with its small-business focus, Mike Skarr led the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, following Executive Directors such as Jack Romine, known each to have served more than a decade.

Back in 2005, Mike Skarr, then-CEO-President of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, recognized then-Mayor George Pradel and other former Naperville Mayors, Peg Price and Chet Rybicki, for their service. Mayor Price is credited with starting the annual State of the City Address in 1989, hosted by the NACC. (PN File Photo)

Since Skarr retired in 2007, the Chamber has had five executive directors, plus two past-board presidents who served one year together while the search was conducted for a new NACC Prez/CEO.

And thanks to our network of subscribers and supporters, our independently-owned enterprise has weathered these storms better than expected. Thanks to thousands of friends just like you who see the value of investing in free speech and good satire, we’re still pushing forward, trying to stay on the bright side.

In the U.S., when you reach the age of 21, you’re legally allowed to purchase and consume alcohol. Ironically, you can serve in the military and vote at the age of 18, but you still have to wait three more years until you “legally” can have an alcoholic beverage. It’s also a coincidence in our way of thinking that the 21st Amendment is the one that abolished the 18th Amendment that prohibited intoxicating alcohol on a national scale. Go figure.

Triangle Number 6 equals 21.

More ‘21’ references

Twenty-one is known as a “triangle number.” Twenty-one is a number that is the sum of the first six whole numbers (1+2+3+4+5+6=21). Twenty-one also is the amount of dots on a 6-sided die.

A shape with 21 sides is called an icosikaihenagon. For obvious reasons, it’s a rarely talked-about shape!

The 21-gun salute, recognized by many nations, is the highest honor rendered. This tradition goes all the way back to the times when the navies of the world still shot cannonballs. Here in Naperville, the 12-member Honor Guard, led by Commander James Oftedal, performs the 21-gun salute during Memorial Day Parades, September 11 Remembrances and Veterans Day observances, etc.

From gaming to Constitutional amendments to matters of metaphysics, the number 21 can be found in many aspects of our lives while we keep moving forward to 22.

Again, and as always, thanks for reading! Cheers!

Stephanie Penick,
PN Publisher

PS. This website offers the latest N.E.W.S., bonus content and local lore. The September issue of Positively Naperville in print is Vol. 22., No. 1.

As curious observers, we thank Ray Kinney, our sponsoring advertisers, contributing columnists, expert photographers and devoted readers with plenty of ever wonder and a lasting impression.

“Lasting Impression” is a regular feature that appears with a photo and caption on the bottom right of the next to last page of Positively Naperville in print.

Riverwalk Civic Plaza (PN Photo, August 2022)

The Civic Plaza along the Riverwalk is a reminder that the winding brick path now with three covered bridges was dedicated on Labor Day 1981. Thanks to can-do community spirit, the Riverwalk now extends from Jefferson Avenue to Hillside Road. Help keep it well-maintained, safe and beautiful in the heart of downtown Naperville.



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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.