Still snarky after 70+ years

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By Mary Kay O'Grady


The week before the election of the new Pope, who appears to be a good man, I blogged about men who wore fancy hats and robes as symbols of power. I intended to put forth a reasoned inquiry into outdated customs, but, as is my wont, I was more than a bit snarky. Some people accused me of bashing men. I have been fortunate enough to have men in my life who raised me, are raising my grandchildren, taught me, loved me, married me, supported me and laughed with me. Mea culpa . . . maybe.

I turned seventy-three last week. I'm no longer newly-old (70), but I'm not yet take-away-her-driver's-license-old. I even have a number of positive things in my life that I did not have last year, for which, hooray.

I joined the Saints organization, the people who usher at plays and concerts in exchange for free tickets. I've seen more plays this year than ever before and more ballet than I have in years. Since I use public transportation, I stick to matinees and venues that are close to EL lines. I tend to avoid musicals, except for the wonderful 'Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks' that played at the Open Door Rep here in Oak Park. Even in the small storefront theatres, I have only seen superb acting this year, including at the Free Readers' Ensemble, which has moved to the 19th Century Club. Chicago is really a terrific theatre city. I had Julius Caesar at Chicago Shakespeare last week, From Doo Wop to Hip Hop at Black Ensemble Theatre on Saturday and the Chicago Symphony on Sunday! Lucky me.

Since I moved to the highrise near the Lake Theatre, I have a sensational view and I've found several friends close to my age to share coffee and news. We're a very eclectic group of women, all retired, including a foreign service officer, a judge, an art historian and a couple of former business owners. I like that we can adjust our conversation so that one week we lend an ear to someone's health crisis and the next we talk about art or history. Lucky mel.

Thanks to Shirley Johnson of the Lake Theatre, the First Tuesday Film Society has completed its first year. The movies have been mostly independent, foreign language and documentaries and they've been sold out much of the time! You can get on the email list by going to Be sure to come early to get a seat!

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