Eileen and I ended up in La Grange by accident. We had friends and relatives living in the western suburbs and so we started looking for a house in the area. We wanted good schools, three bedrooms, a basement and a house near the train in a good community. We found our home one block from a park, one
block from a school and in a great neighborhood. Our new neighbors were very excited when they introduced themselves to my father-in-law thinking he would be their new neighbor. Sally and Wally were 70 years young and great neighbors. They quickly figured out that if they fed me I would do just about anything. I shoveled the driveway and Sally brought me stuffed mushrooms, I helped Wally with a tree trimming and Sally gave the kids the biggest snickers bars ever. When
Wally turned 80 the kids from the block had a parade for him.
La Grange was different then. We had a covered mall on Calendar Court,
Nick’s, In-Kahoots, Magic Wok on La Grange Road and Palmer’s was only the front
portion of the current restaurant. Nick’s was a hamburger joint (now the Grapevine) that had the best greasy burger ever…..I mean when you got home the bag was soaked…….not good for you……but GOOD eatin’……..We had several empty store fronts and a very limited selection of retailers to choose from. I spent a lot of time at Horton’s and Saxon’s (now Floyd’s and Francesca’s) getting the house ready. You could tell back then that this place was special, it just needed a push.
We met wonderful people. The neighbors were welcoming and fun. We had lots of kids on the block so we were always out and about on the block. Great block parties, lunch with ten kids at a time and lots of really good people.
Then a funny thing happened, I opened a business and put it here in La Grange and we were fully committed. We joined the local business association and started to become active in the community.
As a business owner I started hearing about Streetscape improvements, started asking questions, introduced myself to some of the village staff, Eileen attended a board meeting at Seventh Avenue School and fought to get new lights for the area and we started to see first-hand that the transition had started. Streetscape was
the first steps in reshaping the village. It was a leap of faith….believing that if we invested in new sidewalks and streets the village would attract new business and blossom. It worked. The village had a good plan and executed the plan. The vision of the board was coming true.
We got involved with the community through little league, girl scouts, boy scouts, PTO, park district basketball and the LaGrange Business Association. The LGBA used to have Endless Summer, a three/four day fest with bands, carnival and more. I got involved and got to know the business community pretty well. Our choice of LaGrange was a great one…..even if by accident. We are committed to keeping La Grange working.
This is why I work hard for the Village of La Grange as a Trustee. I am running with Bill Holder and Dave McCarty in the April 9th election because we want to make memories for other families.