Cubs fans are finding an excuse to celebrate their first World Series berth since 1945 just about anywhere. Even cemeteries.
After I ran into Elgin Area School District U-46 spokeswoman Mary Fergus Monday at an education funding forum at Elgin High School, she mentioned she and her mother recently visited her father's grave at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines. He happens to be buried near beloved Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray.
Hanging out around Caray's section 42W grave was a group of Cubs fans drinking beer and toasting the beloved broadcaster known for his exclamation of "Holy Cow" and his ebullient seventh inning stretch.
I found some remnants of the scene Fergus described when I took a trip to section 42W the next day: a few empty Budweiser and Old Style cans, a "W" flag, a Cubs drink koozie and a National League Division Champion pennant.
Catholic Cemeteries spokesman Javier Garcia did not immediately return calls seeking comment on whether this is an issue for the cemetery.
Commemorative baseballs ... for a cause
Huntley resident Bob Ibach -- the Cubs' PR director from 1981 to '89 -- says one of his clients, St. Louis-based NikcoSports.com, is having Rawlings produce 5,000 four-baseball sets with all proceeds donated to Cubs Charities. The baseballs, which are $99 per set, honor the 1907, 1908 and 2016 Cubs, plus there's a Wrigley Field history ball, all housed inside a display case. Visit www.nikcosports.com or call (800) 345-2868.
Inching toward a solution
State Rep. Fred Crespo tells me there's been some progress during meetings of Gov. Bruce Rauner's education funding advisory panel focused on coming up with ways to change the state's school funding formula. Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, says the group of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle gets together every few weeks for meetings run by state Education Secretary Beth Purvis. The panel is scheduled to report to Rauner by February.
Positive response to forum
The first in a series of panels on education funding hosted by the Illinois Humanities Council was a success on Monday, with roughly 60 parents and students turning out to voice their thoughts. Among those in attendance at the Elgin High School event: the Rev. Nathaniel Edmond of Elgin's Second Baptist Church, U-46 Community Advisory Council Chair Sue Kerr, Crespo and others. The next one's scheduled for Dec. 15 at Bartlett High School covering the topic of demographic change and the ways districts and schools adapt. Laura Washington, columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, is moderating other forums the council is hosting in Chicago. Other forums are scheduled for downstate Illinois. Check out www.ilhumanities.org.
Naperville on the silver screen
Hat tip to Managing Editor Jim Baumann for spotting the Naperville North High School reference in the Ben Affleck film "The Accountant" when Anna Kendrick's character, Dana Cummings, is talking about her high school days. She notes she wanted to make an impression at a high school dance with a $1,700 Vera Wang dress. But she couldn't afford it, so she read up on how to play blackjack at the Harrah's Casino in Joliet. While she blew through most of her money, she eventually won $2,000 on a nickel slot, allowing her to pay for both the dress and a limo ride to the dance.
I had to pull over on Euclid Avenue in Arlington Heights to get a photo of election signs for Judge Carrie Hamilton, which feature a clever nod to "Hamilton," the award winning Lin-Manuel Miranda musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton. Judge Hamilton, of Glencoe, was appointed to fill a vacancy in Cook County's 12th Subcircuit in July 2015 and is running against Glenview attorney David Studenroth.