Fittest loser

Articles filed under Constable, Burt

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  • Sisters Debbie, 18, right, and Janet, 19, Frontier enjoy an evening with Ringo Starr in 1975. Jeanette Frontier won a radio station contest and gave her daughters the prize.

    Ringo love set in sidewalk stone and contest winner's memoryFeb 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Beatles, like winter, seem to be hanging around far longer than anyone might have anticipated. Still, I am skeptical when readers assure me that Ringo's daily presence in the suburbs has been set in stone for almost half a century. Often regarded as the least-handsome, least-talented, and least-crush-worthy Beatle, Ringo always had his fans in the suburbs. And still does.

  • Known for advocating for change on social issues, 81-year-old Lloyd Levin looks to the past when it comes to Valentine's Day. His antique card collection features some true works of art.

    Mount Prospect man loves valentines of oldFeb 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    A lover of fresh ideas and grand schemes, Mount Prospect's Lloyd Levin appreciates the forgotten charms of his vast Valetine's Day card collection that boasts romantic greetings from the 1800s. “I was brought up in a time when you wooed your girlfriend,” Levin says. Having traveled from Bangkok to New Zealand to Paris and beyond during his long career, Levin still doles out an antique card to “people who do normal work and don't get thanked for it,” he says.

  • Having spent so many happy moments with her husband, Bill, in their 75-degree greenhouse, 85-year-old widow Penny Bailey will take those memories with her as she moves into senior housing. But she has to decide which of the hundreds of plants will come with her.

    Rolling Meadows woman to leave greenhouse where joy blossomed Feb 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    No matter how cold it gets this winter, Penny Bailey escapes to her 75-degree paradise in Rolling Meadows. Now widowed and about to move into a senior living facility, she is selecting a few plants from her greenhouse to move with her. “I really enjoy caring for them,” Penny says. “It's like children. You can't have a favorite. Every plant has a story.”

  • With sweat dripping off his nose, Igor Mikhno, 32, of Wheeling takes in the 210-degree heat of Chicago’s Sweatlodge old-world sauna.

    Sweatlodge’s ethnic melting pot offers escape from winter Feb 4, 2014 12:00 AM
    The polar vortex still has its grip on us, but one suburban man really knows how to thaw out by hitting the sweatlodge. “It’s kind of Russian tradition to go to sauna and go to cold water,” Wheeling resident Igor Mikhno, 32, says in his heavy Russian accent befitting the guy who came in from the cold. “I used to do this with my father in Belarus.”

  • As 14-year-old girls lucky enough to have $5.50 tickets to see The Beatles at the International Amphitheater in Chicago in 1966, Mary Dickson, left, of Sleepy Hollow and Rita Bullington of Chicago still love The Beatles. Paul was Dickson’s favorite, and Bullington favored George.

    Suburbanites recall Beatlemania’s arrival 50 years ago Feb 2, 2014 12:00 AM
    It might have happened 50 years ago, but the memories of The Beatles coming to America still bring out the teenage girl in many suburbanites. “Even today, when I hear a Beatles song, I can get that same feeling as when I was 13 or 15,” says Mary Dickson, 62, of Sleepy Hollow. “It was exciting. It was different.”

  • Buying the first Rolling Meadows house that offered a basement, 85-year-old retired engineer Ed Evenson has used his workshop to make everything from pocket sundials to educational children’s toys.

    Inventor’s crusade against fractions may be 5/16ths done Jan 30, 2014 12:00 AM
    An engineer, author, inventor, historian, toymaker and activist when called, 85-year-old Ed Evenson is on a new quest: to rid our schools of fractions. “What I do now is write for the grandkids — things I think they should know about, but don’t,” says the grandfather of nine. “This campaign I’m on now is because of my engineering background. As far as I’m concerned, fractions are a waste of time.”

  • It's not unheard of for the suburbs to get a winter visit from an arctic snowy owl, says Bob Andrini, president of Kane County Audubon, who took this photograph in 2011. But the majestic white owls have been spotted here in record numbers this year.

    Suburbs put out welcome mat for nature's arctic visitorsJan 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    The piles of snow and life-threatening windchills are boosting tourism for this area when it comes to snowy owls. The bird generally associated with the arctic has been spotted visiting our neck of the woods. “It's unprecedented,” says John Bates, associate curator of birds for The Field Museum in Chicago. “They've moved south in big numbers.”

  • Known mostly as the lead blocker for Hall-of-Fame running back Walter Payton, Chicago Bear Roland Harper averaged 4 yards per carry for his career and scored 18 touchdowns.

    Former Payton blocker clears way for Elgin's Little Angels Jan 26, 2014 12:00 AM
    After an NFL career clearing the way for his Chicago Bears teammate Walter Payton, Roland Harper puts that same energy into helping his disabled son and other residents of Little Angels in Elgin. “I'm going to be there until he doesn't need me anymore," he says of Calvin, 30.

  • Jonathon Guse, 15, greets Morgan, who fetches the newspaper every day at their home in Glen Ellyn.

    The dog days of winter can warm spirits Jan 23, 2014 12:00 AM
    During this winter of our discontent, the snow and cold have made it difficult to depend on everything from mail delivery to vacation flights. Then there is Morgan, who is as dependable as they come. There can be a foot of snow. The windchill can be well below zero. And Morgan still delivers the morning paper.

  • For most of his life, this salute by retired Navy Cmdr. Robert E. Griffith would have been in violation of the U.S. Flag Code because the seasonal Florida resident from Arlington Heights isn't in uniform. Hoping to make a statement at this year's Super Bowl, Griffith is trying to publicize a recent change in the code that allows all veterans and military members the right to salute the flag, even while wearing civilian clothes.

    Arlington Hts. man fights for military salute at Super Bowl Jan 19, 2014 12:00 AM
    Calling himself "a one-man army," retired Navy Cmdr. Robert E. Griffith of Arlington Heights works tirelessly on his dream for this year's Super Bowl: to get all military veterans to salute the flag during the national anthem. “Most people are unaware" of a change in the flag code allowing such a salute, he said, speaking to the ability of this one event to change that.

  • My old high school not only had this Rebel as a mascot, we raised banners reading “The South Will Rise Again,” called the student newspaper the “Stars and Bars,” and flew a confederate flag on the school flagpole.

    Clark the Cub: Maybe not the worst mascot ever Jan 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    Worst mascot ever? Burt Constable thinks Clark the Cub has plenty of competition. And they all seem better than his old high school's mascot.

  • Having always wanted to work in a doctor's office, single mom Lindsay Beckman went back to school last January. After completing a fast-track course at Computer Systems Institute in Elgin, the 26-year-old Hanover Park woman now works as a medical assistant at Northwest Suburban Urology Associates in Elk Grove Village.

    Single mom uses education to turn life around in a year Jan 14, 2014 12:00 AM
    As a single mom who would bring her young daughters to her job at a pest-control company, Lindsay Beckman of Hanover Park imagined a better life. She went back to school, got the training she needed and now has her dream job in a medical office. In this economy, lots of adults are turning to trade schools in the hopes of finding paths to new careers.

  • Teased for being a “nerd” during his childhood in Grayslake, Josh Wittenkeller is hoping to be crowned “King of the Nerds,” during the second season of the reality competition TV show that premieres Jan. 23 on the TBS network.

    'King of Nerds' contestant already a pioneer Jan 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    A TBS TV reality show competition starting this month will decide if Josh Wittenkeller has what it takes to be crowned "King of the Nerds." But the Graylake native already qualifies as a pioneer in the post-Internet economy with his YouTube business that draws millions of fans who watch him play and talk about video games.

  • This bottle of Mongolian Fire Oil has been around longer than the kitchen cabinet where it resides. It would have been tossed a decade ago if not for its sentimental value tied to an old family video.

    Tossing expired chicken soup is good for the soul Jan 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    Nothing warms your soul on a cold day like throwing out all the expired food that could have killed you. Going through our shelves is like flipping through an old photo album. Any day when you can combine lifesaving and happy family memories is a good one.

  • With this snow and bitter cold, local cemeteries need to do a little extra to make sure burials still take place on time.

    Brutally cold weather can complicate things, even for the dead Jan 7, 2014 12:00 AM
    The arctic cold doesn't just mess with the living. Snow and subzero temperatures make it difficult for the dead to be buried. If shoveling your front walk seems impossible in Monday’s 16-degrees-below-zero chill, imagine how difficult this weather can be for gravediggers.

  • Jim Stoecker says he's eaten a pizza almost every day for the past seven years.

    Long Grove businessman eats pizza daily — about 2,400 days and counting Dec 29, 2013 12:00 AM
    When a retired Long Grove business executive discovered his favorite "date night" pizza place was in danger of closing, he and his wife swooped in and found new careers as restauranteurs. Now, Jim Stoeker figures he's eaten pizza almost every one of the past 2,400 days.

  • In her annual Thanksgiving letter to clients, Wheaton financial planner Theresa Hannon included a $100 bill and a request to use that money for a good cause. It proved to be a good investment in human nature.

    Financial adviser's $100 bills come with nice catchDec 22, 2013 12:00 AM
    In her annual Thanksgiving letter to clients, Wheaton financial planner Theresa Hannon included a $100 bill and a request to use that money for a good cause. It proved to be a good investment in human nature. “It's so heartwarming,” Hannon says. “People say, 'Oh, what you've done is great,' and I haven't done anything. They did it.”

  • Nobody has taken more Harper College art classes than Bernie Bluestein, right. Art professor Jason Peot, left, has taught at Harper for 16 years, and Bluestein, 90, has taken every one of his classes.

    WWII ‘ghost army’ vet now an art institution at Harper Dec 15, 2013 12:00 AM
    Having taken just about every art course offered at Harper College, 90-year-old Bernie Bluestein has put together quite a collection of his own works. And he's got memories of those fake tanks he made to fool the Nazis during World War II.

  • Instead of requesting a dream vacation or a chance to swim with dolphins, Ravina Thakkar asked Make-A-Wish to help her become a published author. Ravina and her mom, Krishna, celebrate the success on Ravina's 14th birthday with her novel, published this week by Sourcebooks of Naperville.

    One girl's novel request for Make-A-Wish Dec 8, 2013 12:00 AM
    Instead of using her Make-A-Wish wish for a vacation or a chance to swim with dolphins, Ravina Thakkar wanted to realize her dream of becoming a published author. The eighth-grader will be signing copies of her new book Sunday at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville.

  • This billboard that went up Wednesday in Chicago is based on a real married couple. Meant to sell an anti-snoring spray, it also sparks debates about diversity.

    Ad catches eye, but diversity event aims at heart Dec 5, 2013 12:00 AM
    A controversial billboard featuring a U.S. soldier hugging a woman wearing a niqab pops up Wednesday in the Chicago area. The real couple are married and selling an anti-snoring treatment, but the debate is exactly the sort of thing that will be addressed Friday at a ground-breaking diversity program in Lombard.

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