Jim Harbaugh was the Bears' first-round pick in 1987, which caused a stir since Mike Ditka's team already had four quarterbacks on the payroll--the inimitable Jim McMahon, baby-faced Mike Tomczak, Bambi-faced Doug Flutie, and sad-sack Steve Fuller. Last season's mini-camp fueled rumors of Harbaugh's toughness--he allegedly talked back to the defensive linemen during a practice. But when Harbaugh finally made his pro debut, he was sacked twice in a row and lost mucho yards. Still, the kid is considered the quarterback of the future. You can get an early (and free) autograph today from 11:30 to 1:30 when he makes an appearance at Carson Pirie Scott, 1 S. State. For details, call 744-7665.
How many people would take a job that required them to risk their lives for a lousy $6.45 per hour? Apparently hundreds, as evidenced by the annual lifeguard tryouts applications and qualifying tests--sponsored by the Park District. Most people think of lifeguards as golden beach bunnies paid to lounge, leer, and be leered at, but they have a deadly serious job, as the grueling tryouts prove. Prospective lifeguards can give it a swim at today's open call for the 750 summer positions. Eligible candidates must be at least 16, live in Chicago, and have Red Cross first aid and lifeguarding (or equivalent) certification. Take your swimsuits to Whitney Young High School, 210 S. Loomis, at 8:30 this morning. For more, call 294-2493.
"Kiss an angel good morning / And love her like the devil when you get back home," sang Charley Pride in one of his big hits. When he burst onto the country-music scene, Pride was hailed for the power and sweetness of his deep voice. A lot was also made of the fact that Pride, who is black, had crashed in a really big way what had always seemed a white-music enclave. Nearly 20 years later, not many blacks have joined Pride, but he's still pretty wonderful. He'll be doing two shows tonight at the Paramount Arts Centre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora, 5:30 and 9. Tickets are $16.50, $18.50, and $19.50. For more information, call 896-6666.
The Special Olympics were created by the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation to serve as a model for expanding sports and recreation programs to include the handicapped. Chicago has a special tie-in, since the first Special Olympics were held in Soldier Field in 1968. Since then, more than one million special athletes have taken part in this international competition. Northwestern University hosts its 11th annual Special Olympic Track and Field Meet for suburban Cook County handicapped children and adults. Events include the 1,500-meter run, the 25-meter wheelchair race, the long jump, junior relays, and many more. It starts at 9:00 AM at NU's Dyche Stadium, 1501 Central in Evanston. It's free to watch. Call 491-2350 for more.
The reexamination of the wound of the Vietnam war is most often from an American perspective. Telling the Story of the Vietnam Wan Two Decades Later is a multimedia exhibition of work by not only Vietnam vets, but also by artists from the other side: Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Hmong refugees. Today's free opening reception from 1 to 6 will feature National Book Award winner Larry Heinemann reading from his books at 2 and 4 at the Prairie Avenue Gallery, 1900 S. Prairie. The show runs through June 5. Call 842-4523 for more.
For Dada artist Kurt Schwitter, the union of poetry and painting could begin with either medium. "I pasted words and sentences into poems in such a way as to produce a rhythmic design," he explained in Dada and Surrealism. "Reversing the process, I pasted up pictures and drawings so that sentences could be read in them." His Dada classic, Sonata in Primeval Sounds, or Ursata, will be performed tonight at 7 by the Paradox Opera at Cabaret Voltaire, 1860 N. Elston. Admission is free. Call 489-7792 for more information.
"Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them." That's not the late Harold Washington, that's the Big Guy talking to Moses about the Ten Commandments Exodus 21:1. Shavuoth is the celebration of the giving of the commandments, marked today at 1 with holiday stories, songs, and craft making for children at the Kohl Jewish Teacher Center, 165 Green Bay Road in Wilmette. You must preregister at 251-6960; $7 for the first child, $4 for each sibling.
The story is that Dizzy Gillespie had been out all night having a good time with the boys in his band. When he woke up, with just enough time to get to the next gig, he found his trumpet bent out of shape. Because the show must go on, Gillespie blew through the horn, discovered its sound was intact, and hit the stage, causing a sensation. He's bent every trumpet he's had ever since. The University of 33 Illinois at Chicago Jazz Ensemble, in a kickoff free concert for the seventh annual UIC Jazz Festival, will showcase Gillespie's bent-bell sound today at 1 in the Forum of the U. of I's Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted. Gillespie himself, as well as the Count Basie Orchestra and others, will appear in the festival, which runs through May 21. For details, call 413-5070.
In vaudeville, the short routines in between the big names were often called "joints." That inspired avant-garde performance art artist and composer Robert Wilson and rock's renaissance man David Byrne with the title for their newest collaboration, The Knee Plays. Originally conceived as entr'actes for Wilson's CIVIL warS: a tree is beat measured when it is down, these plays feature elements of Eastern and Western culture as well as the usual irreverence and eccentricities of their creators. The Knee Plays makes its Chicago debut tonight at 7:30 as part of the International Theatre Festival of Chicago at the Civic Theatre, 20 N. Wacker. The show runs through May 29; hours are Monday through Friday at 7:30, Saturdays at 6 and 9, Sundays at 3 and 7:30. Tickets are $20-$28; $5 for students who show up two hours before the performance with ID. For more information, call 664-3370.
Although conditions have improved for some--today women earn 70 cents for every dollar paid a man (the narrowest gap ever)--many American women are still caught in a sex-segregated work force that pays low wages to workers in traditionally female jobs such as nursing, clerical work, teaching, and publishing. Shelley Gates, advocacy director for Women Employed, will address some continuing concerns when she talks about Pay Equity an Update at 6:30 PM at the American Library Association, 50 E. Huron. Admission is $3 for ALA members, $6 for others. A wine-and-cheese reception will be held before the talk at 6. Call 641-6311 for more.
Scott Turow, author of the popular and critically praised Presumed Innocent (who was recently cleared by the Justice Department of a charge that he had encouraged a lawyer to violate the attorney-client privilege), will be the headliner at the Midland Authors Awards Dinner tonight. Among the prizewinners is Reader staff writer John Conroy, author of Belfast Diary, a chronicle of life in strife-torn Northern Ireland. The dinner starts at 7 PM at the Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton. Reservations are $30 per person. call 994-7200 or 332-3984 for more.
Internationally notorious art critic John Berger claims the work of Gabor/Painter, local artist about town, is "not an image, but a place." This is the kind of talk Gabor can really appreciate: he not only produces watercolors and, drawings, he is an arts writer for Windy City Times. His free one-man show continues at Nicole Gallery, 734 N. Wells, through May 28. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10-5:30; Saturday, 10:30-4:30. Call 787-7716.