In the big city, a small child can get swallowed and lost. But if you bring your young son or daughter in for the Chicago Police Department's free Child Finger I.D. Program, authorities will have a record that will make it easier to identify him or her if it's ever necessary. Bring your child to Video Plus, 2616 N. Clark, between 11 and 4 today, and the boys in blue will record your kid on tape and register his or her fingerprints. Call 744-5490 for more.
The Steve Cokely affair broke hearts all along the lakeshore, especially among Jews who felt black leaders took too long denouncing the mayoral assistant's racist remarks. When Tim Evans's ally Jacky Grimshaw recently appeared at a lakefront political conference, she spent a good hunk of her speech trying to explain black community dynamics to the mostly Jewish audience. So it'll be interesting to hear what Tribune columnist Clarence Page has to say when he speaks on Blacks and Jews: Partners in a Troubled Marriage at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation. Page's was one of the first black voices to swiftly and loudly call for Cokely to step down. The synagogue is at 303 Dodge in Evanston; the talk will be part of the services, beginning at 8:30 tonight. It's free. For more information, call 328-7678.
A wet dog may be just a smelly canine to you, but not to those at the Anti-Cruelty Society who will be around the society's parking lot at Grand and Wells for DogWash '88. There will be dozens of volunteers to suds up every dirty Dane and mastiff that strolls in. The annual fund-raiser runs from 10 to 3 at 157 W. Grand. If your dog weighs up to 25 pounds, volunteers will spoil it for only $5; if it's between 26 and 49 pounds, $10; anything 50 pounds or over, $15. Call 644-8365.
Nay sayers claim only those players not fast enough or big enough for the NFL would play arena football. But when Bears wide receiver Willie Gault saw a recent game, he quickly admitted he'd have trouble making it in the summer sport. There are no breaks for players, who play both defense and offense (except for the quarterback) on a 50-yard field. Well, the Chicago Bruisers are in first place in the league and are enjoying some fandom. In fact, they're getting so popular that two Bruiser heartthrobs will be auctioned off as dates at a benefit for Children's Memorial Medical Center at Gamekeeper's, 345 W. Armitage, immediately after the 7:30 PM game at the Rosemont Horizon, 6920 Mannheim, Rosemont. Half of the advance sales of the $10 game tickets will go to charity, as will all of the $5 cover at the club. For more, call 549-0400.
They'll be dancing in the lantern light tonight when the Midwest Buddhist Temple holds its 44th annual Obon Festival, the Japanese festival of lanterns that dates back more than 1,500 years. Dancers will do traditional and modern folk dances, and will be accompanied by the temple's Taiko Group, or Japanese drum corps. The temple is at 435 W. Menomonee, and the fun starts at 8. It's free. For more, call 943-7801.
More than 1,000 volunteers have been working on the NAMES Project, the quilt memorial to the more than 34,000 people across the country who have died from AIDS. When first unveiled at last October's National March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights, the quilt--which now spans the length of more than four football fields--drew an intensely emotional reaction from the crowd. The quilt is on display today at Navy Pier, Grand Avenue at the lake, from 7 AM to 8 PM. Tomorrow will be the last day to see it, from 7 AM to 6 PM. Admission is free, but donations are requested. Any receipts that exceed display costs will be distributed to 22 local AIDS groups. For more, call 472-4460.
Committeeman Donald H. Kahn says that two different topics are sure to be on the lips of the revelers at the 46th Ward Republican Ward Organization Community Picnic: reform of the Chicago Public Schools and taxes. There will be food and beverages, games and prizes from noon to 5 at Kelly Park, on Seminary between Grace and Byron streets. Call 929-2600 for more information.
With more than 5,000 records to his name, Victor Parra, the host of WBEZ's Mambo Express, probably owns the largest collection of Latin music in Chicago, maybe in the state. He can talk salsa like few others. Even better, his Mambo Express orchestra plays it just like the originals. When Victor and the gang heat up the floor at the Moosehead Bar & Grill, it's pure sabor. The music starts at 6 at 163 W. Harrison. There's a $4 cover. Call 922-3276 for more.
Female therapists are available at the free support group for single mothers who live in the Loop and on the near north side, sponsored by DePaul University's Community Mental Health Center. Topics include how to take time out for yourself, how to stop feeling guilty, and how to take more control as a parent. Free child care is provided during the group meetings, which start at 6:30 PM on the third floor of Byrne Hall, 2219 N. Kenmore. For more information, call 341-8292.
Wimbledon's over and the U.S. Open is a little way off; it's tennis Grand Slam time again. You may dream of hoisting that big chalice over your head and running through the stands to greet mom, and you may practice, practice, practice. If so, and if you want some very special tips, Tim Gullikson, Martina Navratilova's personal coach, will be giving a free tennis clinic today from noon to 2 at Illinois Center's new courts, 151 E. Wacker. Call 565-1234 for more.
David Coverdale was the last lead singer for Deep Purple, the heavy-metal boys who moaned about smoke on the water way back when. The band disappeared, but Coverdale (who joined only after the band had scored its top-40 hits) survived and gained a foothold on the teenybopper hill with Whitesnake, a Led Zeppelin-obsessed metal melange. They'll be blasting eardrums tonight at 8 at Poplar Creek Music Theatre, 4777 W. Higgins, Hoffman Estates. Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 559-1212.
With supermarkets already anticipating the drought's impact in their prices, the city-sponsored Farmers Market under the Picasso may be one of the only places to get fresh produce at good prices. The folks at the Office of Consumer Services who sponsor the market say the selection is bountiful and a lot of the veggies and fruits are organically grown. The market is open from 7 to 2 at the Daley Civic Center Plaza between Washington and Dearborn streets. Call 744-4006 for more.
The new movie by director Wim Wenders, who also directed Paris, Texas, is out. Wings of Desire, a fable about an angel who chooses to fall to earth--and a fable about love, reading poetry, and drinking coffee--will premiere at 8 tonight at the Fine Arts Theatre, 418 S. Michigan, in a special benefit for Amnesty International. The film stars Bruno Ganz and Peter Falk. Tickets are $10. For more, call 427-2060.
The writers' strike has kept a lot of folks idle, but not a trio of writers from NBC's Saturday Night Live. Robert Smigel, Bob Odenkirk, and Conan O'Brien are doing a live comedy revue, Happy Happy Good Show, on Thursdays and Fridays at 8:30, Saturdays at 7 and 10 at the Victory Gardens Studio Theatre, 2271 N. Lincoln. Thursday tickets are $ 10, Friday and Saturday, $12. The show runs through August 7. For more, call 642-1866.