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Days of the Week



Friday 8/29 - Thursday 9/4


by Mike Sula

29 FRIDAY These days any gentleman's adventure has its price. You want to play Sir Edmund Hillary? For $70,000 someone will lead you up Mount Everest. You want to be Baron von Richthofen? For $85 ($105 if you bring a friend) Rich Davidson will fly you around in his open cockpit biplane, Old Bess. Built to train World War II pilots, the 1941 Boeing Stearman PT-17 was sold to a civilian after the war and flown for ten more years until it was scrapped and forgotten. By 1992 the plane had been rebuilt from a pile of parts and was eventually purchased by Davidson, who flies around the country selling rides in vintage aircraft. Rides are available between 9 AM and 7 PM today through Sunday at the Meigs Field Terminal Building, 1500 S. Linn White Drive, two blocks south of the Adler Planetarium off Solidarity Drive. The flight lasts about 20 to 30 minutes; besides Davidson's fee you'll also pay a $12 airport fee. Call 312-922-5454 for reservations, or just show up.

The sight of a 1959 Volkswagen bus painted like the official Jerry Garcia credit card may not be enough to convince patrons of the Chicago Jazz Festival to unload all those cans of creamed corn and lima beans weighing down their picnic baskets. But that's the idea anyway. While the Jerry Garcia Fan Bus probably isn't filling the void in the lives of any bereaved Deadheads either, it will be in town collecting nonperishables for the duration of the festival, then donating them to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. What's in it for you? A chance to win the bus and paint it something respectable (warning: you have to fill out a credit card application to be eligible). It will be parked at the festival's art fair on Jackson in Grant Park today from 4 to 10 PM as well as all day Saturday and Sunday. Call 773-247-3663.

30 SATURDAY Though they display no discernible cultlike behavior, members of Mensa belong to an organization whose intellectual exclusivity lends it an unavoidable air of mystery. Future Mensans must score within the top two percent of the population on a standardized IQ test. But what really goes on at those parties? Harmless highbrow bantering or global puppeteering that would make the Trilateral Commission look like a quilting club? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to complete and pass the two-hour proctored admission test and infiltrate the group as a legitimate member. The test will be administered today at 4 at the Arlington Park Hilton Conference Center, 3400 W. Euclid Avenue in Arlington Heights. It's $25; call 312-458-0694.

31 SUNDAY When His Holiness Penor Rinpoche was born in the middle of the cold, dry east Tibetan winter of 1932, flowers blossomed all over his village, according to his biography. At four he began studies at Palyul Monastery, where he left footprints in stone and raised the dead. In 1959 he fled the Chinese invasion of Tibet and began building Namdroling Monastery in Mysore, India, with his bare hands. Today he's the Supreme Head of the Nyingma order and one of the most revered figures in Tibetan Buddhism. He's in town all weekend, and this morning he'll give a children's blessing and community talk at 9:30 AM at the Shambhala Meditation Center of Chicago, 7331 N. Sheridan. Then he'll perform a Gesar empowerment "to bring blessings of a sacred order into one's worldly life" at 3 PM in Biederman Auditorium, 618 S. Michigan. A donation is requested for each event. Call 773-743-8147 for a full schedule.


1 MONDAY In Turtel Onli's comic book Malcolm-10, the eponymous muscle-bound, pajama-clad hero administers a solid drubbing to the brothers of a black college fraternity while chiding them for practicing "cultural suicide." "Your daddy is an Afrikan!! But he wasn't a Greek!!!" he scolds as the fists fly. Onli is the creator of a pantheon of black superheroes he hopes will serve as positive role models for African-American comic fans. He's also the organizer of this year's fifth annual Black Age of Comics Convention, which features artists such as Alonzo Washington, Omega Seven, and Mary Fleener. It's part of the 1997 African Festival of the Arts winding down today at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. It starts at noon; admission is $5. Call 773-684-2280.

2 TUESDAY Thanks to those swells in Congress, nearly 100,000 children with disabilities that are not "marked" or "severe" have lost their disability benefits from Social Security. To explain just how bad one's problems must be to get a little help, attorney Clyde Ogg will discuss recent developments in a lecture called "Changes in Social Security Laws: Are You Prepared?" The free talk starts tonight at 7 at the Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln. Call 312-554-2010.

3 WEDNESDAY Unable to find steady work in Chicago, blues pianist Memphis Slim moved to Paris in 1962, where he made enough money to drive a Rolls Royce. If he were still alive perhaps he'd be pleased to know he's a little more appreciated back home. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs celebrates what would have been his 82nd birthday today with a performance of his tunes by members of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Blues. It's part of the ongoing Every Day's a Birthday program, which celebrates famous birthdays with lunchtime performances. People who celebrate their own birthdays at the performances receive a slice of cake, a "birthday recognition certificate" signed by the mayor, and a chance to win a whole cake. It's at 1 PM today and every weekday in the Chicago Cultural Center's Randolph Cafe, 78 E. Washington. It's free. Call 312-744-1426.

4 THURSDAY Back in the old country, klezmorim were the rock stars of the shtetl. The professional class of eastern European Jewish musicians toured constantly, made young girls swoon, talked their own slang, and were both idolized and frowned upon by the community. Klezmer contemporizers Brave Old World may not have the same cultural potency, but they are four of the most accomplished klezmer musicians around, having toured with Itzhak Perlman and sold out Radio City Music Hall. Their outdoor concert kicks off the Chicago YIVO Society's East Meets West: New Yiddish Culture Without Frontiers, a four-day festival of music, theater, lectures, and workshops. Traditional Yiddish dance instruction by violinist Michael Alpert begins tonight at 6:30 in Grant Park on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Washington, across the street from the Cultural Center. The concert follows at 8. It's free. For a festival schedule call 847-328-6658.

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