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If Chicago were ice cream, what would it taste like? So far, the entries in the "Create a Chunk of Chicago" contest sponsored by Steve's Ice Cream have included "Prairie Crunch" (creamy french vanilla filled with corn candies and granola), "The Chicago Fire" (cinnamon hearts in chocolate ice cream), and "Chicago Bears" (strawberry ice cream replete with gummy bears). But how about "Rainbow Coalition Sherbet" (a dash of everything, with a statuette of Jesse Jackson on top) or "My Kinda Town" (your precinct captain's favorite flavor; comes with a neatly folded $5 bill at the bottom)?

"We feel our employees are worth a million dollars," says the general manager of the Embassy Suites Hotel-O'Hare--but rather than shell out that kind of dough, the hotel instead buys weekly Lotto tickets and posts the numbers in the employee cafeteria. Any winnings are divided equally among employees.

Don't destroy the oldest ballpark in the major leagues, plead authors Douglas Bukowski, Mary O'Connell, and John Aranza in a Save Our Sox proposal to make Comiskey Park a historic landmark. "All the greats of the American League have played here, as well as all the great black ballplayers in the years before Doby and Robinson broke the color line. Restored to its historic beauty, properly marketed (especially in conjunction with a baseball museum and historic designation of nearby neighborhoods) it could become a major tourist draw." The alternative? "A losing team, playing in a copycat new stadium with the first-year glitz worn off. Who then will come from miles away to see the team?"

For medicinal purposes only. The American Heart Association reports on a Harvard study of heart attack victims and controls: "Compared with non-drinkers, people who drank 'moderate' amounts of alcohol every day--defined as two beers or wines or one mixed drink--had a 49 percent lower risk of having a heart attack." I'll drink to that.

"I cannot recommend that anyone capable of bearing or siring children should eat Great Lakes fish," says Dr. Jim Ludwig, coauthor of a summer 1987 study of fish-eating waterfowl on the lakes, Great Lakes United (Fall 1987). Ludwig and Hiroko Kurita "were astounded to find widespread embryonic deformities in developing terns and cormorants from colonies throughout Lakes Huron and Michigan." In Saginaw Bay, a large colony of Caspian terns "expenenced a very high infertility rate (44%). . . . About half of the fertile eggs hatched and the other half were deformed. Hatched young all died before they were 1-2 days old, a specific indication of toxic contaminants."

What does arms control control? This from Harpers "Index" (December 1987): "Nuclear warheads the United States will destroy under the proposed INF treaty: 364. Nuclear warheads the United States has deployed since abrogating SALT II last year: 1,640."

"The schools are not receiving sufficient supplies," testified south-side sixth-grade teacher Julia Molsby Carr at a state legislative hearing October 26 (Substance, October-November 1987), "including those that are needed for bodily functions. Some teachers have purchased toilet tissue for their students. I personally have purchased paper towels for my students' use." Earlier in her testimony Carr had noted, "In the aftermath of the strike, there were employee firings for financial reasons. Yet, in my district office, one eliminated district office position is still being filled by the same certificated teacher, but now that teacher is being carried on a local school payroll." Hey, first things first.

Then--the most famous man in the world. Now--? "In 1978 I took some glorious pictures of Muhammad Ali, in his southside home playing with his new baby," writes William Franklin McMahon in the Loupe (December 1987), a publication of the local chapter of the American Society of Magazine Photographers. "Earlier this year I took these pictures of Ali arriving at O'Hare. I was shocked. He now suffers from Parkinson's Syndrome. No one met him at the gate. The battery of his car was dead in the airport parking lot."

Why did veteran actor/director Chuck Smith start the Woodlawn-based Chicago Theatre Company? According to the Trust Quarterly (Fall 1987), "In 1985, 121 of the 200 or so local black actors belonged to Actors Equity in Chicago; only eleven of them had worked during the previous year."

Illinois, the 14th largest country in the world. Illinois' 1983 gross state product--$170.3 billion--is exceeded only by that of 13 countries in the world, says Illinois Economic Report (November 1987), namely the U.S., U.S.S.R., Japan, West Germany, France, United Kingdom, China, Italy, Canada, Brazil, Poland, Spain, and India.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.

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