The Newsletter of Lincoln Central Association
Winner of Six APEX Awards for Publication Excellence in 2016, 2017 & 2018
April 10, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

Over the last few months our neighborhood, and those around us, experienced a hotly contested race for Alderman of the 43rd Ward.

Beginning with a diverse field of six, the race narrowed on February 25th with two candidates, each passionate and committed, then battling to the end in a runoff election. During the runoff, 43rd Ward voters watched...they listened....they evaluated. On April 2nd, they finally spoke. Alderman Michele Smith was re-elected to her third term defeating challenger, Derek Lindblom. Although the campaign itself turned highly negative, the incumbent was gracious in victory; the challenger gracious in defeat. That's as it should be.

Many are thrilled with the election's outcome. Others, no doubt, are disappointed. Regardless of where you stand on that spectrum, however, it's time to put the election behind. The future is the horizon upon which our eyes should gaze; all else is wasted energy.

With neighbors working together for the betterment of the neighborhood, the future will be bright.

From the Heart,
Kenneth Dotson, President, Lincoln Central Association

P. S. Do not hesitate to contact me at any time at  or 773.531.5515 if you would like to learn more about LCA or have neighborhood concerns.
Saturday, June 1 | 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM | Lincoln Central Park (Lincoln & Dickens Ave.)
Nothing says magic like a Lincoln Central event and the magic will be back at our popular, family-friendly spring event, Spring Zing which returns for its 6th year on Saturday, June 1. The event will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at Lincoln Central Park (corner of Lincoln & Dickens) and along the stretch of Dickens between Lincoln & Larrabee). 

At Spring Zing, you'll have the opportunity to meet your elected officials, watch quality professional entertainment, enjoy tasty food, win great raffle prizes and see kids of all ages having fun. Best of all, you will be able to mingle with friends and neighbors and meet new people from the neighborhood.
While the main focus at Spring Zing remains on family-friendly fun, one of LCA's most important priorities is helping keep the neighborhood safe. Since its inception, Spring Zing has featured bike and pedestrian  safety lessons  for children. Last year we added both a  self-defense  for children activity and information on  home safety and security

If you've not been to a Lincoln Central event, it's time you experienced the magical way our events bring the neighborhood together. So, mark your calendars now for Saturday, June 1.

See last year's event guide: Spring Zing 2018 Event Guide | See Photos: Album 1  |   Album 2  |  Album 3

LCA's events provide the perfect opportunity for local businesses and organizations to connect with the neighborhood. (Ninety plus percent of attendees walk to LCA events meaning they can also walk to neighborhood businesses.) Businesses/organizations can also take advantage of LCA's award-winning event promotion which heavily incorporates event sponsors.

If you are interested in sponsoring the 6th Annual Spring Zing, please contact us at 773.531.5515 or . For other forms of participation in Spring Zing or other LCA events, please contact .
The Life & Times of LCA Board member, Jerry Swarzman
Jerry Swarzman and his wife Penny have been LCA members for several years. Last summer, Jerry joined LCA’s Board to serve out the unexpired term of a retiring Board member. Jerry was elected to a new two-year term at LCA’s annual meeting this past January.

Jerry has blessed us with his ideas, his energy and his commitment to having fun. He loves the neighborhood and it shows. Jerry agreed to answer some questions for readers of the newsletter this month.

You’ve always lived in Chicago. What kept you here?
Jerry: I’ve always felt very fortunate to be born and raised in Chicago. I’ve lived here non-stop except for the years in St. Louis and Champaign Urbana going to college.  

We find ourselves surrounded by great entertainment experiences. For example, there’s more live off-Broadway theater in Chicago than in New York. The diversity of the city’s entertainment is endless and it’s all on our doorstep. I normally don’t tell my wife, Penny, where we’re going for the evening, just what to wear and when to be ready. She loves it.

You’ve mostly lived in this particular neighborhood. What makes it special to you?
Jerry: Our neighborhood is such a blessing. I’ve never been a good planner and, as I grow older, I realize that just being here and able to be part of this wonderment is mostly just due to luck. So now that I’ve been given this good fortune, every day is an opportunity to make the best of it. (Jerry and Penny shown here at the LCA's first annual Caroling From the Heart last December which Jerry organized. )

I played 16” softball for forty years in this city and I’ve never had a better moment in my life than standing in left field at Oz Park on a warm summer day, and then winding down at a sponsoring bar or on Jeff Waldman’s old porch across from the tennis courts – the self-declared Baron of Oz Park.

How did you and Penny meet?
Jerry: A chance meeting at Friar Tuck’s , a bar on Broadway. Penny was Assistant Director of Nursing Education at Illinois Masonic; I worked in another department there.
I tried making a move on her. It worked so well, Penny (pictured above befriending parakeets in New Orleans) wouldn’t go out with me until three years later.

Why did she ultimately change her mind?
Jerry: A failure of judgement on her part, I suppose.

Story continued....
In the Heart of Morocco
I traveled to Morocco mid-February. My understanding of the country came from fictions by Paul Bowles, travel articles, and the movie Casablanca . (Casablanca pictured here in the evening.)

A friend pressed in my hands a contemporary tale, The Caliph’s House , a memoir by Tahir Shah (which I loved and recommend). Reading Shah’s story — invisible spirits, outrageous corruption — I thought, “I won’t have to live there, I’ll just be visiting for a week.” What a week.
We began in Casablanca , a colonial city built by the French in the 1930s. In Shah’s book, the port city is mysterious and charming. We didn’t find that: it seemed dirty and crowded. That said, our morning tour of its Hassan II Mosque (pictured), the largest mosque in Africa and the 5th largest in the world, was a visual and cultural highlight. The mosque is a must for anyone going to Morocco.
From there, we traveled to Volubilis for a tour of its Roman ruins. Never have I had so much access to such a large swath of antiquity. We walked beside mosaic floors, climbed among pillars and arches. (See photos of Volubilis in the second part of article.)

On to Fez , (pictured above) where we checked into the Sahrai Hotel , modern hospitality set on a hilltop, a ten minute drive from the old city. It was our favorite hotel: chic rooms, a pool and jacuzzi, a hip rooftop bar. It was in Fez I felt the journey really take off.
First we visited Dar Batha (pictured), a 19th century royal palace converted into a museum in 1916 with 6,000 collections. The palace featured lush gardens and mosaic walkways.

From there we entered the El Bail market, which has functioned continuously since 800 AD. We visited weavers, carpet sellers, makers of leather goods. (Note photo below of huge votes of dye to provide color to hides.)
Our guide asked us to stick together, follow him closely and not stop — everyone wants to sell you something. He led us to places where we could calmly buy textiles, carpets and leathers. (Yes, we haggled. It’s necessary and fun.) The next day we toured World Heritage site synagogues, the now public grounds of the Royal Palace and Art D’Argile pottery workshop. 

Story continued....
The two feature articles above are continued below after the MORE UPCOMING EVENTS section.
Carries 31 of 46 Precincts
Congratulations to 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith on her re-election to a third term defeating challenger Derek Lindblom in the April 2, 2019 runoff.

Alderman Smith carried 31 of the Ward's 46 precincts leading her to a 7,411 (53.58%) to 6,420 (46.42%) victory. According to final tally, 13, 831 voters cast ballots in the Aldermanic runoff compared to 14,385 in the 2015 runoff when Alderman Smith defeated challenger Caroline Vickery.
Find out here

Interested in finding out how your precinct voted? Click here or on the image to see the 43rd Ward map and the precinct level results from the April 2, 2019 Aldermanic runoff election.
If you are interested in becoming involved with LCA but don't know exactly how, perhaps, viewing a representative sample of our recent and on-going initiatives will provide inspiration. Simply click here or on the image below to see a list.

Joining one our committees is a great way to get more involved in LCA initiatives. There are no specific time commitments required; committee members participate in accordance with their interests and availability. You are not required to live within LCA boundaries to serve on a committee, but you must be a member of the organization.
Parks — Chair, Sally Drucker
Zoning & Planning — Chair, Anne Moore
Events — Chair, Kelly Dotson
Arts & Culture — Donna Gallery
Community Affairs — Chair, Nada Riley
Membership & Communications — Chair, Kenneth Dotson
Bauler Park Advisory Committee — Co-Chairs, Anne Moore & Dennis Hack
The Magic of Spring Returns to Fire Station Park
By Kathy Jordan
From new soil in vegetable beds to new fencing for plant protection to a new composting guru—all systems are GROW for the new season at Fire Station Park, winner of consecutive Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards .

Plans for this neighborhood gem got underway on a recent Saturday, when volunteers met to remove the fencing that has protected plants from rabbits and other problems. This will make way for the removal of 12” of current soil, which will be replaced with 12” of gardening soil for better plant production.  
New fencing, being designed by LCA members Jeff Robison and Nada Riley, will be more stable and attractive, and will include gates allowing gardeners easier access to the the beds. 

Rama Thoopal, a new gardener in the Park, is experienced with composting. “We’ve long wanted to get the composting issue under control,” says Sally Drucker, Chair of LCA's Parks Committee and the driving force behind Fire Station Park. “We’ve signed up for the city’s compost monitoring program in Tier 2, which means that those of us who would like to bring compost tables to the Park can do so, and they will only be used on the Park.” 

Rama and Laura Meyers, another LCA member and valued parks volunteer, are taking courses at Peggy Notebaert Museum that will make Fire Station Park more productive, while following best practices.
All of this will enhance the growing of vegetables—this year, tomatoes from heirloom to cherry, eggplant, four kinds of peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, arugula, beans, peas, carrots and two kinds of lettuce. And then there are herbs—basil, cilantro, parsley, plus the perennials such as thyme, lavender, mint,   sage, oregano, and chives. “We’re planting fewer kinds of plants, but more of what we know works well and gets picked and used,” Drucker says.
This will be the second year of collaboration with students from Lincoln Elementary School . “Last spring, the after school club started seedlings in their greenhouse and came on a field trip to Fire Station Park to plant the seedlings,” says Drucker. “The majority of seedlings we planted last year were from Lincoln. This year, we’re concentrating on those that worked well last year.”

“This garden requires constant rejuvenation,” Drucker says, while emphasizing that the vision for the Park hasn’t changed.  “We’ve made annual improvements, but our vision remains the same: to have a park that everyone can use. One of our biggest challenges is to communicate that message so that we are engaging neighbors, engaging volunteers, engaging schools.”

Drucker also emphasizes that she is open to suggestions at .   
 Wins Connecting Communities Award
Lincoln Central Association's Bauler Park Advisory Council (BPAC), headed by Vice-President Anne Moore and member Dennis Hack, recently received a 2019 Connecting Communities Award from the Chicago Parks Foundation .

BPAC was one of three Chicago park advisory councils honored with this award at the Chicago Park Foundation's Park Advisory Council Conference held on March 30th at Malxom X College.
The Connecting Communities Award is designed to spread positive, productive park energy and foster a lasting community presence within Chicago parks and includes a $500 grant to support a community event, program, or project within Bauler Park.
Volunteers Help Protect Restored Parkway
Thank you to David Galowich, Deirdre Graziano, Kathy Jordan and David Varnerin for assisting LCA Parks Chair Sally Drucker in building secure protection around the Ogden Mall Parkway LCA restored last year. (Parkway after restoration last fall pictured here.)
"It is volunteers like these who demonstrate that our neighborhood matters to all of us and we strive to make it beautiful. Their help was invaluable," said Drucker. "We are hopeful that our fencing will keep dogs and people off the plantings so that they can re-establish themselves this spring" she added. (New protective fencing pictured.)
Values from the Heart is a benefit made exclusively available to LCA members who are current on their dues and otherwise in good standing. The program offers on-going discounts and other meaningful values from a select number of businesses in or near our neighborhood. Participating businesses are offering these values as an expression of their appreciation for LCA’s contributions to the community and to acknowledge those who support LCA through their memberships.
Wednesday, May 5 | 6:00-8:00 PM 
J9 Wine Bar | 1961 N. Halsted
LCA member  and sponsor  J9 Wine Bar  (1961 N. Halsted Street) will host a complimentary wine tasting reception on Wednesday evening, March 6, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM featuring a selection of French wines from the Loire Valley region of France paired with hors d'oeuvres.
The will be no charge to attend the event but it will be limited exclusively to members of LCA who are current on their dues and their guest. An RSVP will be required. LCA members will be notified via email when the RSVP link is posted approximately two weeks prior to the reception. You may also check LCA's Facebook page for updates on this and other upcoming events.
If you have recently joined LCA or have renewed your membership and your LCA card has not arrived by the time of the event or if you forget your card, we will have membership records at the entry to the reception. The membership card itself will not be necessary to enter the event, just an active  LCA membership . (Need to check your membership status for this event?  Email us .) 
LCA members receive an on-going discount of 21% at J9 Wine Bar (1961 N. Halsted) including on the purchase of tickets for J9 events that have an admission fee. LCA members can obtain the discount code for ticket purchases by emailing us at .
Lincoln Park Uncorked: An Armitage - Halsted Wine Stroll Returns
Thursday May 9th | 6:00 - 9:00 PM
The return of spring brings Lincoln Park Uncorked: An Armitage - Halsted Wine Stroll – one of Chicago’s premier wine tasting events organized by LCA member, thew Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce.
Enjoy curated samples of red and white wines while strolling through one of the city’s most famous shopping districts in the heart of Lincoln Park.
The return of spring brings Lincoln Park Uncorked: An Armitage - Halsted Wine Stroll – one of Chicago’s premier wine tasting events! 

Early Bird Discount Tickets available through April 12 ($30 each). Regular priced tickets are $40

(LCA Members contact for your discount code on tickets.)
Wednesday, April 17 | 6:00PM 
Victory Gardens Theatre | 2433 N. Lincoln
LCA member  Victory Gardens Theatre  will host a special evening for LCA member on Wednesday, April 17 during the run of the hit play  Cambodian Rock Band , which features the music of  Dengue Fever . The play's run at Victory Gardens began on April 5th.
The special evening will begin with a wine host a reception at 6:00 PM. At 6:45, there will be a discussion of the thriving music scene in Cambodia during the period in which the popular play is set.

Following the play, Victory Gardens will host a discussion of the play for LCA members.
LCA members can purchase tickets to attend that evening's 7:30 PM performance for $25, a savings of more than 28%). In addition to the play, the ticket includes admission to both the pre-performance wine reception and the post performance discussion.

To obtain the discounted ticket which includes admission to the wine reception, click here and enter the special member code: Lincoln417 at the bottom of the page as shown in the image. (To enlarge the image, click here or on the image itself.)
Read both Kathy Jordan's article on Cambodian Rock Band  and about Sally Drucker's amazing trip to Cambodia last year in the  February 2019 edition  of  From the Heart .
See The Music and Inspiration Behind Cambodian Rock Band
From Our Friends at Geja's Cafe
Neighborhood treasure,  Geja's Cafe , offers LCA members $19.71 off of every  premier dinner  at Geja's each time you dine there. You must present a valid LCA membership card to receive this value. (This offer cannot be combined with any other offer.) Make your  Geja's reservations  now to take advantage of this generous value for LCA members. If you would like to take advantage of this special offer and have not yet received your new LCA membership card, simply email .

Long cherished for special occasions, Geja's is increasingly recognized as the perfect place to simply connect making every visit there a special occasion. In 2017, Geja's was voted  Best Place to Dine in Lincoln Park . In 2015,  USA Today  named Geja's as  The Most Romantic Restaurant in the Nation.
Hosted LCA Members for Exclusive Event
Thanks to LCA member and event sponsor  J9 Wine Bar  for hosting LCA members on Wednesday evening, March 6th, for a free wine tasting reception. Manager Morgan Gabrielson paired Chilean Wine with hors d'oeuvres and provided attendees with tasting tips.

This special event attracted members from throughout the neighborhood. Many who attended were first time visitors to  J9 Wine Bar  while many others are now J9 regulars who were first introduced to the establishment at a previous LCA event.
Learn more about additional special values for LCA members.
April & May
Street Sweeping Schedule
To see the street sweeping schedule for the 43rd Ward in April & May, click here.

Sunday , April 14th     
Little Sisters of the Poor Open House
The public is invited to join the Little Sisters of the Poor (2325 n. Lakewood Avenue) from 1:00 to 5:00 PM on Sunday April 14th for a special Open House celebrating their 150th year of service in the United States. Read the press release to learn more. See the Open House invitation at the bottom of this newsletter.

Tuesday , April 16th     
Business Safety Seminar
The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a business safety seminar on  April 16th from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at Lincoln Station located at 2432 N. Lincoln Ave . Connect with and gain new tips from local security experts, the Chicago Police Department (CPD), and community leaders to keep your business, employees, and neighborhood safe.

Please RSVP and register for the event  here.

 Thursday, April 25th  
LCA Monthly Board Meeting
LCA Board meetings are normally held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Meetings are open to the public. 

Tuesday, May 14th
LCA Zoning Committee Meeting
Zoning Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Zoning Committee meetings are open to the public.

Friday, May 17th through Sunday, May 19th
Lincoln Park Wine Festival

Thursday, May 23rd
LCA Monthly Board Meeting    
LCA Board meetings are normally held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Meetings are open to the public.

Saturday, June 1st
6th Annual Spring Zing
Join us for an afternoon of family friendly fun at LCA's 6th Annual Spring Zing from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at Lincoln Central Park (corner Lincoln & Dickens).

Saturday & Sunday, June 8th & 9th
2019 Old Town Art Fair
Friday, June 14th
Community Bonfire in Oz Park
Gather around the campfire and see Oz Park in a new light from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Friday, June 14th. Learn more .

Saturday, June 23rd
5th Annual Summer Sipper
Summer Sipper will return to our beautiful, award-winning Fire Station Park & Gardens on Sunday, June 24th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.  Summer Sipper is a neighborhood reception style event featuring dishes from local restaurants and dishes prepared by neighbors using herbs grown in the garden.

Saturday, June 29th
Fifth Star Band in Bauler Park
The Fifth Star Band will perform at Bauler Park at 3:45 PM on Saturday, June 29th. Formed in the summer of ’16, The Fifth Star Band is a youthful group of raconteurs looking to make their impact on the music landscape with their soulful jazzy twist on American Traditional Rock. The performance is brought to you by LCA and the Bauler Park Advisory Committee.

Friday July 19th through Sunday, July 21st
Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk

Saturday & Sunday, July 21st & 22nd
Chicago Craft Beer Fest

Saturday & Sunday, July 27th & 28th
36th Annual Taste of Lincoln Avenue

Saturday, August 10th
Radium Swing Band in Bauler Park
Radium Swing Band will perform in Bauler Park at 3:45 PM on Saturday, August 10th. The acoustic band plays the hot gypsy jazz music of Django Reinhardt of Paris from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, including vocals, clarinet, violin, accordion, bass and guitars. Bring your dancing shoes and your berets! The performance is brought to you by LCA and the Bauler Park Advisory Committee.

Thursday, September 12th
6th Annual Evening in the Garden
Evening in the Garden is a neighborhood reception from 6:00 to 8:00 PM in our beautiful, award-winning Fire Station Park & Gardens. Hors' d'oeuvres and beverages will be served. Stay tuned for additional details.

Saturday, October 26th
12th Annual Howler at Bauler     
The 12th annual Howler at Bauler will be held at Bauler Park on Saturday, October 27th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.
Ruins from the Roman Empire in Volubilis, Morocco shown above
A scholar joined us at Hotel Dar Anebar for a private dinner. We peppered her with questions about women and girls in Moroccan society, the importance of family, the Moroccan economy and culture. Fascinating. 

So many things surprised me: that there’s a green landscape of rolling hills and mountains. That they prepare (my least favorite) vegetables — cooked carrots and eggplant —in such a way that I served myself twice. That there is poverty but, seemingly, little homelessness because there is a surplus of substandard housing (and family is paramount).
From Fez, we traveled to Meknes for its market and ramparts, then on to Rabat , the nation’s capitol. We stopped for lunch at Villa Mandarine, which is also a small hotel. Its gardens, interiors, food and service would lure me back. In the afternoon, we toured the remnants of a mosque destroyed in an earthquake, now a city park. We walked the Kasbah of the Udayas , a 12th century walled neighborhood on the Atlantic Ocean’s Barbary Coast . There's a reason movies are filmed there .

On to Marrakesh (pictured above) — the pearl of Morocco

We had a garden lunch at La Paix. Then on to Yves St. Laurent Museum (a must) and its next door attractions, the Jardin Majorelle and its Berber Museum .
We stayed at hotel Le Naoura, which we liked for its close to the markets location and its pool. We can recommend dinner at Al Fassia. In the morning we toured the 16th century El Badi Palace. Words fail me. Its scale is something I’ve never experienced.
El Badi Palace in Marrakesh shown above
Lunch at Riad Lotus Privilege may have been our best meal. In the afternoon we shopped a souk, stopping at Maison du Caftan for clothing and Khalidoun Art for rugs. The next day we toured the Musee de Tapis. Splendid.

A day trip to the Atlas Mountains took us to a Berber tea ceremony and an outdoor lunch at Kasbah Beldi , which is also a resort. That pool (pictured)…

Morocco dazzled me. By the end I suffered visual overload. It’s that rich. Please note: I would not have made this trip on my own. (I may in the future.) I traveled with a group of eight delightful Americans and shared rooms with Georgia Dent, my always up for an adventure sister in law. We had a professional, brainy guide (we adored him), a dedicated driver and his assistant who kept us hydrated and helped with luggage. Most of our (authentic, delicious) meals were pre-arranged. This was an Abercrombie & Kent tour sponsored by the Mattatuck Museum , handled by Largay Travel . One kerfuffle with Air Morocco. Other than that, a seamless trip. 
What happened then?
Jerry: We “road tested” each other for many years to see if we were compatible. I had certain interests, including professional wrestling and roller derby, not normally shared by the ladies, but Penny was different.

One night, we attended a particularly violent wrestling card. We were sitting in the car afterward, hormones misfiring, waiting for the parking lot to empty. Still affected by the emotion of the ring action, I put Penny in a headlock, nervously asking her to marry me. She said “yes.” 

Enjoying professional wrestling and roller derby requires a certain level of refinement and sophistication. How did you acquire that?

Jerry: As a kid, I went to the Chicago Amphitheatre, later renamed International Ampitheatre, on Halsted and 42nd. I belonged to the Polecats, an Amphitheatre-based club where membership required having Polish blood in your family (“references” were discouraged). Sometimes after matches, we’d sneak into the locker room to hang with icons like  The Crusher, Baron Von RashkeChief Wahoo McDanielDick the Bruiser, and Moose Cholak before making our way to the Stockyard Inn for beverages with the stars. ( Read more about the history of the Amphitheater.)
Who’s a better cook, you or Penny?

Jerry: Neither. A towel hanging on our oven handle reads: FOR DISPLAY ONLY. I'm quite certain we’d starve if it weren’t for bar food. In fact, several nights a week, it feels like Cheers for us. Penny and I walk into various neighborhood joints and are happy to see familiar faces that, surprisingly, seem also happy to see us. I've found that you’re never too old to make a new friend.
You are a big movie buff. How'd that develop? Any favorites?

Jerry: Penny’s family was devoted to movies. I got swept up into the experience to just stay in the conversation. Some movies, I’ve watched 30+ times and know the dialogue by heart. My five top movies with a one-line review of each are.

  • The Wild Bunch (1969) – A wild ride with a heavy message at the end that is getting closer to home for me.
  • A Bronx Tale (1993) – Story of a kid growing up under the influence and pressure from parents, friends, mentor and first love.
  • Glory (1989) – True story as heavy and meaningful as it gets.
  • On the Waterfront (1954) – Old black and white with great acting, storyline, and finish.
  • Pope of Greenwich Village (1984) – Two characters lead the adventure. You never know where it’s going.
My favorite more contemporary movie is Hell or High Water (2016). And, I can’t help myself from also mentioning True Romance (1993) that boasts arguably the scene in movies involving Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken.

You were a member of LCA for several years. What led you to get more involved with LCA and what do you hope to accomplish as a Board member?

Jerry: As I came off the road for my job after many years, I reconnected with the neighborhood and became more aware of the issues and challenges in preserving the good things we have.
I went to an LCA members only event last summer thinking it was time I learned a bit more about the organization and hoping that, maybe, I could help. I didn't learn a lot that night but had a lot of fun and was drawn in by the good people who lead LCA and inspired by their genuine concern for the neighborhood, their good spirit, and their camaraderie.

I started showing up at other events, Board and zoning meetings (which are both open to the public). Once they realized they weren't going to get rid of me easily, they asked me to join the Board.

As I try to find my “niche,” I’ve focused on music and have temporarily (until told differently) appointed myself as Bauler Park’s Music Director. (I see myself as the poor man’s Lawrence Welk – “and a-one, and a-two, etc.") I’m working on a summer performance series at Bauler and hoping to get a sizable turnout for fun, entertaining musical moments.

You are clearly under the impression that you have good taste in music. Tell us more.
Jerry: Music is a huge part of our lives. The old Park West had some great shows – James Brown (who I believe is the greatest entertainer of all time), Aretha Franklin, Ziggy Marley and similar big-time acts.
The concert memory that stands out most was K.T. Oslin. K.T. was a country singer that peaked inthe 80's. She was confident and stylish with engaging humor and a fabulous, throaty, sexy voice. If you haven’t heard her song Do Ya, the best part of your life is still ahead of you – will water your eyes.
The pictures provided for this feature reflect that you can sing, that you have major dance moves and that you are a painter (of faces). Do you consider yourself a Renaissance Man?

I do. Absolutely.

Besides music, movies and dining in bars, do you have any other hobbies ?
Jerry: A love for animals (my passion). I volunteer for PAWS Chicago at the Little Village location.

Initially, I thought that I understood dogs and cats. But I recently read  A Dog’s Purpose which permanently changed my perspective. Because Penny and I live in a third-floor walk-up, we’re limited to having a great rescue cat named Gunner. In his honor, I bought a shirt that says: If you don’t talk to your cat about catnip, who will?

Who is the dog you and Penny are holding in the photo above ?

Shirley was my cousin’s family’s sweet English Bulldog, and thought of herself as a lapdog. This picture was taken during a trip to their home in Mesa, Arizona perhaps thirty years ago. In retrospect, I must admit that Shirley understood me better than anyone I’ve ever known in my life.
You’ve been known to get yourself into "situations" at times. Have you ever done anything especially embarrassing?

Jerry: Years back, Penny threw a surprise 40 th birthday party for me at Mi Casa, Su Casa on Southport. After a long evening of celebrating, owner Felix invited us to spend the night in the apartment above. He showed us in, started the water in the jacuzzi and wished us a good night. We fell asleep talking. Eight hours later, were awakened by a frantic knock on the door by Felix’ wife. The jacuzzi had overflowed all night and the restaurant’s ceiling underneath had collapsed—ceiling fans and all. We spent the next week putting the place back together. Felix never complained about the incident. He was a wonderful man.
What would people find interesting about your business career?

I’ve worked virtually all my life in healthcare finance. For sixteen years, I spent most of my weekdays and many weekends on the road somewhere, working in a hospital in some interim management or consulting capacity. The work engagement normally involved a financial turnaround, system installation, merger or a re-organization, etc. Those situations are always tense and frantic bringing co-workers together to face the challenge.

What I learned through these travels echoes a quote from To Kill a Mockingbird – wherever you go, “Folks are folks” like you and me, even in New York City. I cherish the relationships that started during these work gigs and still try to keep them warm. (The Swarzmans pictured here at Churchill Downs with horse racing legend D. Wayne Lucas.)
Is there anything else you'd like readers to know?

Jerry: Anybody reading this who's not a member of LCA should be. This organization makes our neighborhood better for every one of us to enjoy.....and you'll love the people involved and you'll be welcomed with open arms. I'm proud to be a part of it.
Have a story idea for From the Heart ?
Want to write an article for the publication?
Know an LCA member who should be featured?
Let us know by emailing us at .
TEDx DePaul University is an independently run, self-organized event. Speakers from across the DePaul community will aim to challenge thoughts and inspire ideas through a series of engaging talks and presentations. This year’s theme is “Fast Forward.”

Date And Time
Fri, April 12, 2019 | 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM CDT

Holtschneider Performance Center
2330 N. Halsted Ave | Gannon Concert Hall 

Winner APEX Awards for Publication Excellence in 2016, 2017 & 2018 (six awards total for newsletter)
From the Heart  is an award winning newsletter published by Lincoln Central Association, and co-edited by Kenneth Dotson and Kathy Jordan. We welcome your feedback and story ideas. We look forward to hearing from you at . From the Heart  has received APEX Awards for Publication Excellence in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In total the newsletter has received six APEX awards since 2016 . Additionally,  From the Heart  has been named a Constant Conta ct All-Star for 2015, 2016 and 2017 based on the open  rates and other metrics associated with this newsletter in comparison to other Constant Contact clients. 

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Winner of Constant Contact All-Star Awards in 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018