THE CHICAGO LITERARY CLUB
President Francis H. Straus opened the season on
October 8, 2001, with Poplar Forest. Starting with a biography of Thomas Jefferson,
from the derivation of his name, through his education, political interests and family life,
Francis describes in detail the lesser known plantation of Poplar Forest. Inherited from his
wife's family, Poplar Forest was a refuge during the Revolution, a productive plantation, and
another outlet for Jefferson's architectural skills.
Papers 2001 - 2002
John W. Klooster described the growth and development of the Mayo Clinic system on
October 15 in Profiles: Mayo et al.
Stanley N. Allan gave us At the Beginning on
October 22. Intimately involved in the
design of the Washington, DC, Metro subway system, Stanley discussed his design
experiences on that project and the guiding principle that the design should follow the needs
of the people using the system.
Edward A. Quattrochi delivered Whirligig of Time
on October 29, being an exploration of the interconnection of Chicago clubs, principally
our own Club, the Caxton Club, and the University Club. This led to a discussion of
architectural links to medieval London, and the inspiration of Cathedral Hall at the University
Club by Crosby Hall in London.
L.F. Barry Barrington recalled the trials of his youth in
Dust-Bowl Kansas on November 5 in Desperately Seeking Jupiter Pluvius.
Gayle Guthrie, on November 12, described the fictional return of a woman from an attempted
ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro, with all the problems a solo woman traveler in Africa endures,
adding the complication of travel on September 11, in Climb the Mountain.
John K. Notz, Jr., on November 19, delivered Charles
Hutchinson and His Professionals. John wrote the Club biography of Hutchinson, and
this essay explores the comprehensive effect Hutchinson had on the careers of several late
century design professionals through his wide-ranging social, professional, and philanthropic
Richardson L. Spofford gave us Aims on the Land on November 26, a discussion of
the names of the various counties in the United States, with their sources.
Robert L. Perlman delivered the Arthur Baer Fellowship address on December 3. Entitled
Why We Get Sick, the essay discussed Darwinian medicine, the integration of
medicine with evolutionary biology. Dr Perlman then discussed the major areas of disease
(malnutrition, parasitism, cancer, and cardiovascular disease) in the light of this discipline.
Hubert Catchpole gave us A History of the Decline and Fall of the British
Empire on December 10, a discussion of the growth and decline primarily of the
second empire in India and the Far East, on the model of Gibbon.
John Wilson presented Rue 28 Vignon on December 17, detailing the life and
contribution of Daniel Henry Khanweiler to the art movement in the twentieth century as he
provided a home and haven to Picasso, Braque and others in Paris in the early years of the
century and of their careers.
Phyllis Lyons, on January 7, demonstrated the power of Earthquakes, specifically
the Tokyo earthquake of 1923, on the work of the Japanese author Tanizake. In the process
she also gave us a detailed biography of the author, analysis of his work, and relation to
Robert Carton detailed the life of A Good-Hearted Man, Dr. James Bryan
Herrick at our Mid-Winter Meeting at the Chicago Historical Society on January 14. Herrick
was a Chicago native who led the change to scientific medicine in Chicago, described sickle-
cell anemia, identified coronary thrombosis, and pioneered the use of the electrocardiogram.
Francis Lackner presented Defining Moment:
Challenges and Transformations on January 21, discussing the need to institutionalize
the power of life-changing events in the progression of youth to adults in our modern culture,
while avoiding the dangers those events can entail.
Donald Parker discussed The Supreme Penalty January 28 on the merits of the
death penalty as it applies in Illinois, showing the merits of both sides of the discussion, the
constitutional background, and current activity.
Howard Prossnitz went In Search of Peter
Mayle on February 4, detailing several trips the author has made to Provence seeking
to travel in the style described in the books of Peter Mayle, and some of the adventures
James Thompson delivered Reflections in the Present Tense on February 11, a
selection of three short stories centering on relationships, "Grandfather", "Joey", and "The
Thing You Have."
Judith Spock gave us a selection of original prose and poetry on February 18 in How
We Are, ranging from recollections of a youthful trip though Mexico in a Pierce-
Arrow touring car during the Depression to a highly original birthing story of not twins-not
triplets-but sextuplets to Dissertation, and finally to the title poem, "How We Are."
Helen Rogal gave us an account of the Underground Railroad in Illinois in The Train
on February 25.
Leonard Reiffel was the first of two members presenting
papers at the Joint Meeting with The Fortnightly on March 1, offering An Eye for Scenes
Unseen, a tribute to Dr. Walter C. McCrone. McCrone was an eminent microscopist who
trained many others in the field.
Also at the March 1 joint meeting, Ray Greenblatt
presented In the Eye of the Beholder: Figure and Ground, using amusing stories to
illustrate his theme: Eye of the Beholder: ocular receptor for the jocular, Figure and Ground:
Fertile soil for laughter and merriment.
Augustus Harris Burley's paper, The Cairo
Expedition, originally presented at the annual meeting of the Chicago Historical Society
in 1890, was read by Francis Lackner on Merch 11. Burley described the response of the
citizens of Chicago in the opening days of the Civill War, and the expedition organized by
those citizens to secure the strategic town of Cairo, Illinois.
Philip Liebson delivered Hypotheses on March 18,
a fascinating discussion of the reasoning of Sherlock Holmes as an exemple of scientific
thought, and the case for Dr. Joseph Bell of Edinburgh as the prototype for Holmes.
Joel Dryer asked, How Do We Find Mr. Parker?
on March 25, a chronicle of the peripatetic life of the painter Lawton Parker, active during
the period of the Columbian Exposition.
Leon Carrow explored The Tip of the Boot on
April 1. With Calabria as the setting, a personal visit the instance, the author explored the life
of Renaissance poet Tommaso Campanella, and his influence on Bacon and the development
Isaac Cohen delivered Living Well -- A Voyage without Borders on April 8, the
story of French poet Paul Eluard, who surmounted a difficult life through his romantic poetry.
Frederick Malkinson spoke to a joint meeting with The Cliff Dwellers on April 15 on the
topic, Something Light: Comedy Tonight, an exploration of the growth of comedy in
radio from sources in vaudeville, with mention of Fred Allen as the quintessential radio
Don Wrobleski gave us The Three Burnhams and His Papers on April 22. Using the
three papers Daniel Burnham delivered to the Club, the author discussed Burnham's
view of city planning, his design for the Columbian Exposition, and his plan for the
development of Chicago (including parks, roadways, beltways as well as the better known
lakefront and lake plans).
William Beauman delivered Syndrome X on
April 29, a discussion of the causes of obesity and the problem of weight control in the light
of recent discoveries in gene science, the make-up of our taste buds, and the causes of Type
II diabetes in relation to fats and carbohydrates.
Earle Astor Shilton's classic paper from 1941,
God's Country, was re-read on May 6 by Francis Lackner. This was an autobiographical
account of his life in Montana in the early twentieth century.
Clark Wagner delivered "Who's There" to the Club's Closing Meeting at The Casino on May
15, a masterful discussion of Hamlet, both play and character.
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