THE CHICAGO LITERARY CLUB
Summaries of Papers 1999-2000
Fred Malkinson, in
Presidential address on October 4, "Yellow Jack," pointed out
not only the scourge of this disease and the heroic efforts to
tame it, but the
substantial effect it has had upon history, from the Louisiana
Purchase to the Panama
John Wilson offered
thorough and thoughtful biography of William Penn in "The
Importance of a Hat," delivered on October
Fred Kittle read "Arthur Conan Doyle Visits
October 25, detailing
Doyle's first visit to America in 1894 and his use of Chicago as
a base of operations.
John Garvin related the history of
Glyndebourne, estate and opera
festival, in "A
Country House" on November 1.
the biography of Dr. Alexis Carrel, Nobel prize winner and
Chicago resident in "Carrel of Discontent" on November
David Baldwin, in "Nagasaki Prefecture
November 15, gave
us a view of post-war Japan in the direct aftermath of the atomic
bomb, seen through
the eyes of a young physician attempting to promote public
John Carlson gave
whirlwind tour of Chicago architectural history, especially the
late 19th century, in "A Couple of Old Landmarkers" on November
Richardson Spofford detailed a wartime epic
of escape, suffering
and survival in
WWII in "The Long Walk; Endurance and Luck" on November 29, in
which a Polish
officer, captured by the Russians and sent to Siberia, escaped,
and led a small group
across wintertime Siberia, the summertime Gobi Desert, the
Himalayas, and finally to
India and safety.
Stanley Allan revealed the passion of King
Henry in building the
Abbey in "King Henry
III--Westminster Abbey" on December 13,.
Manly Mumford read
18th paper, "Conservancy," on January 10 at the Midwinter
Meeting at the Chicago Historical Society. In it he discussed
the plethora of options a
landowner faces in establishing conservation easements.
Joel Dryer gave us
"Again & Again" on January 17, detailing
his ultimately successful
pursuit of a long-lost Chicago work of art, and the background of
that work from the
Columbian Exposition and the art show that preceded it.
Leo Seren gently instructed us on the history
and derivation of the
golden mean in "A
Secret of Life" on January 24.
Jack Broeksmit presented "The True Promethean
Fire" on January
answers to the question of why God allows evil to prevail and the
Alan Gertenrich gave us "Bright Tomorrow or
on February 7.
read "Two 2 Tango" on February 14,
describing the rise of that
peculiarly Argentine dance from the barrios of Buenos Aires to
the concert halls of
Europe and North America.
Robert Karton read
eloquent appeal for the ethical basis of law in "Hearts and
Flowers" on February 21.
Ralph Fujimoto gave us the first of the papers at
the joint meeting with the Fortnightly on March 3rd. "Let's Build a Stairway to the Stars"
explored the transmission of human knowledge through myth. Beginning in the cosmic
legends of the Andean cultures, he discussed scientist's views of the Flood and the cosmic
world, concluding with speculations about string theory in current astronomy.
Todd Parkhurst presented the other paper at
the joint meeting, "The Passage," concerning his experiences in the Lifeline Pilots. This
group of 300 volunteer pilots provides free air transportation to medical patients and others in
Yolanda Deen gave us "Fair Warning" on March
6, describing her adventures in the world of auctions. Starting with the sale of MGM
memorabilia, especially from Gone With the Wind, she developed a passion for
porcelain which culminated with the winning bid for the set of porcelain which had belonged
to her friend and mentor.
Vincent Erickson presented "Reaching for the Stars" on March 13, in which he
acknowledged a teacher who, when he was 13 years of age, instilled a life-long fascination
with both poetry and astronomy.
Daniel Hayman recounted on March 20 the events of his millennial trip to the Holy
Land with a long-term friend and spiritual guide, Robert Leuken. "Malevolence Wears the
Face of Honesty: The Demons" recounted a trip of a group of friends, during the
Christmas-New Year holiday of 1999-2000, whose common denominator was friendship with
Helen Rogal described the growth, life and
dispersal of the people of Cades Cove in what is now Smoky Mountain National Park on
March 27 in "Full Circle".
Claude Peck gave us a lively account of the life
of Peter Stuyvesant, ultimately governor of New Amsterdam, in "September Song", on April
3. Peck, a tenth-generation descendent, mixed history with popular culture in describing his
Bennet Bronson delivered the Arthur Baer
Fellowship Address at the Arts Club on April 10. Entitled "Pearls Beyond Price", this was
an entertaining account of the sources, history and uses of the pearl trade, from the Persian
Gulf to India and the Far East, to the fresh water pearls found in the Americas, and of the
uses to which they have been put.
Francis Even chronicled "The Life and Times of
Edwin Channing Larned" on April 17. An early member of the Club, Mr. Larned came to
Chicago in 1847, challenged the Fugitive Slave Act, and became a leading Abolitionist
figure. Appointed US District Attorney during the Civil War, Larned went on to a legal
career that included many civic and charitable activities.
Pia Cortis recounted the life of Georgia O'Keefe in "Nearby Faraway". The
artist searched for the essence of painting whether in the skyscrapers of New York City or in
the ever-changing light of New Mexico.
Robert Buecker delivered "Linear One,
Two, Three" on May 1, in which he described the discoveries of Sir Arthur Evans and other
archaeologists on the island of Crete, specifically at Knossos, and the re-discovery of the first
William Knospe gave us "A Sense of Place" on May 8, in which he recalled the
joys of a boyhood on the South Side of Chicago, from neighborhood pickup games to family
events to streetcar rides to the Loop.
Leon Carrow delivered the address at the
Closing Meeting at The Casino entitled "Road Toward Maturation", a skillful blending of
childhood stories of Humboldt Park, and biographical sketches of the German explorer and
naturalist for whom the park was named.
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