Illinois life

A grab bag of pieces from profiles to perorations about day-to-day life in Illinois and about being Illinoisan. Most are exasperated and sardonic in tone—not commentaries, exactly, and not exactly humor pieces either, although comment and humor figure in a lot of them.

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The Price of Doing Business

When a man's home is his office

Wednesday Journal July 15, 1992

This Old Town Is Going to the Dogs

In Oak Park, even the dogs have agendas

Wednesday Journal  July 29, 1992

A Civic Fussbudget Meets His Match in Oak Park's Mean Streets

Suburban tidiness meets urban realities

Wednesday Journal  June 24, 1992

Dead Horses

On the open burning of trees leaves

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  December 6, 1990

Return of the Bastard Toadflax

Putting the prairie back into the Prairie State

Illinois Issues  April 1996

Playing to the Crowd

Art fights audience and manages a draw

Wednesday Journal  ca 1993

Cosmopolites

City living explained to Downstaters

"Prejudices"  Illinois Times  January 12, 1991

The Zone of Indifference

Wilbur Zelinsky—yes, him—on America’s vernacular regions

"Prejudices"  Illinois Times  September 2, 1981

Illinois State Fair

Fair to Middling

Springfield Day at the state fair

"Prejudices"  Illinois Times  August 22, 1980

The State of the Fair

Life as it is lived at the Illinois State Fair

Reader  June 30, 1989

Parade Unrest

State fair week reminds me again why I hate a parade

"Prejudices"  Illinois Times  August 20, 1987

Pots and Kettles

Downstate-Chicago enmity explained

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  June 5, 1981

Charlie Boon, Logger, of Goofy Ridge

A tinkering entrepreneur in the old Illinois style

Illinois Times  November 24, 1978

In a Can

In which Springfield’s canned “chillis” pass a test

"Prejudices"  Illinois Times  December 2, 1982

Routes

The bane of banal Illinois roadscapes

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  May 4, 1989 

House Hunting
Meditations on the suburban dream, Chicago-style

Reader March 29, 1991

Truer Countryside

Backward countryside, forward-looking state

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  April 19, 1990

Down on the Farm

The world through the eyes of Farm Week

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  February 3, 1983

Reflections on a Howling Mob

U of I football fans flag the Big Ten

Illinois Times  May 15, 1981

Pretending

Ethnic ghosts in the closet

Illinois Times  August 28, 1986

Cyprinus to You, Too

The fishy cousin to the gnu and the aardvark

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  July 21, 1978

Dodge-bashing Downtown

Springfield tries to have fun. It wasn’t pretty

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  July 10, 1981

A Forbidding Prospect

Ill at ease in Illinois’s wide open spaces

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  November 16, 1979

Downright Vicious

‘Skeeters, nature’s guerilla fighters

"Prejudices”  Illinois Times  June 16, 1978

Not Nice in Nice

Illinois once was French—not that you’d notice

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  May 21, 1992

Craig Findley of the Gazette-Times

Trying to make a good country weekly very good

Illinois Times  August 12, 1977

Introduction

Looking for Illinois

June 2003

"Is Your Flag Showing?"

Downstaters are patriotic. Who knew?

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  January 4, 1980

Delightful, De-lovely, Decatur

A Springfield looks down his nose and sees Decatur

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  November 3, 1978

I Go To a Parade

Springfield turns out to cheer itself on the Fourth

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  July 14, 1978

Missing Links

Illinois roads are not demanding. Neither are its driving laws.

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  March 7, 1980

Merge, Right?

Too many Illinoisans don’t know how to behave on the road

“Dyspepsiana” Illinois Times August 21, 2014

Honest, Officer, I Didn’t See It Coming

How to make Illinois drivers better drivers

“Dyspepsiana” Illinois Times November 26, 2014

Noise-makers

The foreign languages of Illinois

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  January 26, 1984

Neighbors

Downstate cities are neighbors, not friends

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  March 21, 1980

Nowhere

Illinois: Country-fied city or city-fied country?

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  No date

It's Not the Heat, It's the Corn

Are row crops making summers unbearable?

“Dyspepsiana” Illinois Times  July 12, 2011

Quackscam and Cockatiels

Libertarians limber up their guns along the Illinois

“Prejudices” Illinois Times  January 2, 1981

Paving Over Oxfordshire

The demise of the Illinois countryside

“Prejudices”  Illinois Times  August 10, 1979

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SITES

OF INTEREST

John Hallwas

Essential for anyone interested in Illinois history and literature. Hallwas deservedly won the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society.

Lee Sandlin Author

One of Illinois’s best, and least-known, writers of his generation. Take note in particular of The Distancers and Road to Nowhere.

Chicago Architecture Center

See Home Page/Learn/

Resources for a marvelous building database, architecture dictionary, even a city planning graphic novel. Handsome, useful—every Illinois culture website should be so good.

The Encyclopedia of Chicago

 

The online version of The Encyclopedia of Chicago, Crammed with thousands of topic entries, biographical sketches, maps and images, it is a reference work unmatched in Illinois.

Illinois Great Places

The Illinois chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2018 selected 200 Great Places in Illinois that illustrate our  shared architectural culture across the entire period of human settlement in Illinois.

McLean County Museum

of History

A nationally accredited, award-winning project of the McLean County Historical Society whose holdings include more than 20,000 objects, more than 15,000 books on local history and genealogy, and boxes and boxes of historical papers and images.

Mr. Lincoln, Route 66, and Other Highlights of Lincoln, Illinois

 

Every Illinois town ought to have a chronicler like D. Leigh Henson, Ph.D. Not only Lincoln and the Mother road—the author’s curiosity ranges from cattle baron John Dean Gillett to novelist William Maxwell. An Illinois State Historical Society "Best Web Site of the Year."

Southern Illinois University Press

SIU Press is one of the four major university publishing houses in Illinois. Its catalog offers much of local interest, including biographies of Illinois political figures, the history (human and natural) and folklore of southern Illinois, the Civil War and Lincoln, and quality reprints in the Shawnee Classics series.

Chronicling Illinois

“Chronicling Illinois” showcases some of the collections—mostly some 6,000 photographs—from the Illinois history holdings of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.

Illinois Digital Archives

 

Created in 2000, the IDA is a repository for the digital collections of the Illinois State Library and other Illinois libraries and cultural institutions. The holdings include photographs, slides, and glass negatives, oral histories, newspapers, maps, and documents from manuscripts and letters to postcards,  posters, and videos.

[STILL A-BUILDING]

BOOKS

 OF INTEREST

Southern Illinois University Press 2017

A work of

solid history, entertainingly told.

Michael Burlingame,

author of Abraham 

Lincoln: A Life 

One of the ten best books on Illinois history I have read in a decade.

Superior Achievement Award citation, ISHS Awards, 2018

A lively and engaging study

. . . an enthralling narrative.

James Edstrom

The Annals of Iowa

A book that merits the attention of all Illinois historians

as well as local historians generally.

John Hoffman

Journal of Illinois HIstory

A model for the kind of detailed and honest history other states and regions could use.

Harold Henderson 

Midwestern Microhistory

A fine example of a resurgence of Midwest historical scholarship.

Greg Hall

Journal of the Illinois

State Historical Society

Click  here 

to read about

the book 

Click  here 

to buy

the book

Contact James Krohe Jr. at CornLatitudes@outlook.com

All material Copyright © by James Krohe Jr. unless otherwise indicated