Winnetka Way: Michael Sneed
Gazette Article by: Michael Sneed
Appeared in the Gazette: Fall 1994
Winnetka Way articles are written by guest columnists who have been asked to share their memories of an aspect of Winnetka that they remember fondly. Winnetka Way articles debuted in 1994 and continue to the present.
…Sneedless to Say
There are those who say that little else but weather happens in Winnetka. Not true. This town is hummin’. Since my arrival in the Never-Neverland of the North Shore, a transplant from the North Dakota prairie, I’ve had the distinction of feeling quite wonderfully at home. Why? Here’s why. It’s called the mystery of historical coincidence. Ready?
• : I’ve had the distinction of finding one of my family names on a gravestone in the legendary Christ Church Cemetery. The name: Garland. I have no idea whether he is a relative. To amuse myself, I’ve claimed him anyway and imagined him settling in the area for my eventual entry decades later. (I’m told he settled the area by operating a waystation [er, tavern] and conducting services for family and friends.) Sounds exactly like the Protestant forbears on my father’s side. How’s that for a welcome?
• : Returning this spring to the little Catholic church (St. Joseph’s) in my birthplace (Mandan, N.D.), I discovered the church’s layout was exactly like the church I now attend (Sacred Heart)—-AND contains an identically located glass window of the Sacred Heart. Another reason I was drawn to this place?
• : I love to write and do so for a living. But writing letters is probably what I do best. Shortly after moving into our home, we discovered it had been Winnetka’s first post office. Ah, coincidence?
• : My father played for the St. Louis Cardinal’s farm team before World War II. I had the destinction of being the oldest member of a Winnetka Park District softball team dubbed “The Dream Team,” which permitted me to take 10 minutes to run to first base. (Ask Amy Egan, Barb Aquilino, Sheila Johnson, Renee Bellew, Mary Happ and M.J. Harris.) Takeabreath. We all did.
• : My son, Patrick, thrives and jives here. He was raised running freely from yard to yard, just like I did in North Dakota. Now that he’s a teenager, he runs freely here and there, if you get my drift.
• : So howcum wherever I live, the cats find me? I am not a crazy cat lady, but all the stray cats land on my doorstep. (P.S. Any claimants for a 12-pound white, fluffy, mellow male cat that’s lost its way home?)
• : I seem to be one of the few subscribers to the Sun-Times, yet someone keeps swiping my newspaper. Wonder why?
• : I’ve also had the distinction of endless rolls of toilet paper launched on my trees, hauled, no doubt, from the bathrooms of Amy Egan, Renee Bellew and Beth Roehner (Wanna get teed off? Get Tee Peed.)
• : But I think one of the highlights of living here was the ability to go 45 m.p.h. down Willow Road while following Police Chief Herb Timm one day…and having a Moog Synthesizer blast music through my windows from the Women’s Club of Winnetka. It reminded me of high school and Hell.
Sneedless to say, I’m home.