Winnetka Way: Wally Phillips

Gazette Article by: Wally Phillips
Appeared in the Gazette: Summer 1998

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 continued through 2011.

“With pleasure!”  That was my reply when Eleanor Tippens, a board member of the Winnetka Historical Society, recently asked me to write a few words about the years 1970 to 1986, when my family enjoyed living in Winnetka.

And it also best describes how one DOES live there.  With pleasure . . .

In fact, we loved it so much that our three children (children then, adults now) have only recently considered forgiving us for moving elsewhere.  Kids. What would the world be without kids? Boring, for starters. Quieter . . . at least until the arrival of the Rock era . . . but hollow, for sure.

Witness our favorite remembrance of Winnetka. We returned home from a trip late one night, spent (in more ways than one) from our vacation. My son went downstairs to our family room and quickly returned to tell me, “Dad, there’s a squirrel in the refrigerator!” I was about to dismiss this an another of his weird jokes when his sister appeared and verified this most undesirable bulletin. Next, a five-hour search disclosed that the squirrel had chosen a cozy haven in the upper reaches of the living room drapes, no doubt contemplating an extended stay.

Without access to phone numbers for Agent 007, Batman, and the Lone Ranger, I turned in desperation to man’s best friend—the Winnetka Police Department.

The next day the animal warden supervised the squirrel’s quiet withdrawal to an alternate location, assuring the kids that no harm would come to their new-found friend and that he would return safely to his natural habitat.

Efficiency and compassion combined!

And precisely how the people of Winnetka function.

So please accept this belated tribute to all those who serve Winnetka with such care, dignity, and respect. They all provide their help with a commitment to a standard of living that has created and preserves one of the most preferred communities in the entire United States.

Pleasure is also knowing that the award-winning Winnetka Historical Society encourages and provides sanctuary for such remembrances.

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