Letters to the editor from Aurora, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Western Springs, Brookfield, Naperville, Forest Park, Addison and Oak Park.
With the celebration of the Beatles' 50th anniversary of "storming" the U.S. shores, it brought back memories of how this invasion manifested itself in my all boys high school on Chicago's Southwest Side.
For days and weeks after their appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on TV, the Beatles were the talk of the halls and classrooms. While much of the talk was about their music, other talk took a different twist. We were all young men, growing up in a world that was changing. Still, conversation barely touched other topics of the day — Vietnam and civil rights. The arrival of the Beatles divided the students like nothing else before.
One group looked upon the Beatles as a subversive element, interlopers on good old American rock 'n' roll. This group were defenders of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, even Pat Boone. They spoke of the Beatles as, to put it kindly, long-haired foreigners. Not real men.
The Beatles had their defenders. This group began wearing their hair a little shaggier. Pointy shoes started being seen on some feet. Style of clothes took on a more European flare. Conversation in this crowd even mimicked the style of the Beatles' televised interviews.
While the majority of young men didn't get into these conversations, the opposite sides were eager to defend their positions. The only muscles used were around the mouth: crew-cuts versus shag cuts, England versus America, old versus new.
Does the impasse continue? The only way this can be answered is to check the record cabinets of those long-ago boys. (But wait, what's a record cabinet?)
— Bernard Biernacki, Aurora
The arrogant and presumptive term "I tell it like it is" really means "I tell it like I personally believe it to be, not necessarily how it really is."
— George Hickey, Downers Grove
There was a time when I worked very hard for $1.85 an hour at Marshall Field's while working a second job as a teacher's assistant at a middle school. If I hadn't lived at home with my very generous parents, I couldn't have survived, and I don't understand now how hard-working people exist on a little more than $7 an hour.
People like Rand Paul and Bruce Rauner should be ashamed of themselves. My guess is that they never had to work for minimum wage.
— Kathleen Graham, Elmhurst
I have great respect for the families of all individuals with disabilities, as my brother had severe mental and physical deficiencies. Government assistance on any level was non-existent.
My career spanned 40 years of providing training and in-home care for individuals with disabilities. For 22 years I provided respite care through a private agency. All of my families provided stable and loving homes. Respite was provided by trained individuals, such as myself, who came into the home to give the families a much deserved break. A relief from care-giving is beneficial to both the parents and other siblings.
When the state of Illinois began providing respite services, several of my families applied for these extra hours. It was often difficult for the state to retain quality staff, as wages were substandard and conditions were often deplorable. Within a short time, the state was not able to fill the allotted family support hours, and families had the option of hiring their own workers. Many hired family members.