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It’s been a while, folks….

…and a whirlwind of activities it has been.  Just to name a few of the distractions that came over me:

Leading a program for the National Meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians that was held in Chicago.

Delivering a presentation of “Canadian Architects of the Chicago School 1884 – 1935” to the National Festival of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and delivering abbreviated versions of this presentation to the Racquet Club of Chicago, and to the Cliff Dwellers Club.

Being a Docent for the Pleasant Home Foundation’s annual “Pleasant Homes of Oak Park” fundraiser.

At the request and sponsorship of Visit Oak Park, planning a program describing the art and architecture of Oak Park’s churches to be given during the Oak Park Arts Council’s “ArtRageous! Oak Park” Festival, to which the kind folks at Porter Airlines generously donated a pair of roundtrip airline tickets as a silent auction item.

All of the speaking engagements have lead to some fascinating research, like finding meeting minutes of the River Forest Tennis Club first approving the membership applications of Mr.  & Mrs. Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907, only to be succeeded by Board Meeting minutes in 1912 or so, rescinding the memberships of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney, for reason of “Philandering”.

There’s been lots of travel, including some time on the west coast (prairie kids always want to wind up on the coast).

And a trip to speak in Saskatoon (it’s a city in Saskatchewan), where I found that not only was the person in line behind me at the airport the Senior Advisor to the Premier of Saskatchewan going away on a quick vacation of sorts, but that the incoming flight was grounded due to a bird strike and ensuing engine flame out.

But that if that wasn’t enough for careening into famous political figures, I bumped into Paul Martin (former Prime Minister of Canada) at the Island Airport in Toronto – he actually took a seat next to me in the Departures Lounge.

And many volunteer activities:

Volunteering to give impromptu Canadian geography presentations during the Tall Ships Festival.

Chairing the British Car Show at the Illinois Saint Andrew Society Highland Games.  I had planned to enter the Caber Toss event and even contacted the Heavy Athletic Chair to enquire; I just didn’t get around to attending the training sessions held in a far western suburb of Chicago. 

Assisting various community groups organize various car shows or British, Italian and German themes, complete with entertainment by the Thistle and Heather Highland Dancers, and various bagpipers.

Oak Park Architecture Photo Party, which even extended into the Galewood neighbourhood of Chicago, an area rich with mid-century modern architecture.

And I’ve started to develop manuscripts for books, including “Canadian Architects of the Chicago School 1884 – 1935”, “First Railroads, Then Skyscrapers”; and the one closest to publication “Art Deco Oak Park”, for which there is a hard bound draft copy lurking about.

Whew!!  Perhaps I ought to simply get back to writing The Babuk Report…

Posted in Architecture, Community Organization, Current Affairs, Speaking Engagements.