From ‘Return to Me’ to ‘A Beer With Baron,’ creating a scene is a marvelous, meticulous art

Twenty summers ago, on a warm mid-July night, my wife, Bridgett, and I ambled out of a Chicago bar. Sauntering toward the corner, we passed an older gentleman sweeping the sidewalk. On the fire escape directly above us, a woman gazed at us with a deep melancholy. And all around were scores of people, each […]

Lessons abound in The Daily Northwestern’s coverage of Jeff Sessions, protesting students

Gallons of ink, mostly cyber-based, have already been spilled. More will surely flow. This is in the wake of recent events on the campus of my alma mater, Northwestern University—events set in motion by an on-campus speech last week by former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to a group of Republican students. From what I […]

Keeping Up With the State-Bound Oak Park and River Forest Huskies Girls’ Cross Country Team

Two weeks ago, when I sang the praises of Melissa Isaacson’s “State,” I foreshadowed a return to my sports writing roots as I chronicle my daughter’s cross-country team’s postseason efforts. Having transitioned some 13 years ago from a long career in journalism to public relations and other forms of communication, I call these “random acts of […]

Melissa Isaacson’s ‘State’: A Coming-of-Gender Treasure That Resonates on Many Levels

One of life’s recurring pleasures is coming upon a book I wasn’t looking for—then being powerless to look away. Three weeks ago, with a few minutes to spare before heading to a nearby meeting, that scene played out at a local library. There, prominently displayed along with other new releases, was a book whose cover […]

Strange Times in Oak Park: Responding to a Rant Straight Out of the Trumpian Playbook

This was no momentary outburst, but a sustained table-pounding, finger-pointing diatribe that occupied the better part of four minutes. The irony and hypocrisy are thick; the topic was the diversity statement—wherein the board affirms its commitment to, um, a variety of viewpoints, among other lofty aspirations.

‘Stretch Your Comfort Zone’ is my key message to Concordia University Chicago students

Yesterday, as part of the Concordia University Chicago College of Business Guest  Speaker Series, I shared key principles that have been integral to my professional and personal journey. Among those principles: *Stretch beyond your comfort zone on a regular basis;*Ask for help and seek out mentors in your field of endeavor:*Value all people–not only those you think […]

Humbling honor to give PR boost to `Jeanne’s Journey for Hope’ support of Joliet boy

In a lifetime, most people don’t spend more than a few months in a hospital—and some can measure those stays by a handful of days, or perhaps weeks. It’s a different situation for 6-year-old Dominic Hamilton. Over the past 2 ½ years, the Joliet boy has been a regular patient at Lurie Children’s Hospital in […]

Trump: A Reflection & Indictment of Our Times

A few weeks ago, a funny thought occurred to me: maybe President Trump is the perfect leader for our times. Now, don’t get me wrong–I don’t mean funny in the “ha-ha” sense, since the closest Trump’s administration can be linked to humor is that it has been one protracted punch line in an utterly, outrageously cosmic […]

Oak Leaves’ Real Estate Roundup Steers Clear of Exploring `Why’ of Slumping Sales Locally

What? Who? When? Where? Why? How? In simple terms, those questions drive story-telling. Beyond the “what?”–which obviously covers a lot of essential ground–the most vital question to answer is “why?” Tackling the “why” of something that has happened or is happening requires expertise and insight and nuance and, yes, even sticking out your neck with […]

A Beer With Baron: Enjoying a 10th Round With Mark Bazer, Creator/Host of The Interview Show

The brilliantly stupid film Zoolander…ESPN’s Mike Greenberg…and the topic of vandalism—all make cameos in a sprawling chat that I had last week with Mark Bazer of The Interview Show. As I mentioned to Mark in my opening remarks, he was on my list of candidates in part because he has blazed the trail so well for interview shows […]