“Talk Of The Town” – Marriage proposal makes parade unforgettable #ClarendonHillsRocks


Traditions!

“And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: Tradition!”

While I don’t think Tevye the Dairyman had them in mind when he delivered that iconic line in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Fourth of July parades are a tradition that many towns across the USA enjoy. Here in the western suburbs, families from all around go to the Hinsdale parade because it’s kind of the granddaddy of parades. On every corner and sidewalk you will find people several rows deep, sitting on blankets and chairs or standing to get a glimpse of the patriotic floats. Parade parties fill the porches and lawns and countless friends and family members can be seen laughing and cheering, having returned home to celebrate a long-standing tradition.

In my memory, one particular Hinsdale parade stands out.

The crowd on Garfield Street was startled by the sound of gunfire as the 55th Illinois Volunteer Infantry fired their rifles. With the haze of gunsmoke still hanging in the air, the people fell into a shocked silence. A few seconds later, the infantry strode toward the curb and the captain called out a young woman by name. As she stood up, the rest of the infantry rolled out a giant banner emblazoned with a very important message: “AMY, WILL YOU MARRY ME?” Turning around in surprise, the woman discovered that a young man was kneeling at her feet, waiting for her answer.

We all have our family traditions that keep our lives in balance. In my family, we had some quirky ones for sure. When I was a kid, for instance, we used to open only one gift on Christmas Eve. I would always struggle to guess what was wrapped up in the box before opening it. Shaking a particularly enticing gift one year, I was sure it contained a gold coin that would soon be added to my collection. But when I ripped open the paper, it turned out to be fingernail clippers! My mom laughed and laughed, and my sour reaction gave birth to a slight change in our tradition: we started opening two gifts!

These days, we open all of the gifts from “RaRa” (my mom) on the eve of Christmas because my children love to celebrate in her home in Riverside. As we drive home, we can’t wait to see our town lit up with another beloved tradition: the luminarias in Clarendon Hills.

My wife is also big on tradition. In fact, we seem to have our family’s internal clock set to them. She is part Greek, and most people know that traditions run deep in Greek families. For Amy, relationships are very important, so any familiar activities we can do with family and friends are welcome and cherished. Vacations, reunions and holidays are all very important to us.

We celebrate some Clarendon Hills-specific traditions as well. Daisy Days and Daisy Dash are probably some of most important. We also love the Dancin’ in the Streets festival, the Fishing Derby at Prospect Park (coming up on Saturday, July 26 at 8:30 a.m.) and watching fireworks from Prospect Park.

Still, the most special one (to me, anyway) will always be the Fourth of July parade. My wife’s family, along with many other family and friends, always go to the same spot on Garfield between Third and Fourth streets, where that important banner was unfurled. It’s been 15 wonderful years since that young man (who looks very much like a younger version of myself) got down on one knee in front of so many people. And 15 years later, I am still so happy that she said yes!

As the fire trucks roll on, so does the tradition. And it keeps that priceless memory fresh in our hearts.

Mike is a Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian Princes; Indian Guide Dad;  a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker.  Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around Clarendon Hills.  It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings.  He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting Clarendon Hills residents and even a little about Clarendon Hills history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”. Mike McCurry’s office is located at 5 S. Prospect Ave., Clarendon Hills, IL 60514 His blog can be found at mikemccurryhomesblog.wordpress.com 630-325-2800 or visit his website at www.mmccurry.com

2014-07-04 10.30.282014-07-04 10.30.352014-07-04 10.13.14

 

#ClarendonHillsRocks #HomeRocks

 

Dancin’ in the Street #ClarendoonHillsRocks style with the American English!


Dancin' in the Streets

Dancin’ in the Streets

“Village of Clarendon Hills Update

July 9, 2014

Dancin’ in the Street Tonight at 6:30:

The Village of Clarendon Hills, Fifth-Third Bank, The Mike McCurry Group- Coldwell Banker, and nightly sponsors Oak Brook Racquet & Fitness and Village Veterinary present American English, a Beatles tribute band. Sweet and Savory Spot will be serving food and as always the the Village of Clarendon Hills and the Special Events Committee will be providing beer and wine.

Remember to bring your blankets, chairs, and Dancin’ shoes for tonight’s concert.”

“Talk Of The Town” – Strange things are popping up around town! #ClarendonHillsRocks


"Raincatchers Clarendon Hills" Clarendon Hills Village

“Raincatchers Clarendon Hills” Clarendon Hills Village

Strolling through downtown Clarendon Hills recently, I was startled by an unusual sight: hands growing out of the planter beds! A few feet away, Mona Lisa was popping out of the ground between Domino’s and Ashley’s Custom Stationery, and nearby a panther was spotted in front of the Coldwell Banker office. Even Captain America was found fighting for nature in front of Quinn’s Coffee Shop. Could this be a late-night Svengoolie episode?

Not quite. The peculiar visitors are painted on rain barrels throughout town, and many Clarendon Hills residents are stopping in to see for themselves.

The strange phenomena all began with 17-year-old local resident Alex Sivak. Alex attended a meeting last November put on by CHCO2 Footprint Project, a nonprofit organization that serves Clarendon Hills by educating us on how to reduce the size of our carbon footprint. Inspired by the meeting, Alex — a senior at Benet Academy and a member of Boy Scout Troop 51 — decided that he wanted to work alongside the group for two reasons: first, to take on something great and serve the community; and second, to satisfy his Eagle Scout award, the highest honor in Boy Scouts.

Alex soon became the project manager and energy behind CHCO2’s Rain Barrel Project, setting out a four-phase plan that will conclude at the end of July. The first phase was designed to educate Clarendon Hills residents and students on water conservation, and Alex enlisted the Conservative Foundation to speak to students at all of our local Clarendon Hills schools: Walker, Prospect, Notre Dame, Seton Montessori and Clarendon Hills Middle School.

The purpose of Phase Two was to raise funds and conserve water by selling rain barrels. Alex’s troop sold 32 of them, and he personally bought barrels for all the schools with money raised by the fundraising. Also part of Phase Two: a contest called “Raincatchers of Clarendon Hills,” in which schools, businesses and community residents had an opportunity to paint the barrels. The creepy and exciting visitors you see around town were created by many local residents, including students from Walker and Prospect elementary schools and Seton Montessori School.

In Phase Three, Alex had Clarendon Hills Bank install two rain barrels to demonstrate how to properly have them installed. But perhaps the most exciting phase is yet to come — Phase Four is the voting process to determine a winner of the barrel-painting contest. Alex had plaques made for each painted rain barrel in town, telling visitors how they could vote for their favorite barrel. This phase will conclude when the winner of the contest is announced at the Dancin’ in the Streets concert on July 23, so it’s not too late to vote.

I interviewed Alex and was impressed with his confidence and the way he gives credit to some of his mentors, including Dan Ungerleider, the Community Director of Development for Clarendon Hills. I was also impressed with his dedication to a good cause and his persistence in bringing about positive change. He will receive his Eagle Scout award before his 18th birthday this fall, I’m sure.

So if you see any unusual visitors as you walk through town in the coming weeks, think of Alex’s plan. Perhaps a child dangling his feet in a barrel while trying to snag a fish might not be so strange after all.

Mike is a Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian Princes; Indian Guide Dad;  a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker.  Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around Clarendon Hills.  It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings.  He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting Clarendon Hills residents and even a little about Clarendon Hills history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”. Mike McCurry’s office is located at 5 S. Prospect Ave., Clarendon Hills, IL 60514 His blog can be found at mikemccurryhomesblog.wordpress.com 630-325-2800 or visit his website at www.mmccurry.com

#ClarendonHillsRocks #HomeRocks

William B Hamel DDS

William B Hamel DDS

Walker Elementary School Painted

Walker Elementary School Painted

Raincatchers of Clarendon Hills

Raincatchers of Clarendon Hills

CHCH02 Painted Barrel

CHCH02 Painted Barrel

Coldwell Banker Rain Barrel

Coldwell Banker Rain Barrel

Notre Dame School

Notre Dame School

Clarendon Hills Middle School CHMS

Clarendon Hills Middle School CHMS

Seton Montessori

Seton Montessori

“Talk Of The Town” Dancing in the Streets, Daisy Days and Summer Days #ClarendonHillsRocks


The young woman sitting on a Costco fold-up chair was anxiously trying to complete her task while the line of children continued to form.  She was visually agitated, because there was no end in sight, and the reality of being late to her next gig was setting in.  She had no helpers to tell the kids that her booth was closing, and the line was getting longer.  At one point, she gave a girl a sign that read “this is the end of the line” but that didn’t help as it was passed to the next person.  She had produced many rainbows, butterflies, dragons and princesses on that Daisy Day Saturday, and the children were happy.  Skipping happily and showing off their new found persona, and their painted face made it seem like a real festival.  Happy, yes, until the artist had to leave.  Three of mine were at the cut off, and were not taking “no” for an answer.

Face painting is just one of the wonderful perks my family receives from the summer events.  It’s a time where we can do a little “freeloading”.  Free giveaways from local businesses are always fun to receive.  Balloons, coffee mugs, games, pens and sometimes cold water bottles seem to be present but the free concerts are the best!  On any given week, you can find the McCurry’s at one of the following “freebees”:

Daisy Days Friday, June 13 (6pm-10pm) Concert in Downtown Clarendon Hills featuring The Dabe Welch Band. Saturday, June 14th (10am-10pm) Arts and Craft Show, reptiles show and Daisy Days Idol is happening during the day.  The concert at night will feature South of the Disorder, a tribute cover band with beach and Jimmy Buffett music.  Food will be served by our local restaurants and a beer and the wine tent is always a welcome watering hole.  I’m serving there Friday night – stop by!

The Dancin’ in the Streets concert series starts the following Wednesday, June 18th and continues every Wednesday, ending July 23.  Food and beverages are available starting at 6:30pm and music begins at 7pm.  It’s a family-friendly environment at which, the Village of Clarendon Hills shuts down traffic on Prospect Avenue between the tracks to Park Avenue, so attendees can stake a claim to part of the street.  Children and adults are sure to loosen up around here; many get out of their lawn chairs and off their blankets to dance in front of stage.  (Several times a night you will see my family “loosening up” too.)

On Thursdays, we’re off to Hinsdale to enjoy the Uniquely Thursdays concert series.  This series runs until August 14, every Thursday night starting at 6pm.  It’s held in Burlington Park, an open space where children have a lot of room to run and enjoy the music.  There always seems to be a bunch of beach balls flying around to keep them busy.

On Friday nights, the McCurry’s often end up wandering down to Burr Ridge for their Concert on the Green series, which starts at 7:30pm and runs every Friday until August 29th.  These concerts are held on the north part of the Village Center mall, utilizing a lovely semi-permanent band shell.  Our kids always find the splash pad in the center, so if you go, bring an extra change of clothes, as they are sure to get wet! Their little faces displayed a Dragon, a princess and a rainbow – the artist simply could not say “no” to them.

Mike is a Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian Princes; Indian Guide Dad;  a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker.  Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around Clarendon Hills.  It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings.  He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting Clarendon Hills residents and even a little about Clarendon Hills history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”. Mike McCurry’s office is located at 5 S. Prospect Ave., Clarendon Hills, IL 60514 His blog can be found at mikemccurryhomesblog.wordpress.com 630-325-2800 or visit his website at www.mmccurry.com

 

Dancing in the Streets

Dancin' in the Streets

“Talk of the Town” Good Sportsmanship a lifelong lesson #ClarendonHillsRocks


Good Sportsmanship a lifelong lesson – From Mike McCurry’s “Talk of the Town” column in the Clarendon Courier

The unruly crowd went wild as two football players traded punches on the field like Rock’em Sock’em Robots.  They hadn’t seemed to notice the long pass completed down the field where the play continued. Even when the play was over, they continued to pound each other; exciting the crowd further. This was one of many fights that broke out during that first inaugural Arena Football season; this one happened to be on the first very first play of the season.

As a dad, I try to teach my children to have good sportsmanship because it builds good character. In a momentary loss of reason, my 7 year old son cranked back his arm and unleashed a punch smack dab in the middle of one of his best buddy’s back, dropping him to his knees in pain. One moment my assistant coach (who’s son got hit) and I were teaching about passing the soccer ball, and the next moment, a push happened, followed by “the punch” bringing practice to an awkward end. After the tears dried and the dads’ nerves settled, we realized this was one of many life’s teachable moment.

Amy gets these teachable opportunities quite a bit,  but this one was a perfect match for dad!  My son headed to his room in the quiet of our home for a good 30 minutes before I came to find him almost asleep on his bed.  I asked him what happened and he described it by spelling it out, “I H I T him in the back, dad”. He didn’t want to say the actual word.  “But he pushed me first.”  From this experience, there are many good lessons he could learn. The one first that came to mind was to “turn the other cheek” told by Jesus; but the Apostle Peter hadn’t seemed to remember it in the moment when he cut off the high priest’s ear.  I decided that it would be appropriate for him to recognize the feeling of loosing control, which he had just experienced in the heat of the battle.  We talked about this and how he could reflect on his feelings so that it wouldn’t happen again.  We also came up with an analogy for the act. “Breaking a branch off of a healthy tree is wrong, but taking an axe and cutting it down is even worse.” He was even able to use this analogy when writing an apology note to his friend. That note was precious and I realize that life is full of teachable moments which we cannot let pass us by.  I’m happy to be a part of them.

My oldest daughter also plays soccer and competes in gymnastics for the Special Olympics.  On the soccer field she loves to get an opportunity to make contact with the ball. After years of coaching and watching her develop her skills, confidence and friendships, we all had the thrill of watching her do what all kids desire to do on the soccer field; score. She had a break away that allowed her the opportunity. Together the parents and players from each side were cheering for her. When she punched it in the goal, with such reckless abandon, she threw her arms up and in the air and shouted “I did it!”.  It was a teachable moment for everyone.

Many of the sports organizations do not emphasize winning because they want children to have a good experience.  I like this for the younger kids but when they get older, winning and losing are teachable moments as well.  My oldest son swims and often is competing against his own times.  Although swimming is a very individualized sport, swimmers are constantly racing their teammates with every stroke during their daily practices. This spirited competition turns into cutting each other down for their own emotional gain; missing the opportunity to encourage and develop camaraderie. A wise coach will use these teachable moments to foster good sportsmanship while still providing healthy competition

On the field, I do hear the kids getting into verbal confrontations from time to time.  Usually it is because someone scores a point.  Children are learning the art of winning and losing. The child who scores rubs it in a little too much and the child who loses fails to take responsibility for their part.  This is natural in the progression of competition.  I think we all have a lot to learn about humility and responsibly; especially me.

The crowd did keep getting louder, I could hear the decibels raising like they were cheering for me, little did I know we completed that pass.

 

 

Mike is a Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian Princes; Indian Guide Dad;  a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker.  Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around Clarendon Hills.  It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings.  He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting Clarendon Hills residents and even a little about Clarendon Hills history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.

Mike McCurry’s office is located at 5 S. Prospect Ave., Clarendon Hills, IL 60514

His blog can be found at mikemccurryhomesblog.wordpress.com

630-325-2800 or visit his website at www.mmccurry.com

“Talk Of The Town” Busy Times! Restaurant Owner Needed! #ClarendonHillsRocks


The Scoop:
We’re looking for a new owner of the restaurant at 34 South Prospect. The current owners of (Mario’s Pasta and Pizza), Mario and Noe have seen business get better over time but because of some health issues, they are ready to sell. They are committed to staying open and will continue to serve food during the process of selling the business so please continue to dine in or order pizza delivery. It will be sad for me one day not be able to order my “usual”, the Breakfast Burrito (that I love!), at least three times a week. A new opportunity is somewhat exciting however, and I have already found myself dreaming about the possibilities of something new in that space. Follow me here: Can’t you just imagine an edgy 50′s diner or a soda shop? Maybe something Irish? I have been holding out for a brewery but this place is probably a little small for that. Imagine seeing a mural or huge colorful posters on the Park Ave side of the building’s long brick wall. Something clever that crystallizes their brand and eventually helps the new place to become a destination spot. What do you think?

A Sign of the times!

The street lights have come on and I can hear the laughter and chatter in our town as people venture out for dinner or to The Daily Scoop for a “little something”. It is late…and so am I. With the emergence of the warmer weather comes the emergence of the Spring Market (finally!) and we have been busy. Very busy. My group, which consist of agents, Mary and Phil, along with Linda who assists us, and Claudia, our office admin are processing paperwork like crazy. We barely have had time to sit let alone get home in time for dinner on a regular basis. But that comes with the territory. As I sit to reflect on this time, I’ve realized the clients are much more diverse this year – the couple coming from the city with the excitement of a new life together, the baby boomers downsizing and looking for a place to spend the “nicer” weather here for six months and then heading south for “nicer” weather the other six months. It makes me sit back and remember when…and dream of the future I have with Amy. It also makes me stop in my tracks. We are somewhere in the thick of it – kids going to school full time and one just entering kindergarten (Yes, four McCurrys at Walker!). I’m watching friends as they say “enjoy it, it goes so fast” as their children are getting ready for college in August. So as I sit to write this week’s article, I’m realizing how fast things really are going and I want to hold onto it. It’s a gift of time that means the most. I’m going to go home and enjoy my family tonight. See you in town!
Mike is a Clarendon Hills resident; husband; Indian Princes; Indian Guide Dad;  a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker.  Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around Clarendon Hills.  It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings.  He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting Clarendon Hills residents and even a little about Clarendon Hills history. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.

Mike McCurry’s office is located at 5 S. Prospect Ave., Clarendon Hills, IL 60514

His blog can be found at mikemccurryhomesblog.wordpress.com

630-325-2800 or visit his website at www.mmccurry.com

 

New Owner Needed!

New Owner Needed!

34 S Prospect, Clarendon Hills IL 60514

Special Announc…


Special Announcement – District 181 hires new superintendent Dr. Don White
May 2, 2014

Dear District 181 Families, Staff, and Community,

Tonight at a Special meeting of the District 181 Board of Education, we unanimously approved the hiring of incoming superintendent Dr. Don White. We are very excited to welcome our new educational leader!

On behalf of the Board of Education, we share our appreciation to all who helped support the search process. In the attached press release, you can learn more about that process, as well as the highlights of Dr. White’s stellar career in education. He is an experienced educator who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to students, staff, and families. He is extremely knowledgeable, an excellent communicator, and a strong leader. We are posting his resume and contract on BoardDocs and the District website for those interested in learning more.

A “meet and greet” event and celebration will be planned for a future date, along with school visits, and other opportunities to welcome our incoming superintendent. Dr. White will officially join us beginning May 27, 2014.

The Board looks forward to a long-lasting partnership with Dr. White and with all of our community as we work together to continue building a bright future for the students of District 181.

Sincerely,

Marty Turek
Board President

Special Announcement –  District 181 hires new superintendent Dr. Don White

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