At age 12, when I still thought I was or would be or could be a poet, John G. Neihardt figured large in my imagination. For 50-plus years he was Nebraska’s poet laureate. He began his editing and writing career in a cottage—really a shack—at the edge of the Omaha Indian reservation, 12 miles from where I grew up.
In the 1960s, famed community organizer Saul Alinksy, Arthur M. Brazier and the Woodlawn Organization took on the University of Chicago, the mayor’s office, some church groups and even this magazine as they strove to improve life for people in the Woodlawn community near Hyde Park.
As Christians conquered pagan lands, they regularly superimposed Christian symbols on pagan shrines. I thought of this when I read that the buildings of Chicago Theological Seminary have been sold to the University of Chicago and will become the Milton Friedman Institute, named after one of our era’s most celebrated economists.
The next time I head for the airport security line, ready to be scolded for wearing too large a wristwatch, I will have to make a quick decision. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) now asks passengers to sort themselves into three different lanes on the basis of their experience and efficiency as travelers (and packers).