Hoping for a joyous 2022

By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • [email protected]

May everyone have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

This year has been quite a ride for many of us. It’s hard to believe there are only three days left in 2021. As I look back, I feel that this year has flown by, both with its joyous and sad events. I hope we see more of the former in 2022.

Thanks to all who have emailed me to let me know about your events and I hope to see even more emails from people in the community next year. Remember, this is your column. I hope to record all your family events, such as births, baptisms, birthdays and more. Just remember, you are an important member of the neighborhood.

  • One “quality of life” measure of a neighborhood is whether it has its own historical society. There are only two such societies on the Southwest Side. One is the Clear-Ridge Historical Society, whose leaders have just announced that they plan to resume in-person public events in 2022–pandemic permitting.

In anticipation of that, I encourage everyone in Clearing and Garfield Ridge to join the non-profit CRHS, which this year celebrated its 10th anniversary.

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Clear-Ridge Historical Society presentations have sometimes included a bit of humor to make people feel good about the community and therefore be most interested in its history. In this photo, from 2015, CRHS Vice President Ed Kozak (right) dons a costume from the early days of automobiling to chat briefly with CRHS President Rob Bitunjac and an audience at a discussion of the last hundred years of Clearing and Garfield Ridge. –File photo

Membership dues are only $12 each year–just a dollar a month!

Membership runs from January to December. Please make checks payable to the “Clear-Ridge Historical Society.” Membership entitles you to a bi-monthly newsletter, discounted prices to some CRHS programs and merchandise, admittance to the CRHS “members only” yearly meeting.

But most of all, your $12 will be supporting the society so it may develop and deliver the highest quality programming, and allow the CRHS to identify and preserve local history.

Payments can be made in person or mailed to Midway Jewelers

5635 W. 63rd St., or mailed to the CRHS at 5146 S. Linder Ave.

  • Speaking of quality of life, the friendly volunteers who work to restore the Chicago Portage National Historic Site to full ecological health welcome your assistance.

If you’re looking for a winter workout, put on your sturdy work boots, warm clothes and head over to Portage Woods Forest Preserve (4800 S. Harlem). Volunteers will weed the woods from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Dec. 31. Snack for all at the conclusion. For details, visit drupal.library.cmu.edu/chicago/workdays.

  • If you are age 6 or older (adults too) and are looking for some fun on the ice, check out Wentworth Park’s annual Silver Skates Speed Skating competition. The children’s meet is first at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 at the ice skating rink, 57th and Narragansett. The adult competition for skaters 18 and older immediately follows. Check-in is at 5:15 p.m., and the event will last until 7:15 p.m. There is no fee to participate in this competition.

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    Joan Hadac

Registration is necessary and will be taken on a first come, first served basis to the first 20 participants from each age group and sex. Registration is being taken online at endurancecui.active.com/event-reg/select-race?e=79730431. All skaters younger than 18 must have a parent or guardian register them in order to participate.

If you are taking to the ice, you must wear gloves, long sleeves and a bicycle or hockey helmet. Figure skates, hockey skates or speed skates must be worn at all times. Skates will be available for free at all meets. For more information, call Wentworth Park at (312) 747-6993.

As we approach 2022, I encourage business owners in Garfield Ridge and Clearing to join the Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce. The group works hard to encourage residents to shop locally and hosts some fun events for its members and the public. The group is led by individuals who live locally and want to promote this area, highlighting all the businesses that make our neighborhood unique.

I’ll see you again in 2022. Until then, take care.