Category Archives: Short Subject

Ten miles west of Chicago: A Miraculous Crucifix in Hillside, Illinois, where the Virgin Mary is reported to have appeared in the 1980s and other unexplained “miracles.”

FEATURE Image: Old Testament prophets window, Mausoleum, Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside, Illinois. This is one of scores of original stained glass and artifacts in the mausoleum in Chicago’s near western suburbs.

The Miraculous Crucifix in Hillside, Illinois.

The crucifix today is located in a southern section of Queen of Heaven cemetery in Hillside, Illinois. The cemetery is almost 500 acres that offers extensive in-ground burials as well as large indoor and outdoor mausoleum complexes where each year there are thousands of new burials. Since 1947, many notable Chicago-area figures from the world of politics, sports, religion, and business, including several gangland figures, are buried in these consecrated precincts. Overall, there are around 125,000 burials in the cemetery.

Queen of Heaven Mausoleum. This building alone houses more than 30,000 burials.
St. Teresa of Avila window. Queen of Heaven Mausoleum, Hillside, Illinois.

In the expansive mausoleum is a gallery of stained glass, statuary and carved wood and statuary in marble, bronze and mosaic. The art of the main building was created mostly by DaPrato Studios of Chicago, with an international array of artists and architectural designers.

The miraculous crucifix’s connection to Medjugorje visionaries.

That there is a “miraculous” crucifix on the grounds of Queen of Heaven cemetery gained noteriety starting around 1990.

The story is told about Joe Reinholtz, a retired railroad worker from neighboring Westchester, Illinois, who had lost his sight in the early 1980’s. Reinholtz, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune published in July 1991 (see – https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1991-07-24-9103220302-story.html), claimed to have been directed to the 15-foot-tall crucifix by one of the Medjugorje visionaries when he visited the Catholic pilgrimage site in Bosnia on two occasions in the late 1980’s.

After being directed by the Medjugorje visionary to pray before the crucifix in Queen of Heaven, Reinholtz (who died in 1996) and others reported that the figure of Christ on the cross bled. When more visitors reported that they too had seen the crucifix bleed, the cemetery staff investigated. They reported that they found nothing out of the ordinary at the crucifix site.

Cures and signs.

At the same time that the crucifix was seen to bleed, Joe Reinholtz was healed of his blindness. He also reported having seen the Blessed Virgin Mary who appeared at the crucifix site, accompanied by angels, including St. Michael the Archangel.

More of these many kinds of appearances continued to take place in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These were accompanied by other miraculous signs, many defying ready explanations. For example, some claimed the beads of ordinary rosaries had turned to gold after they prayed with them at the site.

Despite an incident of vandalism in 1994 where the feet of Jesus were broken off, inexplicable occurrences continued to be reported regularly at the crucifix into the mid1990s when they slacked off.

Sunday afternoon at Queen of Heaven cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, in October 2016.

Into the first quarter of the 21st century, people still slowly drive past the crucifix, while others are found at the foot of the crucifix sometimes alone, or with family or friend, or in larger groups. Many look to be praying at the “miraculous” crucifix, some certainly looking for a healing miracle like Joe Reinholtz experienced there in 1986.

The 1952 song MARILYN was written, recorded, and released as a single by Ray Anthony’s orchestra with one rising Hollywood star in mind: Marilyn Monroe.

FEATURE Image: Marilyn Monroe, 1952 by Philippe Halsman for LIFE. “Marilyn Monroe – 1952 / fotografiada por Philippe Halsman para LIFE” by Antonio Marín Segovia is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Marilyn Monroe in 1951 was a rising feature film star of whom the critics observed is “the new blonde bombshell.” “Marilyn Monroe, por Ernest Bachrach, 1951” by Antonio Marín Segovia is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) showed up in a bright pink dress for the release party of the song, Marilyn, in 1952. Though invited, she was the “surprise” stand-out guest who swooped in and out of the celebration fashionably in a wonky helicopter.

Bandleader Ray Anthony released the two-minute single Marilyn in 1952 with rising film star Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) definitely in mind.

By the end of 1951 Marilyn Monroe had completed 13 films, mostly for 20th Century-Fox, and was on the cusp of major stardom.

In 1952, Marilyn made five additional movies – including Clash By Night (RKO) where she was identified as “the new blonde bombshell” by Kate Cameron in New York News. Marilyn also made in 1952 We’re Not Married for 20th Century-Fox where, according to Alton Cook of the New York World Telegram, “Marilyn supplies beauty. She is Hollywood’s foremost expert.” Also for Fox that year Marilyn made Monkey Business where Paul C. Beckley hints at the major transition that Marilyn was making to open the nation’s eyes to her rising star in 1952: “Not seen her before,” Beckley wrote in the New York Herald Tribune, “I now know what’s that about.” Marilyn rounded out 1952 with the Fox anthology film, O. Henry’s Full House where the critics stood up and noticed Marilyn’s “stunning proportions” (Archer Winston, New York Post).

Marilyn Monroe in 1952.
Marilyn Monroe – 1952, Niagara” by Movie-Fan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

In 1953, Marilyn Monroe’s star did not miss. Her next three films for Twentieth Century- Fox – Niagara (“seductive”), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (“alluring”) and How to Marry a Millionaire (“magnificent proportions”) walked the walk to solidify her film acting career and her status as America’s enduringly iconic sex goddess or symbol.

Marilyn Monroe’s performance and appearance in Niagara in 1953 from 20th Century-Fox were highly praised. One critic observed: “Seen from any angle…Marilyn Monroe leaves little to be desired.” (A.H. Weiler, New York Times).

Ray Anthony (b. 1922) is one of the few surviving members of the post-war period of Old Hollywood (TV producer Norman Lear is another) that came to an end arguably with Marilyn’s death in 1962. Four years older than Marilyn Monroe, Anthony turned 100 years old in California on January 20, 2022.

Most of that exciting generation born in 1922 – including Ava Gardner, Jason Robards, Betty White, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Cyd Charisse, Kim Hunter, Eleanor Parker, Veronica Lake, and others – are today gone.

Marilyn Monroe by Jock Carroll, June, 1952.
Marilyn Monroe by Jock Carroll, June, 1952” by thefoxling is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Starting in the early 1950’s, Ray Anthony led a very popular ensemble that put out dance record after dance record. Many became instantly part of the culture – such as The Hokey Pokey and The Bunny Hop which seemed to make their musical appearance at nearly every wedding reception throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s.

With Anthony’s single Marilyn, the world’s most famous sex symbol was unattached though being courted by New York Yankees baseball great Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio. They married two years later in 1954.

Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio. The movie star and former major league baseball player married in 1954. “Evan Esar” by Peter K. Levy is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

In 1952 Marilyn Monroe was declared the “It Girl” by Hollywood gossip columnists. Though not a major star yet, Marilyn’s career was fluttering at the verge which made the Marilyn release party particularly exciting.

Marilyn Monroe started 1953 as Hollywood’s “It” girl. “Marilyn Monroe 1953” by Movie-Fan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Ray Anthony adored beautiful and sexy Hollywood blondes. He married one in 1955. Anthony met Mamie Van Doren (b. 1931) in 1955, they had a son, and divorced in 1961. In 1956, Anthony appeared with another popular Hollywood blonde bombshell, Jayne Mansfield, in the musical comedy, The Girl Can’t Help It.

Surrounded by all this beauty and great music it is no wonder that Ray Anthony received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the midst of this period in 1957.

Marilyn Monroe, June 1952 by Jock Carroll.
Marilyn Monroe by Jock Carroll, June, 1952” by thefoxling is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
All That Remains” by MelCamp77 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Jazz-Age WEDDING DRESS, 1924 – Fashionable High Skirts and Sleeveless Blouses were Believed Risqué.

Bridal Party Dresses, 1924. Charles Gates Dawes House, Evanston, Illinois. 10/2015 500 kb

On Saturday, June 7, 1924, Ruth M. Anderson was married in this sleeveless wedding dress (left) to William Noling in Evanston, Illinois. The dress is now on display in the Charles Gates Dawes House in Evanston. Dawes was Vice President of the United States from 1925 to 1929 under President Calvin Coolidge.

The Noling-Anderson wedding was held in the house of the bride and her parents, Isak and Jennie (née Johnson) Anderson, at 1035 Ridge Avenue in Evanston. Built in 1914, the house still stands as it did 100 years ago.

The dress is made of silk satin in an egg shell color. It is accented by an oval medallion with bands also made of silk satin. The medallion is embroidered with faux pearl and other glass beads.

While the wedding dress was very fashionable for the mid1920’s – sleeveless tops of all shapes and sizes were the rage in 1924 – it probably was not allowed in one of Evanston’s houses of worship. The fact that it was sleeveless and au courant would be deemed by many as risqué for showing too much bare skin inspired by a thoroughly modern flapper style. It was only in 1924, for instance, that the Methodist Episcopal General Conference first lifted its ban on going to the theater as well as dancing though dance music was the radio’s most popular programming.

The bridesmaid dress (right) was the height of women’s style in 1924 – a mainly straight, knee-length skirt gathered slightly or cut with front pleats. Short sleeve and sleeveless tops were the rage in 1924 reflected in Hollywood by the Mack Sennett girls who starred in movies where they pranced on the beach in a chorus line in not much more than bathing caps and short swim suits.

The fashionable bride and her court likely sported the latest style of facial make-up which is hinted at in the 2015 display– masklike with garish, even orange, lipstick and heavy red rouge on the cheeks. Popular fashion accessories from 1924 are also evident – pearls knotted at the neck and simple, though elegant, arm bracelets.

The bride’s father, Isak Anderson, was born in Sweden and came to the United States at 20 years old in 1890. In 1891 he married Jennie Johnson and they had Ruth and another child. Ruth’s father was a bank director and partner in a local tailoring business in downtown Evanston at 608 Davis that today is a noodle shop.  

With Prohibition starting in 1920, guests at the wedding may have been served the latest popular highball whose recipe called for fruit juice and raw eggs. Their morning could have started with a bowl of Wheaties at breakfast, since the cereal of champions made its first appearance in 1924.

Ruth Anderson married William Noling in this house in Evanston, Illinois, in June 1924. Fair Use.

SOURCES: Dawes House, Evanston Illinois; The Swedish Element in Illinois: Survey of the Past Seven Decades, Ernst Wilhelm Olson, p. 586; American Chronicle, Lois Gordon & Alan Gordon, Yale University Press, New Haven & London,1999, pp. 230-238; Chicago: The Glamour Years (1919-1941), Thomas G. Aylesworth & Virginia Aylesworth, Gallery Books, NY, 1986, p.14.

The 1963 chart topper, “SHUT DOWN” BY THE BEACH BOYS, glorifies a drag race between a 327 fuel-injected Stingray and 413 Super Stock Dodge.

FEATURE image: “Drag Racing in Austin Texas,1967” by Hugo-90 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Shut Down is a song by Brian Wilson and Roger Christian that appeared on a pair of 1963 Beach Boys’ albums: Surfin’ U.S.A. in March 1963 and Little Deuce Coupe in October 1963. The song was first released in March 1963 on side B of the Surfin’ U.S.A. single that climbed to no.3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Six months later, Shut Down was released as its own single and peaked at no.23.

The lyrics of Shut Down describe the dangerous activity of drag racing that is also illegal. Drag races were once popularly held on the public streets of southern California using muscle cars. As these races attracted many enthusiastic supporters, streets were sometimes closed off for the race cars and even had the cooperation of local police though unofficially.

The Beach Boys’ lyrics are filled with technical and slang terms for drag racing.

IT HAPPENED ON THE STRIP WHERE THE ROAD IS WIDE
(Oooo rev it up now)
TWO COOL SHORTS STANDING SIDE BY SIDE
(Oooo rev it up now)
YEAH, MY FUEL INJECTED STINGRAY AND A FOUR-THIRTEEN
(Oooo rev it up now)
REVVING UP OUR ENGINES AND IT SOUNDS REAL MEAN
(Oooo rev it up now)

One dragstrip in the early 1960s was Glenoaks Boulevard in southern California between Glendale/Burbank and San Fernando/Sylmar. It is a major thoroughfare which stretches over 20 miles. Since a drag race caused disruption to public traffic’s normal flow as well as likely increased harm to law-abiding bystanders, drag races were usually held at night when traffic volume tapered off and was low.

“Two cool shorts” refer not to some spectators’ bermudas, but the truncated length of the race cars.

In 1963, a “fuel injected Stingray” was very much the latest cool car feature. While computerized fuel injection became standard on passenger cars it was, from 1963 to 1965, a specialized mechanical feature found only on the Stingray. What fuel injection accomplished was to optimize the air-to-fuel mixture that made for powerfully efficient engine performance.

TACH IT UP, TACH IT UP
BUDDY GOING TO SHUT YOU DOWN

“Tach it up” refers to the moments before the start of the race when muscle cars revved their engines to achieve high rpms. This idling pedal-to-the-metal stores energy in the car’s flywheel so that when the car accelerates it literally jumps off the start line with extra power. Tach it up too much and the car accelerates and does a wheel stand or “wheelie.” While the car’s front wheels lifting off the ground is cool, it is also quite dangerous as the car could more easily lose control.

BUT THE FOUR-THIRTEEN’S REALLY DIGGING IN…
SUPERSTOCK DART IS WINDING OUT IN LOW…

The Dart is the other car in the Beach Boys song’s drag race. The 413 is a super-sized engine in the body of the 1962 Dodge Dart. The 413, also called a “hemmie” for its hemispheric dual combustion chambers, started being made by Chrysler way back in 1951.

BUDDY, GOING TO SHUT YOU DOWN.

“Shut Down” is slang for beating the opponent in the race by any and all means. After a car crosses the finish line it enters the shut-down lane. The first car in and out of the shut down lane is the winner.

Since its release in 1963, Shut Down has generated controversy—that it glorifies drag racing, an illegal activity and using what Cash Box at the time identified as “top rock-a-teen sounds.” But some believe the song’s greater scandal is that it seems to imply that the 327 fuel-injected Stingray beat the 413 Super Stock Dodge.

Dodge fans who really know what’s under the hood understand that that outcome couldn’t possibly be real.

Drag Racing in Austin Texas,1967” by Hugo-90 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.



Kevin Costner’s FIELD OF DREAMS; Hinduism and the Christian Ashram Movement; Public Clothes & Private Self; Crisis of Child Hunger in U.S. Today.

FEATURE image: “Kevin Costner; (pants half off)” by Movie-Fan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

I. Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams: “If you build it, he will come”

Kevin Costner signing baseballs for fans. “Kevin Costner signing autographs” by netflixprnetflixpr is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Field of Dreams is a 1989 sports fantasy from Universal Pictures and starring Kevin Costner. It is a creative film about, one could say, the intersection of reality and fantasy on the American landscape—or simply the intersection of what are different realities.

Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, is a young husband and father, who hears voices to build a baseball field on his low-income Iowa farm. Ray is promised that “If you build it, he will come.”

The “he” is Kinsella’s own deceased father John who had played baseball as a young man, got old too quick, and died after he and teenage Ray had a falling out over the 1919 Chicago “Black” Sox team.

The late-1980’s Ray, married with a family, still thinks about his relationship with his father that was cut short. The film asks whether it is possible for adult Ray to meet his father and baseball player John Kinsella on his “field of dreams.”

Ray never doubts his voices but is never sure what they mean except when he tries to connect the dots by traveling across long distances of place and season to meet strangers for whom the answers most matter.

Ray’s efforts lead to surprising, mysterious and ultimately fulfilling encounters for those who come to play on his field of dreams—or are there simply to watch.

II. Hinduism and the Christian Ashram Movement

mystical-conversation
Odilon Redon (1840-1916), Mystical Conversation, c. 1896. Oil on canvas, 65 x 46 cm, The Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu, Japan. Public Domain

Bede Griffiths (1906-1993) was a Catholic English monk. He is known as Swami Dayananda (bliss of compassion) as he dedicated his life’s work to the Christian Ashram Movement and its role in the development of dialogue between Christianity and Hinduism.

Swami Dayananda said in an interview: “I feel that in the Christian view, which I share, the body is of very great importance. There is a tendency in certain forms of Hinduism, certainly, to think that the purpose of spiritual exercises is to get beyond the body.

But in my understanding, the human being is body, soul, spirit, and it is an integrated whole. Body and soul – the body is dependent upon and integrated with soul, and body and soul are dependent upon and integrated in spirit. The body is part of the wholeness of the human being.

And that’s why incarnation is very important. God enters the psycho-physical realm and assumes it and doesn’t discard it. And at the resurrection the body is not discarded, it is assumed into the life with the soul and the spirit. I think the place of the body is a significant part of the Christian contribution. It is the total human being which is to enter into the life of the spirit.

SOURCE: Marvin Barrett, “The Silent Guide,” Parabola, v.xi, no. 1.

III. Public Clothes & Private Self

Fashion show Nieuwe Markt” by camshots is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

There is a drive in today’s society to be singular, intimate, and well known in a society that, paradoxically, is vast and impersonal, and common and conventional.

Seeking to be “authentic” in the public domain, we are also insecure or unsure about the people we meet there. Many don’t know their next door neighbors but look or presume to be intimate with the wider world. To be intimate and authentic in a vast and alien society― which is evident as one surfs the internet― is today’s growth industry.

Yet even in the public space there are less flashy moments of behavior about the private self. Such is the thriving language of love—a raised eyebrow; dropped glove; the rush to light the actual and proverbial cigarette. Each small, well-timed gesture and inflection of voice helps raise the romantic pitch and without loss of boundaries between the private self and public space.

These silent cues can be applied in many venues, although often replaced by the importance of interchangeble self-image striving for immediate intimacy—that is, a glimpse of the inner self, the cult of personality—in the public space.

Fashion changes clothes every season in the age-old attempt to convey private personality (“taste”) in the public forum. The popular, and therefore, important, social model is to take the world by storm—and each and every time. That allows for the chic costumed and yet exposed private self to stand up to public scrutiny or be destroyed by it. This increasingly happens online in the social media “mob.”

Clothing provides a rich metaphor for the dilemma of the private self in the public space. It serves those seeking to make hyperbole of their private personality and its fluctuating nature as well as those seeking to downplay and hide the same.

In a world of omnipresent cellphone and security cameras airport pat downs, the notion of clothing to exclude public encroachment on the private self appears to bemore and more gone with the wind.

Even at Christmas the use of clothes in a sacred context is important. In the Gospel of Luke the angel told the shepherds: “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people….there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Luke 2: 10-12).

redon nigt fixed 2
Odilon Redon, Night, 1910-11, Distemper on canvas, 200 x 650 cm. Abbaye de Fontfroide.

In the Bible a major teaching tradition is that when a person discovers the Divine—as God makes every attempt to self-disclose—that moment of recognition is like putting on a new garment tailored to that individual’s exact measurements.

This Divine garment endows a person with a sense of dignity and private self-awareness―a highly personal investiture that turns the modern notion of the private-as-public self upside down.

This rule of clothes extends to John the Baptist—a figure who is important in both Christianity (as saint and prophet) and Islam (as a prophet).

John is described as coming out of the wilderness wearing “a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey” (Matthew 3). When God “dresses” humanity in the divine image something is expected of them in ways other than the modern idea of a new image or appeal.

It is an inner and private change which takes on a significantly different meaning than just one more public role.

SOURCES: Richard Sennett, The Fall of Public Man, W.W. Norton, 1976; Joseph Wolf, “Divine Clothing,” Parabola, v.xix, no. 3.

IV. Crisis of Child Hunger in U.S. Today

Fight Child Hunger, TNT” by FineShots is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Hunger is defined as “the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food as well as an exhausted condition caused by want of food.”

While being homeless as an adult is a harsh test, to be homeless as a child is worse. Society’s striving to make homelessness nonexistent or scarce is painfully incomplete. Proper nutrition is vital to the growth and development of children who are the country’s future.

In presidential and other political campaigns there is rhetoric by candidates of the major parties about the importance of safety and security from terrorists who do bodily harm. Yet each night, such as tonight, more than 15 million American children go to bed hungry, according to Feeding America.

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the United States today has an all-time high population of 74 million children. More than 20% of these children are food-insecure.

In a land of plenty, where more than 2 in 3 adult Americans are considered to be overweight or obese, food injustice is a daily problem.

SOURCES: http://www.feedingamerica.org/…/child-hunger-fact-sheet.htm…;
http://www.aecf.org/…/the-changing-child-population-of-the…/;
http://www.niddk.nih.gov/…/overweight-obesity-statistics.as…
http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/defining.html;
Definition of hunger – Oxford English Dictionary, 1971.