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(This is an April Fool story.)
With mounting pressure to repudiate John Evans for his role in a notorious Indian massacre years after helping put Evanston on the map, the City Council last week issued a media advisory saying the real namesake of the City was none other than Dale Evans, famed TV cowgirl and wife of the even more famous TV cowboy Roy Rogers.
Final acceptance of the revisionist advisory is expected at a special City Council meeting on Monday, April 1.
Ms. Evans, who passed away in 2001, could not be reached for comment, but the advisory pointed out that the actress was also an accomplished, singer, songwriter and best-selling author. From 1951 to 1957 she co-starred with her husband in the TV hit “The Roy Rogers Show.”
“As to this other Evans, the one who arrived here in 1855, where is the proof [he also founded the City]?” the advisory asked.
The surprising action was taken shortly after the City Council went into a closed-door emergency session to deliberate, after which white smoke could be seen emanating from the building’s chimney. Neither the Mayor nor any aldermen could be reached to elaborate on their somewhat cryptic announcement.
A spokesman for the City, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, said changing Evanston’s namesake “ends all that messy controversy stuff, and aligns us with a star of radio, stage, screen and television, with possible Hollywood money and movie rights to ensue.”
Meanwhile, a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to bring the stuffed remains of Ms. Evans’ beloved horse Buttermilk to Evanston. Sources say it will be installed, much like the famed dinosaur Sue in the Field Museum, on the main floor of the Morton Civic Center.
The business community jumped on the idea of welcoming Buttermilk to Evanston, and the Hall of Enterprise immediately began work on a contest for the best buttermilk pancakes in Evanston. “Or it could be the best waffle,” said Maura O’Leary, executive director of the Evanston Buttermilk Association, a newly formed group hoping to bring cows to Evanston, “as long as buttermilk is in there.”
Thinking that buttermilk will soon become Evanston’s official beverage, local brewers and distillers were quick to register trademark names for the potions they plan to create:
“Old Buttermilk Rye”
Gin Buttermilk Frappe
Buttermilk Vodka – “The milk of human kindness”