It is with sadness that I acknowledge the passing of Karen Chavers and “Mayor Morton.” I always addressed “Mayor Morton” as “Lorraine” unless in written correspondence or during a public meeting. I knew and loved Karen and Lorraine for decades. Both of them displayed a passion for humanity, and I greatly respected them for this. They also had a great sense of humor. This added to their charisma.

Once, after a program at Northwestern’s Pick Staiger Hall, Lorraine and I ran into each other in the lobby. Lorraine came up to me with that contagious smile that lit up her face and mine, put her arms around me and gave me a tight Lorraine hug. I happened to be wearing a Lifeline Medical Alert alarm that hung down on my chest. Lorraine’s squeeze set off the alarm which stated loudly that help was imminent. I was embarrassed. Lorraine laughed and laughed. I went outside to assure the company that was okay.

I can still see and hear Lorraine and Karen. I hope memories of their love and presence will comfort us. The following is dedicated to Karen and Lorraine.

“[That] little light of [thine]
[You did] let it shine
Oh, [that] little light of [thine]
[You did] let it shine
[That] little light of [thine]
[You did] let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…”*
Words in brackets indicate changes in the lyrics from the original song “This Little Light of Mine” written by composer and teacher Harry Dixon Loes (1895–1965) circa 1920.

Peggy Tarr

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...