Sign on a lawn in south Evanston Photo by Mary De Jong

Evanston news delivered free to your inbox! 

It’s April 2, the 93rd day of the year. Yesterday the temperature of Lake Michigan was 43 degrees at the Chicago crib and 44 degrees at the Chicago shore. And the old Robert Crown Center is down, down, down. Steve Jordan’s drone photo came with the notation “Dethroned?” A Brit, he also wrote, “Robert Crown is dead, long live Robert Crown.”

This day in history (from

     1805, Hans Christian Andersen is born in Odense, Denmark, near Copenhagen

     1817, Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, takes her seat in the U.S, Capitol as a representative from Montana.

March went out like a rather tame lion, and April Fool’s Day is past. It was the first April Fool’s day in more than a decade that the RoundTable did not have at least one April Fool story. Maybe that was the day we all could have leaped over.

We’re in about Week 3 of extreme social distancing, sheltering in place and shutdowns (beginning the cascade from March 13), and it looks like we’ll remain in this pattern for the rest of the month.

But what a month it will be. There will be more flowers, more warm weather, more four-corner or sidewalk-to-yard conversations. April is the cruellest month, perhaps, because it brings hope, per T.S. Eliot 

        April is the cruellest month, breeding

        Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

        Memory and desire, stirring

        Dull roots with spring rain.

TSE seems to hold with the Ancient Greek poet Hesiod, who apparently sees hope as one of the evils of the world. In both his major poems, “The Theogony and “Works and Days,” Hesiod portrays Pandora in what is a lamentably typical misogynistic fashion as the embodiment of what was deemed at that time a primary feminine quality – deceit. She is also the bearer of a jar that contains all the world’s evils, and when she opens the jar, they swarm into the world. She quickly shuts the lid, leaving hope trapped in the jar. So, some might think that Pandora’s quick action saved the world from the greatest evil – hope.

But hope did not stay in the jar, and it is not evil and it is not cruel.

Martin Luther King believed that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice, not cynicism. Barack Obama noted that committing to hope is an audacious move.

And Evanston seems to be on that side. We are delighted to receive photos and anecdotes about how we are carrying on and supporting each other. 

The photos and signs show the strength of the Evanston spirit.

Working toward the common good is not necessarily the means to an end; it is the end itself.

Mary Gavin

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...