Monoprint by Beth Adler, Adler George Studio, EVANSTON.

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It’s April 10, the 101st day of the year. Yesterday the temperature of Lake Michigan was 47 degrees at the Chicago crib and 48 degrees at the Chicago shore.

This day in history:

  • 1866, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is founded in New York City by philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh, 54.
  • 1906, “The Four Million,” a short story collection by William Sydney Porter – pen name, O. Henry – is published; one of the well-known stories in the collection is “The Gift of the Magi.”
  • 1953, “The House of Wax,” the first color 3D film, opens in New York City.

This is a sacred week for Jews and Christians, with Passover already begun, today being Good Friday, and Sunday, Easter.

We will miss the Neighborhood Stations of the Cross, the procession from St. Nicholas parish that always stopped in front of the RoundTable office. Members of the church would reenact the crucifixion of Jesus, pausing at places in the neighborhood for a reading in French, English or Spanish, and neighbors would join the procession for a few blocks or the entire walk.

Next week begins a week of “might-haves” and “was-supposed-tos.” A few weeks ago, people thought Monday would mark the Other Side, that schools would reopen, people would begin to get back to work, coffee groups and book groups would think about meeting again, postal workers would wait outside on Wednesday like every April 15 as residents would post their tax returns just under the deadline. We would stretch awake from a short, difficult and worrisome sleep.

But those ideas are well behind us. Students who might have thought they were just getting an extended vacation will have to join their more studious peers to buckle down for the rest of the semester. We will continue to rely on remote togetherness and doing what we can for each other, since the stay-at-home order will be in place at least until the end of the month.

When City Council meets – virtually – aldermen will vote on extending the declared state of emergency to May 11. The long haul is getting longer, but residents here are working to support each other. The sign on the Adler George studio across from the RT office both describes and advises: “Stay the Course.”