Photo by Les Jacobson

Evanston resident Ben Jimenez has a unique specialty, crafting handblown bubbles and launching them skyward. Lately he has been busking at the lakefront just south of the Northwestern campus.

He says there are fewer than 20 full-time “bubblesmiths” in the U.S. He started about 11 years ago after seeing a video of Sterling Johnson, considered one of the pioneers of bubblesmithing.

To make great big, hardy bubbles requires a “special formula” of water, detergent and certain long-chain polymers, each in a specific quantity and order. Mr. Jimenez had a full calendar of summer indoor school and library performances, all of which were canceled at the onset of the pandemic. But he is available for outdoor shows. Readers can check out his artistry and book him at his website,

Les is a longtime Evanstonian and RoundTable writer and editor. He won a Chicago Newspaper Guild best feature story award in 1975 for a story on elderly suicide and most recently four consecutive Northern...