"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." Note the footprints leading up to the rock.
Photo by Mary De Jong
"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." Note the footprints leading up to the rock. Photo by Mary De Jong

Good Morning Evanston

It’s May 11, 131st day of the year. Yesterday’s temperatures of Lake Michigan were 51 degrees the Chicago crib and 53 degrees at the Chicago shore.

This day in history (from history.com)

1934, A massive storm sends millions of tons of topsoil flying from across the parched Great Plains.

1981,  Bob Marley the soul and international face of reggae music, dies at age 36 in a Miami, Fla., hospital.

1997, Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in chess match. After 19 moves in the sixth and final round, which took only one hour, Garry Kasparov resigns.

Mother's Day celebrations abounded yesterday, most of them remotely. The Dar Us Sunnah Masjid and Community Center, on Brown Avenue at Simpson Steet, offered boxes of food to its neighbors in the Fifth Ward. 

It’s Monday, and both the City Council and the District 202 School Board meeting this evening, each via Zoom. Council will vote on extending the declaration of emergency for another four weeks, until June 8. They will also consider spending up to $1 million in affordable housing funds – just under half of the amount in the fund – to provide “housing (hotel rooms) and other needs including (but not limited to) food and transportation for homeless residents who are vulnerable to the COVID-19 infection, unable to observe Governor Pritzker's order to shelter-in-place, as well as residents and first responders who have been exposed to COVID-19, or have tested positive for the virus, do not require hospitalization, but are unable to isolate or quarantine in their residences.”

The District 202 Board and administrators will discuss Evanston Township High School’s financial situation and the need to help their graduates find a path to a decent future in light of the havoc COVID-19 has wrought on the high school, colleges, apprenticeships, training and jobs.

A trickster may be afoot.

The strange weather, for one thing, though it does not begin to match the devastating weather that created the Dust Bowl in the Great Plains. “It blowed away,” a refrain from Mr. Guthrie’s “My Oklahoma Home” could be adapted for Greenwood Beach – or Lee Street Beach or maybe others: “It washed away, it washed away; the sand,the rocks, the whole beach washed away.”

Another inkling is the message on a rock at Clark Square (photo by Mary De Jong). “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”

Is it a message from one of the mythological tricksters – Indra, the king of gods; Anansi the Spider; Tulugak the Raven; Kokopelli (who is also the spirit of music); Dinoysus?

Or even from the current scary monster, COVID-19 itself?

Well, no. Those familiar with J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books may recognize the phrase used when tapping the Marauders Map. The magic phrase and the magic map allow the up-to-no-good person to see the Hogwarts grounds and the location of every being connected with the school.

The message is a reminder of the unpredictability of almost everything – the stuff at work behind the scenes that can upend things unexpectedly. This bit of advice from Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” is probably accurate but at times difficult to follow: “Don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

Watch for a brilliant trio tomorrow morning, if the sky is clear: Jupiter, Saturn and the moon will shine brightly in the predawn sky.