Blue sky, Blue Angels
Photo by Mike Roche
Blue sky, Blue Angels Photo by Mike Roche

Hello, Evanston

It’s May 13, 133rd day of the year and National Fruit Cocktail Day. Yesterday’s temperatures of Lake Michigan were 50 degrees the Chicago crib and 51 degrees at the Chicago shore.

Today marks a day of adversarial confrontation, one peaceful, one ultimately violent, both telling. This day in history (from history.com and timeanddate.com)

1973, Bobby Riggs and Margaret Court face off in first “Battle of the Sexes.” He won that one, but Billie Jean King, who had rejected his initial invitation, took him up on his next one. On Sept. 20 of that year, she beat him, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

1989 Thousands of students begin a hunger strike on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, part of anti-corruption and pro-democracy demonstrations. Things were relatively peaceful until June 3 and 4, when the army cracked down on the protestors and killed about 3,000 of them.

The Blue Angels skirted part of the Evanston lakefront yesterday as they saluted the frontline workers in this pandemic. According the “History of the Blue Angles” in the U.S. Navy website, the Blue Angels team was the brainchild of Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Chester Nimitz, who in 1946 envisioned a flight exhibition team to “raise the public's interest in naval aviation and boost Navy morale …Lt. Cmdr. Roy "Butch" Voris led the team and flew the Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat.”

In July of that year, the flight team was introduced at a show in Omaha as the “Blue Angels.” The Navy’s narrative says, “Right Wing Pilot Lt. Maurice "Wick" Wickendoll came across the name in the New Yorker Magazine in a column called ‘Goings On About Town.’ Voris said, ‘That sounds great! The Blue Angels. Navy, Blue, and Flying!’"

The New York nightclub, named after the Marlene Dietrich film “The Blue Angel,” closed in 1964.

Steve Lemieux-Jordan and Mike Roche both took lovely photos of the flight. Mr. Lemieux-Jordan’s photos and comments appear in a separate story on this website (“Angel Watch”).

Mr. Roche sent this note with his photo. “Their flight plan must have read, ‘North to Davis and take a left.’ They passed by quickly...I'll bet they were social distancing! I'm guessing they wore masks too!

“A bunch of families were watching on the landfill at Northwestern.  It was a nice event.”

The Governor’s news on Monday, forecasting that the peak of COVID-19 in this, the Northeast Region, would be in mid-June, was disappointing but not nearly as devastating as the virus itself. It gives people a few weeks longer to figure out what it is they will really feel like doing.

His exhortation the legislature to pass a comprehensive aid and support plan, though, is encouraging.

What will it take to induce people to resume what used to be daily routines? The warm weather, which we anticipate will actually have shown up by then, will give people a chance to begin their socialization outside.

The RoundTable would like to hear from readers about what activities they are looking forward to resuming and what they think the “new Evanston normal” will be. Send your ideas, aspirations and wishes to editor@evanstonroundtable.com.