Credit: Joerg Metzner

Good Monday morning, Evanston.

Welcome to the second day of the rest of the new year. RoundTable photographer Joerg Metzner caught one of Evanston’s greatest assets, Lake Michigan, in a blue mood on a balmy New Year’s Day.

Picturing Evanston shows us a Rothkoesque blue on blue as a hazy fog obscures the skyline, kissing the water just before sunset thinks about joining in – a meditative Monday picture for all to begin 2023 as we wrap up some Evanston history.

This is our penultimate holiday abridged newsletter. We will be back with the full version on Wednesday morning. Don’t forget, the city will be picking up your holiday trees from Jan. 3 through Jan. 27. Now on to some great historical stories.

Credit: Courtesy Janet Alexander Davis

Just five miles from Lake Geneva, Wis., is Lake Ivanhoe – a top resort from the 1920s through the 1960s specifically built as a beautiful and safe place for Blacks to vacation. Evanstonian Janet Alexander Davis remembers fishing with her dad there in summer. Mary Gavin talks to Davis about her childhood memories and her return this summer to help place an historical marker at the lake.

Credit: Brett Beiner Photography

Kyle Dougan, producing artistic director of Music Theater Works, knows 20th century musical theater don’t always translate seamlessly to 21st century concerns and sensibilities. But he does not want to lose the history of the old musicals, even as he works to change them for today’s audience.

Credit: Mary Gavin

It was all right, uptight and out of sight as more than 70 members of the Foster Senior Club enjoyed their annual holiday party, accompanied by one of the more soulful parts of pop music history: Motown. Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke joined the group in spirit and song at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center. And the GGs, a dance quartet of women all over age 90, showed they still have more history to make.

Author Adam Langer is also going back in time with his seventh and latest novel, Cyclorama, set in Evanston, a familiar place for the ETHS grad. The novel takes place in the 1980s and features a rather abrasive and abusive drama teacher and theater program director. Some readers might find that part of Evanston’s history a bit too close for comfort.

Credit: Michael Kellams/

The Sycamore High School Spartans could not deny Zuri Ransom, Kailey Starks and the rest of the ETHS girls basketball team as the Kits beat the Spartans 64-46 to win the consolation championship of the Morton Christmas tournament. And while this tourney is history, there is still plenty more good basketball to come this season.

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Susy Schultz

Susy Schultz is the editor of the Evanston Roundtable. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and is the former president of Public Narrative, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching journalists and...