For the sake of the Reader’s 40th anniversary project, I’ve been thumbing through binders of back issues. Sic transit gloria. History may look impermeable, but it’s woven from wafts of ephemera.

But there are exceptions. In the March 6, 1982 issue, I came across a cover feature by Steve Bogira (now a Reader editor), “Drawing the Lines,” a discussion of the 1981 legislative remap in Illinois. This paragraph caught my eye:

“When state Representative Mike Madigan drew the legislative districts in Cook County last year, he created heaven for Democrats and hell for everyone else; that’s why Democrats now genuflect whenever they near him.”