Just clean will be enough, thank you. Advance publicity for Procter & Gamble’s “1990 Black Family Reunion Celebration”: “Attendees will marvel at the vibrant colors of the portable toilets–hot pink, peach and seafoam green.”

Code W for Weird. Ancient Skies (July-August 1990), the “official logbook of the Ancient Astronaut Society” based in Highland Park, reviews Flying Serpents and Dragons: “Once you get, over the initial ‘culture shock’ that our ancestors might have been intelligent reptiles from outer space, you will find this book to be fascinating reading.” The author spent 30 years working for the federal government as a cryptologist, which might explain a few things.

There are 935 partners in Chicago’s seven biggest law firms–Sidley & Austin; Mayer, Brown & Platt; Katten Muchin & Zavis; McDermott, Will & Emery; Kirkland & Ellis; Winston & Strawn; and Jenner & Block–and of that total one is Asian, two are Hispanic, four are black, and 928 are white. Maybe there aren’t enough top-notch Minority lawyers around? Legal placement veteran David J. White tells the Chicago Reporter’s Jennifer Juarez Robles and David Rubenstein otherwise (July/August 1990): “Law firms might hire someone blond and blue-eyed, who just has this winning and confident personality. Anyone who meets this guy [sic] would feel he is going to make it–even though he didn’t go to the University of Chicago or Northwestern. He went to Loyola, graduated in the upper third. This guy could end up in a major firm….I am not going to tell you that a black guy who went to the same school could wind up there; I don’t think he could.”

RIP: Recycle in Peace. The McHenry County Defenders’ Environmental News (July-August 1990) reports that “American funeral procedures clash with a preference for what is natural: we use chemicals to preserve a body, then store it underground in concrete vaults and metal caskets that cannot biodegrade.” One member has found a cemetery (Windridge in northwest-suburban Cary) “that would consider alternative burial procedures…without the usual trappings, including instead a wooden casket and stone marker.”

“In Cook County, where the number of felony cases filed in the Circuit Court increased 88 percent between 1978 and 1988, county spending on the courts and the judiciary increased by only 6.5 percent,” according to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority’s Trends and Issues 90. And “even as one component of the system improves efficiency and boosts its productivity, other parts of the system may end up losing ground. For example, the Circuit Court of Cook County established five evening courts in October 1989 specifically to handle the influx of drug cases….But the resulting increase in court dispositions has translated into dramatically higher workloads for the county’s probation department….A new probation caseload is being added every week in Cook County–but without the additional probation officer to manage it.”

“I thought Chicago was about the ugliest city I’d ever seen,” says actress and LA native Paula Killen in a New City (July 19-August 1) interview with Jack Helbig. “But it really grew on me….Chicago’s a very steadfast and very, shall I say, concrete city next to Los Angeles. People here will tell you: ‘That makes no sense.’ People root me here, root me down to the earth, ‘You are making no sense.’ In Los Angeles, even if they didn’t understand you, they would go, ‘Wow! Really, ah, like!'”

Most obscure statewide candidate, according to an early July poll by Political/Media Research, Inc.: Republican treasurer candidate Greg Baise, who was unrecognized by fully two-thirds of the registered Illinois voters questioned. The best-recognized candidate, U.S. Senator Paul Simon, is unknown to 3 percent of those polled. Don’t feel too bad, Greg: the newsletter U.S. Parish (August 1990) reports that three out of ten Catholics in the archdiocese of New York don’t know the pope’s name.

Oklahoma City (2.0); Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Akron, Ohio (3.4); Lake County, Illinois (3.5); Knoxville, Tennessee (4.0); and Gary, Indiana, and Toledo, Ohio (4.9) are the U.S. metropolitan areas with the lowest rates of new AIDS cases per 100,000 people, reported from June 1989 to May 1990 (HIV/AIDS Surveillance, June 1990). Highest are San Francisco (116.2) and Fort Lauderdale (72.8); Chicago’s rate is 17.1, below the metropolitan area average of 21.9.

“Cook County is the Republican stronghold,” says the Cook County Republican (July 1990), and backs the statement up with figures. In 1988, for instance, Cook County gave George Bush 878,582 votes, while Du Page kicked in just 217,907. Chicago alone produced 317,502 votes for the Bushman.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.