I keep using more and more, but I just don’t get the same buzz. From Harper’s “Index” (June 1989): “Percentage change, since 1945, in the portion of U.S. crops lost to insects: +86. Percentage change, since 1945, in the amount of insecticide used on U.S. crops: +900.”

Blub. The Berghoff Cafe “is one of the classical musts in the Chicago bar and saloon scene,” bar authority Dennis McCarthy tells James Peters in the Friends of Downtown Newsletter (May 1989). “The room is comforting in that turn-of-the-century, dark, wooden way. You know that megagallons of drink have been consumed here.”

“Let’s suppose that the roles of men and women were reversed in the business world,” speculates Sherren Leigh in Today’s Chicago Woman (May 1989). “Women’s groups could easily adapt to the transition simply by removing a few letters from their logo. For example, Women Employed could drop the ‘Wo’ and become Men Employed. Men in Management (previously known as Women in Management) would be formed to offer advice on how to advance in the corporate hierarchy. The National Associa-tion of Male Business Owners (NAMBO) would provide information on obtaining government contracts…. TV commercials would further stereotype men and movies such as Working Boy would parody their plight.”

“‘We’ve turned the corner on drug addiction in America,’ President Nixon confidently declared in 1973,” George Winslow reminds us in In These Times (May 17-23). “Three conservative Republican administrations later, the only winner in the battle against drugs has been a new generation of law-and-order politicians who are using the crisis to lobby for the death penalty and mandatory drug testing.”

“Weathervanes…Straightjackets… Carousel Horses… Bonsai: Rental…Foam: Thick Width… Beekeeping Supplies… Fans: Hand Held…Beachballs: Out of Season…Doilys: Paper…Fezzes… Cheese Wheels: Large… Water-falls: Artificial…” You can find all these and more in the Chicago area, if you know where to look, or if you have a copy of the 1989 Chicago Prop Finders Handbook, a 450-page, $50 guide for photographers, producers, designers, and people with strange tastes.

“My undergraduate students are bright, articulate, socially engaged, and concerned about public issues,” writes Paul Boyer of Northwestern University in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (June 1989). “They are also very young. I am constantly made aware of the chasm that exists between us in terms of our nuclear memories and perspective. My students were born in 1968 or 1969. Hiroshima, Bikini, civil defense, fallout shelters, the Cuban missile crisis, the test ban treaty, the ABM controversy–all this is ancient history to them…. Today’s students recognize intellectually how vulnerable we continue to be in the face of long-term nuclear menace…. But for most of them it is not emotionally vivid. As one woman student recently told me rather plaintively: ‘Those of you who lived through all those scary events have to keep reminding us that nuclear weapons really exist.'”

“The most important corporate-relocation decision in the city’s history” is how Merrill Goozner describes Sears’s upcoming decision on where to move its 6,000-employee Merchandising Group (Chicago Enterprise, May 1989). Among other things, it will test Mayor Daley’s ability to get Chicago a good position at the state trough: “Why should Sears get the same state infrastructure and job-training incentives for a suburban location as it would for a city site?”

“You should begin by identifying the five or 10 worst possible events that could occur in your organization,” says “PR educator” Ken Stockton of Ann Arbor, Michigan, who specializes in training administrators of public and nonprofit agencies. Fraud? Assaults on clients? Suspicious deaths? Be prepared, advises Stockton: “With your top officials, you should plan out, in detail, how you will communicate with the news media and the public in such crises.”

City of the big suburbs. “According to the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, by the year 2010, an area roughly equivalent to the size of Chicago will be added to the total area already built upon in this region” (Open Lands Project annual review, 1988).

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