Living in a village that is well over 100 years old, it is not surprising that it prides itself in its history and heritage. Riverside, Brookfield and North Riverside all have parts of their history that are areas of pride, and the stories told of their history are preserved and oft-repeated.
Riverside, in particular, preserves its stories. Even those who are new to the village become privy to the stories about people and events that made the village what it is today.
It is common for people to refer to certain sites in the village by their original names, particularly homes and commercial buildings. It is a tendency to refer to things as what they were and not what they are or have become.
Case in point, the St. Mary Parish Convent and the Christian Science Church, both within a stone’s throw of each other on Longcommon Road, have been transformed into lovely homes. But don’t some of us still refer to them by referencing their former occupants?
No offense intended, but the Village Center at the corner of Longcommon and Burlington is still referred to by those who remember it as the Henninger Building, after the drug store that stood there for decades.
Places get renamed all the time, but in the minds and hearts of many they remain the same. Take the renaming of Shuey Stadium — well the building still to be built in place of Shuey Stadium — at Riverside-Brookfield High School.
It’s going to be named in honor of the Martin H. Kennelly, a late mayor of Chicago. It’s a very nice gesture by his nephew, but many will still call the new building Shuey Stadium; it is tradition and just the way things go sometimes.
It would have been nice to have had a fundraising drive soliciting alumni — you know those successful business people, football players, opera singers, lawyers, musicians and so forth. Then in recognition of all the graduates from the school, since the time it was established in 1909, we could have named it Alumni Field; no explanation necessary.
Well, we can try again in 20 years when the lease runs out. Maybe at least the garden given by a graduation class that was torn out can be replaced. Just trying to preserve a little tradition at the old school.