News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Local Grandma Shares Secret To Happy Families

Marilyn and Win Gould's grandkids.

Marilyn and Win Gould’s grandkids.

By Adrienne Fawcett

Every Saturday of her childhood Marilyn Gould traveled from her south side Chicago home to her grandparents’ farm in Lowell, Indiana, where she and her siblings would play on the swing, toss around a ball, collect eggs from the hen house and sit around the table with all three generations for a long, unhurried dinner.

“They were very calm, very peaceful, non-judgmental,” she said of her maternal grandparents. “There was never any controversy. We’d just sit together and talk about the good old days.”

Talking – and more importantly listening – is something she does a lot with her own six grandchildren, five of whom grew up near her home in Lake Bluff. And she spends time with her neighbors’ children doing things like baking cookies and teaching them to knit and, of course talking and listening.

Marilyn knows how valuable the connection is from one generation to another, but she sees that many children hardly know their grandparents — and some don’t know them at all.

Hoping to change the dynamic in our culture, Marilyn wrote a book called “America’s Greatest Asset.”

“What is our society’s greatest asset?” she asks on the book jacket. “It is the accumulated experience and wisdom of rational, healthy and wise grandparents! In this troubled society, the wisdom of past generations can be invaluable. Grandparents can enhance family values. We can help resolve problems. We can discuss and re-establish core values.

This is her first effort at writing a book, but she’s no stranger to hard work. Marilyn and her husband, Win, have owned and operated the local Molly Maid North Shore franchise for 18 years. Hard work is just one of the values she learned all those years ago on her grandparents’ Indiana farm.

“I had a great relationship with my grandparents,” said Marilyn. “I learned their values, and I passed those on to my grandchildren,” she said. She hopes to pass on the generational wisdom to those who read her book, which is available on— click on the book jacket to learn more.

Click on the book jacket to get to Amazon ...

Click on the book jacket to get to Amazon …

Friday Night Lights Up As HP Overtakes LFA Football

By Bill McLean

Highland Park High School scored 28 unanswered points after an hour lightning delay and defeated visiting Lake Forest Academy 41-10 in a football season opener Friday night. HPHS led 13-7 with eight minutes left in the third quarter when lighting halted play.

Lake Forest Academy football players, including Dejon Brissett (No. 8), warm up after an hour lightning delay Friday night at Wolters Field in Highland Park. Brissett caught a touchdown pass and came down with an interception in LFA's 41-10 loss to Highland Park High School in a season opener for schools. Photo by Bill McLean.

Lake Forest Academy football players, including Dejon Brissett (No. 8), warm up after an hour lightning delay Friday night at Wolters Field in Highland Park. Brissett caught a touchdown pass and came down with an interception in LFA’s 41-10 loss to Highland Park High School in a season opener for schools. Photo by Bill McLean.

LFHS Varsity Football Dunks Dunbar

By Kevin Reitman, sports editor of North Shore Weekend

Lake Forest High School’s football team opened the season in positive fashion by downing Chicago Dunbar 35-8 on Friday night at Varsity Field.

Running back Wes Janeck scored two first-half touchdowns as the Scouts took a commanding 35-0 lead into halftime. LF junior Danny Carolla, making his first varsity start, connected with Matthew Hargett on a 2-yard pass play as the Scouts scored on their first series of the season.

Lake Forest junior running back Quinn Julian had a nine-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. The team’s final TD came on a 24-yard interception return by Kyle Gattari.

It was a good night for Gattari. He also added five extra point kicks.

Here’s a photo of the opening of the LFHS 2014 football opener:

Lake Forest varsity football at the start of the first game of the 2014-15 season; photo by Kevin Reitman.

Lake Forest varsity football prepares to take on Dunbar High School of Chicago at the start of the first game of the 2014-15 season; photo by Kevin Reitman.

Countdown to Lake Forest’s Art Fair on the Square

Updated August 29 with fall paintings by Mel Thompson:

Painting by Mel Thompson

Painting by Mel Thompson


By Mel Thompson

By Mel Thompson

Fall in Lake County by Bob London

Fall in Lake County by Bob London



Labor Day is coming up but it’s labor week for the Deer Path Art League as it prepares for the 60th annual Art Fair on the Square, a juried fine art show that takes place on Market Square in Lake Forest Sunday August 31 and Monday (Labor Day) September 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

During the week, GazeboNews will share some photos from artists who will be exhibiting at the event. These are from local artist Mark McMahon:

Eddie Ottoman Risher

Eddie Ottoman Risher

Eddie Ottoman Risher

Eddie Ottoman Risher

Ohio State University stadium by Mark McMahon

Ohio State University stadium by Mark McMahon

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain, by Mark McMahon.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain, by Mark McMahon.

Notre Dame Blue Gold Game 2014 by Mark McMahon

Notre Dame Blue Gold Game 2014 by Mark McMahon

As Activator Cycles Transitions to New Owner, Lake Bluff Music Closes

Submitted by Activator Cycles

Activator Cycles is pleased to announce that employee Rich Gier will assume ownership of the cycle shop this fall.

Richard Geier behind the counter ...

Richard Gier behind the counter …


Shelia Christofalos opened Activator Cycles with her husband Nick:

“We are extremely excited for Rich and for the community as we believe that the bike shop is a valued storefront in the downtown Lake Bluff business district. Nick and I have enjoyed starting and growing the business, and it was always our intent to see the shop remain open in downtown Lake Bluff when we were ready to move on,” said Shelia. “That day has arrived and Rich brings decades of cycle industry experience to the table from both a managerial and technical standpoint. He always has a smile on his face and is eager to help folks in any way. Rich also espouses our dedication to the community and to the concept that cycling can and should be an affordable activity. Rich will continue to focus on serving local families and riders of all ages and skill levels.”

“We feel such heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported the store and helped us along since we opened in the 625 sq. ft. space on Center Avenue in 2010. That was a tremendous leap of faith for us, but the community and our business partners embraced us and made the dream come true,” she added. “We trust that you will continue to support Activator Cycles and help Rich to sustain and grow the shop in the months and years ahead. It takes a Village.”

A celebration is planned for later this fall to give everyone a chance to congratulate Rich in his new role.

Rich can be reached at or call the shop at #224-544-5749. Visit for more info.

Around the corner, Lake Bluff Music Co. is closing. The store also was founded by the Shelia and Nick, who eventually plan to relocate to North Carolina to be closer to daughter Alex and Shelia’s parents. Here is a memorial video that Shelia shared.

Ranking of Midwest High Schools Puts Lake Forest Where?

Click on the photo to get to The Daily Beast.

Click on the photo to get to The Daily Beast.


Lake Forest High School was ranked No. 3 in The Daily Beast’s list of the “25 Best High Schools in the Midwest.” The only other North Shore schools to make it were Deerfield High School at No. 14 and Glenbrook North at No. 20. Click here to read the report.

Here’s how The Daily Beast described the criteria: “We used six indicators culled from school surveys to compare public high schools in the U.S., with graduation and college acceptance rates weighed most heavily. Other criteria included college-level courses and exams, as well as SAT and ACT scores.” And here are the three North Shore schools: Lake Forest High School: No. 3

  • Overall Rank: 52
  • FINAL SCORE: 7.8276
  • School Type: Regular
  • Enrollment: Open
  • Graduation Rate: 99.7%
  • College Bound: 97%
  • % Students Enrolled in AP/IB/AICE: 29%
  • AP/IB Tests per student: 0.47
  • AP/IB Pass Rate: 0.95
  • SAT: 1940
  • ACT: 25.9

Deerfield High School: No. 14

  • Overall Rank: 111
  • FINAL SCORE: 7.4062
  • School Type: Regular
  • Enrollment: Open
  • Graduation Rate: 97.0%
  • College Bound: 99%
  • % Students Enrolled in AP/IB/AICE: 29%
  • AP/IB Tests per student: 0.60
  • AP/IB Pass Rate: 0.91
  • SAT: 1930
  • ACT: 27

Glenbrook North High School: No. 20

  • Overall Rank: 132
  • FINAL SCORE: 7.2764
  • School Type: Regular
  • Enrollment: Open
  • Graduation Rate: 98.0%
  • College Bound: 98%
  • % Students Enrolled in AP/IB/AICE: 26%
  • AP/IB Tests per student: 0.52
  • AP/IB Pass Rate: 0.90
  • SAT: 1889
  • ACT: 20.6

It’s ‘Bring Your Own Bucket’ As Local Realtors Take (& Extend) ALS Challenge

The wildly popular Ice Bucket Challenge is giving local real estate brokers an opportunity to support the ALS Foundation while also pouring water on the competition.

The Lake Forest staff of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Aug. 27 in front of the group’s office on N. Western Avenue, and as you can see by this video they had a lot of fun doing it. It was a BYOB (bring your own bucket) affair, although some put a new spin on the challenge by using other types of water vessels, such as a stainless steel pot, Calphalon dutch oven, and a plastic trash can.

VP-Managing Broker Mark Pasquesi accepted the ALS Challenge from the Lake Forest office of @Properties. He then extended the challenge to Berkshire Hathaway’s Winnetka office, Coldwell Banker’s Lake Forest office, and Baird & Warner’s Lake Forest office.

If GazeboNews readers would like to donate to ALS, please visit and click the donate button. Maryilene Blondell, director of development/marathon race director for the ALS Foundation in Chicago said all monies raised stay in the Chicago area to help local patients and families. She added: “Also every single service we provide to those living with ALS and their families is absolutely free. We never, ever charge anyone for anything we do or provide.”

Obituary: Ernestina Santiago of Lake Forest

Editor’s note: Many GazeboNews readers know Ernestina Santiago as well as her daughter Tudy Gallardo. The family could use some help with funeral expenses. Info in the story.

Ernestina Santiago with her family in Lake Bluff

Ernestina Santiago with her family in Lake Bluff

By Adrienne Fawcett

Ernestina A. Santiago, 92, died on August 25, 2014, after a long life that began in Tlacolula Oaxaca, Mexico, and ended surrounded by family in her daughter’s home in Lake Bluff. The cause of death was leukemia.

Ernestina was a longtime resident of Lake Forest and was known by many names: mom, grandma, great-grandma … and Grandma’s Salsa, which she sold with tamales at the Lake Bluff Farmers Market and The Village Market for many years.

She was also known as “Tudy’s mom” by the many local people who know her daughter Tudy Gallardo of Lake Bluff from Tudy’s years working at the Jewel in Lake Forest, The Village Market in Lake Bluff, and as a babysitter to many local families.

Tudy got her work ethic from her mom, who was born on November 5, 1921 in Tlacolula Oaxaca, Mexico, and moved to the U.S. on September 10, 1954 — at noon. When asked why the timing was important, Tudy said: “That’s when she landed almost 60 years ago. She was always exact when she told us when she came here.”

Ernestina was a friend to many and a wonderful cook, who in the 1960s supported her family working on the cleaning staff at Ferry Hall School in Lake Forest (now closed) and in the rectory of the Church of St. Mary. In the 1970s she was a housekeeper for many local families until she retired in the mid-80s to take care of her grandchildren in Lake Forest, whom she walked everywhere because she never learned to drive.

Her grandson Ashley Gallardo was often by her side during the seven years Ernestina sold Grandma’s Salsa and tamales at the Lake Bluff Farmers Market; the family still gets (and fills) special orders for the brand.

Ernestina was a generous spirit who always put other people’s needs in front of her own, which is why her family finds itself in need of financial support for Ernestina’s funeral. In lieu of flowers, friends and family are asked to contribute to Ernestina’s funeral expenses. Checks can be sent to Tudy at 309 N. Waukegan Road, Lake Bluff, IL, 60044.

Ernestina is survived by her daughter Tudy of Lake Bluff; grandchildren Whitney (Mike) Draegert of Grayslake and Ashley of Lake Bluff and five great grandchildren. Visitation is from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, August 28, at Wenban Funeral Home, 320 E. Vine Avenue, Lake Forest. Funeral Mass is at 10 a.m. Friday, August 29 at the Church of St. Mary in Lake Forest. Interment will be in Ascension Cemetery, Libertyville.

For more information, call Wenban Funeral Home (847) 234-0022 or visit

Lake Forest on the Indian Highway

By Elaine Doremus, Gazebo News Contributing Editor

Susan Kelsey stands beside a painting of Joseph Brant, a Mohawk leader at Ft. Niagra during 1776, which hangs in the Woodland Cultural Centre at Six Nations.

Susan Kelsey stands beside a painting of Joseph Brant, a Mohawk leader at Ft. Niagra during 1776, which hangs in the Woodland Cultural Centre at Six Nations.

Did you know that Native American Indians used animal paths and waterways to navigate around Chicago and the Great Lakes for thousands of years?

Lake Forest’s Susan Kelsey is tracing the steps of Chicago legend Billy Caldwell, also known as Chief Sauganash, from his birthplace of Ft. Niagara, Canada, to his final resting place of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and documenting her research while following his path. According to Susan, Chief Sauganash likely  navigated through Lake Forest when he and Chief Shabbona visited Lake Geneva in 1827 to convince other tribes not to partake in the Winnebago War.

Several of these trails cut through Lake Forest. An Indian trail marker tree once stood at the corner of Waukegan and Everett Roads. And on Wallace Road, just north of Westleigh Road, a plaque on a rock commemorates an oak savanna where Pottawatomie tribes prepared meals and manufactured and repaired their tools.

The plaque on Wallace Road

Commemorative plaque on Wallace Road in Lake Forest

Susan ultimately plans on compiling her research into a book.

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Deadly Summer For Trees in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

By Adrienne Fawcett

Empty branches, felled trees, naked stumps on just about every block: This has been a terrible summer for trees. Since June alone, Lake Forest’s forestry department has identified 5,629 public and private ash trees that still need to come down in addition to the thousands of trees the city has already lost since Emerald Ash Borer was detected on Juno Terrace in 2009. In Lake Bluff, where ash accounts for about 10% of the public forest, 600 trees await the buzz saw.

The EAB nadir has been building since the invasive pest arrived in Michigan in 2002 and spread to Illinois a few years later, but the visual of so many tree stumps on local streets this summer is jarring.

Stone Avenue, Lake Forest. Photo submitted by A.J. Goldsmith.

Stone Avenue, Lake Forest. Photo submitted by A.J. Goldsmith.

“What’s happening now with EAB is no surprise but we knew it would be a shock to homeowners and that is exactly what is happening. People are realizing there are entire city blocks void of trees,” said Kathie Hayden, plant information specialist at the Chicago Botanic Garden. “Have you been to Gurnee Mills? Every tree in the parking lot is an Ash. There may be life in some but just barely; otherwise all are dead.”

Though EAB is by far the most significant scourge on local trees in decades, it is not the only problem. Last winter’s bitter weather and droughts from previous summers have stressed Sugar Maples; Dutch Elm Disease is threatening elms in this area; and other fungal diseases are affecting Spruce and Pines to the point that many are dead or dying.

East Sheridan Road, Lake Bluff

East Sheridan Road, Lake Bluff

“We had a really hard winter with a long deep frost,” said Jake Terlap, director of Public Works in Lake Bluff. “Coupled with the drought of the past two summers, it’s been a very stressful time for trees in general.”

The EAB problem is placing financial pressure on municipalities that pride themselves on their Tree City USA status. “Unfortunately Ash removals are outpacing the funds available,” said Gordon, who is presenting an EAB update to City Council on Sept. 2.

He said the forestry staff was unable to meet its goal of removing 600 trees a year on its own because of other commitments such as the BMW Championship Golf Tournament, snow removal efforts and the Forest Park redesign. As a result, Lake Forest contracted with Kinnucan Co. and other tree removal services to remove 232 public property trees in 2014 and 2015. Lake Bluff also has hired out, primarily for larger trees.

In addition to tree removal expenses, Lake Forest is spending nearly $30,000 annually to chemically treat 650 ash trees in 2014 and 2015. Gordon said treatment costs will surpass removal and replacement costs in 10 years, and he pointed out that the treatments have no end, as they are not a cure.

Stumped in Lake Bluff

Stumped in Lake Bluff

Homeowners, too, are feeling the stress of tree-removal fees that can range from $500 for a small Ash tree to more than $1,200 for a huge tree. And that’s when the tree is still showing signs of life. Removal of failing or dead trees can cost 50% more, said T.J. Blockhus, arborist at Kinnucan.

Despite all the publicity that EAB has received, some homeowners are unaware of the problem or are just learning about it. Blockhus said he still gets up to a dozen calls a day from homeowners wondering if their Ash trees can be chemically treated. This far into the epidemic, only about 15% of the trees are treatable, he said.

“The only time we treat them is if we see an Ash tree with at least 75% of its full canopy,” he said. “Once the tree is showing signs it has the borer it’s too late to treat.”

And therefore, it needs to come down. Lake Forest and Lake Bluff require property owners to remove infected ash trees from their properties. Lake Forest initially set out to tag all trees on private lots but the effort proved too difficult.

“With over 3,700 as trees posing a potential hazard, the forestry department isn’t staffed to physically tag all of them,” Gordon said. Instead, the city sent two letters, one by regular mail and one by certified mail, to inform homeowners that their infested Ash trees need to be removed. The letters also state the homeowners are liable if their failing trees injure people or nearby properties.

McKinley Road, Lake Forest

McKinley Road, Lake Forest