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  • The Fastest Girl in the World

    Betty Robinson was discovered when a coach saw her running for the train. Four months later she won the first Olympic gold medal in women's track. Then she mangled her leg in a horrifying plane crash. Think that slowed her down?
  • The Colonel's Weed

    Tribune boss Robert McCormick had a farm, and on that farm he grew some hemp.
  • Coming Home

    Bits of fact become memorable fiction in Stuart Dybeck's re-creations of the old neighborhood.
  • An Open Mind

    Artist, musician, architect--Tristan Meinecke has teetered on the brink of fame for the better part of a century.
  • Grape Expectations

    Amid the subdivisions of Long Grove, a novice vintner waters and waits. Meanwhile, changes in Springfield may wither Illinois' budding wine industry.
  • Bedside Manor

    Welcome to the National Museum of Hospital and Pharmaceutical History, aka Paul Baxendale's apartment.
  • Reclaiming Ronnie

    Folks in Tampico want the world to know that our 40th president's Illinois roots go deeper than Dixon.
  • Holy Terror

    A developer has come up with a novel approach to marketing the Near North Side: sell it on the basis of its collection of religious institutions. If Mayor Daley lets him have his way, more historic buildings in the newly christened "Cathedral District" wi
  • Vehicular Visions

    Behold the lowly parking garage, the nadir of the urban landscape. Now behold what some inspired architects would do with one if given the chance.
  • Give 'Em Shelter

    These Parts--I cleaned up their vomit, held their hands as they hallucinated, and listened to their stories of lives gone up in flames. Years later, the homeless men who filled my waking hours still walk through my mind.