Cookie's Eulogy | Letters | Chicago Reader

Cookie's Eulogy 

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To the editors:

David Whiteis's article on "Cookie" [August 30] was full of compassion and sincere appreciation of a life. She was, as he said, "someone's little girl" and while in some others' eyes that may be a bit melodramatic considering her life--it was a truth. It seems to me that some people these days tend to either romanticize homeless/street persons or vilify them. Neither position, in my opinion, helps the situation. The closer we get to seeing these individuals as fellow partners on this planet (and acknowledge that we may not be immune to this hardship ourselves someday), the sooner the stigma of homelessness will be lessened--or hopefully removed.

I remember seeing Cookie on Maxwell Street. She had a spirit about her and yes, sometimes she could be annoying when she was "full." But I'll never forget the sight of her calmly walking out of a building while the one next door collapsed unexpectedly one Sunday morning, or her dancing to the music on the vacant lots there, or her fondness for children. She wasn't perfect, she wasn't always well, but rather than make her wrong for either her situation or choices, David Whiteis reflected back to us that she was a person worthy of our interest for simply having been.

It was a eulogy in the best sense of the word.

Sue Jeffries

Chicago

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The Great Leap Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Upstairs Theatre
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