Sidewalk Stories a stroll down memory lane
Left, Colleen Keaveny of Northbrook, portraying Katie Bellert, a telephone operator in 1906, greets diners in downtown Northbrook during Saturday Shermer Stories June 16. Karie Angell Luc~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 20, 2012 11:37AM
Planning on a stroll Saturday night in downtown Northbrook? Expect to encounter neighbors from your past.
That’s been the norm for those attending Saturday Shermer Stories. At the June event, volunteer storyteller Colleen Keaveny braved the heat in her long green floral dress during the event.
Her character, Katie Bellert, who was a twentysomething Shermer Road switchboard operator, had Keaveny donning ankle-length 1906 reproduction fabric.
Imagine how hot it was in a second floor living room over a Shermerville harness shop, where Pete Bellert dispatched his daughter upstairs to tackle early 20th century telephone party lines.
“I just walked outside with just this on and I was like burning, it’s really humid,” said Erica Nitzkin, 17, a Glenbrook North High School senior, who left Yogen Fruz Cafe with her friend Caroline Price, also 17 and a GBN senior.
In her tank top, sandals and shorts, Nitzkin observed what Katie Bellert endured on sweltering summer nights to communicate with their public.
“... I definitely have a lot of respect for them back then,” Price said.
Judy Hughes, Northbrook Historical Society president, said the Saturday Shermer Stories are “a way for the historical society to tell stories of our history and together, new stories from people who stop to listen.”
Said Northbrook Historical Society Board Member Laurie Baum: “If anyone has grown up in Northbrook, we’d like to hear about it.”
The (complimentary) Shermer Saturday Stories take place 7 to 9 p.m. on July 21 and Aug. 18 outdoors at Shermer and Meadow Roads
Share your stories at 847-498-3404 and www.northbrookhistory.org/