Friday, May 04, 2007

Park Ridge, Illinois surrounded by farms? A Hillary fib?

Rodham home, Park Ridge, IL
In Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times, Jennifer Hunter reported on a speech Hillary Clinton made in San Diego where she speaks about her experience growing up in the town of Park Ridge, which is just a few miles west of where I live in Morton Grove.
She recalled Park Ridge was surrounded by farms that relied on migrant labor and that she used to baby-sit the workers' children, an experience that awakened her to the complexities of the immigrant experience.
That paragraph didn't pass the smell test with me. However, Hunter didn't present those as direct Hillary quotes, so perhaps, Hillary didn't actually say those things.

Well, she did. Roger Hedgecock subbed for Rush Limbaugh Thursday, and he played that segment of her San Diego speech. What was played matched almost word for word what was reported in Hunter's report.

Hedgecock asked people who knew about the Chicago area to opine on Hillary's agricultural exclamation.

Well, while Hillary was supposedly watching those migrant kids, I was a toddler in Chicago's South Side Roseland neighborhood, where there were no farms. I'm not old enough to give my first hand recollections of Kennedy-era Park Ridge.

However, I've lived in the north suburban area of Chicago long enough--and spoken to enough old-timers who did live around here then, to realize that although there were some farms near Park Ridge, circa 1963, the suburb wasn't surrounded by farms when Hillary said she was watching those kids.

Park Ridge is bordered by Chicago on it's southern and southeastern borders. The old Rodham farmhouse, pictured above, is within walking distance of Chicago's city limits. But as late as 1970 there were a few farms in Chicago proper, but very few.

Directly southwest of Park Ridge is O'Hare International Airport. The airport dates back to the 1940s, but it didn't begin become an commercial airport until the mid-1950s. No farms there. The other sides of Park Ridge are bordered by Niles, Glenview, and Des Plaines. Once you do a quick drive through these suburbs, and it becomes very clear that the majority of the residences in those towns--outside of the recent tear-down constructions, are post-war housing boom units. Those homes probably supplanted farm land, but most of them were built--I would guess--before Hillary Rodham was old enough to babysit young-ins. That is, if she actually did watch those migrant kids. The Clintons have a way with stretching the truth.

Yes, there were certainly a few farms surrounding Park Ridge then. As late as 1999, I saw a pumpkin patch in Glenview--There are condos there now.

Thanks for the link: Blogmeister USA

No comments: