Thank You, Skokie, IL.

Skokie Spirit. (Photo & buttons: A. Sukhoy)

We love Skokie.

Over 20 years have gone by since we graduated Niles North and went our separate ways. We’ve lived in many different places across our nation and traveled the globe. Yet, somehow, no matter where we go, or where we live, we look back and smile warmly at our hometown.

There are many fans, like us, from the 60076 / 77.  Fans, who keep fond memories of and gratitude to a village that welcomed every kind of ethnic group, nurtured spirits, raised expectations, encouraged curiosity and gave everyone an opportunity to understand and appreciate the quality and value of good people.

Over the past decade, so many different leaders and authors have written books and articles dedicated to being thankful. People long to hear “Thank You.” Because people crave gratitude. And we didn’t want to be a part of any statistic expressing the lack of use in those two words, because we feel too proud to have come from such a great village that provided, and continues to provide, so much enrichment.

While we thought of many reasons why we, Anita & Alex, loved Skokie, we’re wondering if we are alone in our thinking, so we’ve been asking our fanbase:

  1. What did or do you love most about Skokie?
  2. What is your best Skokie memory?

Here’s what you’ve told us:

“My Skokie appreciation runs deep:
1)      My husband and I shared our first home in Skokie.
2)      My wonderful in-laws live in Skokie.
3)      My favorite shopping center, Old Orchard, is in Skokie.
4)      Skokie location is awesome! Pretty close to the lake, downtown and easy access to major highways!” - Nonna Kofman

The Skokie Swift – could get downtown without a car and explore the city as a kid.”     - Jacob Livshults

My most fond memory is Devonshire pool in the summer, riding our bikes with not a worry. Devonshire, Old Orchard Junior High, Niles North High School, the original Old Orchard Mall…How about when they filmed  Planes, Trains and Automobiles? And who could forget the famous 24hrs Jacks for a very early breakfast after a night out with friend? And the best of all is meeting fellow Skokians along the way. - Vivian Krasic

Dengeos! In the sea of uncertainty, Dengeos has always been the island of security.  I went there for the first time when we moved to Skokie in 1980.  Place looked like a cafeteria but served amazing, fast food Greek style.  It was my first introduction to gyros and since then I always compare any other gyros to theirs.  The owners were full of heart.  They always had a nice word, a smile, a hug.  A lot of things happened over the last 30+ years.  Everybody got older, we moved, and moved and moved again.  Jobs, marriages, divorces, deaths, births…but Dengeos is in the same place it’s been for all those years.  They upgraded their interior, build a new parking lot, cashiers and cooks came and went.  Original owner’s son Nick is now tending the restaurant.  Just like his dad, he remembers the regulars and always asks, “How are you?”  The food is great and people are friendly.  Now, if they would only start serving alcohol.” - Marina Sukhoy

“[Skokie] is the “everything” town. Great people, great shopping (minus the Cook County taxes), great restaurants, great theaters. My first date with my husband was at the Cheesecake Factory in Skokie. I got married to him at the Double Tree Hotel in Skokie. Had a great 4 years at [Niles North] high school in Skokie. - Sherrie Layman

“Presently living, as a Jew, in largely culturally monochromatic Oregon, I am reminded daily of why I miss Skokie: Our preponderance of and wide embrace of our incredible ethnic, national, religious, culinary, linguistic and cultural diversity. Growing up, I rejoiced in knowing people from so many different parts of East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Europe, the then-U.S.S.R., the Middle East, and Spanish-speaking nations in the Caribbean and South America. I knew more people who did speak a second language at home, than who didn’t, and I, myself, loved going to Hebrew School (and the occasional smatterings of naughty Yiddish I picked up colloquially).” - Ellen Klowden

We have shared our fond memories with others and even laughed and exclaimed “Ohhhh yeah!” recalling even more moments from fellow Skokians who came together on a Facebook page called “You know you’re from Skokie if…” These, and bagazillion more, are reasons why we find reason to reminisce and honor a Village that created some pretty appreciative people.

Thank you, Skokie, for being the Village that helped make us who we are.

Alex & Anita

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