aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

What is it with Oak Park, Illinois?

It's the birthday of Pulitzer-prize poet Charles Simic. He wrote, "I was stolen by the gypsies. My parents stole me right back. Then the gypsies stole me again. This went on for some time. ... We were so poor I had to take the place of the bait in the mousetrap. All alone in the cellar, I could hear them pacing upstairs, tossing and turning in their beds. 'These are dark and evil days,' the mouse told me as he nibbled my ear." His family survived the bombing of Belgrade during World War II and fled Eastern Europe after the war was over. Simic said, "My travel agents were Hitler and Stalin. They were the reason I ended up in the United States." They wound up in Oak Park, Illinois.

Other notable Oak Park residents:
- Ernest Hemingway
- Carol Shields
- Edgar Rice Burroughs (the Tarzan guy)
- and Jane Hamilton, who went to high school with
- Dan Castalleneta, the guy who does the voice of Homer Simpson. Jane said he was incredibly quiet in high school, and then one day he started doing all these different voices. On the Simpsons, he voices Homer J. Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Groundskeeper Willy, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Sideshow Mel, Mr. Teeny, Hans Moleman, and more.

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