The Way We Were . . .

                                   Almost 30 Years Ago.





By Megan McKinney




Yes, that’s John Fornengo. He was posing for an article in the May 1989 issue of Frank Sullivan’s AVENUE M magazine titled Juniors Boom! He really hasn’t changed—grown a bit of a beard, maybe, but other than that . . .

Although the above picture was set up professionally and taken by AVENUE M Director of Photography Kay Whitfield, each issue of the magazine was filled with candid shots of people snapped here and there around town by photographers engaged for the occasion. However, 1989 was also about the time this writer began taking a small camera to parties and shooting very unprofessionally—even moving on to the dance floor at times to do so.   


 Ginny Morris, Kerry McNulty, Alexandra Maguire and Ball Chair Laura Thrall at the Kidney Foundation Ball.

Today, everyone can take pictures wherever they are—and they do. Even the great photographers are whipping out phones to expertly record images. But we were doing it back then, and a few of the results—which originally appeared in AVENUE M—are woven into the pictures that follow. Some of the friends thus photographed are now gone, but, they were so much a part of the fabric of Chicago social life at the time, we have included them. And more than a few photographs are grainy, yet have special interest. Stay with us, you may find your privacy violated one more time.

At Arnie’s, the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Complimentary Lunch for Invited Guests: 

Stanley Paul with Arnie’s Maître D’ Johnathan Harding.  

Barbara Burrell talks to Bill Kurtis . . .  

 and to Walter Jacobson.

 Bruce DuMont and Sugar Rautbord, Beverly Blettner and Patti Kaplan celebrated the green on the other side of the table. P.S.: Arnie’s St. Patrick’s Day guests enjoyed the complimentary buffet but were billed for drinks—Arnie came out well ahead every year.


At a party for Bob Mackie:

Abra and Hazel each made the gesture of wearing a Mackie design to honor the honoree, and their consistency of doing this made Bob smile.


At the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Viennese Ball:

Ball chair Alexandra Nichols checks place cards at her table before dinner.

Dottie and Beverly Pattishall; Shirley Ryan dancing with Austrian Ambassador Dr. Friedrich Hoess; and Kim Brooker with Charles Shaw all happily supported the Symphony that night.

John and Alexandra Nichols with John Jr.


At Arlington International Racecourse during a Shakespeareʼs Globe Theatre Benefit:

Ligita Dienhart.

Paul and Angel Harvey and Event Chair Sandy Henry with Louis Goldblatt.


At The Field Museum’s One Enchanted Evening:

Dan Rostenkowski, tiny Marta Babson with the very tall Charlie Gardner, Pat Shaw, Steve Wolf.


Consular Ball:

  Van Argiris with Irene Antoniou and Marta Babson, this time with Billy O’Connor.


At the Hilton after the Opening of the Goodman Theatre’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum:

Warren Barr on the Grand Ballroom staircase, a happy Stanley Freehling and a serious Harlan Berk, both captured on the Grand Ballroom dance floor.


At La Belle Nuit:

Surprised on the dance floor: Ambassador Daniel and Judith Terra. Sorry.

But Barbara and Richard Samuels didn’t mind.

Secrets: Victor Skrebneski and Hubert de Givenchy.


Author Photo:

Robert F. Carl