|Kevin Lavin, Executive Director of Guildhaus in Blue Island; above him is a photo of founder Jack King.|
Everyone has a Thanksgiving tradition: the kindergarten crayon hand outline turkey decorations, the touch football game in a nearby field. Me, I made my famous challah stuffing, a big warm pan of savory comfort. It was a hit, as always.
And Kevin Lavin called the cops, as he has every Thanksgiving Day for the past 13 years.
Not just any cops; one particular Alsip police officer named . . . well, I can't say, for reasons that will become clear.
|Guildhaus is next door to the Maple Tree Inn, |
a popular Blue Island bar
"Things have changed," says Lavin, sitting in his office at Guildhaus, in the shadow of Western Avenue, across from the Cal-Sag Channel. "From 1987 to 1995, there were alcoholics, for the most part, a little cocaine. From '95 to 2002 it was crack cocaine. Insane. A few alcoholics here and there. Now my demographic is heroin addicts: 80 percent. You know where they're from? Everywhere. Not the picture you think: 22 to 28, from well-to-do families, good families."
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|Members of the Guildhaus have their own coffee mugs.|