I live in a village. As villages often do, Northbrook has its own set of quaint local traditions, like the annual pancake breakfast at the Village Presbyterian Church. When the boys were younger we'd never miss one — they have raffles, puppet shows and the Boy Scouts put on a display of knots, a tent and a canoe. One year we used a device to twirl strands of hemp into rope, an important scouting skill, apparently.
So my wife and I go Saturday, to the 61st installment of what has been deemed a "pancake festival," I assume, because now you can have seconds. We do not particularly want pancakes, but do like to support the community — the breakfast benefits Northbrook's various holiday celebrations through the year.
We're there, gobbling flapjacks. Sandy Frum, the village president, is pouring coffee. She moseys over, sits down and we chat. She has just been to New Zealand. I steer her toward a more local topic: that new building being constructed on Shermer; what is going to go in it? Another paint store? We've already got two. No, she says, another real estate office.
I consider asking her about the murder. On Dec. 7 a lawyer, Jigar K. Patel, was strangled in his office, not a block from my house. The police assured the public there is nothing to fear but didn't arrest anybody. Which seemed ominous. If they know who did it, why not arrest the guy? If they don't know, how can they be certain we're safe? Maybe a maniac is stalking Northbrook.
She would know what the true story is on that.
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