One of the first things my new neighbors wanted to tell me about when I moved in four years ago was that we’d just had our street paved, thanks to Jim Ferlo, the former state senator who lived on the block. When the blossoms from the tall trees growing on the Fulton school property filled the air with the scent of spring, other folks nearby were quick to credit Jim for working with the school to have them planted. During the HPCC community meeting where people shared their stories about building the Super Playground, I laughed along with the gang describing Jim’s insistence on being the one who got to drive the backhoe. I remember noticing his name on the sign in the window of the building on the corner of Bryant and N. Saint Clair, noting his involvement with the team responsible for Bryant St.’s evolution.
Now that Jim has passed away, I’m learning just how much of a mark he left, not only on my block and Highland Park but across the state and beyond. I only knew him as a neighbor who was quick with a wave and happy for a short chat on the sidewalk. Our condolences to his family, friends, neighbors and co-workers who had the privilege to know him for much longer than I and who are mourning his loss.
Nancy Gohring, HPCC newsletter editor