In 1975, Bolingbrook celebrated its 10th birthday. Now it was officially the second-largest municipality in Will County, and some predicted that Bolingbrook would soon reach 100,000 residents by 1985. If you were young and starting a family, Bolingbrook was the happening Chicago suburb. Old Chicago would open later that year, along with the Fountaindale Library. The future seemed bright.
The Babbler’s future, at the time, seemed uncertain. Following the loss of paper of record status, publisher John Olson was forced to make cuts. The page count was cut in half, and the number of enhanced photos per issue was reduced. Many believers feared that Chicagoland’s voice of truth could be silenced.
Though the Babbler was down, it was certainly wasn’t out, as our first interview with newly elected mayor Nora Wipfler clearly showed.
Mayor Wipfler speaks: Romeoville won’t eat us!
After avoiding the Babbler during the campaign, new Village President Nora Wipfler finally agreed to an interview! While obviously the powers that be prevented her from telling the whole truth about her plans for Bolingbrook, we found her relative openness to be quite refreshing.
Reporter: Thank you for the interview, madam president.
Wipfler: You can call me mayor. Everyone else does.
Reporter: OK. Well, Mayor Wipfler, thank you for this interview.
Wipfler: Oh, don’t thank me. I just want to be able to go to sleep and not worry about a three AM call from your reporters.
Reporter: Fair enough.
Wipfler: But don’t think that means I’ll put up with any sexist questions.
Reporter: (Tears several pages out of his notebook.) In that case, my first question is, how do you enjoy being the most important mayor in the galaxy?
Wipfler: Galaxy? Oh, that’s right. It feels just like being the mayor of a large village in Illinois. I enjoy it.
Reporter: Tell us about your first meeting with a space alien.
Wipfler: Now come on. You know that would be classified. I could tell you, but then a man in purple would have to slap you.
Reporter: Not a man in blue?
Wipfler: I meant a man in blue. Now, how about some questions that I can answer.
Reporter: OK. Our sources tell us that Old Chicago is being built over the Indian burial ground of ancient astronauts. Are you concerned that Bolingbrook could come under attack from a curse, the alien’s decedents, or both?
Reporter: Do you care to elaborate?
Wipfler: Old Chicago isn’t being built on an ancient nuclear waste disposal site. The developer isn’t an alien. The communists aren’t ordering me to harass the developer. It’s just as ordinary as a shopping mall with an indoor amusement park can be ordinary.
Reporter: Are you concerned about the possibility of Old Chicago coming under psychic attack?
Wipfler: I’m sure the men in lavender, er purple, er whatever color they are, will handle any such attack…Though it sounds like a good plot for a disaster movie. You should pitch it to Hollywood.
Reporter: Oh no! We’re a serious publication.
Wipfler: Sure. Next question.
Reporter: With Old Chicago opening this year and the proposed widening of Route 53, are you concerned that with more people coming into Bolingbrook, Clow’s cover will be blown?
Wipfler: Clow’s cover?
Reporter: You know. Clow’s cover story.
Wipfler: Oh, the whole UFO base silliness.
Reporter: I’ve seen the evidence!
Wipfler: Calm down. I’ll give you a quote. Old Chicago is to the South of Clow air- er, UFO base. Since everyone will be looking South, they won’t notice the UFO’s flying into Clow. That way, when someone claims there’s a UFO base in Bolingbrook, we can say, “If there were a base in Bolingbrook, how come no one has seen it?”
Reporter: Because we’ve distracted them with Old Chicago.
Wipfler: And since everyone is indoors–
Reporter: That’s brilliant!
Wipfler: That’s why I won the election.
Reporter: You know, when John–
(Wipfler clears her throat)
Reporter: OK. Next question. You are urging residents to buy in Bolingbrook. Yet Bolingbrook relies on Interstellar tourism and trade. If the aliens followed your advice, wouldn’t that devastate our economy?
Wipfler: How so?
Reporter: If they did all their shopping on their homeworlds, then they wouldn’t shop in Bolingbrook. Since we rely on their tourist dollars, should we really be suggesting that they spend their money at home?
Wipfler: Well, if they’re shopping in Bolingbrook, that means they can’t get what they’re looking for on their home planets. So, I find it unlikely that our campaign would encourage them to shop elsewhere. So, if we encourage our residents to shop in Bolingbrook, and aliens to shop in Bolingbrook as well, together they’ll help boost our economy.
Reporter: I see.
Wipfler: Now we’re getting silly. What’s the next question?
Reporter: Some people say that the Bolingbrook/Romeoville joint planning commission is part of a plot to merge Bolingbrook into Romeoville.
Wipfler: Absolutely not. Romeoville is not going to eat Bolingbrook. It is just a group dedicated to coordinating the growth of our two communities.
Reporter: Kind of like the Twin Cities.
Wipfler: In a way, yes.
Reporter: I have a friend in the Twin Cities. He tells me that he knows an unusually large number of people there who practice polygamy or are in so-called open relationships. Aren’t you afraid that if Bolingbrook and Romeoville act like the Twin Cities, more residents will take up these so-called “alternative lifestyles?”
Wipfler: I… I really don’t know how to answer that question.
Reporter: You’re not afraid that forcing Bolingbrook into a twin city relationship with Romeoville will endanger traditional family values in Bolingbrook?
Wipfler: I’m not sure what I think of your hypothesis.
Reporter: Some people say that this commission is oppressive to the residents of Bolingbrook, and could lead to a civil war.
Wipfler: Is some people named John Olson?
Reporter: Maybe. How do you respond?
Wipfler: I think our alien ambassadors would be able to broker a peace deal before any violence. Besides, we are suburbanites. We don’t resort to violence. We resort to filing lawsuits against each other. That’s the civilized way.
Reporter: But don’t you think?
Wipfler: I think you have enough material. You don’t have as many pages as you used to.
Reporter: True, but I do have one more.
Staffer: (Walks into the room.) Excuse me. That man sent another letter to you. He says that our ordinances regarding gas station signs are too restrictive, and that we shouldn’t be fining stations whose signs violate the rules.
Wipfler: So, he thinks a gas station should be able to post signs advertising their food and non-automotive products?
Wipfler: Well then. Maybe we should let all the gas stations put up as many signs as they want, and if the marketplace allows Bolingbrook to be covered in signs, then who are we to argue?
(Long pause and both women burst out laughing.)
Wipfler: That’s a good one.
Tomorrow: Mayor Robert “Bob” Bailey catches Disco Fever.