Big Speaker Night

April 2
Dennis Depcik


Dennis Depcik, a widower, tells a true story of an improbable love between an Army officer and an “insignificant kid” that happened fifty years ago through letters written across an ocean. It was solely through those letters that my wife and I came to know each other and fell in love. It was a love that led to a marriage of forty-one years and lasted a lifetime; a love that was set ablaze again fifty years later when those same letters were discovered in the corner of a closet by a grieving husband.

Dennis is an award winning author of the book “Wouldn’t It Be Something.” Born and raised in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, he graduated from Loyola University in 1965 and served as an officer in the United States Army until 1968. It was during this tour of duty that he and his eventual wife, Maggie, came to know each other and fell in love – almost solely through letters.

My program weaves a nostalgic look at hand-written letters through Maggie’s and my love story:

I share my story of finding the letters my wife, Maggie, and I wrote to each other from 1965 to 1968, which I discovered after she died – 119 letters.



May 14
Jim Gibbons


Chicago’s Landmarks and the Names Behind Them

Dan Ryan, Jane Byrne, Bessie Coleman, and Casimir Pulaski—these are all names that we hear about almost every day. Yet, who were these people and why do they hold such a place of honor on Chicago’s landmarks? Historian Jim Gibbons will explain just that and more about Chicago’s most well-known landmarks and the famous names behind them.