Small Business. Big Heart

Long before I was born, my father, Bill Raspolich, developed a great appreciation for carpentry and remodeling, which he acquired from his father. He had enjoyed it so much that in 1986, at 24 years old, he opened his own company named Raspolich Service Company. As a result of living in Joliet his whole life, my dad gained most of his customers through word of mouth, friends, and acquaintances. With his friendly personality and excellent carpentry skills, he created a small yet substantial business.

While there has been many ups and downs for my father over the past 30 years, he has been very successful in his decision to start his own company. Because of my father’s hard work and dedication, he was able to raise a family and provide my two siblings and I with a Catholic education. I can remember various times as a child, going with my dad to work at his shop and loving every minute of it. I will always love the smell of paint and saw dust, as it reminds me of the time and devotion my dad put into his work.

Thirty years after opening, my dad consistently books new jobs with people he meets in the Joliet area with his business, which is now called W.E. Raspolich Contruction. I admire his hard work, and even after this many years he continues to thrive. When I see my dad talking about business, I can feel his admiration and respect for what he does. He took something that he loved and created a business out of it.

If you are looking to remodel your home or know someone who is please contact Bill Raspolich at 815-325-3089 or email at

Chicago Shootings

According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago police reported three people were killed and about 30 were injured by gunfire in Chicago from Friday evening through Monday morning.  The shootings bring 2015’s total to “at least 1,956” according to the Chicago Tribune database on city shootings.  That’s an increase of more than 240 over last year and more than 420 over 2013, according to Tribune data.

Members of the Chicago Fire Department and the Chicago Police Department transported a 16-year-old who was shot to an ambulance “near the intersection of East 83rd Street and South Ingleside Avenue on Aug. 30, 2015.”

According to a Tribune database on homicides Chicago has had one of the highest murder rates.  There were “at least 317 victims through Monday morning this year, 39 more than last year and 22 more than 2013.”

The weekend shootings were spread across the city from the Rogers Park, the Golden Gate neighborhood, Bucktown, Humboldt Park and Lawndale.

The three victims were: a 34 year-old man who was shot and killed Saturday in a vehicle in Lawndale, a 44 year-old man who died at Mount Sinai Hospital after being shot in Englewood, and a 16 year-old boy who died at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn after being shot on Sunday while standing on a sidewalk in Chatham.

The murders of three persons and the wounding of 30 others barely make the top headlines anymore.  One person was killed and 21 wounded Saturday and two people were killed and nine were wounded on Sunday.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the police reported this weekend’s first shooting left a seven year-old girl and 32 year-old man wounded in Kenwood.  They were in a vehicle when someone walked up and opened fired.  The girl was shot in the arm and was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital.  The man, shot in the back, was taken to the University of Chicago.  A police source said the shooter is a documented gang member, and other shooters were as well.

USF professor to display photography in gallery

Barbara Eberhard, photographer and instructor at the University of St. Francis, will be displaying her photography at Gallery 7 in Joliet from September 2 to October 3 with an opening reception on September 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.  The collection, titled “An Alternate View,” features various photographs that have printing using gum bichromate.

Eberhard has taught at USF for over 15 years, having spent 30 years as an educator. She specializes in black-and-white and street photography. Eberhard also directs her children’s theater company. Her favorite type of photography is gum bichromate.

The process, also known as gum dichromate, came about from several different discoveries in the early days of photography. The first was made by Scottish inventor Mungo Ponton. He discovered that dichromates were light sensitive. William Henry Fox Talbot, a British scientist, then found that colloids like gum arabic became insoluble when exposed to light. After that Alphonse Louis Poitevin added carbon pigment to those colloids, creating the first carbon print. Finally, in 1858, John Pouncy added color pigment to the gum arabic to create the first colored images.

This alternative printing process dates back to the pictorialist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Despite the lack of a formal definition, the movement refers to a style in which the photographer manipulates the photo in order to “create” an image rather than record it. Eberhard does this by creating gun bichromate prints, which she describes as “photographically controlled watercolors.” While the images might resemble photographs, they are actually composed of layers of pigment and hardened gum Arabic.

Gallery 7 is located in downtown Joliet at 116 N Chicago Street. The gallery is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.