AtoZ Blog Challenge – Y – Evanston YMCA

This post is dedicated to the class of ’56 at ETHS          

So many of us grew up together at the Y.

images-4Evanston YMCA

Growing up in Evanston, the YMCA was an important  place to all of us. Starting with Little Women in grade school, through Tri- High in high school, the Y programs and leadership had an influence on who I am today.  I tell a story from my Y days that proves the point.

I was a junior in high school and supposed to attend a meeting at the Y after school. I decided to join friends at Cooley’s Cupboard instead.  (french fries and a cherry coke) A few days later the director of girls and women, Zenol Moore, called me on the carpet. You could do that in those days! It was the first time I had ever heard the expression,

To those much is given, much is expected.

Zenol carefully explained to me that as a leader among my peers, certain expectations came along with that position. Coming from a woman I revered, and wanted to please, this was a heady conversation. I have never forgot Zenol or her words to me. I am forever grateful to the YMCA, where I played sports, danced at the Plant Room, was a delegate for Youth and Government, and made life time friends. During college I worked one summer for the girl’s department at the Y. My last year at Camp Echo, after I married, I was the Asst. Director to Miss Zenol Moore. The girl that remains within me can make her way along Grove Street with the large Elm trees hanging over head, to the entrance of the Girl’s Department. Opening that door I can smell the chlorine from the pool, and find all the boys and girls who grew up on that corner of Maple & Grove.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in AtoZ Blog Challenge April 2015 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to AtoZ Blog Challenge – Y – Evanston YMCA

  1. johnvic8 says:

    Great memories, which those of us of the same age can share.

  2. noelleg44 says:

    What a great memory! And kudos to Ms. Moore for reminding you of your responsibility. Would that more adults would do that today!

  3. I often pass the Evanston Y. When our kids were younger we lived in West Rogers Park and our kids went to the Y on Touhy Avenue, mostly for basketball games. Good memories.

  4. jazzfeathers says:

    Really some of the experiences of our younger days never leave us. That’s nice to know 🙂

  5. John Holton says:

    My stepfather had been a Jesuit, and when he went on leave of absence (essentially to wait for his release from the priesthood), he lived at the Evanston Y, unless I’m mistaken.

  6. Nice memory; it’s important to have advice from people we can look up to. I also agree with statement, where much is given, much is required.

  7. Oh how lucky you are/were, to have such a good role model in your young life. It’s obvious you cherish her and your time at the Y. I go to the Y now to exercise, and, my family owns an “old” Y camp up in North Carolina! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @

  8. Oops, forgot to mention the reason I said that about the property we own, because when we first bought it, we had a wonderful time going in to all the cabins and reading what the “campers” and counselors had written on the beams over their beds, or the wall planks beside their beds. Some had their name and every year they attended. It was cool! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @

  9. pbmgarden says:

    Stepheny, a nice tribute to someone who took time to make a difference in your life.

  10. These are the people we respect the most in life..those who can call us out with love. It’s a real art.

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