Your Ultimate Guide to Real Estate on Chicago's North Shore

Star Spangled Rock


Rockin’ His World

A few weeks ago I wrote about a guy who proposed on Wilmette’s painted rock. In case you were wondering how it turned out, here’s your answer.

Reply on a Rock

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Message on a Rock

Rock with marriage proposalI love driving by the painted rock on Thornwood and Ridge to see its latest incarnation. Every season it sports a new look, in keeping with the time of year. At Halloween it has masqueraded as candy corn and as a pumpkin. At holiday time it’s been the Grinch and it’s been a reindeer.  It’s always something fun and creative, thanks to the Cox family, who live on the corner and carry on the decades-old  tradition of painting the rock.

So I was a little surprised last week to drive by and see that the rock had been painted black…just plain old black. Had someone died? Or was I just missing the joke?

A couple of days later I was even more perplexed to read the question painted on the rock: “Carly, will you marry me?” Who was Carly? What was this all about?

Turns out this really was a marriage proposal, from Daniel Hudson to Carly Graham, whose family used to live in the house on the corner and paint the rock before they moved to Georgia three years ago. Daniel had contacted Katy Cox and arranged to have the rock painted with his marriage proposal and then brought Carly blindfolded to the corner of Thornwood and Ridge to pop the question.

With a proposal like that, how could she say no?

Rock with marriage proposal

Read more about Daniel’s proposal to Carly:,0,7082433.story


Wilmette's Rock

Right down the street from my house in Wilmette, there’s a rock by the side of the road…on the west corner of Ridge Road and Thornwood Avenue to be exact. It’s not a big rock. Maybe about as big as Plymouth Rock, which, if you’ve visited it, you’ll agree is pretty underwhelming. Anyway, what’s unusual about Wilmette’s rock is that it is always decorated in keeping with the season (or sometimes at the current whim of the artist) and yet the decorating is always done in secret.

Although I have passed this rock a zillion times, I have never seen anyone actually painting it, and I don’t know anyone else who has either. But sure enough you’ll see it painted one way one day and the next morning you’ll drive by and it will have morphed into something completely different. So I decided to begin documenting the many faces of the  rock.

Dressed for Thanksgiving

Dressed for Thanksgiving

Here’s my first picture of it, dressed as a turkey for Thanksgiving.

Ten bucks says it will be Rudolph come Friday morning.

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