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Street dedication set for Herrington
by Matt Simonette
2014-06-05

This article shared 12 times since Thu Jun 5, 2014
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A street dedication will be held June 19 at 10 a.m. at the corner of Broadway and Aldine Avenue in honor of the late Lakeview merchant and AIDS advocate Dewey Herrington.

Harrington, who died in 2008, was known in the neighborhood as the "Mayor of Broadway" and was, along with his partner, Walter Kogelis, the longtime proprietor of Pass the Salt and Pepper, a Lakeview gift shop at 3337 N. Broadway.

Herrington and Kogelis were two of the first of the first merchants to set up shop in the neighborhood just as it began to be more popular with members of Chicago's gay community.

"He was always there," said Kogelis. "Everybody came to Dewey when they needed something. He always had a presence there."

Herrington was also a founder of the North Broadway Merchants Association, which later merged into the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, as well as a founder of Chicago Gay Men's Chorus. He also was "Official Monitor" for the Pride Parade. Herrington lost his twin brother, Melvin to AIDS, and was a fierce advocate for persons with HIV/AIDS in the early days of the epidemic as well.

In 1997, he spoke to Outlines about, among other topics, his AIDS advocacy: "I think that my place is to share with [Persons With AIDS] that it's okay to be different, that it's okay to be diseased—if that's the word they want to use—they are not victims. … I think it's all in the heart and mind—a will to live."

That same year, Herrington was the only Chicagoan chosen by the Advocate for a list of "10 People who make us proud." He reflected on the honor in Outlines: "I was flattered … it was very nice. The main thing that I thought was important was that identified Chicago. The West Coast and the East Coast tend to ignore us, and it's time we started getting attention."

"Dewey had polio so he never did sports, and was never on any team, but he thought of the community as his 'team,'" Kogelis said. "He liked to be in the background, but could be relentless when he was working for something."

Kogelis also said he has been working toward the street naming since shortly after Herrington's death, "so I'm thrilled to have this happening now."


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