Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Bronte Press of Bourbonnais, IL - A Thing of Beauty

I have always been uncomfortable around things of beauty - I tended to break them, get my soiled mitts and finger prints all over them and await the fell swoop of hand to the back of my noggin.

Thus my aestheic point of view was rudely - albeit prudently - stamped at an early age. Hence, my aesthic appreciations found safe ground on the less tangible arts - words, ideas and music. The plastic arts had a much more Pavlovian impact upon me. Touch it and get whacked. Things of beauty are meant to be touched - but by graceless boy, or clumsly adult.

Books are beautiful in themselves. Hand printed minature books are a treasure.

In my salad days as a baby teacher, I had the great good fortune to meet Suzanne Granzow-Pruchnicki and her husband Paul. Suzanne was my late wife Mary's Art Teacher at Bishop McNamara in Kankakee and later her professional mentor. Mary followed Suzanne as Art teacher for that great Catholic high school. Paul taught Theology, Philosophy and English and served as link to Catholic aestheics. Paul and Suzanne married.

Suzanne's family were Manteno, Illinois gentry and Suzanne and her sister Elmira were steeped in culture and the arts. They founded the Bronte Press, which produced minature books -not for the filthy fingers of young Paddy Hickey, but for a carved black walnut tri-pod stand which would adorn a mantel.

Take a slide down I-57 to Kankakee County and visit the Bronte Press in Bourbonnais* - which I continue to prounce like a Townie - Burr-Bonus.

Bronte Press:
Phone: 815-932-5192
County: Kankakee
Manufacturing Firm: Are you looking for Bronte Press offers and services?
Year Established: 1977
Exec: Paul Pruchnicki

* I arrived in Kankakee County in the fall of 1975, just before the great "Say Bour -Bo-Nay" Campaign by the Franco-phone Fascists. Townies always say BURR-BONus. Even my wife's Frog-eating side of the family.

Click my post title for more on the Bronte Press of Bournonnais

1 comment:

Jim Bowman said...

Paul Pruchnicki gave one of the great sermons ever from the Milford OH novitiate refectory pulpit. "God HATES rapine on the holocaust!" was his opening line, delivered with rousing stentorian magnificence. It was undeliverable in a parish church but wonderful for (some of) us Jesuit novices and juniors. This was in the early 50s, when he and I were young.