Tommy sat in the front seat with his notebook and lunch box, relating an interminable tale about some television show, mimicking the voices of the different characters.Shana sat in the back, staring out the window, quiet and moody, occasionally firing statements at her mother about why she should get a hardship license so she could drive at fifteen.
As Ann began her run, carrying a cloth napkin to wipe away the sweat, the morning silence was interrupted only by the hum of air conditioning units dispensing comfort and cold air and by the periodic roar of jet aircraft overhead.Women like Ann would leave and return to their homes on many different missions, beginning with herding children into cars, Ann’s first task in a long day of activities.After the school car pool, she had her thrice-weekly exercise class; a Junior League meeting; an appointment with Jim Smith, the family counselor, at Highland Park Presbyterian Church; Tommy’s soccer practice; a drink with her ex-husband, Jack, to discuss the division of the marital assets; and a trip with the kids to Los Vaqueros in the Highland Park Village for a Mexican food supper. Dressed in her exercise leotard and ballet shoes, Ann began collecting neighborhood children.Ann recognized several of the Mercedes outside and, as always, admired the blue rag-top Rolls-Royce that reminded her of when cars were worth looking at. Norris’s class attracts a slightly older crowd, while the town’s grande dames still twist and stretch with exerciser emeritus Louise Williams. Sometimes it seems that the entire ambulatory population of Highland Park is running and puffing and bending in an almost comic narcissistic urge to keep fit.The leader of the exercise class, Jenny Ferguson, is an old Highland Park girl who used to sell real estate and now has the most popular—especially with the younger women—of the three Highland Park-area fitness groups. Sometimes it seems that the entire ambulatory population of Highland Park is running and puffing and bending in an almost comic narcissistic urge to keep fit.A Sigh in the Supermarket By midmorning Highland Park is a no-man’s-land, a town given over to women and babies.The men who remain—police officers, yardmen, carpenters—are insignificant compared to the numbers of visible women.Normally healthy women trade war tales of jogging bruises and muscle failures at their luncheons.Wisecracks persist about being trampled by the gallopers at Park A, the town’s ,000 jogging track and soccer field.But that particular dream is no longer so accessible.The bungalows go for 0,000 and up, which means that only the wealthy can afford Highland Park now.