Leslie Travis in the front room in Hyde Park, Chicago IL on June 25, 2023. The room is now a playroom for her granddaughter. Leslie is her caregiver during the week when her son and daughter-in-law work.
Leslie Travis in the front room in Hyde Park, Chicago IL on June 25, 2023. The room is now a playroom for her granddaughter. Leslie is her caregiver during the week when her son and daughter-in-law work.

Leslie Travis turned 72 in 2023.  She is a positive, caring and beautiful human being who loves life and the people in her life.

She was a teenage bride and has stayed married to the same person for over half a century.  Leslie is an adoptive and foster parent, which reshaped her understanding of family. Leslie loves being with her granddaughter whom she cares for every day, and is a caregiver for her 96-year-old father.

For most of her life, Leslie was a teacher in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade, including four years in a one-room elementary school, which shaped her understanding of public school education. During part of her tenure she was a librarian and teacher working for Chicago Public Schools in Hyde Park, the neighborhood where she lived so that she could walk to work.

Leslie is an avid sailor and has sailed four Mackinaw races and countless other port-to-port races on Lake Michigan with her husband David on their boat, Mischief. She also enjoys sewing canvas sails and gear for the boat, among other things, and fixes retired sewing machines to gift to others who want and need them. She volunteers regularly helping her neighbors and the people in her life. If you need help, Leslie will be one of the first to volunteer.

I am honored to know Leslie, and call her my friend.

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How does it feel to be 72?

"Being 72 feels just fine. I know I am fortunate because I can work, talk, drive, read, see and hear. I am fortunate to have hearing aids and to have had cataract surgery, both of which have helped me stay in touch with people in my life.

I am fortunate to have had access to medical care and lived through an ectopic pregnancy. I can walk because an orthopedic surgeon repaired my foot. I can sew because I’ve had broken bones in my hand set properly. I can smile and eat because of a wonderful dentist who performs painless root canal and implant procedures. So with medical care available to me, I can do most of what I have always done with the exception of stop/start sports like tennis and softball."

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What do you look forward to?

"I think that the purpose of life is to keep learning. I look forward to learning new ways to make things, new ways to see the world around me, and new things from people who are or who will be my friends."

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What is your biggest concern?

"I think my biggest concern is the condition of the physical world that my granddaughter will live in."

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Life expectancy 2023

79.74
years
United States

About the photographer

Brad Temkin

🌐

Chicago-based photographer Brad Temkin documents the human impact on the landscape. He has exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the US and abroad. His works are included in numerous permanent collections.

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