Terry Quilico

Firefighter, caseworker, labor organizer, sailor, psychiatric aide, aircraft load planner, FedEx manager. Nothing seemed to fit until Terry Quilico stepped up to the Joliet Herald copy desk as a know-it-all college intern wannabe journalist. It was there that he found his calling. Over the years, he’s written about social and political movements, Italian cars and the Torino football club. ]He began his long association with Fra Noi while working for the Comboni Missionaries. His proudest work was with the photographers, journalists and editors who created the magnificent book, “Evviva la Festa. A Spiritual Journey from Italy to Chicago.”

My dad, Aaron Judge and me

I am writing this the morning after Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees hit his 62nd home run of the season, breaking Roger Maris’ American League record of 61, which he set 61 years ago. I immediately thought of my dad, his youth, my life as his son and our relationship with the American pastime. Anthony Quilico was born in 1901 in the coal mining Italian enclave of Seatonville in Bureau County, Illinois. His dad worked the mines until 1909, when the mine fire in nearby Cherry, Illinois, convinced him to take a job with the railroads. Many miners …

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Blue Island Mayor Fred Bilotto

Fred Bilotto has only been mayor of Blue Island since April, but his involvement in public service began when he began volunteering at the Feast of St. Donatus at St. Donatus Church. Both he and his wife, Stephanie, were born in the city, and both graduated from nearby St. Xavier University. They and their three children are now involved in the feast, which has been celebrated for 116 years. Bilotto ran for mayor because he wanted to create a more open and transparent government while addressing infrastructure issues in the aging city. “The problems weren’t created in a day, and …

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Casa Italia to unveil mystery window

Attorney John J. Lag was enjoying the atmosphere at the Festa Pasta Vino at 24th & Oakley when he saw something that stopped him in his tracks. “It was a remarkably beautiful stained-glass window with vibrant colors that caught my eye. It was an image of Bishop John Scalabrini and I just had to buy it,” Lag says. “It was being sold without provenance, without any information as to its origin or the artisan who created it, but I couldn’t pass it up. “Clearly, I couldn’t keep it at the family home and then it dawned on me. This magnificent …

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Landmark book enjoys a stellar second edition

“Reconstructing Italians in Chicago — Thirty Authors in Search of Roots and Branches” was released in 2011 as “a sampler of the best writing on the subject of Italians in Chicago,” according to Dominic Candeloro, who spearheaded the book’s publication by Casa Italia. The first edition has sold out, and a 10th anniversary edition has now been published by Amazon at a much lower price, both in print and on Kindle. The new edition includes an introduction by Candeloro and Fred Gardaphe, an associate editor at Fra Noi and professor at Queens College. References have been updated, some of which …

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Gallo sows seeds of change in Rolling Meadows

Joe Gallo has never shied away from voicing his opinion when something seems amiss. In the case of Rolling Meadows, where he has lived his entire life, he felt that change was needed and decided to do more than just talk about it. The now-38-year-old business strategist campaigned successfully for Fourth Ward Alderman in 2017, then won a four-way race for mayor in 2019. His goals for Rolling Meadows are to “promote a culture of accountability, ownership and proactive behavior, and incorporate more innovation and technology to improve the quality of life, leading to a more efficient, sustainable community.” He …

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Ron Giordano lends a hand across the border and back

In the course of a 50-year career at Huntley-based H.S. Crocker, Ron Giordano has helped turn a money-losing plant into an award-winning operation. He is now CEO and president of a business that specializes in food packaging, producing items such as foil lids for yogurt containers and individual-dose pharmaceutical products. His remarkable career achievements are mirrored by his philanthropic drive. As a volunteer for the Chicagoland Radio Informational Service, he has read the news to the visually impaired, and as a member and past president of the Columbian Club of Chicago, he has organized fundraisers to assist more than 70 …

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Culture Center houses model of da Vinci catapult

The John Cadel Art Gallery in the Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia recently welcomed a model of a catapult that was designed by Leonardo da Vinci. Local artists and engineers Matthew McKee and Jonathon Boley built the catapult for exhibition at the third annual One Book, One Village series at the Arlington Heights Library in 2016. There is no record the catapult was built during da Vinci’s lifetime, but the design appeared in his notebooks. The model took 160 hours to build and is held together with dovetail joints and dowels. Casa Italia supporter and volunteer Frank Cesario purchased …

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Carpino excels as new mayor of Willow Springs

Reflecting on his upbringing in Melrose Park, recently elected Willow Springs Mayor John M. Carpino says, “I realize when my grandparents immigrated they helped one another. The community came together and I never forgot the need to help others.” Carpino was raised by his mother and grandmother, his grandfather and father having passed away while he was still a child. He attended Holy Cross High School and Triton Junior College before embarking on a 40-year career in law enforcement. He worked his way up from cadet to officer to detective for the Addison Police. He continued to work his way …

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