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Recall notice

As I write this column, news continues to blare about the impact of the coronavirus on every aspect of our lives. We’re all aware of the cancellation of festivals, parties, get-togethers and organizational events. What’s a person to do? How’s this? I’m dedicating this month’s column to all those outdoor events that are so popular to Roselandites, whether or not they take place this year. Please, keep in mind that you should check for the current status of any events listed. At this point in time, I’d be telling you about the Pullman Family Picnic that would be coming up ...

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Random Roseland memories

Throughout the more than 10 years I’ve been writing Petals from Roseland, I’ve been told many stories. I’ve also conducted many interviews with friends, family members and readers. These have yielded a treasure trove of random snippets, some of which I’d like to share with you now. The Pullman Tech All Class Reunion back on Oct, 14, 2016, was a special event for me because I finally got to meet accordion and keyboard player Frank Rossi in person. He, Michael Vittori and Bruce Meyer have been entertaining Roselandites for years but this was my first face-to-face encounter. We’ve been buddies ...

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A never-ending love story

  You might think that I’ve covered all the Roseland bases after writing this column for 12 years. Not so! So many people have such a deep love for Roseland that it’s become a never-ending love story. I’ve been busy lately, what with selling my book, delivering local copies, and, as always, keeping an open ear for all things Roseland. As a result, I’ve found three more groups of Roselandites that regularly meet to share a meal and reminisce. I’ve attended a number of those casual meet-ups,  interviewed a 94-year-old mother of seven from Roseland, received more Roseland memorabilia for ...

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A book and a look at Pullman’s past

This is definitely that time of year when winter has dragged on for too long and we’re anxiously awaiting spring. It’s also a time when we can look back on what’s taken place over the winter and ahead to what might be coming up. First and foremost is the celebrated publishing of my book, which is a compilation of the best of 10 years of my column: “Petals from Roseland: Fond Memories of Chicago’s Roseland, Pullman and Kensington Neighborhoods.” The book was in print by mid-December and became an instant hit as a Christmas gift around the world. I can ...

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St. Anthony’s is alive and well!

The Chicago Catholic has been reporting a lot lately that the Chicago Archdiocese is going through many changes, and we know that it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future due to the ever-changing demographics of Chicago and its suburbs. Parishes are being closed or consolidated a couple of times a year, sparking valiant rescue efforts by the affected parishioners. Roseland’s St. Anthony of Padua Parish has not been affected or mentioned in these announcements. Many Roselandites have wondered whether our St. Anthony’s has closed. These are usually former residents who haven’t been back to Roseland in 40 ...

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National coalition reaches out to Chicago-area groups

The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations brought its message of unity to Chicago recently. Conference Chair Dr. Aileen Sirey, and Vice Chair Basil Russo met with representatives of 20 member organizations of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. The meeting was hosted by JCCIA President Sergio Giangrande. The meeting was part of a larger effort on the part of the conference to rally Italian-American organizations across the country. Russo talked about the importance of Italian-American organizations coordinating their efforts and speaking with a unified voice on important issues that impact our community, citing Christopher Columbus as ...

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Echoes of a bygone Roseland

When we were in our 20s, it was a whole different ballgame. Way back then, we couldn’t possibly have predicted what our life would be like as we enter this new decade of the 2020s. We’re all aware that the Roseland we grew up in has changed dramatically over time and some of us former Roseland residents have taken daytime trips to today’s Roseland to see just how much change time has wrought. Many of the houses we grew up in have had their date with the wrecking ball. Some fell apart sooner rather than later for lack of tender ...

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Christmas through Italian-tinted lenses

Christmas is a time for celebration, but how celebrate has changed over the centuries. How do you celebrate Christmas? Do you embrace the more secular version embodied by Santa Claus with his big bag of presents, or the more religious one in which gifts are given in recognition of God’s gift to us of His Son Jesus Christ? One tradition I embrace is the Christmas story told by Mario Avignone, the founder of this column. Fr. Pierini asked him decades ago to start writing Petals as a way of keeping Roseland alive in our hearts. In my 10-plus years as ...

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Winter brings out the neighbor in us

“Winter’s on the horizon, and as true Chicagoans, we may complain about the weather, but we handle it like troopers. We realize that resistance is futile. We all have friends who have become “snowbirds,” escaping to Florida annually and, this year, straight into the arms of Category 5 Hurricane Dorian! By staying in Chicago, we deal with life as we always have. And yet, we’ve never had to rebuild or relocate. That being said, winter can be a great time for recalling the way we’ve dealt with our major storms — the Chicago way I recall being home on leave ...

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Summer’s over, but life goes on

We’re finishing up another great summer in Chicago, with fond memories of many activities and so much to look forward to. Here in Pullman, the Pullman Artspace Lofts project is nearing completion and the first tenants are brimming with expectation while they wait for their move-in date. The construction fence is gone and the larger construction vehicles have done their job and the buildings are looking more Pullman-like than they did in the artist’s renderings. After ten years, the community will see how the added designation of “artist colony” melds with the national reputation Pullman has as a preservation community ...

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