Petals From Roseland

Strolling down ‘The Ave’

June always meant a break from school when we were growing up. There was always something to do and, most of the time, we kids were in charge of filling our days. Roseland will forever be remembered for “The Ave” — Michigan Avenue — which was the shopping strip mainly from 111th to 115th Street. All you’d have to say is “I’m going down the Ave” and people would know where you were heading. That little sentence covered a lot of territory: were you meeting friends or were taking a solo stroll down the Ave? Maybe, you were going to …

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Eighty Mays ago

In March, my sister Rosie proudly turned 80 and, at the same time, I happened to review some of my Roseland memorabilia. I came across a great many nostalgic newspapers, letters, photos and yearbooks that have been given to me for safekeeping. What caught my eye was a couple of notebooks that St. Anthony’s Fr. Mark Krylowicz shared with me quite a few years ago. Fr. Mark has been a part of St. Anthony’s for more than 18 years and knows and honors the parish history. The notebooks he shared contain copies of St. Anthony’s newsletter, Broadcast, and the thought …

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In praise of our national park

The Pullman National Historical Park (PNHP) has become a focal point of the Pullman community. In the beginning, Pullman residents worried that the National Parks, as a government agency, would be too stodgy and hung up on rules and regulations. As community activists evolved from their grassroots beginnings to become professional organizers, they found that many government agencies put up the hurdles to jump, climb or claw their way over. But the passage of time has provided nothing but positive results from the PNHP, with the programs, presentations, exhibits and displays created by the park rangers adding immensely to Pullman’s …

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A pizzeria wonderland

I’m sure many of you recall the movie “The French Connection.” Well, I’m about to discuss “The Roseland Connection!” The “French Connection” was all about a bad habit. But the “Roseland Connection” involves a good habit: Roseland pizza! In the ’60s, there were plenty of smaller pizza places scattered throughout the area. Whenever Facebook conversations have centered on the neighborhood over the years, local pizzerias would always pop up. They were a popular weekend treat, a lively place to hang out or a good bet for a first job. These were the neighborhood spots, but what if you were shopping …

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A love letter to Roseland

As we look forward to Valentine’s Day, I’d like to look back at some of the places in Roseland that we came to love. As we took advantage of the many opportunities offered to us while we were children growing up in Roseland, we had no idea we were making deposits in our memory bank of the things we love. We grew up with the love of our relatives and close friends and we returned that love. What we didn’t realize is that those feeling of love extended beyond just the people in our lives. As we lived our lives …

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Moving forward, looking back

Another year has gone by and we’ve got a lot to reflect on. One reason we reflect is to honor those who have passed and to create a path for the new year. We also want to consider all the plans we made last year and couldn’t bring to fruition for one reason or another. Now is the time to prioritize those plans and add to them to give us important things to attend to throughout 2024. Of course, that’s easier said than done! It seems the older I get, the more I feel like my get up and go, …

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A story worth retelling

Christmas is a time for traditions that we’ve held close to our hearts since we were children. Often our celebrations include practices our parents and grandparents passed on to us. Gone are the days of tall, wide evergreens buried in tinsel. Of course, that era was followed by aluminum trees with rotating color wheels. Some of the more daring families would set the wheel to the blue filter and have the only blue tree in their neighborhood. That’s not to say that some folks didn’t go for the green or red filter instead! Many of us inherited the ornaments and …

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Time to give thanks!

We are all aware that change happens whether we want it to or not. I recall an older Roselandite yelling at me one time because I mentioned Martin Luther King Drive. Anyone care to guess what she yelled at me? She certainly took me by surprise because we were at a wake at Panozzo Brothers Funeral Home. What she said, as she put her face close to mine, “It’s South Park and always will be.” Of course, that’s just one example, because for some people, we still have “Comiskey Park” and the “Sears Tower.” Recently my 90-year-old sister Jean Kirn …

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Souvenirs of our past

Every so often I run into someone with a Roseland past who share something with me in the last 15 years: an item, a name, a connection or a story. Then the conversation centers on what I did with what was shared with me. Many of the stories that were shared with me became parts of columns I have written. In many cases, the items end up on two entire bookshelves overflowing with Roseland, Pullman and Kensington memorabilia. The second bookcase is a recent addition that allowed me to display the sets of Pullman dishes and blankets and a Pullman …

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15 years, just like that!

I eagerly await the coming of September every year, but this year feels special because it marks 15 years since I took over penning this column. I’ve covered topics ranging from the good old days of church processions and carnivals to the good times we had at the favorite places of our youth, like “The Ave” (Michigan Avenue). Many of the topics I’ve covered have resulted in online discussions and real-life visits to the nostalgic locations those columns mentioned. The greatest source of information and inspiration for this column is conversations and discussions I’ve been a part of. As everyone …

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