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Petals From Roseland

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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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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Pullman Tour celebrates an urban-design gem

Here we are headed into fall, another seasonal change — which we know we have no control over, other than doing our part to lessen climate change. Autumn in Pullman is an interesting season because a whole new view of the community is revealed to us. As the leaves change color and fall from the trees, decorating the ground in lyrical shades of sienna, auburn, red and yellow, we begin to see more clearly the urban masterpieces created by architect Solon S. Beman and landscape designer Nathan F. Barrett. Beman’s Queen-Anne style was exactly what George Pullman wanted to see. ...

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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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Among other things …

There are times when I have to wonder what I’m going to write about, and then there are serendipitous times like this! We’ve had reunion picnics, a garden tour, progress on the artists residence, the loss of the Gately’s building, a St. Anthony’s festival, the loss of Roselandites who we’ve known from years gone by, and the initiation of the Kickstarter campaign for my book.” “Petals from Roseland: Fond Memories of Chicago’s Roseland, Pullman, Kensington Neighborhoods.” Summer always provides us with plenty reunions but the best seem to hold off until August and that’s why it gets top billing. There ...

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Roselandites who made it big

If you’re talking with Roselandites about popular folks we grew up with you’re going to hear mention of local baseball players, teachers who were unforgettable, well-known cops, popular bar or restaurant owners, and community leaders. Through these conversations, I began to wonder what about Roselandites that made their mark outside of Roseland. I looked on the internet and Wikipedia gave me a few names, but nothing that I didn’t already know. When I don’t know, I know where to go — my readers! Thanks to everyone who made the time to contact me with suggestions of those that were from ...

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Summer days gone by

We have been through many summers over the course of our lives. When we were young, we could hardly wait for sunny summer days to run to Roseland’s baseball fields or playgrounds. Swimming was always available regardless of the weather thanks to the indoor pool at West Pullman Park. Back in the day, horseshoe equipment was put in the boxes at the end of the horseshoe courts for everyone’s enjoyment. A variety of classes were offered in park field houses such as sewing, cooking, puppetry, gymnastics, exercise and weightlifting. Roseland parks with their baseball and soccer fields, tracks, and tennis ...

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