Eighty Mays ago

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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 occurred to me that after 80 years, a look back to their May 1944 issue might be interesting.

In April 1943, parishioners at St. Anthony Italian Catholic Church Roseland launched a newsletter to keep our servicemen connected to the parish and the neighborhood of Kensington-Pullman-Roseland. They initially called it the Servicemen’s Bulletin, but four issues in they changed the name to St. Anthony’s Broadcast because it was pointed out that St. Anthony’s counted four members of the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) among its parishioners.

Each issue of the Broadcast contained a headline story; the Society Chronicles; various prayers and poems; Sports Briefs; a message from pastor, Fr. Joseph Chimenello, PSSC; Homefront News; Birthday Candles; Salutations from the Four Corners of the Earth; and Furlough Chats and Visits. Every issue also included a printed joke illustration and sometimes quite a few humorous jokes in dialog. The staff’s experiences led them to conclude that these were the most meaningful topics to our service men and women.

One of the most appreciated topics of the entire Broadcast issue was Sports Briefs. The news and information were so popular that the staff had to print 200-300 copies for our service men and women. Members of the parish wanted to be able to keep up with the news, too, so copies were at a premium.

One of the joys I got in reading through the copies I have, is seeing the names of parishioners that I remember from when I was attending school at St. Anthony’s. Of course, since I was born in 1946, I remember the last names because many of the children of the GIs mentioned in the Broadcast were my classmates.

Give it a shot! Let’s see how many last names you might recall from their Roseland and St. Anthony days: Charo, Michelon, Sola, Sandona, Sorci, Trevisan, Panozzo, Lobbia, Meneghini, Alfano, Corriere, De Antoni, Napoli, Rossi, Pizzato, Ronzani, Rebeschini, Frigo, Bertoletti, Marturano, Rago, Mora, Spiller, Toscano, Chidichimo, Lofrano, Badali, Tribbia, Adducci, Cimaroli, Bonaguro, Ganz, Traverso, and Bonet.

I am writing about May 1944, so I’d be making a major mistake if I didn’t mention some of the military personnel: Cpl. Dominic Cunico, Pvt. Marion J. Donati, Cpl. Alex Filzone, Pfc. Gildo Marchi, Leon D. Cimaroli, Pvt. Maurion Caschetta, Evo Moro, Mario Avignone, Cpl. Joseph A. Brescia, Pvt. A. Martinotti, Russell Pizzo, Pvt. C. Vinceguerra, Pfc. C. DaCorte, Pvt. Joe Casarotto, and Pfc. A. Dal Santo.

May Crowning!

May in Roseland

While I’m strolling down memory lane, what did May mean to the girls at St. Anthony’s?  Hint, hint: Let us crown the queen! The nuns would select the girl they felt would best portray Mary in the procession. She would also have the honor of crowning the statue of the Blessed Mother! It was an honor that signaled springtime and the approaching end of the school year. Now, the mere mention of Mary in the month of May or hearing the song “O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today! Queen of the angels and Queen of the May” conjure memories of this event. On this May Day and throughout May, we honor our Lady with this beautiful hymn and those who grew up at St. Anthony’s cannot help but recall the wonderful memories of this occasion.

I am sure that some of my readers have great memories of this celebration. I recall hearing from the former eighth grader Judy Del Favero who later married Al Toscano, class of 66, brother of my classmate Jim, class of 61. Judy recalls being honored and in disbelief when the sisters told her she had been chosen. Each May, she recalls what a terrific event it was and how fond it has made her of church traditions to this day. Judy can remember some of the members of court were Debbie Basile, Chris Ortigara and Donnamarie Marengo.

Pullman Events

The Pullman Coffee Club and the Pullman House Project are enticing reasons to stop by Pullman. Visiting Pullman does not have to be a “hit-and-run” situation. You can relax with friends and family and enjoy yourselves with talk about the Pullman and Roseland we all remember from the days of our youth. The Pullman Coffee Club has a beautiful deck with tables and chairs that will allow you to enjoy the sunshine and the view. With any luck, you will be watching the ongoing construction of two new Pullman projects: The Pullman Veteran Roaster with craft brewery on the 2nd floor and the 101-room hotel.


For the past few months, former Spaghetti-O’s members have been getting together and having a great time. Through the combined efforts of Bonny Sandona, Frank Rossie and Tuscan Gardens, the group hosts a monthly get together in the afternoon on the first Sunday of each month.

We were able to have a great surprise 80th birthday celebration for my sister Rosie. She hadn’t seen many of her friends and acquaintances since she moved to the Lincoln Square neighborhood on the North Side to be close to her children. Since the first Sunday event is open to the public, along with family, there were a lot of people there that didn’t know her, but that didn’t matter. They all cheered for Rosie and sang the birthday song. It was a bonus that her three children and two grandsons were all there, along with her friends, as a gift to her. Rosie was very grateful and enjoyed her moment in the spotlight. It was great to see the smile on her throughout the event.

Tuscan Gardens, located in Glenwood (where the former Busy Bee Landscaping was located), hosts Frank Rossi and Friends entertainment from 2 to 5 p.m. This event is open to the public with many people arriving by 1 p.m. Pizza and salad is provided for $15 plus gratuity. Tuscan Garden’s excellent food offerings can be ordered off the menu.

There is a large parking lot and, best of all, the afternoon event will avoid night driving. If you do plan to attend, it would be appreciated if you could contact Bonny or myself with a heads-up. Bonny always appreciates a headcount so she can reserve nearby seating for this public event. Be sure to tell any former Spaghetti-O’s or Roselandites about this opportunity. It is a great chance to get reacquainted and find out what’s been happening for the past few years before finding yourself reminiscing in a reception line at Panozzo Brother’s.

My Book

“Petals from Roseland: Fond Memories of Chicago’s Roseland, Pullman and Kensington Neighborhoods” is available from me at $20 + $5 s&h. Contact me at petalsfromroseland@gmail.com or 11403 S. St. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60628; res: 773-701-6756. My book is also available at D & D Foods, 1023 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights, at Bookie’s New and Used Books, 10324 S. Western Ave, Chicago and at Miles Books, 2819 Jewett Ave., Highland, Indiana.

About C.J. Martello

CJ Martello has returned to his roots as the author of “Petals from Roseland.” After five years of writing his column as a resident of Chicago's North Side, CJ put his money where his heart is and moved to Pullman, near the Roseland area in which he grew up. Having joined the Spaghetti-Os, Veneti nel Mondo and St. Anthony of Padua Parish and being one of the founders of the Roseland Roundtable Facebook page, CJ has become reacquainted with countless friends and acquaintances from his youth. CJ is looking forward to retirement and completing the books he has put on hold, including one that will encompass as much of Roseland's rich, beloved history as possible.

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