End-of-the-year wrap up

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Looking back, it’s been a very busy, but pleasurable year. A number of people have stepped up throughout the year and given a boost to the nostalgic adventure that remembering all things Roseland has become.

Dan Bovino continues to march forward with his ever improving photographic skills in piecing together the photographic puzzle of our varied Roseland experiences. It never ceases to amaze me that each of us has had such unique experiences in Roseland, but once shared, they conjure up related memories in our own lives. Dan’s many hours dedicated to the Roseland Roundtable represent a truly remarkable gift to all Roselandites–be they up-the-hill, down the Ave, in Stewart Ridge or by the Pumping Station or those that hung out at Vinci’s BBQ Pit or Chicken Little or worked at Gatley’s or The Homestore. We all have a personal history that Dan’s efforts have shed light on. Thanks again Dan, for your dedication and service.

petals50The outgrowth of the Facebook Page “Roseland Roundtable” is the Friends of Roseland Pizza Party semi-monthly get together at Traverso’s. This group has gone from about 40 or 50 to a steady group of 90 to 100+ in attendance every other month. The next meeting will be on December 27th and seats can be reserved by contacting Friends of Roseland Pizza Party on FB. Iif you have any Roseland memorabilia, i.e. newspapers, awards, or yearbooks you would like to give me for safekeeping for possible exhibition in a future Roseland Rooms Exhibit at the Hotel Florence–bring them along.

Which reminds me, I’d like to thank Bob O’Neill and his brother Richard and their mother Ursula for giving me their Courier yearbooks. Bob presented me with the books at the September 27 Roseland Pizza Party. All together, I now have 20 Couriers that I am holding on to. If anyone is interested in coming by to view the Roseland memorabilia in my possession, please contact me.


The St. Anthony Dinner Dance fundraiser which took place on October 11 was a big success. At that dinner, Richard Zayber was kind enough to bring me prints of sketches of Pullman he realized he’d forgotten he had. They are in mint condition and include sketches of a Market Hall Apartment Quadrant and of one of the blockhouses that were built for the single men that worked at the Pullman Palace Car Company.

My friends Peter and Judy Sterchele, while Pete recovers from knee surgery, recently sent me a newspaper clipping all about Lockport becoming a ‘sister city’ with Asiago, Italia. Many of the residents of Kensington and Pullman have ties to the Asiago region in the Province of Vicenza in the Veneto region of Northeastern Italy. While returning from a visit to Pete in Plainfield, I drove through Lockport and saw the Stefanelli Italian Imports store. When I went in, I found that the Stefanelli family no longer owned the store. They were about to close the store when it was bought by Bob and Judi (Corlieto) Bratcher. It’s Judi’s baby and offers a variety of merchandise and food items to choose from. I’m sure this will be a good year for them as they improve their offerings and recipes to their standards. Lockport is starting to look, very Italian and well worth a visit straight west up 159th Street.

The Historic Pullman Foundation will be hosting its Annual Candlelight House Walk on December 14th. The Candlelight Walk is a festive holiday tour of a number of privately owned historic Pullman row houses, all decorated for the holidays: for information call 773-785-8901. As I mentioned, the Pullman House Tour weekend was a great opportunity to see some of Pullman’s homes and this is the second opportunity of the year. With the seasonal changes, this is a great time to bring your camera along to take picturesque photos of the beautiful restoration work Pullman’s residents have completed to the outside of their houses.

In the beginning of November I gave the final first Sunday of the month free Pullman Factory Tour and it was a beautiful day with a small group of seven very appreciative visitors. The group was very inquisitive and I was able to give them enough information to entice them to make plans to return in the future. The free first Sunday tours run from May to November. There is something about Pullman and its connection to the past that stirs people’s imaginations. The residents also add to this attraction by restoring and maintaining their properties as eye-catching windows into the past lives of Pullman factory workers of the late 1800’s.

We are forever thankful for this important link to the Pullman/Roseland/Kensington neighborhoods and see a bright future for our Pullman neighborhood, perhaps as a National Park. There’s no way our future could be anything but bright with so many concerned organizations, Pullmanites and Roselandites that actively work toward preserving our past to secure our future. Thanks to these organizations for putting forth the effort that resulted in another great year by being friends of Roseland and showing what Pullman pride is all about.

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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One comment

  1. Susan Arvia Zabinski

    Grew up on 117th & Lafayette Ave down the street from the Bovino’s. When I was first learning to drive, I did a 3 point turn in front of Mrs. Bovino’s house and almost hit something (electric pole I think). Mrs. Bovino ran out and gave me a piece of her mind and said ” you could a killed a kid!” When she saw she nearly had me in tears, she softened, but I’ve never forgotten the incident. Is Daniel Bovino a relative?
    Susan Arvia

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