Summer opens door to Roseland reunions

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Summer has begun for sure and once again, we’re all about making use of the season for which we’ve waited many months. When people describe Chicagoans, one adjective that always comes to mind is “resilient.” We always bounce back from the reality given to us to create a new reality for ourselves. That translates into us Roselandites and Pullmanites looking forward to the opportunity to get together at reunion opportunities that come our way.

This year, with Pullman having been given the honor of being designated as the Pullman National Monument of the National Park Services, everyone has a special reason to visit Pullman. We know that PNM will be on the itineraries of many visitor’s travel plans and I suggest that you might want to come to visit the community of your youth or of your parents and grandparents before those visitors get here.

The old Roseland American Legion banquet hall is not only the home of the Historic Pullman Foundation and Visitor’s Center but it is also the Ranger Station for the PNM. At this time our rangers are on loan from the Indiana Dunes National Park and staff the PNM offices Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Every year there are a number of events that take place with the goal of bringing together former residents of Roseland, Pullman and Kensington. Some are by invitation, only and others welcome all, charging a small fee to cover expenses.

Theresa Zimbauer Bolf and her sisters and brothers hold an annual picnic that is attended by invitation. If you know someone who is going, perhaps you can see about tagging along.

There are a number of Fenger class reunions that are held throughout the summer. It is my understanding that a number of people stop by these reunions to say hello as they are not necessarily by invitation only. If you hear someone speak of these reunions, I suggest you discuss the details of attending.

One reunion of Roseland/Pullman/Kensington former residents that is open to everyone is the annual Friends of Pullman Family Reunion on the first Saturday in August. Attendees make it a family and friends annual event and bring their own picnic tables and chairs and arrange them around Arcade Park.

Each year, there are more people deciding to attend and arrange in advance for old friends and classmates to join them. People come in from all of the suburbs and even out-of-state to attend this annual event. There is music, food sales, kid’s games and raffles to keep things lively as everyone walks Arcade Park and the hotel grounds to see who they know. It gets to be quite a game in trying to recognize people from many years ago but, you would be surprised how often you can overhear someone saying, “Hey! Aren’t you so-and-so?”

Annually, on the last Sunday in April, St. Anthony’s has its alumni Sunday which is open to all former students and parishioners. This past year’s event was well-attended and I highly recommend that it be included as an annual event on every family’s calendar. Fr. Mark Krylowicz has done an excellent job of maintaining the integrity of the building and the church is as beautiful as ever. Also, there is a large number of longstanding parishioners that are always in attendance at the 8:30 a.m. mass followed by coffee in the church hall. If you haven’t been able to make the alumni reunion, you should take advantage of the opportunity to attend the 8:30 a.m. mass and join us for coffee — on any Sunday.

Loyola’s Chair Of Italian American Studies

I’ve written about this campaign previously and now, hopefully, this will be the last request I make for you to do your part to continue your Italian legacy for your children and grandchildren and for the good of all Italian Americans. Thanks to the fantastic efforts of Dr. Dominic Candeloro (born and raised in Chicago Heights), the effort to raise $500,000 to a matching grant of $500,000 from Loyola University, is ALMOST a success. We are still in need of $40,000 to complete raising our half-a-million dollars in matching funds. Any size donation matters — whether $20 or $2,000 or more — it will add to the total so we can accomplish this goal by the end of the year.

This past year, after an 8:30 a.m. mass in which I had done the second reading in Italian, two separate individuals approached me and told me that, hopefully, my Italian was as good as my Spanish. That is an example of how far some of us have gotten away from our Italian roots. As I said, I do the second reading in ‘Italian’ but these Italian Americans assumed I was speaking in Spanish.

We need to fortify the legacy of our Italian ethnicity as much as possible and this is one way of accomplishing that goal. By simply making a tax-deductible donation to the establishment of the Endowed Professorship of Italian American Studies at Loyola University, you will be doing your part to ensure awareness of your Italian heritage.

To donate, write a check payable to: Loyola University Chicago and include “Italian American Studies” in the memo. If you would like to make a larger pledge commitment you can do so by simply stating the dollar amount and the months/years over which you would like to pay your commitment. Send your payment to Loyola University Chicago, Janet Myers, 820 N. Michigan Avenue, Ste. 1723, Chicago, IL 60611, tel: 312-915-7652 or email: You can also make a gift online at: Please remember that this is an opportunity for you to preserve your past so that you may influence the future of others. I thank you in advance for your consideration of this most worthy of causes.

To contact me, write to 11403 S. St. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60628; 773-701-6756; or, or visit Roseland Roundtable on Facebook.


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. Dear CJ,
    Just wanted to let you know that my mother, Victoria B. Dal Santo, passed away on April 25, 2015. She was 95. I did send an obituary to Fra Noi and hopefully it will be published in July.

    I noticed today that Anne Ronzani, 96, passed away June 5th. She and her husband, Carl, were good neighbors to my aunt, uncle, and cousins, Mary and Harold Rodi (Rodighiero), who lived next door to them.

    I am so glad that some of Anne’s stories will live on in your articles.

    Lois D. Harring

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