It’s time to party in Pullman!

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The Friends of Pullman Annual Reunion Picnic will be taking place soon, and you’re invited. The event is open to former Pullmanites, Roselandites and Kensingtonians and their friends and family members.

If you’ve ever told your children, grandchildren, friends or complete strangers about where you grew up and the great people you grew up with — this is your chance to show off. Over the past seven years, this picnic has grown into the single largest one-day event in Pullman.

In the beginning, many visitors came by just to see what was happening. They showed up without any food or drink or even a chair to sit in because, after all, Pullman is close to Roseland and we all know how Roseland changed. However, after visiting once, they’ve returned year after year for the nostalgia, renewing of friendships, and with their own tables, chairs, food, and drink to share with those who now come by just to check things out.

Arcade Park is encircled with tables and coolers and chairs that picnickers use to stake out their territory so their friends can find them and join them. One of the best things about arriving in the first hour is the walk around Arcade Park so you can spend the entire day visiting with various friends. You can visit for as long as you want before heading off to another group of friends, relatives or acquaintances. For those who show up hungry and thirsty, the Friends of Pullman always have food and drink for sale so you needn’t worry about going hungry or being thirsty.

The events of the day include live music and children’s games along with a display of Roseland nostalgia. The Pullman National Monument and the Historic Pullman Foundation Visitor’s Center will be open for visitors to get current. Also, in the Visitor’s Center there are displays of artist renderings of different possible configurations for the Pullman National Monument which is the Pullman Administration Building with the Clock Tower. These displays are guaranteed to have you coming back to Pullman, at least on an annual basis, to see what progress has been made and what choices have been made regarding the artist renderings.

August 6, the first Saturday of August (annually) is the day to mark on your calendar with the picnic beginning at noon, setting up around Arcade Park.

Roseland Businesses

I’d like to begin a series within my column, recalling a different business from the Roseland / Pullman / Kensington areas. There were, of course, many businesses located in these areas throughout the years — and that is my point — only some of these many businesses grabbed onto our hearts and tugs at our heart strings every now and then in recollection. In looking through memorabilia from the area and reading up on activities and events, I’ve noticed that many addresses that are familiar, actually had different businesses housed there over the years.

The previous column I wrote on Gately’s Peoples Store received many comments and also sparked many more stories. The stories were about shopping with family, hanging out with friends, dating their favorite girl, or buying their first suit or dress or cool bell bottoms or paisley shirt. That’s when I realized there are stories out there waiting to be told about the businesses o which we compare our current shopping experiences.

It would be greatly appreciated if the readers of my column could take a minute to drop me a note or give me a call. I’d like to hear about about a business or shopping experience that you recall. You can look forward to seeing a mention of your comment or story. If you don’t have a complete story, I’ll weave a bunch of short comments into a single column series as I did with the many comments I received about Gately’s Peoples Store.

In Memoriam

Genevieve (Genny) Quagliani (nee Russso), age 88. Wife of Italo for 67 years; mother of Bruce Quagliani and Diane (Terry) Heban . . . Marilyn L. Meneghini-Carone (nee Parise) R.N., age 88. Wife of the late John H. Meneghini and Frank L. Carone; mother of Jack (Donna), Jim (Maria), and Larry (Mary) . . . Mark Pessetto, age 60. Husband of Charmaine for 38 years; father of Christopher Pessetto, Jenna (Adam) Garner, Elisa Pessetto . . . Reno Corradin, age 91. Husband of the late Earlene (nee Buschner); father of Ronald, David (Lori), Daniel (Monica) and the late Thomas (Linda) Corradin.

Contact me at 11403 S. St. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60628; 773-701-6756; or

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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  1. CJ

    When you finish your book , please reserve a copy for me.

  2. cj
    When you finish you book, please reserve a copy for me.

  3. I remember the smells of the garbage dump the coke ovens or the paint factory; the jays potatoes chips we had; Lake Calumet for fishing; Palmer Park for swimming; ice skating in the winter and that stinky warming house. I remember all the old men sitting on the porch at the Florence hotel. It was a great childhood back then. You could keep your door unlocked. The great Pullman picnic was always anxiously awaited.

    • Hi David, thanks for taking the time to comment on my Petals from Roseland column. I’m glad it sparked some memories for you. Roselandites always find their minds wandering when they read something about Roseland. Your comments are especially interesting due to your living so close to Palmer Park.
      Many people recall the brunches that used to be served on weekends at the Hotel Florence about fifteen years ago. Your mention of the fast food is the first I’ve heard. The restaurant could have been Freida’s, which was part of the IC station building. Or the Calumet Harbor. Or the Charlie Carli Chuck’s Tavern. Or the Lucky Lady. Lots of choices. Ken & Dick’s from front street still has a restaurant—now Traverso’s on 156th & Harlem.
      Sherwin Williams still has some business plants down here and whenever the name comes up, so do the smells we grew up with. Gatley’s balcony seating and sales aisle always leads to talk about the floorwalkers.
      Sounds like you really had a great childhood that served you well—and now your memory too.
      Take care.

  4. There was a place that had ice cream hot dogs hamburgers it was on the northeast corner of 115th and st Lawrence across the street was the New Sherwin Williams building northwest corner of the street was a bar next to it was a gas station at 115th and Champlain across the parking lot it was the gas station is now a McDonald’s

    gas station there is now McDonald’s

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