As we roll gradually from one season into the next, the accompanying shifts in climate and visuals affects in the ebb and flow of our emotions. We grab a jacket as we leave in the morning, knowing it will be needed in the early evening. As we walk through our neighborhoods or drive anywhere, we notice the leaf covering thinning as the glow of autumn fades into bare limbs on flora and fauna. Yes, all signs point to the end of summer.
Looking back on the events of this summer, we think of places we’ve been and people we’ve seen, or people we won’t be seeing any longer. We scroll through the ledgers of our lives and find, once again, that change has occurred without our permission. “Damn! How many times have I said I don’t want change?” And yet, it still happens!
Among the best chances for enjoyment this past summer, was the Pullman Labor Day Celebration. It took place on Sept. 3 on the Hotel Florence grounds. With music provided by the U.S. Navy Protocol Combo and food and drink available, the event pleased the assembled crowd of celebrants.
This is the first year that the National Park Service has been able to arrange and coordinate the event at the Pullman National Monument. The Hotel Florence made for a friendly venue and accommodated many people with walking issues. The celebration was so enjoyable, many in attendance expressed the hope that next year, an expanded celebratory event might be presented.
Earlier in the summer, the 22nd Annual Pullman Picnic was held in Arcade Park. At this point in time, the layout of Arcade Park most closely resembles the original Nathaniel F. Barrett design of the park. Through the years it has gone through many changes, but now is in a fine state of preservation.
The pathway that allows for strolling around the entire park was put to good use as those in attendance strolled around it the entire day. It took them that long to get around because, just as with every day in Pullman “porch life,” they kept running into people they knew.
Chuck Livingstone honored the retired Ed Deleon and Kelly Starcevich for the commendable jobs they and their volunteers did. The events were well coordinated and planned with consideration for all participants — who had a ball. The annual kid’s bicycle parade went off smoothly and was enjoyed by participants and observers alike.
The picnic ended up being held on one of those hot days we went through this summer and had an effect on those attending. Quite a few people decided to come by later in the day and surprised themselves by staying longer than they had planned. They kept running into people they hadn’t seen in years and then were joined by more new arrivals. It’s always a sight to see and overhear!
Just by walking around you’ll hear, over and over: “Wow! How long has it been since I saw you?” “Where do you live now?” “Have you talked to so and so?” “Sorry to hear so and so passed away.” Of course, after the conversations got started they were non-stop and everyone shared what food and drink they had.
Each year it surprises me when I hear people say “I haven’t been back to Roseland in 50 years.” This annual picnic is the perfect opportunity to do so. I have to mention a comment I overheard at Traverso’s when one gentleman said to another that he’d recently driven through Roseland down “Michigan Avenue. The other gentleman jumped in with “I bet there were bars all along “The Ave.” The first gentleman replied with “Oh, yea.” The fact of the matter is that the 9th Ward is dry and there are no bars on “The Ave.” This, my friends, is unfortunately how negative Roseland and Pullman stories are perpetuated.
The Annual Pullman Picnic has always been an event based in nostalgia and the telling and re-telling of what is becoming Roseland’s ancient history. I graduated from St. Willy’s in 1965, so our stories are becoming like the stories our fathers and uncles used to tell at family gatherings.
This past summer also featured the Pullman Garden Club’s Annual Tour and Tea, which was a great success. The final stop of the event was the tea held in the yard of Andy and Linda Bullen on 111th Street. We were once again blessed with beautiful weather and perfect hosts and volunteers. I always look forward to this event as a photographic opportunity, as do many attendees.
Sept. 16 was the date of the Annual Pullman Arts Walk. The first event of its kind took place from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on throughout Pullman. More than 30 artists took part, including the photography of yours truly.
This event will be remembered as the forerunner of what I hope will be an annual arts festival. Pullman is known to have a large number of artists of all media, all levels and all ages. With the planned Pullman Artspace Lofts becoming a vital part of the local arts scene, it follows that a large ongoing arts festival will be a much anticipated annual event.
Funds are needed to accomplish preservation goals throughout the community. The Pullman Stables have been admirably given a preservation upgrade thanks to Mona Purdy and her Share Your Soles organization. Individuals throughout Pullman have done preservation work on their houses at their own expense. However, there are many public projects that require fundraising for preservation purposes. Those funds must come from Pullman’s admiring public, whether they’re residents or interested parties. The Greenstone Church is in need of more restoration and preservation work, as it was back in the last century when community volunteers came to the rescue. The community of Pullman always has a need for funding its preservation projects.
Pullman’s changes have come about whether we want change or not. The same is true of Roseland, Kensington and many other communities. In our personal lives we experience change all the time. I believe that is why we cling to the things we’ve known — we know what we’ve lost and not what the future holds. And so our hearts hold our past, while our minds are challenged by the change of the present. And yet, we survive!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
On Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m. at the Spaghetti-O’s meeting at Lorenzetti’s a large bronze plaque created by the SFBI (Società Filarmonica Bella Italia) will be presented to Paul Basile of the Italian American Veterans Museum. For details, visit www.iavmuseum.org.
Contact me at 11403 S. St. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60628; 773-701-6756; or email@example.com; or visit Roseland Roundtable on Facebook.