See for yourself the beauty of history that is Chicago’s Pullman National Preservation District. You are cordially invited to the 40th Annual Historic Happy anniversary! Happy five years writing the Petals from Roseland column! Further proof that time flies! It has been five of the most gratifying years in my writing career. As a writer, your goal, albeit unknowingly, is to gain immortality. How does one do that? Simply by sharing what they know. A number of people have helped me accomplish that goal by achieving that goal themselves through sharing their knowledge and their passion.
There is Danny Bovino, who has continually maintained the Roseland Roundtable FaceBook Page, which Danny, Paul Petraitis and I began. However, Danny has earned the title Mr. Roseland Roundtable due to his consistent giving of his time, his interpersonal and photographic skills, and his willingness to take Roselandites on his infamous Roseland Re-con tours. Paul and I have become bystanders as Dan has taken the Roseland Roundtable Page to a new level where it now has over 5,000 Roselandites who have posted over 5,000 photos. Way to go to gain immortality Danny. We all love and appreciate the work you do for our sakes as Roselandites.
We have my friend and go to person Anne Ronzani, who turned ninety-five on June 6th. I enjoy visiting with Anne because she not only recalls details from her youth, but twenty minutes into a conversation, she’ll stop and say “You know, that wasn’t exactly right, I’m pretty sure it didn’t happen that way but this way.” That is why I know any information I receive from her is correct because she edits herself. Her information on the Roseland Operetta Club was priceless and, after my column a number of people shared their personal stories with me.
Then there’s someone who passed away before they got to realize their impact via the Petals from Roseland.
Ernest Dalle Molle was someone I respected as a St. Anthony grade school student and classmate of his son and namesake Ernie. The senior Ernie took part in the 1980 University of Chicago survey of Chicago’s Italian American Community. I was fortunate enough to retype the transcript of his interview and found corroboration of a number of stories I’d heard repeated by St. Anthony’s longstanding parishioners.
My own family has presented me with snippets and pieces of stories that have formed the basis for many columns throughout these past five years. Being the “baby” in a family of eight, has presented me with the opportunity to not only wear hand me down clothes, but also be the recipient of hand me down stories! My sister Tootsie lives in Eau Claire Wisconsin but she has time and again rattled off stories covering everything from St. Anthony’s Pastor Fr. Nalin’s punishing the neighborhood kids for running through the convent as it was under construction, to stories of her adventures strolling through the stores on “The Ave” Michigan Avenue that is, Roseland’s shopping area.
Thanks to Joe and Josephine Pesavento for their stories of the marble work Joe did at St. Anthony’s. I heard stories of the Palmer Park and east side baseball teams from Larry Lovino who had a photo of their baseball team which led him to tell me about all of his and Joe’s teammates and name most of them. By the way, Larry’s wife Be a (Carli) told me about an interesting case of mistaken identity involving a gangster’s victim that took place in Roseland. The story was one that I had heard and supported one and other and that is how I verified the truth of the story.
Ann and Ron Vezina from Orland Park (above) recently met me at my house in Pullman . Numerous times I had stated in my column that everyone is welcomed to stop by for a visit and the Vezinas, their son James, and their daughter-in-law Renae and grandson Joshua took me up on my offer. We had a great time with Ann reminiscing about the house she grew up in seventy-years ago on Langley Avenue. A s we walked through the neighborhood, she pointed out the building that used to be a store where her mother shopped. She also told us that where the Langley Playlot is located, there were apartment buildings and houses. She told us stories we’d never have known about if she and Ron hadn’t come back to Pullman for a visit.
Many other Roselandites, throughout the past five years, have contributed photos, comments, documents — such as the meeting record books of the Women’s Piemontese Society. All of these items and sources of information are what this column is made from but mostly the column exists due to the support of former Roselandites like you and I thank you.
Historic Pullman’s 40th Annual House Tour takes place October 12th & 13th and my house will be one of the eight houses open for touring. The tour weekend is a great time to visit Pullman and tour the neighborhood. In addition to the open houses and civic buildings being on the tour, the Pullman Factory site will be hosting the 2013 South of the Loop Creative Arts Show. This year’s focus will be on the “The Art of the Written Word” with authors reading from their works. Among the other sites to see will be the Historic Pullman Garden Club Boutique, Café, and Pullman Urban Gardens, Pullman Beekeepers Apiary and the Johnson Bird Sanctuary.
If there was ever a time that you might consider visiting Pullman, it would be difficult to find a time more perfect than October 12th and 13th and the 40th Annual Historic Pullman House Tour. I hope to see many of you as you visit and tour my home and listen to my reading at the South of the Loop Creative Arts Show.