Tag Archives: C.J. Martello

Looking back on a great year

December brings us to the end of another year, with all of life’s beginnings and endings, accomplishments, realizations, and small steps in a big world. Interestingly, we spend our early lives looking to take giant leaps and, as we get older, we are more than happy to settle for small steps. At least we’re looking down at the daisies instead of up at them! This year has been special for my home community of Pullman in many ways. Pullman has been given a positive vote by the National Parks Committee, which means that all that is required is President Obama’s …

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Preserving our precious past

Riddle me this. What is Chicago lacking that San Francisco, San Diego and Boston aren’t? This column is going to digress just a little from the Roseland/Pullman/Kensington theme and go with the topic of our heritage. Diminished neighborhoods whether through racial changes, younger family members moving to the suburbs, or urban sprawl, as in the ever expanding University of Illinois at Chicago Circle Campus, have led to a lack of cohesion in maintaining our Italian ethnic connections to our past. One way to do our part in maintaining those connections is by considering the efforts of our friend, Dominic Candeloro. …

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Happy 5th Anniversary!

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, …

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Revisit the past in present-day Pullman

See for yourself the beauty of history that is Chicago’s Pullman National Preservation District. You are cordially invited to the 40th Annual Historic Pullman House Tour October 12 & 13. The second weekend in October is always reserved for the spectacular tour of the Pullman neighborhood and homes that were built from 1880-94. Almost 1,000 of the original row houses and a number of major buildings and spaces populate the Pullman community. Several homes and buildings are undergoing restoration at any given time. The eight homes and four civic buildings chosen for the tour are representative of a cross-section of …

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Summertime in Roseland

As kids in Roseland, we could always find something to do, a park to play at, a club to join, or for the solitary-minded individual, things to do on one’s own. Roseland was a kids’ town where parents made it a point to ensure that there were always activities to keep their offspring occupied. After World War II, there was a veritable outbreak of organizations and sports clubs, where that spirit of friendship and camaraderie engendered by years of serving together could continue. This spirit was passed on to the next generation of Roselandites, and helped to create our memories. …

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Women’s Piemontese Society

Being Roselandites, we’re all familiar with the changes time brings, and the perseverance and acceptance these changes call for. We’ve all come to accept that, no matter how much we wish for things to stay the same, the best we can do is grasp the memories and cherish them. And so it is with the Women’s Piemontese Society. This social club was founded 84 yeas ago in 1929 as a means for its members to assist their female paesani during times of need brought about by the health crises that might arise. The organization began with 325 members and Mary …

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La Festa e La Chiesa di Sant’Antonio

This year’s St. Anthony Feast promises to be larger, more welcoming, and more feast and fest than in recent years. The popularity of this event has given rise to expanded offerings following the Mass and procession that are reminiscent of years ago. The St. Anthony Feast Committee has been meeting steadily since the beginning of the year planning events to fill the day from immediately after the first Mass of the day at 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. This year’s food offerings will be as diverse as the parishioners, and include Italian, Mexican and African-American fare. The price is right, …

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Gilbert Tailor and Tux

There were many Roseland businesses that were so much more than a place to get a needed service performed. Many of the businesses served as a place to meet friends. There was a good deal of word of mouth advertising that carried a business through hard times. There was also good word of mouth about where a high school kid might be able to get a good job. Among those businesses that come to mind are Dal Santo’s, Pullman Wine & Liquors Italian Cheese, Traverso’s and Gilbert’s. When I put out an e-mail request for information about Gilbert’s, I received …

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Hotel Florence update

As one of the Pullman Factory volunteer tour guide docents, I recently attended a Pullman Historic Site Volunteer’s Appreciation event. In case you haven’t visited Pullman in many years, and have the notion that there isn’t much going on, the lively and congenial event was attended by more than 30 Pullmanites and Roselandites, all volunteers for various Pullman State Historic Site events. The event was hosted by Andy and Linda Bullen in their beautifully appointed home on East 111th Street. Linda is the curator at the Pullman State Historic Site while Andy is responsible for digitizing photos and materials for …

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We were schooled!

I love to watch the reaction when I say I know someone because we went to different high schools together! The statement is always met with a quizzical look as the person tries to figure out if they heard me correctly. But that’s how it was, growing up in Roseland. Everyone identified so closely with their childhood friends that, as they grew up and went to different high schools, any information about the other schools was shared knowledge. Walking down Michigan Ave (The Ave) was always a community event because you got to know your neighborhood friend’s classmates and they …

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