Tag Archives: C.J. Martello

“Writing the book” on Roseland

“Writing the book” on Roseland I began writing Petals from Roseland for Fra Noi in October 2008. In the ensuing three-and-a-half years, I’ve developed a greater appreciation for all things Roseland. For example, Roseland includes representatives of many nationalities, chief among them being the Italians, of course (although, the Dutch, Irish, German and Slovak residents might see things differently). The history of the Italians in Roseland is intertwined with all our friends and classmates of different ethnic backgrounds. Once Roselandites left the enclaves surrounding their homes, they entered the world of Roseland at large, which included all those other ethnicities. …

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Be a culture keeper!

Our Italian culture has been a source of personal pride since we were little kids, running out of St. Anthony’s Church and directly into Pat & Matt’s after Sunday Mass for our penny candy treat. Unfortunately, many of us let our religion slip off to the sidelines of our lives. That is, until we established ourselves or we needed to get married in the church. At the point in our lives where we had children, we usually came back for good. That’s somewhat the case with our Italian culture, except for the fact that our culture had to wait until …

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Questo e quello

It’s that time, once again, to catch up on stories and column suggestions that are too short to merit a column on their own but nonetheless deserve recognition. This edition of the column also serves as proof to those people that I have met at different meetings, dinners, and events and have received mail and e-mails from that I pay attention to the faithful followers of Petals from Roseland. Earlier in the year, I devoted a column to St. Anthony’s Church and the fact that there are a good number of people from years gone by that still attend Sunday …

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All Roseland Reunion

For the past 10 months, I haven’t let a column slip by without at least one mention of the All Roseland Reunion and Dinner Dance. Well, you won’t be seeing any further mention of that event because 430 people visited, dined and danced on Sunday, Nov. 13. These were the people who paid attention to this column, the notices on the Facebook Roseland Roundtable page and Bonnie Sandona’s monthly pronouncements in the Spaghetti-Os newsletter. Interestingly, I’d like to quote the Daily Southtown newspaper while they were talking about attendance at the event: “… some 2,000 people who grew up thinking …

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A few great ways to catch up

What can be better than an opportunity for a reunion with old friends to catch up on the good old days of Roseland that we all miss? The answer, of course, is two opportunities! In November (but after my deadline) there was (and will be) the All Roseland-All Ages Reunion Dinner Dance, for which over 400 tickets were sold. However, even before that event for all of Roseland there was the annual St. Anthony Dinner Dance held at the Serbian Social Center in Lansing on Oct. 8 In a way, the St. Anthony’s Parish and the St. Anthony Dinner Dance …

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Giving thanks for Raymond Levine

With this being November and traditionally the American time of Thanksgiving, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight one of the Roseland business that was legendary for its generosity. When I was a little kid going into Pat & Matt’s to pick out my penny candy, I sometimes overhead the men talking about a celebrity sighting in Kensington. Of course, I didn’t really believe it because my little mind couldn’t register that a star would come to Roseland/Kensington/Bumtown. That, of course, was before I’d heard of the legendary Raymond Levine. He ran a store that bore his name at …

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Celebrating a major milestone

Interviewer: CJ, you have been writing Petals from Roseland for three years now — happy anniversary, by the way — and based on the 36 columns or so that you’ve written, what have you learned? (Now, I can put down the mirror and answer the question.) Three years ago, when I began writing this column, my background consisted of my having been born and brought up in Roseland, which I left in 1970. Since Fra Noi editor Paul Basile selected me to write the column, I have attended monthly dinners, community breakfasts, club meetings, picnics, reunions, pizza gatherings, church festivals, …

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Roseland lives, thanks to many!

For many years, Roseland was just a memory that we spoke about when we got together with family or, on the rare occasions when we ran into them, childhood friends. Some groups, like the Veneti nel Mondo, have a singular mission, such as honoring Italy’s Veneto region. However, they also have many Roselandites as members, which invariably leads to reminiscing about how Roseland was an important part of their lives. Then there are groups of Roselandites in Arizona, California and Florida who get together now and then specifically to recall their days in Roseland. When going on the internet became …

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Roseland wasn’t just Italian

Growing up in Roseland’s Kensington neighborhood, it took years before it occurred to me that Italians weren’t they only ethnic group that claimed Roseland as their beloved community. When I was growing up, there were us Italians and then there were ‘those Americans.’ In a nutshell, that is what this column is about: the Italians of Roseland have joined all the other descendants of ethnic groups in becoming ‘those Americans’ that we grew up talking about. I was reminded of that fact recently when I received a letter from Marion Irvine Phillips of Hudson, Fla. Marion had previously written me …

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Richard’s Flower Shop a “perennial” favorite

Roseland was named in honor of the many roses that the Dutch settlers had planted to beautify the area. In addition to having many gardens and flowers sprouting throughout Roseland, there came to be six florists in Roseland, but the one florist that meant the most to those of us that attended St. Anthony’s was Richard’s Flower Shop at 11503 S. Michigan Ave. They were ‘our’ florist. Richard “Popo” Guastalli married a Petrocelli, who was part of the Parise family from Parises of Kensington and Front Street, which shows how interconnected the families of Roseland were. He was the original …

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