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Petals From Roseland

A change of venue

  People ask “Do you still go to church at St. Anthony’s?” Of course, those are the people that aren’t on Facebook or my column email list, don’t go to meetings of the Spaghetti-Os or haven’t seen my one-man George Pullman show. Otherwise they would know that I bake something every Sunday for the 8:30 a.m. Mass Coffee Club. Not only do I bake, I do the second reading in Italian at that Mass. This is the Mass that brings many of us longtime St. Anthony parishioners from the “old days” together. We look forward to this Mass because it ...

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Far South Side chroniclers

  It’s been more than eight years since I began writing the Fra Noi Petals from Roseland column, but I haven’t been writing it by myself. Those who came before me such as Mario Avignone also write this column with me. You might well ask, “How do they do that?” The simple answer is through the words they left behind in their writings or in the projects they took part in that have benefited posterity. Unfortunately, I never received any of Mario Avignone’s files, records or copies of his columns, however I did receive copies of St. Anthony’s Broadcast, which ...

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Pullman Tech alums stage lively reunion

When I start talking “octo” let me tell you I’m not talking about “octo-mom!” I’m talking about the wonderful and outstanding octo-genarians of Pullman Free School of Manual Training — more fondly known as Pullman Tech. The Pullman Tech Alumni Association held an All-Class Reunion Luncheon on Oct. 14 at Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park. I was fortunate enough to be invited to give a short presentation on the current status of Pullman as many of the graduates hadn’t been back to Pullman in many years. Frank Rossi, our well-known South Side entertainer beyond compare, provided the musical ...

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One Christmas in Roseland

    Christmas is once again upon us. It is, of course, a time for wishing the best to everyone. It is also a time for family gatherings where there will be plenty of storytelling with lots of laughter. I’m sure there will also be impromptu debates as to whether the stories are based on real events and retold just as they had happened. Why would there be any question? I’m sure we all remember Ralphie’s Christmas Story and his wish for a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock? If we ...

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Love, happiness and thanks

  There are plenty of reasons to give thanks this time of year but it occurs to me that many of those reasons center around love and happiness. This is particularly true when we are talking about the Roseland, Pullman, Kensington communities. In all the annual gatherings — the Friends of Pullman Annual Picnic, the Zimbauer Family Roseland Reunion, the many Fenger Reunions, the St. Anthony Dinner Dance, the St. Louis Academy Reunions and the St. Nicholas Class Reunions — there is a common thread: love and happiness. These events come about because of the love we share, not only ...

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Fond summer memories

  We Far South Siders know a good reunion when we see one and this summer was no different. More good times were shared by people taking advantage of the opportunities to attend an array of reunions. Not only was there a major one in Pullman but a number of the Cook County forest preserves were reserved for Roseland / Pullman / Kensington and Fenger confabs. Once again, the Annual Pullman Family Reunion Picnic was the most well-attended. In fact, it was the picnic that drew the most varied group of picnickers. I would go so far as to say ...

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Carlo Lorenzetti’s still the talk of the town

  When it comes to writing this column, I am sometimes at a loss for a topic and then, I receive a gift of buona fortuna. That’s what happened this month. On a Wednesday, my buddy Ed Wolak and I decided to try out the $8.95 Italian Feast Buffet at Carlo Lorenzetti’s. On the following Sunday, I was invited by my friend Johnny Aver to be a guest at the annual Treschè Conca San Luigi Gonzaga luncheon at Lorenzetti’s. The next Tuesday was the last Tuesday of the month, which most every Roselandite knows is Spaghetti-O’s Tuesday at Lorenzetti’s. That ...

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A Pullman progress report

  This has been a very busy year so far for Pullman, with ceremonies, celebrations, tours, national competitions, and approval of and arrangements for new business developments and new construction. By the end of 2018, the largest building in the Pullman National Monument Park will be the Whole Foods Retail Distribution Center building, at 140,000 square feet. As with many new projects in Pullman, the efforts of the Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives have once again proven productive. The building will be located just north of the Methods products planet-friendly soap factory, which is situated across from the Police Station on 111th ...

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It’s time to party in Pullman!

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 ...

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Dining out, Roseland style

  As a youngster in a first-generation Italian-American family in Roseland, eating out wasn’t something we did very often. As a matter of fact, if I try really hard I can only recall an occasional First Communion or Confirmation that led to some fine dining, Roseland style, at Pesavento’s. As a result, finding our way out of the family kitchen typically involved developing our own circle of friends and enjoying new experiences, including learning more about the many culinary offerings that were available in our neighborhood. As I got older, I saw that each of my brothers and sisters not ...

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