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Another stellar reunion

This year’s holiday celebration started early with the St. Anthony dinner dance. Fr. Mark Krylowicz, Louise Della Betta, LouAnn Sola Pretto, Armand Dequi and the Chateau Bu Sché staff came to the rescue when they got together and overcame the obstacle created by the closing of Villa di Bruno. Many of us remember the ‘Chateau’ from years gone by when we attended weekend dances there. Well, I’m here to tell you that just as we’ve grown up, so has the Chateau. A great deal of expense and effort has been put into remodeling and updating the décor and the entire layout. Everyone in attendance felt welcomed and the staff was totally accommodating.

The Panozzo brothers, Larry and Dennis, and Alex Adduci had a great time with everyone coming up to them and wishing the well. The room was filled with more reminiscing and talking about the good old days than ever before. You could hear the shrieks of laughter throughout the night as the diners shared stories with some of their former classmates or neighbors.

This is the fourth annual St. Anthony’s dinner dance I’ve attended and others agree with me that this was one of the best dinner dances ever. The room seemed to have a cozier feeling, allowing everyone to feel comfortable enough to get up and walk around and visit. At one of the tables I stopped to talk with John Bernardi’s mother, Gloria. As we were talking, she brought up her family name: Dal Ponte. I mentioned that I worked with a Marty McCaw, whose daughter Melanie is married to police Officer John Dal Ponte. Gloria was ecstatic. Not only had she attended John and Melanie’s wedding, Melanie often writes to her and is a good friend. The night continued in that vein for all the attendees as one after another stories unfolded, memories flowed and old connections were reborn.

That was the kind of night it was. Everyone had a really great time and many people were overheard making plans to get together in the future. There was even a discussion about forming a committee to put together an official Roseland reunion open to all former Roselandites. The consideration is to have the event take place in June of 2011. If you’re interested in this event or in helping with the planning, keep checking the RoselandRoundtable site for current information.

This Christmas season, I would like to shine the spotlight on Bonny and George Sandona of the Spaghetti-Os, now in its tenth year. Bonny and George have constantly been striving to keep the spirit of Roseland alive. If it weren’t for their efforts, my job of finding former Roselandites to get information from would be much more difficult, if not impossible. They have nurtured the love for all things Roseland that we share and have kept our memories alive.

Spaghetti-Os met for two years at Camadeca’s Wednesday Night Spaghetti Special. When Camadeca’s suddenly closed, Carlo Lorenzetti generously invited Spaghetti-Os to bring the monthly meetings to his restaurant. Carlo recently passed away, but his generosity lives on as Spaghetti-Os continues to meet at his restaurant the last Tuesday of each month.

As the youngsters of the 1960s are finding themselves in their own 60s, they are seeking their roots and the Spaghetti-Os is a great comfort to them. Spaghetti-Os affords them the opportunity to reconnect to the Roseland of their youth. Through the members of Spaghetti-Os and the work of the members of the Roseland Roundtable, the Facebook site RoselandRoundtable has grown to over 1,200 photos and over 1,300 members.

Many out-of-towners schedule Chicago-area visits to coincide with the last Tuesday of the month meeting. On behalf of all the Spaghetti-Os, I would like to express a great big thank you to Bonny and George Sandona for their years of selfless work and caring.

In Memoriam
Geno De Rie, 81, of Frankfort, formerly of Roseland, husband for 61 years of Dora nee Strazzabosco; founder of Roseland Auto Body, De Re Tire & Auto and Homewood Harley-Davidson … Dan D. Raymond, 80, husband for 50 years of Gloria nee Bassetti; former owner of Calumet Transit; retired from E & R Towing.

Note e Notizie
The Spaghetti-Os will meet on Dec. 28 … The Veneti Nel Mondo will host a Christmas Party Lunch at 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Villa Brunetti in Franklin Park.

Contact CJ Martello at 1501 W. Belmont Ave. #708, Chicago, IL 60657; 773-525-7823; or cjfranoi@yahoo.com; Online: Roseland Roundtable on Facebook

About C.J. Martello

CJ Martello has returned to his roots as the author of “Petals from Roseland.” After five years of writing his column as a resident of Chicago's North Side, CJ put his money where his heart is and moved to Pullman, near the Roseland area in which he grew up. Having joined the Spaghetti-Os, Veneti nel Mondo and St. Anthony of Padua Parish and being one of the founders of the Roseland Roundtable Facebook page, CJ has become reacquainted with countless friends and acquaintances from his youth. CJ is looking forward to retirement and completing the books he has put on hold, including one that will encompass as much of Roseland's rich, beloved history as possible.