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Let’s celebrate!

Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate! Here we are in a new year, so let’s see what’s on the the horizon for 2014. Insofar as Pullman is concerned, National Park Status is almost a given. That means a redefining of the area many of you have grown up in. To check out an example of what an industrial type of National Park looks like, go online to http://www.nps.gov/lowe/index.htm Lowell, Mass., was a former textile production town that had been down on its luck until there was a movement to make it a National Park.

On a personal level, my daughter Jamie, husband Eric, and my granddaughter Fiona are planning on welcoming a new baby boy into the family in April. Unfortunately for Fiona, it will be a shared birthday month with her sibling. I’m sure my daughter will guarantee Fiona won’t feel slighted by the twin celebration.

I’ve enjoyed my year in my house immensely. After spending 16 years in a studio apartment, I managed to have 250 people over within the first five months just by hosting a few events. The topper of course was having 1,700 people come through my house during the 40th Annual Pullman House Tour. All my hard work paid off because I now live in a very beautiful home.

To paraphrase Ol’ Blue Eyes, “Pullman is my kinda town!” Pullman is a town of individuals so I can’t say ‘everyone’ is welcoming. However, I can say everyone is caring. The running joke in Pullman is “How long does it take you to walk home?” with the answer always being, “It depends on how many Pullmanites I run in to.” My son James and his wife Heather took a walk with me when they visited. We were stopped and talked to five times within a 20 minute walk. That’s Pullman!

There are some real deals for houses in Pullman, although many were purchased in the last half of 2013. With the opening of Pullman Park, the upgrade in Pullman’s status as a National Park and the construction of the Methods Environmental Cleaning Products, Pullman is finally on the brink of receiving the recognition it has long deserved. Throughout the years, many Pullman residents have clung to the notion that Pullman can be close to the Roseland we all know and love, and I think we are approaching that point where our perseverance will be fruitful.

If you still haven’t made it back to Pullman for a visit, there is one weekend to keep in mind – the Friends of Pullman 6th Annual Picnic on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. Mark that new 2014 calendar now and plan to come down to Pullman. You can join me and my family, walk around and see who you know at the picnic. Afterward you can take a walk through Pullman and see where you used to live, work and play.

St. Anthony’s is celebrating a new handicap ramp, which was completed late in 2013 in time for the Christmas season. Fr. Mark can put another feather in his cap for solving a problem that older parishioners had to deal with. Due to the construction and design of St. Anthony’s back in the 1960s, there was no easy way to add an accessible entrance. The numerous steps leading to any of the doors into the church created difficulties for those with any kind of joint, limb or back problems. It was quite an undertaking but: mission accomplished. And now, as usual, we’ll just have to wait to see what people think because, if it wasn’t for the weather . . . what would people talk about?

I hope that everyone has a healthy and productive 2014, and may all your wishes be granted and your prayers answered. Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo!

In memoriam

Reno Spagnolo, 87; Matteson resident, formerly of Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood; retired bricklayer for Raffin construction; brother of Matt, Gildo “Choppy,” Bruno, and Anthony … Enza Andreatta, nee Mastriani, 92; Homewood resident, formerly of Roseland; wife for 57 years of the late Louis Andreatta … Joseph “Peppy” Mitidiero, 78; formerly of Roseland; 35 year employee Sherwin-Williams; husband of the late Rosemarie, nee Covelli … Robert Arvia, 57; Harvey resident, formerly of Roseland; son of Jenne, nee Horan and the late James A. Arvia … Leo W. Latzick, 94; Pullman resident, formerly of Roseland and Dalton; husband for 62 years of Muriel, nee DeYoung … Catherine “Cathy” A. Nickolaou, nee Adduci, 78; Lansing resident, formerly of Roseland; wife of the late Mike Nikolaou … Paul P. Shek, 83, and Walter Shek, 89; both of Michigan; brothers of Catherine (wife of the late John) Sandona and uncle of Cathy Sandona Wujcik.

Contact CJ Martello at 11403 S. St. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60628; cjfranoi@yahoo.com; or leave message at 773-701-6756; Or visit 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.