It seems that this time of year always presents itself with so many different avenues to choose from insofar as a topic for Petals from Roseland is concerned. That is why this column covers a number of different topics. So, sit back and relax as we journey down many paths.
Let me begin by saying I really enjoy being a member of the Veneti nel Mondo. They are a jovial and fun-loving group. Even those members who aren’t laughing every minute due to physical pain or the agonies of life manage to laugh at the wisecracks. This is the group I will be journeying to Italy with come mid-September. I feel very fortunate to be travelling with 35 other members who have made this trip before and are naturally fluent in Italian. I will be writing about my trip of a lifetime in my January or February column.
I had mentioned the many reunions and picnics that were taking place throughout this past summer. The Roseland Roundtable Pizza Get-Together took place in June with more than 100 people in attendance. The event was even more fun than usual due to the St. Nicholas Grade School classes of 1961, 1962 and 1965 holding a joint reunion that evening. I had no idea that five former St. Willy’s classmates had gone to St. Nicholas and were there representing their class of 1961.
Kathy Bartlett, Margie Bell, Barb Brousch, Mary Jo Nolan and Mary Lynn Dreger were at the reunion. It was great to see them all, especially Mary Lynn Dreger since she and I were going together our senior year and had attended the St. Willy’s prom. The pizza party was a memorable night and we made plans to meet up at fellow classmate Theresa Zmbauer Bolf’s annual picnic to reminisce further. Mary Lynn and I have gotten together to share life’s happenings over the past fifty 50 and to recall our family’s interactions when we were so young. She remembers playing pool with my brothers and I remembered her sister Patty and their dad’s brand new Ford that ran so quietly you couldn’t tell it was turned on.
The Friends of Pullman 7th Family Reunion Picnic took place on Aug. 1. As in the past couple of years, there were more people that had made it a family and friends event than previously. This could well be due to the fact that many people are more aware of Pullman now that it is part of the Pullman National Monument Park. I’m always informing people that Pullman is getting more visitors and subtle changes will be taking place, so it’s best to come down for a visit soon if reminiscing about your time in Pullman is your goal in visiting.
Speaking of Pullman, I’ve taken hundreds of people on the Pullman neighborhood tours and also the Pullman Factory Tours, which take place the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month through the first Sunday of November. This past summer, the National Park Service Rangers have begun giving the tours rather than neighborhood volunteers. I accompanied Ranger Bill Smith on his first tour and watched as he gave an excellent presentation. As a science teacher and historian, he provided valuable information that he allowed me to add to with neighborhood insight. It was such a good combined effort that someone commented that it could have been rehearsed — it wasn’t. As you can see, the National Park Service Rangers are proving to be a great benefit to the area in informing tourists of George Pullman’s legacy.
Pullman and the Pullman National Monument have been staging a one-man show that I put together for presentation to various community groups, libraries, schools and organizations. The show is titled “George Pullman: The Man and His Model Town.” The information has been well received and gets people interested in visiting Pullman. Many people are unaware of the historical place Pullman holds in the national labor movement as a major part of the reason Labor Day was established as a national holiday.
In local news, Julia Munoz, mother of Sandy and the late Gilbert of 116th Street, is a member of the St. Anthony 8:30 a.m. mass coffee club. This summer, she was visited by her grandson Brian and his wife Liz from Raleigh, N.C., who joined me on that Pullman Factory Tour with Ranger Smith. Julia’s twin grandchildren — Deborah June King and Rebecca Julia King — graduated from Rampart High School in Colorado Springs. Deborah will be joining the Coast Guard and Rebecca won a scholarship to study Russian in the Ukraine.
Julia Savaglio and her daughter Anna were visited by her cousins from Australia, Maria Aiello Costabile of Berwick and Rita Aiello Martiniello of Canberra. Maria is a semi-retired upholsterer and Rita is a hairdresser who has written a children’s book series. I stopped to talk with Rita and Maria as they were reading the historical placards in Pullman’s Arcade Park. I gave them a personal historical information session on Pullman complete with photos that I use in my professional tours. I wanted them to have something personal to remember Pullman by so I gifted each of them a St. Anthony of Padua Chicago T-shirt, which they thought was fantastic. They had grown up with Julia in Cosenza, Italy, and had migrated to Australia in their 30s. Their next stop was Kenosha, where their brother and his family live. I’m sure we’ll be in touch via email.
Pullman Tech Alum News is put out for the benefit of those who attended Pullman Tech. It is sent out in June and December and is edited by Olga Brazzale Calesson and Carmen “Cal” Adducci. If you would like to sign-up or give someone a gift of the alumni news, you can contact me and I will forward your request to them.
Lenore Fleming, a teacher and longtime member of Holy Rosary Irish and St. Anthony’s passed away at the age of 88. As an artist, Lorraine did many religious paintings, one of which, “Our Lady of Guadalupe,” hangs in the St. Anthony Church hall. As a volunteer, Lorraine was always willing to give of her time and experience in assisting the children of St. Anthony’s.
John “Jack” F. McCann, a longtime Roseland resident who spent winters in Florida, also passed away at the age of 88. Jack was a marathoner and obtained his bachelor of arts degree at the age of 70. Jack was a longtime member of that Spaghetti-Os who always had a smile to share and a great sense of humor.
Paul F. Arrivo, a Kensington boy and longtime proprietor of Homewood Florist passed away at the age of 83. Paul was a graduate of Pullman Tech. Though Paul had many friends through his business associations, he cherished most his ongoing connections through the Pullman Tech Alum News.
Contact me at 11403 S. St. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60628; 773-701-6756; or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Roseland Roundtable on Facebook.