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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 a new way to communicate, Tom Gromak started the “Old Roseland — Roseland Golden Years” site, which became the glue that held internet-savvy Roselandites in contact. The site has forums and chat rooms that visitors make use of in discussing all things Roseland.

There is also the Facebook page “I grew up in Roseland” that has about 1,000 members and numerous photos. It is another trip down memory lane with ongoing commentary from Roselandites.

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The July 16 Traverso’s gathering of the Roseland Roundtable brought out more than 30 smiling Roselandites. 

Of all the ways to connect Roselandites, the one that I am most familiar with, being one of the founding members, is the Roseland Roundtable (RR). The Roundtable has more than 3,000 members and over 1,000 photos available for viewing. There are many current photos of reunions, RR monthly pizza get-togethers, and picnics. The Roseland Roundtable has succeeded beyond the expectations that Dan Bovino, I and Paul Petraitis had in mind when we got together back in February of 2010 at the Cal-Harbor Restaurant on 115th and Forrestville.

Dan Bovino is the photographer of the current photos of the many churches and schools of Roseland and the places that remain as we knew them. Dan specializes in early Sunday morning “Roseland Reco”‘ tours with his camera. He has had a number of guests do a ride-a-long with him who want to visit the sites of their youth.

Many of the older photos have been contributed by the 3,000 friends we’ve gotten to know online. It’s great to see family photos that are unique due to the people in them but are also have a commonality. Among the most popular are the photos taken by the traveling photographer with the Shetland pony and cowboy outfits. There are also photos of Sunday dinner Family get-togethers, weddings, and graduations.

Each photo has its own conversation that anyone can join in simply by clicking on the photo, which will open up the comment posts below the photo. This is one of the important things that we have stressed concerning the Roseland Roundtable: it is no longer necessary to give up the possession of your cherished family photos to share them with others. Once you have joined the Roseland Roundtable you can submit your photos to be posted on the page.

On a monthly basis there are the Roseland Roundtable pizza meet-ups that Toni Adduci graciously puts together. We have upwards of thirty people in attendance and, interestingly, it’s not always all the same people. It’s a pleasure to attend and see people with whom you automatically have something in common. You can find the upcoming pizza meet-ups on either the Roseland Roundtable or Toni Adduci’s page.

St. Anthony’s Annual Dinner Dance and Fundraiser is always a great time and this year it will be held Saturday, October 8, at the Serbian Social Center, 18550 Stony Island Ave., Lansing, Ill.; Cocktails (open bar) 6:30 p.m., dinner 7:30, $60 per person. This event helps keep our old parish alive as a repository for our memories of the good old days. LouAnn Sola Pretto seems to be the “keeper of the keys” for any photos, remembrance books, or information on St. Anthony’s past. You can call the rectory at 773-468-1200 to reserve your tickets or table for this event and contact Louise Dalla Betta directly, or leave a message for LouAnn to call you back.

I’ve saved the best for last insofar as for meeting face-to-face with other Roselandites: Spaghetti-Os All Roseland Reunion Dinner Dance! For 10 years, Bonny and George Sandona have created and maintained a place where Roselandites can get together on the last Tuesday of the month. Carlos Lorenzetti’s wonderful staff in Chicago Heights welcomes us each month with a family style buffet and the Roselandites take it from there with reminiscing, sharing mementos, joking, and recalling stories of their days in Roseland.

To celebrate this year’s 10th anniversary Bonny has gone out on a limb and put together the ALL-Roseland Dinner Dance, on Sunday, Nov. 13, 4:30 p.m., Orland Chateau. Remember, this is an all-ages, all-generations, ALL-Roseland event. If there’s one event you want tie in to a vacation trip to Chicago–this is it!

This is a one-time event and Bonny has set the goal of 450 attendees so you know it will be a great time. If 450 people show up and you don’t know anyone or hear of anyone you know of, you must have lived under a Roseland rock! Your $50 ticket will include dinner, open bar, and dancing to the music of Frank Rossi and Sharon Inucci Billo. Send your request for tickets along with payment to Bonny Sandona at 13446 Burley Ave., Chicago, IL 60633 or call her at 773-646-1415.

Remember, if you have any stories or former Roseland businesses you would like highlighted in a “Petals” column, contact CJ Martello at 1501 W. Belmont Ave. #708, Chicago, IL 60657; 773-525-7823; or cjfranoi@yahoo.com; Links:

Roseland Roundtable
http://www.facebook.com/people/Roseland-Roundtable/100000743715118

Roseland Golden Years
http://www.oldroseland.com/

I grew up in Roseland
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000743715118#!/groups/48622366283

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.