OUR STORIES

Miscellaneous

Those stories, articles and speeches that do not conveniently fit int any of the categories on this page: e.g. Isaiah and the American Dream; My End of Taylor Street; Knowledge Tag and SIFE; etc.

Places

Our stories that revolve around some very memorable places in Little Italy. Continue reading

People

Our stories of living on Taylor Street Italy and notable people from Little Italy. Continue reading

Eulogies

Our stories in memory of Continue reading

Hull House

Our stories and memories of Hull House. Continue reading

Bowen Country Club

Our stories and memories of the Bowen Country Club. Continue reading

Our Athletes

Our stories and memories of notable athletes from Taylor Street and Little Italy. Continue reading

Hull House Museum - UIC

Beginning with the mass migration from the shores of southern Europe, over a century ago, a unique phenomenon in American culture began to unfold…the psychological genocide of a people. Media induced; this holocaust vilified Italian Americans in a manner unprecedented. … Continue reading

Our Veterans

An important part of the Taylor Street Archive is devoted to our Veterans, those Italian Americans who served with distinction in defense of America. Following is some background information, as well as stories and photographs.The Greatest Generation:  Since the focus … Continue reading
10 Comments
  • Lois Bluestein |

    Never knew these wonderful archives existed, I just your story and loved every second of it! Right now I’m just enjoying the memories both good and bad. My brother went to school with Bobby, they were great buddies. I have some great pictures and wonderful stories of growing up on Taylor St. Please contact me if you would like any for your archives. Send my love to Tommie,

    • We would really like to have your stories and pictures. Your family was a important part of the Taylor and Halsted neighborhood. There are great memories of you and your brother (though you are much younger than we are) Bob and Frank were really good friends…wonderful memories. Please call me 847-682-8053 Tommie

    • Frankie and your dad are still topics of conversation among the Taylor Street crowd. We welcome any pics and stories about them and/or your family.

  • John DeBartolo |

    There are many great stories I can remember about growing up “On Taylor Street”. I remember the neighbors all sitting out during the summer months the men tasting each other’s homemade wine and the women sipping lemonade and watching the kids play in the streets. The guys played football (Go deep to the black Buick and wait), we played Ring-a-leave-e-o and baseball (the sewer was home plate) and pinners. The girls played hopscotch or practiced their dance moves. The watermelon man with his horse and wagon, the peanut man with his pushcart. Rumors were that he sold enough peanuts and lubeans to buy three apartment buildings in Melrose Park. Turning on the fire hydrant and making the water spray into the air and running under it.
    Sheridan Park, where my uncle Jimmy DiVito was the park supervisor. Playing basketball in the gym. Swimming in the pool during the summer and Ice-skating on the frozen baseball field during the winter.
    And then of course if you lived “On Taylor Street” who could not remember the CYO. What fond memories of the summer daycare. Ping-pong, baseball in the street, outings to places like Riverview, Pottawattamie Park and Brookfield Zoo. My uncle Benny Fiorentino lived next door to the CYO and had a trucking company, BF Trucking. I remember all the kids in the neighborhood at the CYO piling into the back of one of the trucks on the weekend and going to the forest preserves for a picnic.
    The Shingle-Inn for the world’s best hot dogs, across the street from Pompeii bakery, and next to Peanut Park. French fries slapped right on top of the hot dog with just mustard, relish and onions and wrapped in paper. Pompeii Bakery at 800 S. Loomis Street across from “Peanut Park” or “Vernon Park”, now Arrigo Park. 15 cents for a slice of cheese pizza. I remember half days on Wednesday at Pompeii school because the public school kids would come for catechism classes. The women would sell pizza from Pompeii Bakery in the school basement after school on Wednesdays. The kids would just hang out and eat pizza. During lent they would show the holy movies in the school basement. The 10 Commandments, and other biblical movies. Or who could forget “The Shack” on Aberdeen and Polk Streets, across the street from Briatta’s barbershop and Sheridan Park. Another place for great hot dogs and milk shakes. I remember the shack being the place where I heard and saw my first Juke Box. It was playing Sherry by the Four Seasons.
    Who living on Taylor Street in the 50’s and early 60’s could forget Al’s at Harrison and Laflin Streets where the sausage would be cooking on an open charcoal pit outside. Nothing like the original Al’s beef, sausage with peppers or the Combo beef and sausage.
    All these fond memories of growing up in a neighborhood that will never be again. Living on Taylor Street was then and is now a great place to live but growing up there in the 50’s and 60’s will be the fondest of my life.

    • Thank you for submitting your story …we will be posting it in the Archives as one of the main stories with a title.

      • Tommie we never hear back from you. My husband tried downloading what you sent us but never hear since last week.
        Somehow I get that this is not your full time job. Thanks

        • e We played football In the Goodrich School yard, Sheridan Park and Dante School Yard where we had a memorable fund raising game for Holy Guardian Angel Church. Type Dante School in the “Search Engine” and it will take you to that hilarious story.

    • We lived at 1005 S Racine, our
      House built in 1841 had no side windows. Neighbors were friendly, summers were safe as everyone was outside enjoying Mario, s Lemonade where I had
      My first job after school making malts, sodas, green rivers.
      Our house faced the Garden Theatre, off Lytle St, near the
      Victory Gardens. My best friend
      Lived in a pink cottage, ,another
      Pink cottage c was on Ashland Ave. We walked every day to Holy Family School and even home for lunch. The nuns would allow one child each day to ring the iron bell outdoors on the schools front steps.we all ran quickly into the school.
      My brothers all went to Jacob Riis School, then on Lytle St.
      Holy Family Church is where you could find my dad, first row left every Sunday. The music was wonderful, us kids loved to sing and even now remember most Christmas and Easter music.
      My friends and I went to confession every Saturday and what can an eight year old confess to every seven days???
      My sister moved into projects.with her husband and children. The Producers of
      Designing Women lived in their building Phil Bondelli and his brother Vince were friends of my brothers.
      Calabrese pastry shop was at our corner. They made real conolli, ,the smell of candied orange rine I remember even now.
      I remember my brothers getting in big trouble for opening the fire hydrant.
      The seed man was at our corner
      Every day with his wooden wagon.
      We lived next door to a Cook County Judge, policemen, women who cooked fresh pasta for ttheir neighbors, family members who baked french pastry cakes from Antoinette Pope, s cook books and I still bake their cake.

      We lived in a three flat. My folks, brothers and me on the 3rd floor.
      Second floor my nephew Ernie Rizzo, his brothers, mom and dad.. later he would become a famous private eye mentioned in every newspaper in the country.

      The bus to my job at The First National Bank of Chicago was outside our front door. The bus was filled with young people entering the work force for the first time.

      Hopefully people like Mr.DeBartolo will continue with their writing of all the wonderful things about Taylor Street.
      There is so much more but that’s for someone else to share.
      Respectively. Dolores Leone

    • STEVE PELLEGRINO |

      John, sorry, I just saw this post. You and I must be close in age because your description is exactly the way I remember the neighborhood.We had the Gaylords Club, next to the West side community Center on Polk Street.

      Those were some of the best times of my life.

    • John, you are right on target! As I stated before, if God lets me go to heaven. If it’s not Taylor st. 1958, I’m not staying!
      Dickie Pope
      bocapope@aol.com

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