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“We are more than artifacts and objects…our legacy is the sum total of our stories. Your story , your family, your pictures are part of that mosaic. Our stories will echo through eternity.” Vince Romano
To submit your story, personal experiences and memories– and especially the story of your FAMIGLIA–click on the attached instruction.
“I often pondered over the distance between us and the American Dream.”
The Near-West Gazette agreed to publish all of our stories, provided I first submitted my personal story of growing up in the legendary Taylor Street. The Fra Noi followed shortly after.
Alphabetical listing of stories about people will follow. Click on the title to read and view the photos attached or connected.
Among the stories of our Taylor Street athletes are a surprising number of National and International champions. Included among them are Richie Guerrero, Olympian boxing champion and Angelina Romano, International Karate gold medalist representing the United States on three continents.
In 1912, Jane Addams and Mrs. Louse DeKoven Bowen purchased the 72-acre site on the north end of Waukegan, IL, to add to the recently completed thirteen building Hull House complex. Jane Addams, who had become one of the premier sociologists of her day (symbolic interactionism), recognized the potential of a summer camp that could provide a meaningful change of environment for the inner-city dwellers that made up “The Hull House Neighborhood.”
Taylor Street was saturated with Social Athletic Clubs (Sac’s). We were identified with the Club that we belonged to than the street we lived on or the school we attended. Please add to the list of clubs listed in the directory before the names of the clubs and the names of their members vanish from history. Further, send us, in addition to the name of the Club and their members that you may recall, send a group photo, as well
“If we do not act now, it will be as if we never were.”
Our eulogies provide an opportunity to reflect upon our Taylor Street Italianism. In defiance of the profound failure prediction of our sociological soothsayers we transitioned from servants to the American Dream to participants in the Dream. As noted in Mario Puzo’s Godfather trilogy, those who have gone before : “If you do not give, then I will take.”
The roots of the family of the winners of the Ivory Soap National Contest reach back to our legendary Taylor Street.
There can be no excuse for not memorializing your family in these Taylor Street Archives… to be included in this anthology of the Legendary Taylor Street. Reaching back and including, where possible, the story of those who crossed the great ocean at the turn of the twentieth century in search of the dream.
America’s first settlement house was founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Starr in 1889. The first invitation that went out to that near-west side immigrant community was written in Italian and signed Signorine Jane Addams and Ellen Starr. Jane Addams, in her writings, referred to the community as “The Hull House Neighborhood.” As the premier sociologist of her day, the immigrant community became the laboratory upon which she tested her theories and based her protests to the establishment.
The history of the symbiotic relationship that existed between the Jane Addams’ Hull House and the community it served, had been hijacked by the administrators of the Museum. Despite the irrefutable evidence of the synergy that existed between Hull House and Taylor Street’s Little Italy– (the first invitation that went out to the immigrant community was written in Italian and signed Signorine Jane Addams and Ellen Starr)— continues to dispense false history about Hull House and the community it served to historians, educators, students, and the general public
“We must never allow others to tell our story to their liking.”
Beyond the street that we lived on were the places we frequented and the institutions that shaped us.
“Representative of the Italian immigrant contribution to America is Alphonse Capone.” Alistaire Cooke, America the Immigrant, National TV documentary following WWll. Beyond that prevailing “sickening feeling of inferiority” one can only imagine the pain those words inflicted on those mothers who had answered their doorbell on that dreaded day. “They have no prosthetic for that you know.”
John Basilone, son of immigrant parents, was the only enlisted man in WWll to awarded both the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. (The navy Cross is only given for valor in battle.) Taylor Street’s Vito Favia was also killed on the beaches of Iwo Jima as was fellow Marine, John Basilone. Constant reminders of what it took to be a member of that “greatest generation.” Both Ray and Vito, along with 247 other BCC alumni who fought for our freedom in WWll, are also mentioned in the story of the Bowen Country Club- the Hull House Summer Camp.