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Kathy Headley

Kathy Headley

‘Original’ Onesti Pizza is back

By Kathy Headley

Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor

6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778

During the past week, many of us received a surprise in the form of a flyer. It was from Onesti Pizza, 2755 W. 71st St. Awhile back the Onesti moniker was taken off of the windows, but this flyer announced “original management” and said “Welcome Back.” So, I know all Onesti lovers will be excited.

This Saturday, Oct. 2, Monarca Insurance and Financial Services, 3300 W. 63rd St., will be holding its official grand opening. Jeanette never had a grand opening for her business because she opened in the middle of winter, so she is celebrating now. The grand opening will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and feature food, vendors, live music and kids’ crafts.

In honor of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a blessing of animals will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3 at St. Rita of Cascia Church, outside in the garden shrine on the corner of 63rd and Fairfield. All are invited to bring their pets.

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Kathy Headley

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Crochet Club with Mrs. Susie will meet at the Chicago Lawn Branch Library, 6120 S. Kedzie, from 5 to 5:45 p.m. This event will take place in-person and via Zoom. The club, recommended for ages 10-13, will meet monthly with the goal of creating a warm cozy scarf. You must supply your own needle and yarn.

Tiny Tykes Storytime returns to the library on Wednesday, Oct. 6, from 11 to 11:45 a.m. Geared toward children ages 3-5, it will also take place in-person and via Zoom. For more information on either event, call Mrs. Susie at the library at (312) 747-0639.

Next Saturday, Oct. 9, St. Rita High School, 7740 S. Western, is holding a baseball hitting clinic open to 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys from noon to 2 p.m. Boys need to bring their own bat and glove. Register at stritahs.com/admissions or contact Mr. John Bonk at (773) 925-6600.

The question I left you with last week: “Who was Nick Noble and what was his connection to the neighborhood?” was a hard one. When I first heard the name Nick Noble I was thinking WLS Silver Dollar Survey, but no song came to mind. Millie D. and Sharon F. agreed that they thought he was a singer.

Well, you could have lived in the heart of Chicago Lawn or the heart of Marquette Manor and you may have crossed paths with him.

When I was visiting, Chicago Lawn resident Nancy H. she asked me if I remembered Nick Noble. Nancy grew up here, attending Marquette School. Her family was among the founding members of Marquette Park Presbyterian Church, 65th and California. As happened with most kids, when Nancy was growing up, she spent a lot of time shopping with her mom on 63rd Street. This is what she told me about Nick Noble:

“One of the stores we frequented was Grocerland, by Troy Lane Apartments. Andy and Pat (Valkanos) had the store. Pat was a short guy. Andy was tall and loved to play golf at Marquette. It was a double-wide building, when you entered the store, if you turned left you were in produce. That is where their nephew, Nick, worked part-time.”

“He was the cutest and nicest guy,” remembered Nancy. “He had a long white apron. If I saw him bending over–fixing the produce–I’d sneak over and pull the bow in the back, so his apron came untied.”

After a bit of research on both of our parts, we found that Grocerland was at 3115 W. 63rd St. If you drive by today, you can still see the original mint green façade above the windows. Even though it’s now a barber shop, you can easily picture walking into a grocery store. We also learned that his dad shortened their surname to Valcan. Nick took Noble as a stage name.

When Nick was first married, he and his wife lived in an apartment building on Artesian, where some of his neighbors remember him practicing his singing.

Nick loved to perform, taking local weekend gigs when an executive at Mercury Records heard him. Nick’s first single to hit the Billboard charts was The Bible Tells Me So in 1955, and Joan S. remembers having that 45-rpm record. His career spanned most of three decades, the 1950s through the late 1970s, producing 109 singles.

Later he joined his uncle as a partner in Lou Mitchell’s restaurant.

For next week we’ll move to the southern part of the neighborhood. Do you remember Illinois Billiard Club? It has a bit of a celebrity connection, too.

Local News

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Girls Soccer: De La Salle tops Bremen for program’s first regional title

By Steve Millar Correspondent De La Salle coach Carlos Nunez has seen his teams come up a bit short in the postseason repeatedly over the years. The Meteors had never won a regional championship in girls soccer. Until this year, that is. “I’ve been in every single one that we’ve lost in,” Nunez said. “We’ve…

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New ward map OKed

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By Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Sandburg baseball team has had more downs than ups this season. But the Eagles finished the regular season on a strong note with a run to second place at the Steven M. Bajenski Memorial Tournament, which wrapped up May 21 at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. To get to the…

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Track Postseason Report: Sandburg boys 3200 relay records nation’s third-best time in 2022

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer How good was the competition in the boys track Class 3A Lockport Sectional in the 3200 meter relay? Sandburg’s relay team of Brock Rice, Declan Tunney, Trent Anderson and Sean Marquardt ran a time of 7:42.42, which tied for the third-best time in the nation in 2022. And that was…

Mary Stanek

Summer weather means ice cream

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 And just like that, it’s summer in Chicago! At least for the week of May 9. That means ice cream for our family. We started with black walnut during that hot week. The old-fashioned flavors are the…

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Seeking answer to loose dog dilemma

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Happy May 20, dear readers. Today is National Rescue Dog Day. We are to recognize all the benefits of rescuing a dog and allowing it to adopt you into their lovable life. There are certainly a lot of dogs in our neighborhood that need rescuing. Every…

Kathy Headley

Getting kids off their computers

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 In case you were wondering, the gas company project over here on Francisco is moving along. I must say the contractors seem to be wasting no time and have been as respectful as possible. But alas, it is…

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Cubs Charities hits a homer for Gage Park

By Joan Hadac Greater Southwest News-Herald Columnist at Large Greetings, Gage Parkers! I’m pleased to be pinch hitting again, as the search continues for the next columnist for this neighborhood. It’s fun for me to report on Gage Park, the neighborhood where I lived for the first 26 years of my life. There’s always something…

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Neighbors

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