University of Chicago Medicine Breast Cancer June 2022
Mary Stanek

Mary Stanek

Neighborhood history, Miami Joe knows

By Mary Stanek

Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon

3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394

It’s that time of year. Merry Christmas to all.

I could speak of Polish traditions, but I think I have covered them in years past. So, let’s talk Boxing Day and the Feast of St. Stephen–both falling on Dec. 26. Boxing Day is celebrated in the British Commonwealth countries. It derived from the tradition of the aristocrats distributing gifts to their servants and employees. If you watch the movie Spencer you will see how Christmas is celebrated among England’s royalty.

St. Stephen was a deacon and a Christian martyr. He was a preacher accused of blasphemy and condemned to death.

MaryStanek 1

Mary Stanek

It’s always fun to talk with Miami Joe. He called recently to confirm there was a candy store off Archer and Pulaski where he used to buy his wife treats. He also remembers a currency exchange; and of course, Flowers by Ed. Miami Joe’s memory is so good he also remembers a gas station near the location of what is now Curie High School and cattle trucks heading to the stock yards making use of the station.

I also received a great phone call from Ken, a little up the way on 57th Place. Ken used to live at 49th and Tripp. He remembers walking his sweetheart (a Lourdes graduate) to the Dove at Archer and Pulaski, where he would buy treats for her. He also remembers the A&W Root Beer drive in along with Flowers by Ed.

Well, thank you all for the memories. At least I feel better knowing some of you remember the candy store. But that won’t be good enough for the fella I am having this disagreement with. He needs proof.

I visited the Archer Heights Branch Library, looking for some proof. There sure is a plethora of books on Chicago’s history and architecture. Our library is a treasure. It’s very peaceful too. Next time I will have to meet Elizabeth Ptasik, the manager. I thank her for sending the paper a list of their events. Watercolor painting will be held on Jan. 29 from 2-3 p.m. This sounds like a great event, and there is a wait list now for it. Go visit the librarian for more information or chipublib.org.

Our dog, Oliver, attended his first working program while being observed with the Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy Group. He visited two classes at a local suburban high school. He did good, the kids enjoyed him. But he has some things to work on, partly because he is a giant goof ball. He gets so excited when treats are present, so he needs to calm down a little. He has two more observation sessions to pass and then he will become fully registered with the group. He will then be an “intern,” gaining new therapy skills and techniques.

Rainbow Assisted Therapy is a volunteer organization that works with trained, registered therapy dogs to help people, especially children and those with special needs to improve their health, activities of daily living and quality of life.

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