Kathy Headley

Kathy Headley

Kids visit gas station with a purpose

By Kathy Headley

Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor

6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778

Last Thursday, third graders from McKay School visited the new Roux Gas Station at 7051 S. Western. The station was recently built on the vacant lot where Napleton Buick and its predecessor, Van Male Buick, once stood. Now why would third graders be at a gas station in the middle of a school day?

You may recall during the pandemic years I mentioned that a new gas station was going up on that corner and on the canopy it read “the Roux – Food – Fuel – Fun.” I wondered what the fun meant. Here’s the story:

The station is named after the cartoon character Roopster Roux, who has been appearing in popular stories since he was first created more than 20 years ago by author and former teacher Lavaille Lavette, who began writing the stories in the hopes of getting her brother to enjoy reading.

kathyheadley2021

Kathy Headley

The kids were there for the official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony as the building not only contains a gas station and convenience store, but a “literary center.” Here kids can sit and read, and older kids can join programs to mentor the younger ones.

Owners Mohammed Abdallah and Naser Odeh, who invested $4 million in the project, billed the business as “A Gas Station with a Purpose.” While the station has been open for a while, the choice to hold the ribbon cutting last Thursday goes back to 1998 when Mayor Richard M. Daley proclaimed Sept. 29 as Roopster Roux Day. Roopster was there Thursday to celebrate. The owners plan to build six more stations like this in the city.

The monthly novena to St. Rita at the St. Rita Shrine in the chapel of St. Rita High School, 7740 S. Western, takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6.

Speaking of the high school, I bet some of you that are White Sox fans caught the game last week when Mark Payton, SRHS Class of 2010, playing outfield for the Sox, got his first major league hit with a single to right field.

This Saturday, Oct. 8, Family Cinema at the Chicago Lawn Branch Library, 6120 S. Kedzie, features the 1995 Universal Pictures film Casper (a good way to start the Halloween season) beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The library now has a Cybernavigator on staff again. Available to help with a resume, basic computer skills or to help with your new cell phone or tablet, the Cybernavigator is available for four hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday by appointment. To book a one-on-one session, call (312) 747-0639.

As October is the month of the Rosary in the Catholic faith, Nativity BVM Parish invites all to come and join in saying the rosary on Sundays at 9 a.m. before the English-language Mass and on Saturdays in Lithuanian before the 4 p.m. Mass. This Sunday, Oct. 9, coffee and sweets will be offered after the 9:30 a.m. service.

The Hubbard High School Class of 1972 is holding a reunion on Saturday, Oct, 15 at Palermo’s Banquet Room in Oak Lawn from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Grads from 1973 are welcome to join.

The cost is $35 prepaid for pizza, salad, dessert, tax, tip, rental of the room and miscellaneous. A cash bar will be available. Any money left over after costs are covered will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. For more on payment information and reservations email [email protected]

Good news for seniors who need to renew their state ID cards or driver’s license. The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office will visit the Southwest Regional Senior Center on Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Make sure to bring appropriate documents needed. If you are not sure, stop by the Senior Center and pick up a list of accepted documents ahead of time.

Now back to 1978. Last week we talked about Little Joe’s being in the midst of celebrating its 20th anniversary. Susan B. brought up an interesting bit of information that I had forgotten. She remembered that Little Joe’s had two entrances. The west side was a pizzeria and the left door led to the fancier dining room where you went for special dinners. Gary L. said he was sure that Little Joe’s had an entertainer there singing on weekends sometimes. I can verify that because I have an ad announcing Aldo of Italy would sing and play guitar on Sunday evenings.

Also having an anniversary at this time in 1978 was a nearby popular place celebrating 13 years in business. I had said it was in Ashburn. It’s still here, not a restaurant per se, but it offered food options and there were plenty of reasons to spend time there. One guess was the Gaelic Fire Brigade and another was Don”s Hot Dogs. Both were gathering places, good guesses and fit the description, but Carl G’s answer of Ford City was the one I was looking for. The Mall celebrated with entertainment from different countries as well as prize drawings.

This week let’s make dinner at home. Forty-four years ago, there was a great place at 3452 W. 63rd St. advertising a good sale on sirloin tip roasts. Where do you suppose we are going to buy our roast?

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