Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Eating Crow

Now I am currently eating Crow. My cousin,”The Admiral", has corrected my Faux Pas about the name of our old Neighborhood. Pilsen was the neighborhood just to the east of our neighborhood (I looked it up). We were in fact called Lawndale, actually South Lawndale. Although I hate to admit when I am wrong, I will do so.

According to Wikipedia – the bane of Steven Colbert:

The Little Village is a neighborhood on Chicago's West side, historically designated "South Lawndale" it was popularly known as "Czech California" for many years due to the largest ethnic group being of Bohemian heritage. It is home to the largest Mexican-American population in the Midwest, and was formerly the home of large Italian, Polish, Czech, Irish, Lithuanian, Croatian and Slovene ethnic communities. It is located south of the BNSF Railway tracks that run south-west from 18th St and Western Ave to 26th St and Cicero Ave and north of the South Branch of the Chicago River, and west of the north/south railroad tracks just west of Western and east of the city limits at Cicero Ave.

The name "Little Village" was reportedly coined by a realtor in the early 1970s to "capture the Bohemian character of the community". Famous past residents of Little Village include Mayor Anton Cermak, who lived in the 2300 block of S. Millard, across the street from Lazardo Cardenas Elementary- grade K thru 3 grade. Pat Sajak was also a Little Village resident. He attended Gary Elementary School and Farragut High School.

The bulk of Little Village falls within the aldermanic boundaries of the 22nd ward. The commercial strip along 26th Street is said to have the second highest business revenue in the city after N. Michigan Ave.

Please note the mention of Pat Sajak in the above wikipedia article. Gary Elementary was about 6 city blocks from my home. Many of my High School buddies had gone to Gary. Sajak wasn’t one of them as he was a year behind me and attended Farragut (2 blocks from my house) rather than Harrison (my High School, more than a mile from my house). Farragut did not offer Latin as a course of study. I wanted to be a Lawyer, Doctor or Biologist (at thirteen there are so many options) so I decided that I must learn the Latin language. After four years of Latin, I still don’t have a clue as to why I didn’t take 2 years of Spanish (Our second Language, instead).

I attended Pat’s wedding in Annapolis, Maryland in 1989. I was invited by his wife’s parents and not by him. We were from the same neighborhood and close in age, but we had never been friends. His wife’s parents were my friends in Maryland.
The best part of Pat’s wedding was meeting Vanna White. She actually looked good without makeup and could actually hold an intelligent conversation. She is not the dumb "letter turning" bimbo that she portrays on the Wheel of Fortune. I wanted to knock her socks off, but I was unfortunately there with the current love of my life. I now cannot recall her name, but can I recall that she was the one between Valerie and Michele. I believe it could have been Diane or perhaps Vicki. She couldn’t have been that important to me and I should have hit on Vanna White. Who knows, I could now be Mr. George (Vanna) White.

The Beach Bum

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