Hot Dogs and Baseball: An Albany Park Boyhood


Jerry Pritikin with his J. C. Higgins mitt, 1948.

Recently I met photographer Jerry Pritikin, who grew up in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood during the ’40s and ’50s. Even though he attended Von Steuben High School some 20 years before I did, we remember many of the same neighborhood institutions and landmarks.

If you’ve read my stories about growing up in the Hollywood Park neighborhood on Chicago’s far North Side during the 1960s, you’ll recall that neighborhood parks and hot dog stands were among the primary settings for my early years. Same was true for Jerry.

Albany Park, North Park, Hollywood Park, and Peterson Park—this northbound swath of mostly Jewish neighborhoods fed into Von Steuben. After interviewing Jerry, I’m convinced the area changed less in the years between 1944 – 1974 than it did between 1974 – 1980.

Jerry’s  Chicago friends and family know him by a different name. At age 3 he couldn’t pronounce his first name, “Jerome.” He became “Omie,” a nickname that stuck for the first 20 years of his life.

I’m publishing my interview with Jerry and his family photos in two parts. The first part will focus on neighborhood life and the second on baseball, the official language at the kitchen table of Jerry’s childhood home.

4839 N Troy-1944

Jerry’s family lived on the first floor of a two-flat at 4839 N. Troy. Hank Pritikin, Jerry’s father, and his partner bought it $12,000 in 1944.

Frances: Where did you grow up?

Jerry: We moved into a two-flat at 4839 N. Troy on May 3, 1944. I went to Hibbard Elementary School and Von Steuben High School.

Frances: Did you spend much time at River Park?

Jerry: Oh yes, I played softball at first park, and even a little tennis. At second park, we played some hardball choose-up games.

On the site of the WWll Victory Garden, they built an outdoor swimming pool. During opening week (I believe it was 1947), it was dedicated by Jim Thorpe, and the following week by Buster Crabbe, the actor who played in the movie serial Flash Gordon.

In winter, we went sledding at both parks and ice skating.

Frances: What’s first park and second park? There was a Victory Garden at River Park? And, I checked–the pool opened in 1948.

Jerry: First park is west of the river and second park is east of the river, where the fieldhouse is.

During WWII people were encouraged to plant vegetable gardens in their backyards. People who lived in apartment buildings planted in community gardens. The one at River Park was located behind the fieldhouse, where the pool is now.

There also used to be a bridle path at River Park.

Frances: I took a lot of different classes in the fieldhouse, starting when I was four. I remember kids playing around the water fountain outside the fieldhouse. It had four nozzles and if you covered three of them, water shot up really high out of the fourth.


Jerry Pritikin, Dick Lazar, Allen Pritikin–Troy Street, 1948

Line ball rules

Frances: What did kids do in your neighborhood for fun?

Jerry: We had a block team (North Troy Street) and played some teams from other blocks. One of our best pastimes was playing in the alley between Troy and Albany… line ball (singles, past the pitcher; doubles, over the pitcher’s head; triples, touched by the outfielder; and a homer, over his head.)

There were several sets of brothers: me and my brother Allen;  Bruce and Al Block;  Roy and Arnie Wainer;  Dave and Jerry Cohen, and cousins Chuck and Torrie Faso. My brother was a “Reguler Fella”!

We also played softball on Hibbard’s campus, as well as fast ball pitching, using a Pink Spaulding rubber ball. or tennis balls.

Frances: Did you call them “Spaulding pinkies?” We did. Boys played a game called pinners with them on the school playground. They threw the balls against a ledge on the school wall.

Jerry: Same game. We threw the ball at a curb to make it fly over the fielder’s head.

Local businesses

Frances: Where did kids hang out?

Jerry: The first hot dog place we hung out at was Lerner’s on the 4800 block of North Kedzie.  A hot dog, on a sheet of wax paper, fries and and a small drink for 37 cents!


Sam Lerner, Seymour Lerner, Bobby Lerner, Jay Lerner at Lerner’s Hot Dogs, 7/30/72. (Photo courtesy of Jay Lerner)

Frances: I went to Lerner’s, too, but at a different address on Kedzie. Jay Lerner told me that Seymour, his father, and Sam, his uncle, opened their first hot dog stand at 4848 N. Kedzie in 1949. They moved to the 5541 N. Kedzie location, the one I knew,  in 1953.

Jerry: My brother Neil had Neil’s Dugout, across from the Alba Theater in 1948, (before it was made into a bowling alley). It only lasted a year. On the same block was the Hollywood Roller Rink.

On Saturdays we went to the Balaban & Katz Terminal Theater. The movie came from the Uptown Theatre, after playing at a downtown theatre. After playing the Terminal, the movie  played at the Alba. Across the street was the Metro, which played mostly westerns and low-budget movies. Cooper & Cooper was popular for 12-cent hamburgers. It was on Kimball, across from the Ravenswood “L” terminal.

I remember once a couple of older Jewish men bribed my friend Marvin Weiss and me as we were  coming out of the Terminal. They offered us 50 cents each, so they could have a minyan!

When we were going to Von,  there was a hot dog stand called Reds. It did so well the owner built a one-story building on Foster near Kimball. That was the first place to serve celery salt!  They also served soft drinks, including Upper 10 (3 more ounces then  7UP!!)  Ne-Hi, Nedlogs (Golden spelled backwards) and Royal Crown.

On the northwest corner of Kedzie and Lawrence was Steinway Drugstore. It had a soda fountain, and hot fudge sundaes were 25 cents. Malts were served with a pack of two cookies and real whipped cream for 27 cents; shakes were 2 cents less.

Hank and Jerry Pritikin

Hank and Jerry Pritikin with the new RCA television set, 1947

The first TV in an Albany Park home

Jerry: In 1946 I remember  seeing my first TV image. The set was in the window of Little Al’s Radio and Phonograph Store, on Lawrence near Spaulding. (Its slogan was:  “Where the customer is always wrong!) I watched the last out of a Cubs game.

In early 1947 Steiners Tavern on the northeast corner of Kedzie and Lawrence had the first TV in the neighborhood. I began to sneak in, and sit on the foot rail to watch Cubs games, Blackhawk  games and basketball games.

My dad heard I was hanging out  there. I remember him coming home from work and asking me to go with him. We went to Little Al’s, and he bought the first TV in Albany Park that was not in a tavern.

Al Turner of Little Al’s put a temporary antenna up. The first image on the screen was a kids show. It was Oct 13,1947. The show, Junior Jamboree, later to be called Kukla, Fran and Ollie, was making its debut.

From that time on, our house became the center of attraction for the neighborhood kids. On Tuesday nights, we  had a couple of dozen people in our living room to see The Milton Berle Show. One of my classmates wrote an article in the Hibbard Herald, the school paper, called, “Keeping up with the times,” about our TV set (I wish I had a copy now!).

Frances: Did your family have relatives living in Albany Park or nearby?  Do you know when your parents moved into Albany Park and where they lived before?

Jerry: My dad and his partner Morrie Wainer bought our two-flat home in 1944. The Wainers came from Douglas Park on the West Side, and we came from Lakeview. My parents had a few friends living in Albany Park before we moved there.

The location was great. Big red wooden streetcars on Lawrence, the Ravenswood el and buses on Kedzie. My Dad and Morrie sold tomatoes on South Water Market.


Hank Pritikin, far right, 1942

After the end of WWll, many new stores and restaurants opened up in the area. Because there were so many kids in the neighborhood, milk trucks (Bowman, Western United, Kramel) were making deliveries 2-3 times a week.

There was a large A&P on Kedzie, and a National Tea on Lawrence. Walgreen’s came in the early 1950s. There was a small Weinstein Chapel between Troy and Kedzie. In the early 1950’s Kaufman’s Bagels opened up on Kedzie. There were several shoe stores (4 Brother’s, Bergers). They had machines that you put your foot into, and it allowed you to see an x-ray like image to make sure you had the right size. My brother and I always played with it, and no one stopped us.

Frances: Some Sundays we’d get bagels at Kaufman’s on Kedzie. My mother double-parked and I had to run in. It was always packed.

Jerry: I remember there was a linoleum store on Christiana and Lawrence, and a very popular delicatessen called Purity’s just west of the Terminal Theater. The public library was just west of Kimball.

Frances: Did your family attend a synagogue?

We didn’t belong to any synagogue, but the first day my brother and I went to Hebrew school, we were kicked out for playing catch with our yarmulkes. My parents attended High Holiday Services at Jules Bowling Alley and Pool Hall on the 4700 block of N. Kedzie.


Former Congregation Beth Jacob, 4920 N. Kimball, was built in 1955. (Photo courtesy of Frederick J. Nachman)

In the early 1950s, Budlong Woods area near California and Foster had a housing boom, as well as many new synagogues. Very few houses had window fans and air conditioners didn’t arrive to the late 1950s. To attract new members, they all advertised that they were air conditioned! I recall the biggest new synagogue was on the 5700 block of Kimball (I can’t recall the name).

Frances: That was Shaare Tikvah. It opened in 1947, and just this past year, they sold the building and have relocated.

Update: Check out this video documentary about Albany Park in 1983, when the area was ruled by the Latin Kings gang.

Credits: Except where noted, all photographs courtesy of Jerry Pritikin.

Related Posts

1. Major League Memories: An Albany Park Boyhood, Part 2

2. Proustian Memories of Chicago Hot Dog Stands

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268 Responses to Hot Dogs and Baseball: An Albany Park Boyhood

  1. Davida Maggid Lapetino February 4, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    Some more about Loree’s icecream on Foster between Kimball and Kedzie and Burt’s Restaurant on Foster & California for the BEST Corned beef sandwiches! Also Jimmy Wong’s on Peterson between Kedzie & California!
    One more memory how about Thillens Stadium on Peterson and Kedzie!

  2. Frances Archer February 4, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    Loree’s had great sundaes, and the owner’s daughter, Gayle, was in my class at Peterson. Jimmy Wong’s — what a scene! Thanks.

  3. Merle Citrin Monroe February 4, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    What a great post! I had so many of the same experiences….about 10 years after Jerry. My father worked at 16 South Water Market…..for M. Nathan and Co., who were our cousins. That company specialized in wholesale potatoes and onions. I think I had contact with just about every site Jerry mentions….except that girls watched the line ball games instead of participating.

  4. Frances Archer February 4, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Merle, that was my recollection about line ball and pinners for that matter. I don’t recall ever seeing a girl play. Jerry’s father and his partner sold tomatoes.

  5. Morrie Farbman February 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    What an enjoyable journey back in time your post gave me. I too grew up in Albany Park. My parents partnered with my Aunt and Uncle and bought a three flat in the 4900 block of Albany in 1956. I spent most of my time at River Park 1 playing choose up baseball in the summers and hockey in the winter. The only time I went to Park 2 was to go swimming in summer. We lived there until 1965. I have been to many of the places Jerry mentioned in your interview. There are two more that places I frequented that may have started business in the early or mid 50’s. Mutt and Jeff’s hot dogs (originally owned by Stash of Stash’s, later moved to Highland Park) in the 4800 block on the west side of Kedzie, and a candy store (I think it was called Milly’s) on the same side of the street in the 4900 block. Milly’s would be my daily stop on the way to school for a 5 cents worth of pretzels and licorice pin wheels.
    For a special treat my father would drive us to Lerner’s Hot Dogs when it was on Kedzie south of Bryn Mawr. I can still taste those dogs and see the Lerner clan; Sam, Seymour, Granma, Jay and Jerry. Those were great times.

  6. Mark February 4, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    That’s great that you saw the very first episode of “Kukla, Fran and Ollie”!

    Did you know that some of the earliest KFO episodes were just released on DVD? Take a look:

    kukla dot tv

  7. Frances Archer February 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Actually, it was Jerry Pritikin who saw the very first episode, on the very first TV in a private home in Albany Park. History making!

  8. Frances Archer February 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Morrie, I think Mutt and Jeff’s took over the old Lerner place at 4848 N. Kedzie. I’ll have to check with Mark or Jay Lerner to confirm that. What’s interesting to me is 1) the large number of hot dog stands in a relatively small area, and 2) the personal ties between the different stands. I wrote a bit about this subject in an earlier post.

    I still can’t believe I didn’t know about the names, park 1 and park 2. We rarely went to the park west of the river, because we lived east of River Park at the time, on Argyle at Washtenaw, and I was young. It was just River Park to me, and I think I was there every day.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Neal Goldberg February 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    I will never forget Loree’s Deluxe Hot Fudge Banana Split. My parents took my brother and I there often and that’s what we always ordered.

    On another subject, does anyone remember Miss Basan(sp)? She taught ‘aleph’ at Shaare Tikvah Hebrew school during the 57-58 school year.

  10. Ferne Slotky Berman February 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    Another great article to remind of of the “old days”

    Just Great,

    Thanks so much,

  11. Judi Edidin Tuchten February 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    Here is a website to visit. It is about the history of Superdawg, another famous hot dog drive-in, still in existence.

    It was started by Maurie Berman & his wife Florence. I believe both were from Albany Park and graduated from Roosevelt High School. I remember my father telling me on one of our many drives to Superdawg (with my sister and I in our pajamas in the back seat) that when Maurie and Florence told their parents they were going to open a hot dog stand, they thought they were crazy. My father knew Maurie from
    Roosevelt High School where he graduated in 1942. My mother graduated from Von Steuben in the same year, and and all of her siblings were graduates as well. I am also a Von Steuben graduate as is my husband and was all of his mother’s siblings. Our oldest daughter just recently let us know that she is renting an apartment down the block from our favorite hot dog place Superdawg, now with a 2nd location in Wheeling. How convenient! Enjoy all of your information about our unique history.
    Judi Edidn Tuchten

  12. Frances Archer February 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks, Judi. Everyone loves Superdawg, and of course it has connections to Peterson Park. I actually didn’t know about Superdawg until I went to Von and met Nancy Sklare, who is cousins with the owners.

    What a long Von tradition your family has!

  13. Morrie Farbman February 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    The licorice wheels were all black licorice with a red hard candy center and now that you mentioned it they did look like a record.

  14. Sam Wolff February 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    My memories of Albany Park (I’m 60 yrs old, grew up in Budlong Woods). Terminal Theatre twin bills with “inmates” from the parental school in the balcony; Ned Singer Sports; Purity’s; original Bagel on Lawrence and Kedzie; Mom being taken to Swedish Covenant after having eaten glass at Loree’s Ice Cream Parlor; summer school at North Park College. Lerners near Kedzie was my hot dog standard (with Nedlog orange), the Pit on Foster for burgers.

  15. Frances Archer February 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Yep, the Pit for burgers is where we went in the early 1970s too.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  16. Mark Schneider February 6, 2011 at 4:30 am #

    It was great reliving so many experiences from our youth.
    Lets not forget the Hollywood Bowl across from Peterson School.
    Fries from Tongs tea garden on Bryn Mawr.
    Terminal Theater on Lawrence.
    Deborah Boys club on Ansle and Kimball
    Maries on Foster where I bused tables for free lunch while at Von
    Every day during summer at Hollywood Park

  17. Jerry Pritikin February 6, 2011 at 4:46 am #

    Frances: I just remember one fashion statement from the good old days… Ruben Grais Leather Jackets. They cost $38. bucks and were manufactured in Chicago during the 1950s.
    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to take a trip back on the “Reversible Light-Year” train
    to when it was going forward with my youth. I also recall when the Terminal Theater turned their marquee lights back on right after WWll. That was a big event, as well as when next year’s new cars arrived at Keystone Chevrolet on Lawrence Avenue. Also the great Woolworth 5 & Dime Store when it remodeled after a fire in the late 40’s. Again thanks…

  18. Frances Archer February 6, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Mark, thanks for adding to the memories here. Where was Marie’s?

  19. Mark Schneider February 6, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Hi Frances
    Maries was on Foster between Kimball and Christiana north side of street

  20. Mark Schneider February 6, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    All club meetings and sleep overs were at Deborah
    I was an Epsilon
    Club jackets came fro Ned Singer on Lawrence
    When not in class at Von we were in Rocheles playing the bowling game
    On Devon Saturday night all night after dates was spent at Devlin Bowling alley behind Bank of Lincolnwood

  21. Mark Schneider February 6, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Can anyone remember the name of the toy store, where we had yo yo contests on
    East side of Kimball north of Bryn Mawr

  22. Neal Goldberg February 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    I don’t know where you had yo yo contests, but I still have my Duncan Imperial yo yo, the first yo yo that wasn’t made of wood — it’s a “clear” plastic tinted redish, which I bought at the Hollywood Bowl in ’57 or ’58 for $1.00.

  23. Neal Goldberg February 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    I lived in Lincolnwood from ’58 to ’77 and I don’t remember any bowling alley behind the Bank of Lincolnwood. Where was it, please?

  24. Merle Tarnoff Simon February 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    Thanks for the trip(s) down memory lane. I haven’t thought of Rochelle’s in a long time. What’s there now?

  25. Frances Archer February 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Where was Rochelle’s?

  26. Mark Schneider February 7, 2011 at 4:31 am #

    Rochelles was across from Von on Kimball west side of street across from the farthest south entrance Numero Uno hangout!

  27. Mark Schneider February 7, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    Devlin Bowl was behind Lincoln and Devon on a little side street just north of where the bank was had only 6 lanes

  28. Frances Archer February 7, 2011 at 6:51 am #

    Surprising to learn of the number of bowling alleys that had disappeared by the late 1960s.

  29. Neal Goldberg February 7, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    I found the following on the web:

    The bowling alleys I remember from the 50s and 60s were:

    Devlin – Devon and Lincoln
    Hartnett’s- 6700 N Lincoln
    Nortown (Bud Shabley’s)- Devon and Maplewood – 2nd floor
    Theater- Pratt at Western
    Sunset – 7300 N Western
    Markay- Touhy at Western- 2nd Floor
    Morse – 1400 W Morse ” ”

    Both Devlin and the lanes on Morse Ave had “pin boys” during the 50s.
    Other than Sunset, none of the above mentioned had more than 12 lanes.

  30. Frances Archer February 7, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Neal, thanks for the list. Gabby Hartnett’s was of course still opened through my high school years and after, but I think all the others may have been closed.

  31. Neal Goldberg February 7, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Two more bits of nostalgia, not directly related to Hollywood Park, but nearby:

    Novelty miniature golf at Devon and Lincoln, and

    Sunset Drive-in on McCormick north of Touhy

  32. Rolla (Wainer) Swimmer February 13, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Hi “Ohmie”, great piece. Jim & I live in Highland Park, IL. and enjoy our 50+ years of marriage & good health. Roy & Enid are well; lives in Wilmette. Rolla

  33. John Erickson February 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    At River Park in the late 30s, the Neighborhood Boys Club, sponsored by a single industrialist in the city, provided us with scheduled, refereed, softball, baseball, basketball, football along with all necessary equipment for a large number of self-organized teams. I read his obituary in the Trib a few years ago and felt remorse at never having had the opportunity to thank him. …..does anyone recall the midget car races and gambling at the Devlin Roadhouse? How about “All You Can Drink Root Beer for 5 cents” on Lincoln Ave.near Touhy? Or the great milk shakes at Devon and Lincoln when low fat milk was outlawed inside Chicago by the Health Dept?… or the Guy Bush gas station at Lincoln and Peterson with that huge sign showing him pitch? My Dad bought all his Pontiacs from Mr. Grossinger on Lawrence near Western. I learned to bowl at Lincoln Square Lanes(?) on Lincoln just south of Lawrence, west side, SECOND floor —with pin boys!

  34. John Erickson February 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    ….that’s just north of Lawrence.

  35. Frances Archer February 28, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    That bowling alley on Lincoln closed not too many years ago. There was a block between the bowling alley and Lawrence that was completely demolished for a McDonald’s. Before it was torn down, one of the buildings had a dancing studio on the second floor, and its where I had my first dancing classes, around age four. At that time we lived in Budlong Woods, and I recall walking to the A&P and the to the Sulzer Library, which is now the Old Town School of Folk Music’s building.

    The Devlin came up in an earlier conversation here, because it was also a bowling alley, but calling it a roadhouse sounds so much more exciting. Someone said it had 6 or 8 lanes, can’t recall. Pin boys too. Grossinger’s was also in the area for many years, at Lincoln and Pratt, and they may still be there.

  36. John Erickson March 1, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    Pins had to be set by hand before the machines were invented. It was grueling work – hot, requiring a bit of agility to avoid being hit by flying bowling pins, and not without some danger. Back in the early 30s Mr. Grossinger would sit out front of his storefront Pontiac dealership; my Dad, out for a stroll from our apartment on Argyle, frequently stopped for a chat and ended up buying his first Pontiac. Our family moved to North Park in 1930 but Dad always returned to Grossinger’s for his cars. The original Devlin was a roadhouse restaurant, gambling den supposedly owned and operated by the “mob”, tucked back in a grove of trees at the northwest corner of Devon and Lincoln. It seems to me I recall the Devlin bowling alley was at the northeast corner.

  37. Frances Archer March 1, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    Another coincidence: we lived on Argyle, too. We were in the second two flat from the northeast corner of Argyle and Washtenaw. I went to Budlong for kindergarten and half of first grade.

  38. Jerry Pritikin March 3, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    I remember, and it had to be in the late 40s or early 50s, when the chimney at Budlong was hit by lightning. Once at Alba Bowl, that was the old movie theater at Kedzie and Lawrence was converted to a Bowling Alley. The pin-boy(wino) did not show up, and I was asked to fill in. Alan Garfinkel, who was in my class, must of knocked over 1 or 2 pins for the whole game, and I was paid 10 cents… so I wrapped a dime in a napkin and threw it back to him!

    In the late 1940s,there were several auto dealers on Lawrence between the north branch of the Chicago River and Albany Street. C.Zepp Ford… Their slogan “Want a car? C.Zepp!” Supreme Hudson… they had a live TV show with a few vaudeville acts… and their TV used car specials had to be pushed on camera, and the side that faced the camera was shinny and like new, and the other side, not sowing was all smashed in. Keystone Chevrolet was the biggest… and every September after WWll, they would have next years model wrapped in brown paper, and only after a certain day, it was unveiled. It was considered a major event… with lots of balloons and small triangle plastic pennants of
    different colors.

  39. Moshe March 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    I lived on Albany corner Argyle right across from the baseball field in River Park. they would have the official games uniforms and all of the PeeWees. I once actually found the counter that the umpires used. My brother and I would go watch the games in the evening.
    you mention the former Beth Jacob on Kimball, when the holocaust survivors started making the first bar mitzvahs in 1959-1960, that is where they were held. I still have a picture of myself attending a bar mitzva there.

  40. Moshe March 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Yes, I remember the A&P on kedzie near the ravenswood. The aroma of fresh coffee waiting to be ground in the front of the store. Next door was “Yidel” the fisher with his fresh lake superior white fish. A little further down Kedzie was on corner Leland ( I was born in that apt. house) was the fruit store owned by Mr. Owen who also peddled fruit in Albany Park. Across the street was Millers Kosher Butcher shop. On the same side as the cleaners was the butcher shop of Rabbi Odes and Yona Singer. Further south right after the train tracks was Tel Aviv Kosher Bakery owned by the Mauer family before they moved to Devon Avenue. When the Six Day War broke out I collected money for Magen David Adom the Israeli red star at the Kedzie Ravenswood station. In minutes i made more money than a child can possibly carry. People literally threw money at me.

  41. Frances Archer March 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    We too lived on Argyle, but on the other side of River Park, at Washtenaw. I attended nursery school at the Albany Park JCC and I recall River Park and the library on Lincoln, but not much more of that neighborhood. I know we shopped on Lawrence occasionally, and of course I remember the Ravenswood terminal. What a wonderful memory you have, and how well you recreate the neighborhood.

  42. Barb FleischmanFeldman April 10, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    Grew up across from Von Steuben, This really brings back memories. How about the el on corner Kimball & Lawrence, And the greasy fries across the street, that you got and then went on the El downtown.
    Those were the days.

  43. Frances Archer April 11, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    Thanks for stopping by Barb. When I picture the Ravenswood terminal, in my mind I aways see the old one which had so much more character than the sterile functional “building” that replaced it. The newstand with its array of candy always tempted me while I was waiting for the Kimball northbound bus.

  44. caryl steinberg April 11, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Wonderful blog…Steiner’s Tavern on Kedzie and Lawrence became Sammy’s Tap in 1951 (my dad). He had the first “color” TV…put a blue, green, brown cell over the screen! Great for Westerns.

    Just attended a Changing Worlds fundraiser at Hibbard School and have been going to
    the Albany Park Theatre Project plays at River Park. The diversity of the area is amazing.

  45. Frances Archer April 11, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Caryl, I’m so thrilled to hear from you. Would love to get some history about Sammy’s tap. I’ll send you a direct email. thanks.

  46. Arnie Lewis April 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    I don’t believe anyone mentioned Mitch’s, one of the great greasy hot-dog joints. It was where the now Albany Park Bank exists ( corner of Kimball & Lawrence NW side of the street. Me & my fellow ” Top Hats ” would be there every Saturday for lunch then walk over to the Terminal Theater for a double feature. As for Deli’s has anyone mentioned the great ” Bagel & Tray ” located in Lincoln Village. Or, how about the Lincoln Village Grille. Great places that I recall during the late fifties & early 60’s.

  47. Frances Archer April 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Thank you, Arnie! Mitch’s is a great one, since I had no idea what was on hat corner. Bagel & Tray I know, Lincoln Village Grille I don’t remember.

    I have often thought about trying to recreate the businesses of Lawrence as I have done for Bryn Mawr, but the size of the project is daunting. There was so much on Lawrence Ave.

  48. Gary Goldstein April 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    It is great to remember those shops from our childhood. Does anyone recall Singer’s Drug Store on Kedzie & Ainslie? I think it was a few doors south of Millie’s candy store, where we could buy all kinds of penny candy before or after going to Hibbard School for the day. There were also baseball cards and strange cards that would produce pictures when they were left in the sun on the sidewalk.
    The drugstores were the places to be when it was too hot to be outside – have a cheery coke and sit in a booth for hours, enjoying the air conditioning.
    The roller rink was on the east side of Kedzie, between Lawrence and Ainslie. The back of it was just outside our living room, so that we could hear that electric organ music every night in the warm weather. I was used to it, but I can’t imagine how my parents put up with it.

  49. Frances Archer April 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Hi, Gary. We’ll have to wait for the Albany Park readers to confirm Singer’s. Related to Singer’s sporting goods, perhaps? I do remember others writing about Millies, though.

  50. Judi Edidin Tuchten May 6, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    There was another car dealer on Lawrence Ave inbetween Kimball & Kedzie. it was called ” Howser Nash” and sold Nash Ramblers. It was one of our first cars because my father,
    Mort Edidin started there as a salesman after WWII and worked his way up to general manager. We lived at Hamlin & Lawrence, on the third floor, NE corner(the building is still there). I remember him coming home for lunch and dinner(the only time he was around then. Car salesman worked 7 days a week. Sometimes they had one morning a week off. My dad worked there from 1946 or 47 until 1951. I was 4 years old in 1951 when we moved to Hollywood Park to 5654 N. St. Louis along with my 6 month old little sister, Nicki. We lived there for 14 years. My father started his own automobile agency with a fellow classmate from Roosevelt High School, Herbie Nortell. They opened in Maywood, IL, ” Edidin Dodge Plymouth,” & then Oldsmobile. Later, in 1959 they went their separate ways, my dad to Westchester(Mort Edidin Oldsmobile) & Herbie to Western & Devon. In the 1930’s until the late 40’s my Zadyie owned a “Edidin (kosher) Butcher” store on Lawrence Ave. between Kimball & Lawrence. Many of your parents probably frequented his store. My father made deliveries.

  51. Judi Edidin Tuchten May 6, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    The ” Nortell Edidin” did not come through. Don’t want to leave Herbie’s billing off. He was a colorful character.

  52. Frances Archer May 6, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Judy, I wish I had read this earlier today. I met with a group of women from Von, class of 1955, members of the Vee’s. Most went to Hibbard, so they might have remembered the Edidin car dealership. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your history.

  53. Judi Edidin Tuchten May 7, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    Francis, My father went to Haugan Elementary(so did my husband) and my mother went to Volta Elementary. Father graduated from Roosevelt and my mother graduated from Von Steuben in 1942. I still have their yearbooks. I have an uncle who graduated from Von Steuben, my mother’s younger brother, in 1952, closer to the 1955 Vee’s. He went into the automobile business also. Used cars first and then Arlington Park Dodge. I have enjoyed going back in time. Thanks.

  54. Jerry Pritikin May 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Howser Nash (either 3500 or 3700 W. on Lawrence) presented Mid-night mysteries on WNBQ , (original call letters for channel 5) and was a very popular auto dealer… except, the underworld wanted part of their business. He said no, and it was burned down… and never came back. There were a few auto dalers east of Kedzie… Keystone Chevolet at Albany, C.Zepp Ford at Whipple and Lawrence and for a while Supreme Hudson. They used to do a variety show from their garage. They had great lost leaders, except they only showed you one side of the car, that was in good shape and the smashed up side was never on camera. I also recall they had to push a car on camera, because it would not start. In September, back then was when the next years models came out… Keystone would have a Chevy wrapped in brown butchers paper and a red ribbon a few days before the official announced date. That was exciting for news back then… this was 12 years before Volkswagon and several more before Honda’s,Datsons, Toyota’s ,Mercedies showed up.

  55. Frances Archer May 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Jerry, this is a great topic for local history. There used to be so many dealerships in our area. Wasn’t Z Frank on Peterson and Western the largest, or did it just seem that way?
    Did you see the comment left by Judi. In case anyone missed it, I’ll quote it here:

    “There was another car dealer on Lawrence Ave inbetween Kimball & Kedzie. it was called ” Howser Nash” and sold Nash Ramblers. It was one of our first cars because my father,
    Mort Edidin started there as a salesman after WWII and worked his way up to general manager. We lived at Hamlin & Lawrence, on the third floor, NE corner(the building is still there). I remember him coming home for lunch and dinner(the only time he was around then. Car salesman worked 7 days a week. Sometimes they had one morning a week off. My dad worked there from 1946 or 47 until 1951. I was 4 years old in 1951 when we moved to Hollywood Park to 5654 N. St. Louis along with my 6 month old little sister, Nicki. We lived there for 14 years. My father started his own automobile agency with a fellow classmate from Roosevelt High School, Herbie Nortell. They opened in Maywood, IL, ” Edidin Dodge Plymouth,” & then Oldsmobile. Later, in 1959 they went their separate ways, my dad to Westchester(Mort Edidin Oldsmobile) & Herbie to Western & Devon. In the 1930′s until the late 40′s my Zadyie owned a “Edidin (kosher) Butcher” store on Lawrence Ave. between Kimball & Lawrence. Many of your parents probably frequented his store. My father made deliveries.”

  56. Michael Povlo May 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Does anyone who attended Hibbard Elementary School remember a Kindergarden teacher named Mrs Glatt? She taught K there for 28 years..

  57. Alan Stern June 20, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    My parents moved here in the early 60’s. I went to Hibbard and Von and graduated from Roosevelt. Some teachers names I remember: Mr. Fred Harris (PE), Mr. Babbin (biology), Mr. Wall (drafting), Dredzie and Dolnick.

  58. Alan Stern June 20, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    Loree’s was owned by Bob Dickers.

  59. Frances Archer June 20, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    Alan, thanks for visiting. Gayle Dicker was my classmate at Peterson and Von, and has contributed to some of the posts I’ve written about Hollywood Park.

  60. Roger Cohn July 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    Michael, I remember Mrs. Glatt. I was born in October 1943, & was not quite 5 when I began kindergarten in Sept. 1948. I was the smallest & likely the least mature kid in class. My grandmother was dying of cancer. I can’t recall anything specific, but I don’t think needy was Mrs. Glatts specialty. We were not a good match. I lived at 4939 N. Whipple St. from my birth until 12 days short of my 19th Birtday. Hibbard classes from Jan 57 through Jan 59, all went to Roosevelt.

  61. jerry kerbis August 3, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    A little correction here;…It was “Hauser Nash” I lived on the corner of Avers & Lawrence above The Belson Deli ….Great smells…Across the street was the Mission Beverage Co..I used to wath them bottle orange pop….My best friends were Ronnie Berger and Lorie Gold

  62. Frances Archer August 3, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Thanks Jerry. You know I’ve done the Bryn Mawr business district and I’m very tempted to take on Lawrence Avenue, and with readers like you, I don’t think it will be that difficult to recall all the former businesses. Thanks.

  63. sheldon zeiler lake forest, ca. September 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    Al & George Einhorn owned Horn Oldsmobile on Lawrence. My parents bought me my first car- a used 1957 Olds 98 from them .The used cars were on the second floor. Used the car to drive to Roosevelt football practice at River Park. Just got back from our 50th Roosevelt reunion-class of 1961. Lived on Kimball,1/2 block north of Lawrence-remember all the Albany Park places then. A great place to grow up-it was like one big family.We all knew everyone!

  64. Frances Archer September 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Thanks for visiting. I’m glad to add another store to the list of Lawrence Avenue businesses. I haven’t posted it yet, but I’m getting a good collection.

  65. Arnie Solars September 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Great article,fond memories,Maury’s Hot Dogs,Mitch’s,Bonfire etc.
    Glick’s Drug store,Lester’s Variety Store,Rudich’s,Max Strauss JPI,the boys club,,the SAC’s,AZA”s.Hanging out in the parks.Thanks for renewing the memories.

  66. Frances Archer September 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    Arnie, thanks for stopping by. I’m adding these to my list.

  67. charles waldman September 4, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    I recall Omie used to announce baseball games to himself as he was playing pinners. Remarkably I remember his mentionting Sibis Sisti, the Braves’ second baseman and
    Omie’s use of the word “sis” for throw as in “the sis over to first.

  68. Terry Perna September 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    I remember Horn Olds. My mother Mollie Baum worked there and at
    Keystone Chevy too I remember Singer Drugstore on the corner of
    Winslow and Kedzie. Steinways became The Bonfire restaurant and there
    Was Rice Drugs on the SW corner of Lawrence and Kedzie and S &L deli
    On the SE corner. Tots n Teens was a store for kids clothes bought leather
    Jacket there. Remember Louie’s??? School supies, penny candy and
    Comics. I lived at 4910 N Kedzie from 1950 to 56. Went to Hubbard and Von
    Remember Mr. Matz and mrs Zauka. And Mrs Kurilla. Kindergarten
    Teacher Mrs Meyerbach?? How about the Whistle Stop? And Seymours?

  69. Terry Perna September 5, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    I love this blog – what great memories. A couple of corrections: Singers of course was at Ainslie and Kedzie — Louie’s and Milly’s are one in the same….Milly had long ago left and Louie and his wife now owned the place. Louie was at least 80, under 5 feet tall, bald and cranky and everyone called him Milly! There was a bakery (Liss?) on the corner of Ainslie and Kedzie too – and a store that repaired tv’s and radios. We skated at Hollywood Roller Rink every Saturday and then headed to the Terminal for a double feature for 25 cents. On Lawrence Avenue, I remember B. Nathan and Milton Troy were great women’s stores. My cousin’s grandfather, Sam, was the ticket taker at the Metro theater which had the screen on the front wall as you walked in. Andies Candies was there and how about Schwartz’s?? Every girl got her first bra there!! Segals Shoes, oh, Hurwitz men’s store – there was nothing that you couldn’t buy on Lawrence Avenue – fabric, purses, clothes, kids stuff – it was a mall – from Kedzie to Kimball.

  70. Frances Archer September 5, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Terry, thanks so much for sharing all your wonderful memories. This is a real wealth of detail. Interesting that a number of Lawrence Avenue stores I knew as Devon Avenue stores in the early 70s. I laughed about the cashmere club; by my day at Von, I don’t think I even knew what cashmere was. Thanks for visiting.

  71. Susan Hirsch September 6, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    When I was a little girl I went to Milly’s for candy. I have a picture of Mrs. Glatt,the kindergarten teacher, that I will emai to anyone interested in seeing it. On Lawrence Ave, don’t forget the Hosiery store that had a wall full of flat boxes with nylon stocking in them. That was before panty hose. It was a few doors down from Schwartz’s. There was also a millinery store with ladies hats in the window next door.

  72. Frances Archer September 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Susan, thanks for visiting. Did you see Terry’s description of Louis (see comments above)? Funny now, but of course I’m sure it wasn’t at the time. I’d forgotten all about those thin elegant boxes for stockings. And a millinery store! That is fancy.

  73. Shelly Hirshman September 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Hi, i lived at 5034 Troy, went to Hibbard, & Von, graduated in 1955.
    My Dad would treat me occasionally to rent a bike at vange’s sports store on Kedzie,
    just south of lawrence, near the A&P.

  74. Frances Archer September 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Thanks for visiting and reminding me of the A&P. I am wondering if that is the one I remember from when my family lived on Argyle. I’m guessing it must have been, but will check. Thanks.

  75. Carole Ann Roth September 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    How about the women’s store…Starr’s, Purity Deli and Community Bakery…best chocolate cake ever. And, of course, the EL station…B Nathan’s had the best choice of cashmere’s…those were the days. The Schwartz’s were friends of my family so imagine how embarressing it was to get my first bra there…even with my Mother.

  76. Frances Archer September 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    Hi Carole, thanks for visiting. Did you know the Goldfarb’s who were related to the Schwartz’s? I just looked them up and found this article, and I didn’t realize the two Schwartz stores were separate entities. Syndi, who is quoted in the article, was in my class at Peterson one year, and Bruce who also went to Peterson, is a couple years younger than me.

    Also, I learned through contributors to this blog, that the owners of Community, the Gordons, were related to the family who founded Sara Lee, and the first Sara Lee cheesecake was baked at the Community Bakery on Bryn Mawr. It’s funny about your mentioning cashmere sweaters; the fashion had changed by the time I went to high school and I never had one. Not sure if I would have had one even if they were in style, though, if they were as pricey as they are now!

  77. Jerry Pritikin September 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    “It was good to see Charles Chatsy Waldman reply, I tried hitting on his name to send him an email, but the link took me to an ad. He used to live in a bungalow facing River Park 1 on the 5000 block of N.Albany, and he had a great Halloween party in 1949 or 50. He used to like drawing boxing pictures. He had a great smile and laugh! And he was right… I used to announce playing pinners with my imitation of Cubs announcer Bert Wilson.

  78. gary hoffman September 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    love reading all about fabulous albany park .i lived at 4731 n lawndale.used to hang out at maury’s hot dogs across the street from me ‘ maury bought it from al who was called little als red hots. on friday nights after the terminal we went to maries on lawrence just west of fact i still go ther when i come in from california ,usually once a year remember bennie the barber for 25 cents a cut,he was on lawrence between lawndale and monticello.glicks drug store lawrence and lawndale.kaplans bakery on lawrence between lawndale and best years of my life .played ball at jensen park across from the j.thank for jarring my memories

  79. Frances Archer September 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Hi, Gary. thanks for visiting. I’m glad you mentioned Jensen Park. I’m going to check it out. I’ve got lots more coming on Albany Park.

  80. Marlene K. October 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Cooper & Cooper was great. The unforgettable cooking aromas coming from the place when you passed it by made you hungry for one of their burgers. Remember Bonfire Restaurant on the corner of Kedzie & Lawrence? They gave you a tub of free powdered donut holes on every table and replenished it when it was empty (probably why they went out of business). Lawrence Avenue actually had some nice stores, including what was called a “dry goods” store. I remember as a little kid, thinking my mom and aunt were going to the “dry guts” store. And the neighborhood butcher shop had chickens in cages and the women would choose their victims. Someone would then grab the screeching chickens and take them in the back of the store, where they had tubs and the chickens were slaughtered. The floor was covered with sawdust. As a little girl, I was shocked by it all and hated going there. But later, I would be served chicken soup with “chickie feet,” and I remember eating it. We were a close-knit family of many relatives, and poor, but our parents never let us know it. Still, It would have been unthinkable to ask for something our parents said they couldn’t afford. I just remember lots of laughter, singing and the adults playing poker, where all anyone could lose at the end of the evening was a quarter that got put into a kitty. At the end of the year, the family took the kitty and went to Phil Schmidt’s restaurant for a steak dinner. We lived on Central Park, between Lawrence and Montrose. Across the street was Segal’s deli. Every Sunday morning, the children were sent to buy lox and bagels from Mr. and Mrs. Segal. The older I get, the more I miss those wonderful days where 8 of us lived together and magic happened every day on the second floor of a 3-flat apt. building in Albany Park, where if something went wrong, the owner always promised to “fix it tomorrow.” And a slice of rye bread and butter or a family shared bowl of popcorn and a hug could solve any problem.

  81. Frances Archer October 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Marlene, many thanks for writing and sharing these wonderful images of the past. I love the phrase “Dry guts” — it reminds me of when someone called me a “gut girl.” Recently I interviewed Bob Fine, whose father owned Max’s butcher shop on Lawrence. Do you remember it? They supplied the ground beef to Cooper & Cooper. Your comment about being poor but your parents not letting you know it is something I hear again and again from the people I’ve interviewed. Many say they either didn’t know they were poor or that no one really cared who had more or less, at least from the kids’ perspective. It’s hard to believe how little it took to make us happy. I recall our family eating dinner out at the Walgreen’s on Lawrence and Western and thinking it was such a treat!

  82. Alysa Haft Stein October 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Well I lived on Spaulding and Ardmore and my parents were original members of Shaare Tikvah-when it started on Bryn Mawr in a store front. I graduated with Carole Ann Roth in June of `1957 from Von….Hollywood park had Tanya’s Deli on the corner of Spaulding and Bryn Mawr-Sandlers Drug Store-and they would deliver Ice cream sundaes along with your Rx….. Times were much simpler then sorry my grandchildren are growning up in such a different world.

  83. Frances Archer October 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Hi, Alysa,
    You must have known Marty Marcus, who I’ve written about in these pages. Or your parents knew his parents. Few kids in the sixties knew that Shaare Tikvah started in a storefront. A friend of mine was in the last confirmation class, 1969. I can’t imagine why the synagogue’s members must have felt when they realized the Jewish families were moving away, so soon, less than 20 years, after that huge beautiful building was built.

    I hadn’t heard about delivery of ice cream sundaes! It seems funny now.

    Thanks for visiting. Do you remember your old address?

  84. leroy kaplan October 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    wow i lived at4913 whipple went to hibbard/von graduated in 55 am a member of the li’l gentlemen ,white and black jkts married elaine sonshine another albany parker who was in the i’s graduated in 57- lawerence ave was ours up to st louis just beyond the albany pk bnk we too hung out at deborah boys club river pk and mitch’shotdogs just west of kimbal on the n side of the street love the memories

  85. merle weiss wasserman October 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    I live in Milwaukee, just about 90 miles from “home.” It took me years to become accostomed to this city, but adjustment finally takes place.. Marrriage, 3 kids, grad school, career, community events, and still Albany Park comes to mind. At least once a year I visit my apt. building on Troy and Carmen, (oh have the trees grown!) and River Park, where I igot the greatest tan,and” pumped” the swing till I touched the fence, and Hibbard School, and Von and then another apt. on Leland and Sawyer, and the streetcars down Kedzie Ave, and the El, and the smells and sounds of our people. Singers Drug store on Kedzie and Sawyer where I learned how to smoke, and the candy store on Kedzie and Argyle that ordered Fleece bubjble gum for 2 cents and one night heard horns and people yellling “:the war is over!” Oh yes, the butcher shop on Kedzie and Argyle, with the saw dust and those big butcher block tables….My great uncle was the “schehoct.: and afterwards came to our house for a glass of tea with a sugar cube min it. The ice factory across the street on Troy and Carmen was where we went for ice when the old fridge din’t want to work.. and Montrose beach and Foster beach where we went for great hot-dogs and picalliily. By the way, here in Milwaukee, it is relish!!! Took me years to get accomstomed to the “tetter-totter”, “soda” (not pop) and a “bubbler” not a fountain…..Oh yes, do I remember Albany Park!!!!. wh love, and memories!!!

  86. Frances Archer October 26, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Merle, thank you so much for stopping by to share your memories of Albany Park. Why is it that the neighborhoods in our areas–Albany Park for you, Hollywood Park for me–are so vividly remembered? I don’t think it is just because those were the places we grew up. These neighborhoods really had a lot of character–and characters–and they were like small towns that stayed the same for so long. Thanks again for writing. Let me know next time you visit. You can use the contact form on this site to send me a direct message, and perhaps we can meet in Albany Park.

  87. joel Finkel October 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    I can not beleive no one has mentioned Bob the ice cream man. He had a store front on Drake 3 doors north of Lawence. He drove around with a cushman scooter with a freezer on the front. He also had a bout 20 bycile carts. I worked every day from April to Sept of 1953 Made $13.25 on the fourth of July 1953 You called in from a gas station and they brought you more dry ice and product I had East River Park and Bud long woods,I am from the June 1953 Class at Hibbard. If I see this printed I got a lot more memories.

  88. Frances Archer October 28, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Joel, thank you for stopping by and sharing your memories. I’m sure someone else out there will also remember Bob the ice cream man. Where did you go to high school? Please send more memories in!

  89. joel Finkel October 31, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    I lived in the big yellow building kitty corner from Debroah Boys club.I graduated from Hlibbard school in June of 1953, I had many jobs in those days, I deliverd meat for many kosher butchers it was a .25 per delivery. One was on Kedzie right near Lerners in the 4800 block,The other two were right near St Louis and Lawrence. I would run home after school and get my bike and check in at each one. I went to Hebrew School 4 days per week and Saturdays were services and Sunday more of the same. I did not have to be at Hebrew School in 6th and 7th grade untill 6pm. I gave up the Deliverys in about spring of 8th grade to start taking out the ice cream cart. One thing we had in those days was the freedom of the streets.
    I was always out after dark, and sometimes we would just jump on the Ravenswood El go down to Washington Street cross the platform and come back home.I rember all the places mentioned and I think when I frist went to Lerners it was .32 for a hot dog with fries small coke and tax. When my mom could not be home for lunch she sent my brother and I to my Aunts house who lived on the 5000 block of troy. Once she went some where wlith the Aunt (her sister0 and she gave me a buck to take my brother to lerners. It was great.

  90. Frances Archer November 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Joel, did you work for my acquaintance Bob Fine of Max’s butcher shop on Lawrence? And, we both know Lerner’s, although I only knew it when it was on the 5500 block of Kedzie. It wasn’t just that we had freedom of the streets, to walk alone even as young kids around the neighborhood, but that we knew or at least recognized the owners of so many of the small businesses, in my case of Bryn Mawr, and in yours, on Lawrence. Thanks for visiting and sharing your memories.

  91. joel Finkel November 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    I can not remember the name of the two butcher shops on Lawrence, but I think the one Kedzie was Kranys, Thursday was the best day as every one was ordering for shabbos. I remember working on a sunday because Kol Nedra was on Tuesday night and of course Kosher buthcer shops were closed on Saturdays, so they had to get the meat , to cook on Monday I know their were a lot of people named Fine who were in the kosher meat business.I started at the Synoage on the 4900 Block of Kimball for about a year untill my mom had a run in with the Rabbi I then went to Bina Sholom for the next 3 years and thats were I was Bar Mitvahed Bina Sholom was on the S.W. corner of Sawyer and Ansile.I even rember the Admiral when t shhowed regular movies.

  92. joel Finkel November 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    i am sure that the Dri Gts store that was mentioned was Bryskins it was on the east slide of Kedzie mid way between Lawrence and Ansile. I rember this store from about 1944. There was a grocery store just north of Bryskins that extened credit to the wifes of servlce men serving in WW11 as my Dad was at the time. Bryskins way very packed with inventory and he had to serch through many boxes to find your size. He later moved on Lawrence just accross the street from the llibary at Drake ave. My good freinds grandfather use to call cooper and cooper (hock mit the shovel with his thick yiddush accent) This was because the cook would pull a round ball of ground beef on a pice of wax paper throw it on the grill and push down on it wlith a spatula. shapping it into a round buger


  93. Frances Archer November 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    Good to hear from you as always, Joel. Cooper & Cooper will be the subject of a blog post one of these days. I’ll have to track down a photo. I’m also going to create a list of all the Lawrence Ave. area business, 1940-60s, so your comments are helpful.

  94. David Adams December 16, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    I lived across from River Park – 5020 N. Albany
    I went to Hibbard. I remember Mrs. Jonas 4tt or 5th Grade. She was the best teacher I ever had.
    On Lawrence -west of Kedzie was the Junior Shoe Box – the man was Eric. He always gave us a gift when we purchased shoes. He also had the “x-ray” machine. I think Mr. Junior – the clothes store was also on the same street. I got my Bar Mitzvah suit there.
    I went to B’nai Shalom – 3-4 days a week plus Shabbat- Rabbi Kleinerman- a tought cookie.
    Thank you for all of the great memories.

  95. Frances Archer December 16, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    David, thank you for visiting and sharing some memories of Albany Park. Did you go to Von, or did your family move when you were in high school?

  96. David Adams December 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    We moved to Skokie when I was 14. I went to Niles East.

  97. david magnus February 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    The bridge adjacent to the Eugene Field Park clubhouse had been a covered bridge when I first visited the park in about 1946. The old men sat on benches in its shade. It was soon torn down and replaced by a common bridge.

  98. Frances Archer February 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    The Chicago Park District archives might have a photo of the covered bridge. I’ll check. Sounds lovely.

  99. Steve Imgrund February 28, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Wow what a trip down memory lane, and fond remembrances of happier simpler times. I could literally write a small book here. We moved to Chicago in December of 1953, when I was 3. We lived at 5225 N. Sawyer on the second floor of a two flat. The apartment was truncated, to take advantage of the housing shortage in post WWII Chicago. We had two bedrooms and beyond the wall was a very small one bedroom apartment where Ronnie and Denny Abrams and their single mom lived. They were originally from Brooklyn and we (mom, dad and younger brother) were from Pittsburgh. The landlords were a middle aged couple Mr and Mrs Sam Hefter. I don’t recall Mrs. Hefter’s first name but her maiden name was Brill and she had a daughter named Lillian. Sam owned a junkyard and the Hefters were kindly and patient landlords who never raised the rent in the time we lived there (1953-61.) In that section of North Park at that time you were either Jewish or Swedish. There was an Italian family named Liberatore that lived in the 5200 block of N. Spaulding and there was us, the only two Catholic families I was aware of in the immediate vicinity. Ronnie Abrams was my age, his brother Denny older. Ronnie cleaned me out of most of my baseball cards playing “lag”. Does anyone remember that game? I went to my dad crying and he had no pity for me. He said you lost now take it like a man. The Abrams mom worked in the same office building as my dad at 222 W Adams. Around 1958 or 59 mom packed up the boys and they all moved to LA. We joked that they were following their beloved Dodgers. I got off to a very rocky start at Peterson elementary school. I only attended kindergarten for a week and then flunked the first half of first grade. The CPS divided school into semesters back then with February and June graduations in both elementary and high schools. I was very nearsighted and somewhat shy, and did not get my glasses until it was too late to salvage the semester. I breezed through my repeat of 1B and then my mother got me into the Bateman private school at 20 east Burton place in the gold coast. We couldn’t afford it but they tested me and allowed me enter into second grade in September of 1957. I flourished there in 2nd and 3rd grade but then the money ran out and I returned to Peterson for 4th and 5th grade where I avenged my earlier failure by doing well. My first favorite place in the neighborhood were nearby River Park where I spent hours playing and exploring. I learned how to play baseball there. I also enjoyed Lorees which was just down the street. The North Park special was the best sundae I ever had and probably ever will. I also remember the barber shop next door or maybe two doors down from Lorries where I’d get my hair cuts. The drug store on Spaulding and Foster owned by Bruce Reindeau, was where I’d buy candy and baseball cards. There was a small grocery store about two doors down from the drug store owned by a kindly old man whose name I have forgotten, a supermarket on Christiana and Foster, Zfaney’s drug store at Kimball and Foster and a tastee freeze between the supermarket and Zfaney’s. All the businesses on this part of Foster were of course on the north side of the street as part of the North Park College campus was on the south side. Of course the Pit on Foster just east of Kedzie was a popular place too. Across the street from me was Sara Olsson, a classmate of mine at Peterson, and whose dad I believe was Principal or headmaster at nearby North Park Academy. Next door to her was Johnny Swanson, whose dad Harold was the first and most successful football coach at nearby North Park College. The Swansons moved to Rockford in the early 60’s. Up the street was where Vickie Polender a friend of Sara’s and another classmate lived. I think it was in 4th grade when Lenny and Barry Goldberg moved into the apartment building two doors down from me at Sawyer and the alley just before George’s on Foster. Lenny was my age, and his brother Barry 3 years older. Both would be very good baseball players at Von Steuben. Their dad Julius, a quiet studious man worked at the giant Goldblatt’s in Uptown. I spent a lot of time at their apartment talking baseball and just hanging out. I still have my 5th grade class picture from Peterson. We left the apartment on Sawyer and moved to 4723 N. St. Louis. I graduated from Haugan in June of 1964. If this post doesn’t get gonged maybe I’ll write something about my Albany Park life.

  100. Frances Archer February 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    WOW! And thanks. I will respond in length later.

  101. Everett Melnick March 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    I was born and raised in Albany Park, one block south of River Park. I went to Hibbard School. Mrs. Glatt was my kindergarten teacher. Roger Cohn was the only boy in my classes who was smaller than me and I remember Susan Hirsh. When I was 6 or 7 we moved to Ravenswood Manor but got a special permission to continue at Hibbard. I graduated in 1957. My 8th grade teacher was Laura Zaucha. I went to the “Branch” at Roosevelt H.S. where Mr. Shively was my first and only male teacher. I’m sure he was my inspiration for becoming a teacher myself. I retired in 1998 after nearly 35 yrs. at a suburban high school.
    Does anybody remember the rollerskating rink on Kedzie just north of Lawrence? I think it was called Hollywood. I believe it was owned by the uncle of one of the students in our class, Larry Kaufman. I used to skate there on my way home from school nearly every day.
    We also got our first TV set in 1947. It was an RCA 10″ b&w Console(radio, TV and record player). It broke down regularly and the repair man would come to our house, cover the floor with a bed sheet, pull the chassis and replace parts until it worked. Yrs. after it no longer worked my mother kept it in the living room because it was such a lovely piece of furniture.
    I remember a Hot dog joint on Kedzie, before it became Lerner’s. I believe it was called The Whistle Stop. A Lionel electric train ran all around the booths and tables and delivered your hot dog order on a flat car. A hot dog, drink & fries was a quarter. The place was jammed at lunch time but it didn’t last long.
    I still get a yen for the candy dots on long strips of white paper, wax lips, wax bottles filled with sugar water and the marshmallow filled cones that they sold at Millies.
    In those days I walked from Hibbard to Temple Beth Israel, the Terminal theater and all the way home to Ravenswood Manor south of Lawrence at the river, even at night after a double feature without worrying about getting mugged.

  102. Frances Archer March 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Everett, thanks for stopping by. You are the first to recall the name of the hot dog shop that preceded Lerner’s. And I loved that penny candy as much as anyone. Funny thing, my daughter thinks it’s awful. Thank again for visiting. Love to hear more memories from you!

  103. Everett Melnick March 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    I don’t often hear any mention of stores south of Lawrence Ave. on Kedzie. On the west side of Kedzie a block or so south of Lawrence was a tobacco shop. I’m not sure if it even had a name. My father and my 2 uncles who also lived in Albany Park went in there often. It actually was more of a front for a bookie joint and continuous poker game. My father loved to play the ponies and my uncle George played poker. It was the best kept secret in Albany Park.

    There was a tavern on the northeast corner of Lawrence and Kedzie. I used to walk by it every day on the way home after school. In the warm weather they used to keep the door open and to this day I remember the mysterious fragrance of smoke and stale booze that drifted out as I walked by. It was very dark inside but many times I would hear,”hello little boy” as I passed the door.

    There was a funeral parlor on Lawrence, I can’t remember whether it was east or west of Kedzie,but it was on the north side of Lawrence. A classmate of mine either in kindergarten or 1st grade darted out between parked cars on Lawrence Ave. and was hit and killed by a CTA bus. It was the first time I was ever in a funeral home and I was scared and confused. The casket was closed because, I was told, my friends head was squished.
    There was also a store on the north side of Lawrence Ave. my mother took me into many times. They made, hand- painted and sold porcelain dishes, cups and statuary. I learned later that the man that owned the shop was a very famous artist from a family noted for their hand-painted porcelain. I believe it was close to Little Al’s Record Store and a Buster Brown shoe store. The shoe store might have gone in when Little Al’s closed.
    I remember when the Alba Theater closed and was turned into the Alba Bowling
    Alley. Some of my brothers friends tried to get jobs there as pin-spotters.
    I remember my mother did all her shopping on Kedzie and Lawrence Ave’s. There was a butcher shop, a bakery, a fish market, and an IGA, that I believe turned into a Kroger, all south of Lawrence. We only left the neighborhood once a week, on Sat. when we went to the big chain store next to the Sears around Western and Foster. Not sure about the streets.
    My father bought my first new car, a ’63 Ford Falcon at River Ford on Lawrence just west of the river. I got my first job, while I was in High school. at Albany Park Service on the south side of Lawrence at the west side of the river. The manager, Barney Lipsey used to own the Texaco Station on the east side Kedzie, north of Lawrence where my father always took his cars until it closed.

  104. Frances Archer March 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Everett, it all sounds so colorful, doesn’t it. I have to wonder was bookie joint a secret or not? I have not met a single person from Albany Park from the ’50s who hasn’t mentioned it! I think my mother shopped at an A&P on Kedzie — there was one, wasn’t there?

  105. Everett Melnick March 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    You have a better memory than me. I believe you are exactly right, it was an A&P not IGA.
    I must be the only one who thought no one else knew it was a bookie joint. I guess I led a sheltered life.
    By the way, was it a Bekins, Moving& Cold Storage facility on the south side of Lawrence Ave.? I should remember because I was riding my bicycle on the sidewalk and turned around to talk to my friend Larry who was riding behind me when I ran smack dab into the bay window that jutted out. I sang soprano for about an hour. It almost swore me off boys bikes.

  106. Sharon Ruble Kvistad March 26, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    was the name of the synagogue on Bernard and Ainslie Congregation Beth Israel?– I was married to my ex-husband there after converting to Judaism when I was 17-Thank goodness the temple was reform-might not have happened-does anyone know the Rabbis’ name in 1963/64??

  107. Everett Melnick March 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

    Yes! I was Bar Mitzvah there in 1956. The Rabbi at that time was Rabbi Ernst M. Lorge. I believe the Congregation moved to Skokie in the 80’s. I also was married to my ex-wife there in 1967 by Rabbi Lorge so I assume he was there in ’63/64.

  108. Frances Archer April 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Sharon, I was out of town the day you posted this question, and didn’t see it until now. I have to look this up, or better yet get help from one of Albany Park contributors. Well, I just noticed that Everett Melnick replied for me. Thank you! The synagogue is on Dempster in Skokie now, and one of my nursery school friends from Albany Park JCC married into the Lorge family, but not sure of the relationship with Rabbi Lorge. Interesting connections. I am a bit behind in my blogging due to spring break, but will be back up with a new post soon.

  109. Liz Gerber Spero April 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    I was so happy to see that the store was mentioned on Kedzie that had the cage’s with the live chickens. My grandparents Sam & Dora Gerber had a tiny tailor store right next store. My grandmother would literly make me go with her to get a chicken, it was sooo gross. I hated to go. One of my favorite memories was going with my dad every Saturday to see my grandparents and go to the corner store which always had barrels of pickels outside of the store and making him buy pickels for me before I would take them from the barrel.
    I was talking to my dear friend that I grew up with and we were talking about all our memories about growing up in Hollywood Park and going to Albany Park all the time. I couldn’t remember the name of the roller rink when it came to me…Hollwood roller Rink. I had my skates in my beautiful case with a sparkling design and went every Saturday to skate(not very well) then to the Terminal for the double feature. How happy were my parents!! Every comment I’ve read I remember it all, what a special blog, I Love it. I go back to Chicago in the next few months and I need to re visit more of my old memories. Liz Gerber Spero

  110. Frances Archer April 11, 2012 at 5:24 am #

    Liz, thanks for stopping by and sharing the memories. I love that you mentioned the pickel barrels — I didn’t go to that store but the deli at Lincoln Village had a pickle barrel and I enjoyed stopping for a snack.

  111. Everett Melnick April 11, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Am I just dreaming or was there another movie theater in Albany Park besides the Terminal and the Alba, or was the Alba re-named the Metro or vice-versa? The name Metro sticks in my mind.

  112. Lou Shapiro April 11, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    The entrance was on Kedzie Ave.You.walked straight ahead for seating and when seated, you faced Kedzie. When I was about 4 yrs. old we lived on the South Side in Englewood. My Dad and I were visiting one of his brothers. My father, uncle, cousin and I went to the Alba to see a Western as we went in there was a sudden burst of .gunfire. Since the theater was reversed from any other I was disoriented besides being startled; so I did what anyone would do I ambushed…. I ran out of the theater and my father chased me down the street! A memory never to be forgotten of one of my Albany Park visits.

  113. Frances Archer April 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Lou, your childhood experience must have looked like one of those early black and white slapstick movies. thanks for stopping by.

  114. Frances Archer April 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    I can’t tell you the locations, but I believe there were as many as 7 different movie theaters in Albany Park during the 1940-50s era.

  115. Len April 11, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Hello again Frances. I don’t think I remember that many theaters, but I don’t go back to the 40’s. The current Admiral porn place was one although shut down through much of the 50’s. Not too far away was the Irving at Irving and Pulaski. Possibly one near Drake and Montrose. The current Muslim (I think) community center and possibly mosque at Elston near Montrose was I believe the Rivoli. Maybe it does approach 7.

  116. Frances Archer April 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    I will have to see if I wrote down the list somewhere. I am a bit behind in my projects.

  117. Everett Melnick April 12, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    The Metro, it seems, was across the street from the Terminal. It was originally the Terminal which then moved to a newer and larger building across the street. I was only at the Metro a few times as it closed in the early 50’s, but I still remember the name.

  118. Andy Romanoff May 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    As always these posts bring me back to life in Albany park in the most wonderful way. Thanks to everyone who contributes to this blog. Reading today reminds me of several businesses on Kedzie North of Lawrence. First, Vern’s, a TV repair store on the West side of the street where I worked in the late fifties. Another was Bernard Genis a photographer who had a studio just by Alba Bowl. I worked for him as well. Then there was the used book store owned by another photographer named Jacques DiPina who shot weddings and Bar Mitzvahs and lived with his family in a basement flat up the street. If you had a Bar Mitzvah in the late fifties/early sixties and still have the album take a look. It may well have been done by Jacques and…I may have photographed it.
    The Bonfire, at the corner of Kedzie and Lawrence was a major hangout. It was open very late, maybe even all night and you could sit there for hours with just an order of fries and endless coffee. And then there was Alba where we hung around all night, sitting on the cars parked out front and waiting for something – anything to happen. a car would stop, four or five guys would pile in and we were off. Bughouse Square, the brand new terminals of O’Hare airport, down to the lake, where didn’t matter, it was the adventure of being out in the sleeping world, with your friends and without a care.

  119. Frances Archer May 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Andy, thanks for taking us back to a lost world. It sounds like you had a real apprenticeship among the shops on Bryn Mawr and in Albany Park. Those teen-age hangouts. In my years, it was Hollywood Park. Every night we did just about the same things, stand and talk or sit and talk and walk to McDonald’s and back, but we never were bored. I can’t imagine what we talked about, but somehow we had so much to say.

    As far as O’Hare Airport, I’ve heard other who were around when it first open recall how people went there just to watch planes take off. A lot.

  120. Andy Romanoff May 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Frances, when you mention Hollywood Park it brings me to the smell and feel of the springtime air in the park in the middle of the night. All the confusing world asleep and the breeze filled with promise for a young man. It is a beautiful memory. Thanks,

  121. Steve Malis May 31, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    I’m surprised that noone mentioned Nick’s Famous Pizza restaurant on Lawrence a couple of blocks west of St. Louis Ave, I delivered pizzas there from 1956 to 1959. One of the best jobs I ever had. Got to know many of the Albany Park residents. I had also worked at the Albany Park Library when it was on Lawrence Ave. and at Hurwitz Mens Shop on Lawrence near Kedzie. What a great neighborhood! Good schools (Hibbard and Roosevelt High School), terrific shopping and marvelous people.

  122. Frances Archer May 31, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    Steve, Thanks for adding a missing piece of history. Amazing how many jobs were available within the neighborhood then.

  123. Dennis S Shapiro July 1, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Before Nes Singer bought his sports store on Lawrence, The name of the previous Sports store at that spot was called Vanges and does any one remember the sweet shop next to the Alba that sold doulble scoops dipped in chocolate and sprinkeled in candy.
    Also I lived at 3147 w Argyle at the alley which was the cut off point. If you lived east of the alley you went Roosevelt and west of the alley you went to Von Stuben High.

  124. Frances Archer July 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Dennis, thanks for visiting. I didn’t know about the school boundary. They must have changed it at some point.

  125. Steve Maciontek July 22, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    Hi, I grew up on 4822 N. Troy Street. I remember Sarah’s Grocery located in a basement apartment building on Kedzie Avenue between Lawrence and Ainslie. I went to Our Lady of Mercy Grammar School, put pennies on the tracks at the Ravenswood Station, spent way too much money at Ross’s Department Store and rode my bike on an abandoned horse path area located on BrynMawr and Kedzie. We called it bicycle paradise. Shopped at Community Discount store by Lincoln Village and worked the Swinging Gym attraction at Kiddieland when I was 14. I remember Tony’s Barber Shop on the corner of Troy and Lawrence when a haircut cost 75 cents if you were under 12 years of age. I also recall Little Al’s record shop on Lawrence Avenue, where I purchased my first record player.Frankel’s Furniture was on Kedzie, which was right across the street from a cigar shop where alledgedly a bookie operation was established. I remember walking to school and seeing and hearing the live chickens in the basement of the live poultry stores, A great neighborhood to grow up in, and I find myself even today and at the age of 62 riding my bicycle past my old house and to River Park to ride down “Devil’s Hill”.

  126. Frances Archer July 23, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    Hi, Steve. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your memories. There is a whole group of people who used to work at Kiddieland and they have a page called “I hung out at Hollywood Kiddieland” on Facebook. Most worked there in the closing years, but a few from the sixties. The bookie operation is confirmed and apparently everyone in Albany Park knew about it.

  127. Arnie Solars August 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Does anyone remember Rudich’s on Lawrence and Central Park ? Great food.Lester’s Variety on Lawrence between Central Park and Monticello?Great times on Lawrence Avenue.

  128. Frances Archer August 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    Arnie, lots of people have told me about Rudich’s. And I’ve heard that you could get comic books, toys and fountain drinks at Lester’s. What else did you buy there?

  129. Arnie Solars August 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    You could buy yo-yos,trading cards , candy
    everything that would make a kid happy.

  130. Dennis Briskin September 3, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    First rate recall of Albany Park. My mother’s father lived on Ainslie north of Lawrence, and I sometimes took the CTA bus south on Kimball to the Deborah Boys Club 1 or 2 streets north of Lawrence.

    We lived in Peterson Park (6025 N. Bernard St.) and played line ball on Bernard, always hitting toward Peterson. (Also the stair games with the pink Spalding ball. Hit right it went far.) Sometimes a ball went onto the roof of Crane’s Pharmacy on the northeast corner or Bernard and Peterson. My first job after I got my driver’s license (1961) was delivery boy/clerk at Crane’s, just like my two brothers before me and lots of other boys of that time. (Had to learn to drive a stick shift, because the delivery car was a red Ford Fairlane with three speeds on the column.)

    About Shaare Tikvah. I was bar mitzvah there. My father’s parents (Max and Anna Briskin) were among the founders. One year in the early 50’s my grandfather was president of the shul.

  131. Frances Archer September 3, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    Hi, Dennis. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your memories of Crane’s. Avery Spunt, who I met through the Von Steuben Alumni Association, all worked at Crane’s. Do you know him? Your family is an example of family ties between Albany Park and the neighborhoods to the north, Hollywood Park and Peterson Park. I’ll have to look into more about the founding of Shaare Tikvah. I know there has been much written, especially on the Chicago Jewish History Society’s pages, but I should include some of that here.

  132. Mike Wolstein September 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Hi, Frances.

    I don’t know how I missed it the first time, but I just noticed a post from back in February from Steve Imgrund, and I’d like to follow it up. Steve, I’m a year older than you are, and I’m desperately trying to remember you. I lived about 4 doors north of you, at 4735 St. Louis, and I remember the Lazar family over there, and a fellow who lived in their building named Harvey Forkos, who died of Leukemia when he was about 16. Also, there was a skinny little kid named Spencer who lived in that general vicinity, possibly in your building. I went to Hibbard through 6th grade, and was then moved to Von with the Solomon and Peterson kids when Hibbard burst at the seams.


  133. Marty ( Cohen ) Horan September 13, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    1923-1935 lived at 3701 Leland. 1935-1942 4855 N. Bernard ( across street from

    temple Beth Israel. Yes Metro was movie house on North side of Lawrence Avenue directly across from Terminal. Very unique, you entered onNorth side of Lawrenceand the screen was behind you as you entered the the theater. There were three boys clubs
    at Von ’37 to “41. Amecias, Rams, and ???. I was an Amecia. Good friend of Lenny Becker whose father owned Becker Bakery on norht side of Lawrence betweeen Drake and Central Park. I didn’t see anyone mention the “L” entrance on Lawrence and Kimball.
    The paperstand there was owned by couple who dressed in heavy coats in Winter and
    summer. My father was a bricklayer who laid bricks on the Deborah Boys club which was across the alley from our apartment building. Was patrol boy at Hibbard school 1935-1936, John O’brien was principle and ultimately was principle of Roosevelt High.
    Mike Nussbaum was in class of June 1941. Perhaps he remembers 3rd boy club. he was
    a member. Who lived in neighborhood of Albany and Troy in the 30’s. Anxious to know.

  134. Everett Melnick September 14, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    My grandson wrestles in school. His father and I were talking about the old days when we used to watch pro wrestling on TV late at night. We talked about the transition between real pro wrestling and the choreographed farce it morphed into. It reminded me of when I was a student at Hibbard and had Evelyn Epstein for a teacher. I don’t remember the exact year or grade. Just before we left for either spring or Christmas vacation, Miss Epstein told us that when we returned she would no longer be Miss Epstein, she would be Mrs. Silverstein, she was getting married. I remember this because it was the first time I ever remember a woman marrying and changing her name. She also told us the man she was marrying was named Ruffy Silverstein and he was a professional wrestler. From what I gather, he was a rare Jewish athlete and a great wrestler. When he retired from wrestling he became a teacher and died fairly young from Lou Gherigs disease. Does anyone else remember this? I don’t think Mrs. Silverstein stayed at Hibbard very long.

  135. Mike Wolstein September 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Hi, Everett.

    Roughy Silverstein was my gym teacher at Hibbard (I think he substituted for a while) around 1958-59-60, which would have been 4th through 6th grades for me.

    Mike Wolstein
    Hibbard, Von (Jr High), Roosevelt ’67

  136. Lou shapiro September 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Roughy Silverstein was one of my father’s boyhood friends from the “Old West side”. Since I went to professional wrestling matches with my father, uncles and cousins this family fact was important to me. At age seven, it was like having a connection to a celebrity. Lou Shapiro – Von Steuben , Class of June 1960

  137. Frances Archer September 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    I think this calls for an official entry on this blog about Roughy Silverstein. I will start digging into the Trib archives and see what I find. If you have any more stories you recall about him, please share. Thanks!

  138. Frances Archer September 14, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Marty, thanks so much for writing. I never knew Mike Nussbaum was from Albany Park. I am a huge fan of his work as an actor. And thanks for giving me more club names to ad to the list of SACs.

  139. Stephen Auslender September 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    This was quite a nostalgia trip! I lived on Eastwood a block east of Roosevelt High school. I started Hibbard in 1944 and went to Roosevelt HS from 1952 to 1956. I believe you guys are correct when you said there was not much change in the neighborhood from 1944 to 1974. I do remember all the places we hung out at during those years, and I especially remember the four movie theaters. I spent a lot of time at River Park back then, too. My folks moved to Budlong woods in 1953 or so and I was off at school (IIT) then. I lived on the west side of the railroad tracks in the Italian neighborhood on the South 3000 block. When I went to school at the Art Institute of Chicago after IIT I lived on North Ave. and walked to Old Town, where us artists hung out. A few years ago I came back to Chicago to visit, this time with my grown son, and I drove us around pointing out all the places I remembered from those days. I still remember the hot dog places where you could get so much on the hot dog that you could not taste the meat (mustard, ketchup, onions, peppers, etc.) Thank you for the nostalgia trip.

  140. Laurence Braude September 17, 2012 at 3:26 am #

    Ruffy! Wow! Memories!
    He and his (apparently first) wife and their daughter and son (Roger) were neighbors of ours in Humboldt Park in the mid 50s. We lived on Thomas Street and they were on Cortez; we kids went to Lafayette Grammar School on Augusta Blvd. After my 8th grade graduation, we moved to Albany Park. We lived at Lawndale & Leland, I attended Roosevelt H.S., spent my evenings at the “J” (Max Straus Center), and our local, legendary hot dog stand was Morrie’s, which occupied at least 3 different locations on Lawrence Avenue over the years.
    But I digress, as most of you seem to have lived north of Lawrence Avenue and east of Kimball, attended Von Steuben, and hung out at Deborah.
    Back when we were neighbors and friendly with the Silverstein family, Ruffy had pretty much stopped competing and was training young wrestlers in the art of “choreographed wrestling” (as Everett so aptly put it), coaching them in the proper techniques of grunting and groaning in the ring for the TV audience, as well as the paying customers.
    He took me to his gym a couple of times, was really a nice and gentle type of guy, but cautioned me to stay out of the back room area where he did his training. When he caught me peeking in one Saturday, I’ll never forget the embarrassed look on his face at being found out as an “acting teacher”, and he never took me there again.

  141. Frances Archer September 17, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    Great story! Thanks for sharing this history, and as soon as I have a chance I’ll write up a post about Ruffy.

  142. Frances Archer September 17, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your recollections. You lived in a few interesting neighborhoods over the years, especially for the times.

  143. Roger Cohn October 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    This is the first time I’ve looked at the blog in over a year. I have a few random comments. A few people have mentioned Red’s Drive-in on Foster just east of Kedzie, across from a large CTA bus garage. Red was one of my mother’s many first cousins. She was born in 1916 & lived on the 3500 block of Sunnyside, which meant she went to Haugan & then graduated from Roosevelt in 1934. Red was the second youngest of her many first cousins, born I believe in 1932. His name was Eddie Strauss. He was a red haired go-getter. I think he must have opened the restaurant by 1955. At a cousins club dinner in the mid-1980’s he told the story of how a customer had come into the restaurant & told him he should start checking coins, because some would surely be valuable. He began to do that & eventually became an expert. He & his wife opened a coin shop at Woodfield Mall, which required them to stay open 7 days a week. My memory is that he died in the late 1990’s, not long after my mother.

    I noticed a couple of posts from Andy Romanoff. Another of my mother’s cousins had two sons Andy & Larry Romanoff. One was my age & the other 2 years older I can’t remember which was which. They visited our apartment on Whipple when I was around 6. Shortly thereafter, their father died of a heart attack, & I never saw either one again. I did see their mother, Terri, at one of those cousin club meetings in the mid 80’s & she told me what they were doing. I am of course wondering if Andy is my cousin or not, since there are others with that name.

    Cool to see posts from people I went to school with: Susan Hirsch (sorry I missed you at the RHS 61 reunion), Shelly Zeiler (great storyteller), Everett Melnick & Dennis Shapiro.

    Everett, I used to know the first name of our first grade classmate who was run over on on Lawrence just east of Kedzie. I never knew his last name. He & I and probably a few others were playing tag etc on Lawrence a couple of hours before he was hit. I remember my mother telling me. I believe he was an only child of a single father, who was a janitor in one or more of the buildings over there. I still can picture him in my mind’s eye & have often wondered if any other person remembered him.

  144. Bob Urbon November 12, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Wow, Rudich’s

    I would stop on the way to the Terminal Theater and get a “New Dill” wrapped in wax paper and eat it on the way.

    I also worked at and delivered for Schuster Pharmacy on Lawrence and Springfield.
    I wonder if anyone remembers my German Shepard ” Bing”

    Another place for lunch was Schurz, right across form Roosevelt on Kimball.

  145. Louis Sohn November 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    There was the Kedzie Leland Bowling Alley and Billiards. There were also two bowling alleys within a few blocks of each other on Montrose. One of the bowling alleys was the Monte Cristo. It had some unwanted fame as one of the last places three young boys were seen before they were murdered in 1955.

  146. Brenda Wolin Terry November 29, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    I moved with my parents & older sister to Christiana & Glenlake in Peterson Park on Sept. 27, 1948. Our street ended on the north at Lincoln Avenue, and we were the third house on the block. There were pheasant hunters who would come through our backyard with their bows & arrows, and the property that became Lincoln Village was Chrstianson’s Riding Stable, where my sister would rent a horse & ride up the bridle path along McCormick Blvd.

    Each time a new house was built on our block, we would get mice in the basement! My girlfriends and I loved to go exploring in houses that were in the process of being built. We would climb up the makeshift ramps and slide down on pieces of wood. We rode our bikes to Labaugh Woods and built fires to cook our lunches. When they built Lincoln Village, the big restaurant there that faced Lincoln Ave. was called The Village Grill. It became What’s Cooking? many years later. My sister worked at Mandel Brothers in high school, and she had to wear a black skirt, white blouse, and nylon stockings with black flats.

    I transferred to Peterson School in 4th grade, and that day I met many of the girls and boys who are still a big part of my life…although we are not riding bikes to River Park to swim any more. I have recently moved to the California desert, where I have reunited with some of my classmates from Peterson & Von who preceded me to southern CA. It’s nice to know that wherever you go in this country there’s a former Von Steuben gal or guy waiting to rekindle memories!

  147. Robert Shrago January 27, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Does anyone have a photo of Cooper and Cooper Hamburgers? We are looking to open hamburger stand with some resemblance. My client grew up in Albany Park and remembers this place.

  148. Frances Archer January 27, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    I’d like to see a photo as well! Ido know a lot of people who remember Cooper and Cooper, and I’ve interviewed the butcher who supplied the ground beef–25 lbs. a day.

  149. Irving Anellis February 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    In regard to the mention of River Park and the fieldhouse, when I lived on Whipple Street in the 1950s, we were four buildings down from Argyle. if I remember correctly, the director of the park was Manny Schwartz, and even after we moved to the Crestline neighborhood on the far south side of Chicago, he served as master of ceremonies for my bar mitzvah party. In Albany Park, he lived kitty-corner across the alley from us, on Albany. He was one of my mother’s cousins, and his son Sherwin was in my class at Hibbard. Come to think of it, the daughter of one of my mother’s other cousins, Sheila Koven, was also in my class at Hibbard. I think she lived on Sawyer, just north of Argyle, One semester, probably in sixth grade, she was our class alderman and I was the alternate.

  150. Everett Melnick February 22, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    For those of us who lived on or around Whipple Street, River Park was the big back yard apartment dwellers never had. My earliest memories are of my mother pushing me in one of the baby swings. The ones that looked like a wooden crate with a sliding bar across the front to keep you from falling out. My father took me there to fly my first kite and in winter we skated on the flooded rink and sledded down the embankment to the frozen river. A few summers they had a day camp in the Field-House where we were shown movies, then played games and baseball outside. Weather permitting we spent time in the pool. As I remember, the pool was always a bone of contention on account of the threat of Polio which, back in the day was thought to be communicated in crowded places like public pools. Sometimes in the cool of the late evenings we would just sit on the swings and talk until it was time to go home.

    In the fall at, Hibbard School, in our science unit, we studied leaves. We had to collect as many specimens of leaves from different trees as we could and press, wax or spatter-print them and make a leaf book as a project. River Park had more different trees than anywhere else in Albany Park. It was a childhood treasure I will never forget. In those days it was the safest place one could play. Even more so than running up and down the back porches and alley’s behind the apartments where we lived.

  151. Frances Archer February 22, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Hi, Everett.

    I was a River Park camper as well. We lived on Argyle and Washtenaw so it was a bit of walk, but as far as I know, we always walked. I started in the tumbling program at age 4 and we had shows for the parents. I have a photo of that somewhere. I also was in a baton twirling class that was held in the auditorium. Other memories include the swim pagent which I thought was like Miss America. I don’t remember ever !in the pool though I probably did, as my mother loved swimming. I do remember the children’s playlot with the sprinkler. I was at Budlong School at the time, and besides kids from my classes we also met kids from the orphanage in our activities. Although we moved to Hollywood Park when I was six, and I no longer went to River Park, I really have vivid memories of my time there. The only time I do recall returning to River Park was for the Girl Scout Jamboree!

  152. Frances Archer February 22, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Irving, I’d like to do a post on Manny Schwartz some day. I’ve heard others mention him and though I might recognize a photo of him, I can’t picture him. I didn’t know that he also lived in the neighborhood. Anyone have any leads on how I might reach his relatives?

  153. Irving Anellis February 23, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    If anyone would know about the relatives from my mother’s side of the family, including the Schwartzes, it would be the one who still lives in Lincolnwood and who is the unofficial family historian for her father’s (and my mother’s) side of the family, if only because she still stays in contact with those who are still around. But getting her to reply to messages is like pulling teeth.

    There was a wood shop in the River Park fieldhouse, and if you went to day camp there, on rainy days we’d often be taken to the wood shop. Evenings, the wood shop was used by adults. My father built a coffee table for our living room there. First thing he ever built. Then he spent what seemed like years one or two evenings a week, and built two sets of desks and bookcases for me and my brother in that wood shop.

  154. Irving Anellis February 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    The building in the foreground in to photo of Beth Jacob is the addition they built (I think it was in 1955); the smaller building, with the steeped roof, is the original synagoge and and I believe was separated from the new building by a little sidewalk. The rabbi there in the 1950s was Haskell Lehrfield. He taught the older boys, who were preparing for bar mitzvah. The younger kids at that time were taught by a Mrs. Breitberg, who did little more than have us start by memorizing the Hebrew alphabet, and then memorize a bunch of prayers in Hebrew, with their English translation. In preparation for holidays, she did read the relevant history (in English) and teach us songs related to that particular holiday.

  155. Roger Cohn February 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    I too grew up on Whipple St. & spent countless hours in River Park. The park was a 60 yard dash from my apartment. My earliest memory is walking on the paved path nearest the river with my father & admiring the beautiful dandelions in full bloom. I was 3. The trees I recall were the big willows near the river & a crab apple grove next to the tennis/basketball courts. We would choose up sides for crab apple fights with one side on the ground & the other in the trees. Greater mobility on the ground. Mostly I was in the west park, but frequently in the east park, which was (is) somewhat larger. I recall sledding toward the fence which kept us out of the river. The trick was to head straight for the fence & veer off at the last possible second. The field in the west park was flooded constantly in winter for ice skating. I don’t know if the problem was my ankles or my skates, but I was no star. There were many graceful skaters.

    My uncle gave me a telescope when I was 9 or 10. In winter I would head onto the ice with my telescope, my little sister who was 6 years younger & a couple of kid sized chairs. We would gaze at the stars & moon with the scope until we got too cold. There was no one else around.

  156. Irving Anellis February 24, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Hello, Roger. In the 1950s there were some Cohns (or Cohens, I’m not certain which spelling) that lived in the big apartment building on the (southwest) corner of Argyle and Whipple. I believe that Tommy, who was my age and in my class at Hibbard, was blonde and curly-haired; I think the other was Ronnie, who was older, and I saw him maybe only once or twice and don’t really remember much about him.

  157. Frances Archer February 24, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Roger, thanks for providing a good picture of what River Park was like. I wasn’t aware of the ice skating or the crabbed apples — both of which sound wonderful. In the spring, I’ll have to check to see if any still remain. Ice skating was such a big activity for kids — it’s strange that the park district has stop freezing over some of the local parks, like at Hollywood Park.

  158. Frances Archer February 24, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Well, Irv, let’s pull some teeth. Ask your relative if she would be willing to talk to me about Manny Schwartz’s work at River Park. Send me an email via my contact form on this website, so we can continue the discussion. I tried to send an email to you using the email you provided with your comment but for some reason it didn’t go through. thanks.

  159. Ben Kirman February 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm #


    More things hard to believe. For a short time we were nearly neighbors. From 1948 until 1663 I lived at California and Carman, second house from the corner, west side of California. In the early years I went to River Park, the main fieldhouse all the time. As I grewup that continued with a particular interest in the woodshop that was mentioned. It was reallya great place to learn alot and I made my mom more wooden bowls then she could ever use, but she loved all of them.

    I knew Mr. Schwartz the Director and he was always friendly. The Park District Policeman who was there in the early days was nice too as long as he knew you and you behaved

  160. Ben Kirman February 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Unbelieveable, I keep finding more thinks to comment about, this so great remembering the past. I too worked at Hollywood Kiddieland, probably after my sixteenth birthday which would have been 1958. That is my best guess because I drove the red firetruck and that likely required a drivers license that I first got right on my sixteenth birthday. Remembering the past, particularly the good things may very well be quite good for us older guys (71).

  161. Frances Archer February 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    Ben, you drove the Kiddieland fire truck! How cool is that?

  162. Ben Kirman February 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm #


    It was very cool in many ways,including making friends and it paid a bit more too, same for running the train.

    I have a question, does anyone know the origin of the big baseball that was outside of Thillens on Devon. As it happens, I do. There was once a large boyswear store near Devon and Western called Boys World. When they went out of business my dad was brought in to liquidate all of the inventory and fixtures which included the outside sign that included a very large world globe. Now that globe was an interesting problem to get rid of. My dad was stuck with that globe until an idea surfaced. What else could that globe be used for; how about a baseball courtesy of a donation to Thillens for their sign. Repainted and ready to go and that is the origin; kind of neat I think.

  163. Roger Cohn February 24, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    Hi Irving. Unfortunately I don’t remember you at all. I think I’m a few years older than you. I was at Hibbard from 1948 to 1957. The east side of Whipple had six 32 unit apartment buildings or 192 apartments in total. The west side had a mixture of single family homes & smaller apartment buildings, except for the corner apartment building you mention. Your home was almost certainly visible from my 2nd floor apartment. Many families had two or even three kids. There were a lot of kids of every age on Whipple. It’s highly possible that we interacted on occasion, There was such a welter of humanity & energy that only a limited number of people could make a deep impression. Like any kid I tried to comprehend my place in the world. Unfortunately much of what I remembered clearly even 30 years ago is now lost to me. Some of what lingers is the pain of people that I cared about moving, whether to Hollywood Park or California. On the other hand new people were always moving in to the neighborhood providing opportunity for new friendships.

  164. Irving Anellis February 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Hi, Roger.

    Tommy and Ronnie Coh(e)n lived in that building on the southwest corner of Whipple and Argyle. So did a younger kid, named Arnie Nagelberg, whose father was a policeman. I lived down Whipple about four doors south of Argyle, at 4944. It was a two-flat, and, if I remember correctly, had a yellow brick facade.

    My family and I arrived in Albany Park in the summer of 1953, and I was in first grade. We left Albany Park in the summer of 1959. I remember that, on my last day of class at Hibbard before summer vacation, most of the kids in my class were walked over to Von Steuben. (I think it was when, starting in the fall of ’59, Hibbard became a K-6 school.) Because I was transferring out of Albany Park, I stayed put with a handful of other kids before going home.

  165. Ben Kirman February 28, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    Hi to all
    Not sure if this is the best site to post this, but here goes.
    Does any one remember the bike driven ice cream carts that use to be all over the streets in Summer? The place they came from, at least in the mid-50s, was located on Drake, just North of Lawrence. The reason I know is because trying to move one of those monsters and keeping it rolling was one of my many early jobs in the Summer before I moved on to “greater” things.
    The white cart at the front of the bike was a freezer of sorts kept cold by dry ice wrapped in newspaper. Touch that stuff and one could get a nasty burn. Dave or Bob, I can’t remember which, who ran the place was usually nice and mostly honest. But if you did not sell enough or G-D forbid let things melt you were in a whole lot of trouble.
    The carts were loaded and iced in the morning and it was always smart to be there early to get a good cart and assist with the loading and the all important inventory. At the back end of the day that inventory was how you got paid and you definitely needed to know that what was gone was what you sold. This was not about getting rich, except maybe for the owner but it was fun in a sort of strange way and you did meet some nice people along the way. If anyone remembers any of this, I would love to post more about it

  166. E. L.(Lou) Shapiro March 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    One of the great memories. I remember them at Peterson School And Von Steuben play grounds….

  167. Frances Archer March 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Hi, Lou. Your name is familiar. I think we may have been at Peterson at the same time. Thanks for stopping by.

  168. E. L.(Lou) Shapiro March 6, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    I graduated from Von Steuben in June of 1960; I was an Anaconda.

  169. E. L.(Lou) Shapiro March 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    When did you graduate from Peterson or Von?

  170. Roger Cohn March 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    Irving: I don’t remember Tommie or Ronnie Cohen. I recall Manny Schwartz as an authoritative guy. Looking back I see that he must have been a very busy guy, given the range of facilities & activities in River Park. I had no idea he lived on Albany or that he had a son. I also didn’t know there was a day camp in River Park. I went to Active Day Camp, which was in Winnemac Park next to Amundsen H.S. from ages 6 to 10 & the last two weeks of the summer when I was 11 & 12. The last 2 years I biked to camp every morning.

    I appreciate you mentioning the wood shop in the fieldhouse. I had no memory of it. I made a wooden rifle when I was 7 or 8 in 1951 or 1952. When it was complete I proudly brought it home – to a less than enthusiastic reception from my mother. As a result I didn’t go back. Your mention has helped me put together a couple of pieces.

    I’m wondering if you recall the massive 4th of July celebrations in the prairie between the alley & the river. One year my dad bought sparklers for all of the kids on the block. How about spinning tops in the street, or bike races at full speed from Argyle to Ainslie. Fortunately there never seemed to be cars on Ainslie as we reached the finish line.

    Ben: I remember Bob & his ice cream cart. He came to Whipple St. every late spring & summer evening for many years. He was a burly guy with blond or reddish blond hair. There were always tons of people outside, so he did alright.

  171. Ben Kirman March 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm #


    That may well have been the Bob who actually owned the operation on Drake. Kid sellers like me could not work in the evening so it could be that Bob figured to make more money by doing his own pedaling in the evening. My vague memory of him kind of fits with your description. Thanks for the post.

  172. E. L.(Lou) Shapiro March 26, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    That’s the guy I remember! … Lou Shapiro V.S. Class of ’60.

  173. E. L.(Lou) Shapiro March 26, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    That was his name. Lou Shapiro V.S. Class of ’60

  174. Irving Anellis March 30, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    I’ve had no luck whatever getting a reply in the last month from my cousin in Lincolnwood, in answer to my query about Manny Schwartz. She’s the unofficial family “historian” for my mother’s and her father’s side of the family. What I do remember now is that my mother told me that Manny was related to her mother’s side of the family. My maternal grandmother was born a Schwartz in Pavoloch, Ukraine.

    As I mentioned in another post, Manny’s son Sherwin was in my class at Hibbard. They lived on Albany, kitty-corner from us across the alley separating Whipple from Albany. When I wanted to have a pet, my mother got me one of the puppies that Sherwin’s dog had just had. But it got sick overnight and we sent it back to them.

    My maternal grandmother also had another cousin living on Whipple Street, in the apartment building on the northwest corner of Whipple & Ainslie, last name of Gomberg. Another of my cousins on my mother’s side was Sheila Koven, who lived on Sawyer, just north of Argyle, and was also in my class at Hibbard.

    My father’s parents lived in an apartment building on Harding, just around the corner from Lawrence, where my grandfather worked as a barber maybe one or two doors east of Brown’s Bird Hospital, on the corner of Lawrewnce & Harding at 3924 W Lawrence Ave. that Bob Urbon told usin the “A Funny Fellow Remembers Albany Park” comments belonged to his parents.

    Albany Park was, I guess you could say, a family affair, just like what they used to call the ‘great “Vest” side’ of North Lawndale-Garfield Park before that.

  175. Irving Anellis March 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Roger, I would have missed those Fourth of July celebrations. When my brother and I weren’t enrolled in the River Park Day Camp (if I remember correctly, there were two, several-week-long sections each summer), the whole family would be out of town on three- or four-week long summer vacation trips. But before we started taking those out of town vacation trips, we d be at one of the forest preserves for a 4th of July picnic, along with father’s co-workers and their families.

    Every summer for about an hour or two on one of the afternoons during camp, all of the campers would be brought to a spot near the river, to see and hear a visiting Indian (Winnebago, I think), in full costume, give a performance.

    In reply to Joe Finkel, on Bob the ice cream man –:

    IWhen we lived in Albany Park, I was way too young to work. I remember Bob as the man who drove the ice cream truck down the streets in our neighborhood, with kids running up to his truck with their nickles and dimes whenever he came by, and the Howdy Doody cardboard pieces he’d give to his customers. You could hear the chimes coming from that truck even if you were indoors. Anyone remember what the tune was that it played? I also remember the ice cream cycles peddled by teens on the walkways in River Park. Seemed like there was always one of those ice cream cycles, every summer, all summer long, parked near the water fountain at River Park by the corner of Whipple & Argyle. I always liked the Howdy Doody ice cream far better than Good Humor.

  176. Jan Kodner May 28, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Stopped by an MB Bank branch today in Lincolnwood and had a nice chat with a young banker. He said that he usually worked out of the MB at Devon and Lincoln. I told him I used to bowl at Devlin, a little bowling alley just behind the bank. He was amazed. Asked me how long ago this was. Uh, 50 years ago, I said. Ouch. Guess I am getting up there, har.

  177. Frances Archer May 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Jan, I hate that. Because on the inside I still feel like I’m still that kid walking along Peterson to 31 flavors.

  178. Lester Gorelic August 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Lots of good memories but still a lot missed. I lived south of Lawrence avenue on Central Park and Leland. Two great places to get Malts, sundaes and sides were Rudishes on the corner of Lawrence and Central Park and At the soda fountain inGlicks the drugstore which had a characteristic drugstore that I still remember. One of the butcher shops on Lawrence was Spatz. On the same block as Glicks. The other drugstore in the area was Lessas ?) which I believe was in Lawrence west of Monticello. Another good deli was Puritys on Lawrence and Kimball where the ravenswood line ended. Surprised no one mentioned Maurys hot dog stand on Lawndale just south of Lawrence a and Glicks.
    I remember the neat thing about the Metro theater was that you entered where the screen was , in other woes the theater was set up backwards from the norm

    In addition to Deborah’s Boy Club there was of course the JCC or Max Strauss Center on Wilson and Lawndale and there was another bowling alley on Montrose Avenue between CentrAl Park and Drake. Jensen Park was across the street from the JCC. Another park was Eugene Field Park way down on Spaulsing. As far as “Jewish” things go, there was the Lawndale synagogue on Wilson between Lawndale and Monticello (conservative), Beth Itzkhak on Leland between Central Park and Drake ( orthodox) which had a great coal chute for dropping down firecrackers ) and Temple Beth Israel north of Lawrence I believe close to Kimball.

    Cannot forget about toy stores. There was Leaters on Lawrence west of Central Park and Foss’s on the north side of Lawrence between Monticello and Lawndale.

    Remember all those wonderful individually ow Ed bakery’s. thee was one on Lawrence between Central Park and Monticello. Every Sunday AM my dad and I would go over early and pick up freshly baked kaiser rolls half if which were eaten by the time we got home

    Retracting a bit, on the sourh aide of Lawrence between Monticello and Lawndale rhere wa an indivdy owned grocery store calked Brenners and a fruit atore owned by my dad. In addition to Four Cohns on the north aide of Lawrence across from Brenners was a shoe store called Blooms. I remember the x ray machines in these store an am amazed that most of our generation did not die of bone cancer (remember the fuoroscopes we got every time we went ro the doc for a chest cold!!!)

    Thanks for the opportunity to recant memories. I believe the parks are all still there but that is it

  179. Frances Archer August 28, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Hi, Lester. Sorry for taking so long to post. I was out of town and then had foot surgery so wasn’t able to keep out with the blog for a few days. I appreciate all the memories you’ve put in this post — will definitely use this material in a post on Lawrence Avenue. Hope to hear from you again.

  180. Paul September 26, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    What great comments and stories I graduated Roosevelt Jan 1960, A Proud Regular Fella the brother club juniors of the L’il Gents the toughest club on the north side “Bunte”I tink I ate Hot Dogs every day from Mutt and Jeffs and after our baseball game always to McDonalds across the street for burgers. Remember Papa Milano’s for dates and the Aragon Ballroom for record hops? Man That was so much fun Danny and the Juniors, The Motown Giants what a ball on Broadway.

  181. Frances Archer September 26, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Nice to hear from you. I have heard stories about Lil Gents first hand from one of my earliest readers and contributors, Howard. Thanks for visiting.

  182. Erwin (Lou) Shapiro September 27, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Class of June 1960 – Anacondas I couldn’t find any reference to Paul’s last name. I feel that I must know him. Bunte was one of my boyhood heroes.At age 13 I became aware of “The Little Gentlemen”when I started to work out at the Peterson Schoolyard.I was working out with guys 5 years older. The Little Gents, Anacondas Condors etc. I’ve seen Bunte recently at L.A. Fitness as well as other ‘lifters of yesteryear – still at it and every bit as strong at 75..

  183. Frances Archer September 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    I sure would like to interview Bunte for this blog! He sounds legendary. Thanks for stopping by Lou. Paul, do you want to reveal your last name online? It’s up to Paul.

  184. Erwin (Lou) Shapiro September 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    He’s a very successful P. I. atty. I’ll call him and ask him. Remember there are at least 20+ other of his club brothers and other Little Gentelemen generations like my cousin Howard Shapiro !946 – !950 L. G.s and his friend from age 3 ,.Jerry Gertz

  185. Erwin (Lou) Shapiro September 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    ‘last comment brought back more memories.Peterson School play ground, that i’m aware, between 1953 and 1963 was host to a huge gathering of kids between the ages of 10 and 20 somthing. These were not only local kids but also from the south side, Lakeview, Rogers Park , Budlong Woods, Skokie, Evanston, Austin – the list could go on…. There may have been 1,000 + kids almost every night. Traffic would be snarled at Bryn Mawr and Kimball ave.s. This was where many lifelong relationships and future networking began. There was particular attention to outstanding athletes, lifters and horizontal and parallel bar enthusiasts and of course the cool and the beautiful. The local heroes were on display. there were other social gathering spots as well Morse Ave. Beach, Randalls and Cofields at California and Devon, Lou Shapiro – Von Steuben Class of June 1960 (I’ve more to tell but i’m getting tired and have to get to my grandson’s baseball game.)

  186. Erwin (Lou) Shapiro September 28, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Frances I’d like to talk to you about a possible colabrative effort. You can call me at 312 671 6000.

  187. Al Gordon September 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    Great to see the mentions above of Mitch’s hot dogs (25c including limp yellow french fries; always eaten with uncarbonated Nedlog (last time I checked the Nedlog syrup, made from fresh squeezed oranges, was available on the Web).

    Also Red’s ice cream bicycle pushcarts (Red drove a motor scooter pushcart) had the concession to go into the parks. I worked for the other Albany Park ice cream pushcart guy, we could go no closer to a park than the peripheral sidewalk. The most I ever made in a day was something less than $4.

    On a corner across Kimball from el terminal was Fischoff’s Rexall drugs. Fischoff didn’t operate the big soda bar in front, but ran the drugstore in back. The drugstore part later (after about 1958) moved a little west down Lawrence .

    Also, on Lawrence, just west of Kimball was the Terminal Bakery and, across Lawrence from it, the Community bakery. My mother always bought challahs and hard rolls at Terminal and cakes and pastries at Community.

    I lived in Albany Park from 1955, having moved from the West Side, until 1962, when, except for some school holidays, I went to UIUC>

  188. Alan Gordon September 28, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    OOPS, I actually moved to Albany Park in 1952.

  189. Murray Simon October 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    You’ve done a great job with this topic… but I can’t help but notice the omission of Al’s Hotdogs. When I first became aware of him, he was located near the SW corner of Lawrence & Lawndale south of Lawrence. (He later opened a storefront stand next to the 400 Movie Theatre on Sheridan Rd at Columbia Ave.) It was a small shack (later to be occupied by Mitch’s Hotdogs). Al was a small man who looked somewhat like Mr. Whipple with a small mustache. His wife, Rea, was always there and they were both wonderful, kind people. The hotdogs, steaming in a pot of red water (back then, you may remember, red dye was added to the hotdogs), gave off an aroma that was not-to-be-believed!! And the french fries were cooked in a small pot on top of an open burner stove. No fancy deep fryer and the fries were absolutely delicious. Back in the late 40’s, there was no vegetable oil and everything was fried in beef fat. That’s what gave them their flavor.

    My first encounter happened when I was a Haugan School patrol boy standing at my post at Leland and Lawndale and some of the kids that came by were carrying small greasy bags that had this incredibly wonderful smell. They told me what they were and I had to get some. I managed to get money from my mother to buy some the next day. And that was it!! Hooked for life.

  190. Laurence Braude October 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Thanks for the back story re: Al’s, but “Mitch’s”? It was “Maury’s” when I moved onto that block in 1956, and at the subsequent locations on Lawrence Avenue.

  191. Murray Simon October 18, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Lawrence, I think you’re right. I checked with friends who were also familiar with the neighborhood and they all agreed that it was Maury’s, not Mitch’s..

  192. Bob Urbon October 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    When last i saw Maury he was working at a restaurant in Glencoe that belonged to someone named Mort. He told me that Mort was the first person he hired when he opened his Hot Dog stand.

    This occurred at least 25 years ago.

    At Maury,s the cost of a Hot Dog, a handful or really great French fries and a drink was 24 cents.

  193. Murray Simon October 21, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    I have to recapitulate on my previous comment,regarding the owners of the stands. After reading all the previous comments in this thread with quite a few mentioning Mitch’s, it does appear that Mitch’s was on Lawrence Ave. just west of Kimball and Maury’s was at the Lawndale location.

  194. Frances Archer October 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    It was amazing what you much you could buy with a dollar even when I was in high school.

  195. Frances Archer October 23, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    But there was a Mitch’s on Kimball and Lawrence, right? Others have mentioned it here.

  196. Murray Simon October 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Yes Frances, I did correct my error… after my erroneous comment & just above your comment.

  197. Darlene Brill March 3, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    This is in response to Steve Imgrund’s posting of February 28, 2012. I’m Darlene Brill, granddaughter of Sam and Eva Hefter (maiden name: Finkelstein). My mother was Lillian Brill. If I remember correctly, Toni Imgrund had a twin sister. Do I have that right?

  198. Frances Archer March 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    Hi, Darlene, thanks for stopping by. Not sure if someone will reply to your question–I don’t know the answer.

  199. Terri Lynn March 19, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    Cannot believe I found your site. We were late-comers to Albany Park. Moved there in 1960. Also had Mrs. Glatz for kindergarten. Still remember Milly and Louis, Stash’s hot dogs, and the Bonfire. Went to a deli called S & L that was on the southeast corner. Seemed like everyone was the same level of “poor.” Once people made some money, they moved to Rogers Park. Did anyone have Rabbi Schur or his wife at Hebrew school? I can’t remember the name of the shul.

  200. Frances Archer March 20, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    Thanks for stopping by Terri and sharing your memories of Albany Park.

  201. Mike Wolstein June 16, 2014 at 9:37 pm #


    Been ages since I last posted here. Sorry to be a stranger.

    Had to comment on Steve Imgrund’s post of Feb, 2012, which I read after reading my old friend Darlene Brill’s comment (Hi, Darlene!) of Feb, 2014.

    Steve, I’m astonished that I don’t remember you, as I lived at 4735 St. Louis from 1949 to 1970. There was a little kid who lived at your address named Spencer (I forget his last name), and the Forkos family was next door to you at 4719, I believe. Great memories.

    Mike Wolstein, RHS ’67, Hibbard/Von Steuben ’63

  202. Frances Archer July 22, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    Mike, sorry for the delay in moderating your comment. I’ve been out of town. Good to hear from you.

  203. Mike Wolstein July 22, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    In response to Susan Hirsch (Sept 6, 2011): I don’t know how I missed your post when I first read it back then, but I would LOVE a picture of Mrs. Glatt. She was my KG teacher in 1954
    -1955. In 1965, while in the senior band at RHS, we played a concert at Hibbard. After the
    show I walked through the school looking for some of my old teachers, but couldn’t find any until I hit room 101; Mrs. Glatt was still there! I walked up to her desk, and she said “Hello, Michael, how have you been?” I was surprised that she remembered me, 800 students and 10 years later. Please send the photo to mikew at dbmasters dot com Thanks!!!

  204. Mike Wolstein July 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    Long ago, there was a hot dog place on Kedzie just south of Lawrence called Fat Boy’s. The owner’s son now has a deli / restaurant in Libertyville, just off Milwaukee avenue north of Hawthorn Shopping Center, called Burt’s Deli.

  205. Bob Sachs August 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    The small orthodox synagogue in the 4900 block of Kimball was called “Beth Jacob Feder” in the early Fifties. I had my bar mitzvah there in 1952 and I went to Hebrew school there for a few years before that. Mr. Feder, whoever he was, apparently made a contribution significant enough for them to add his name to the name of the shul.

  206. Steve Malis August 14, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    I also had my bar mitzvah at Beth Jocob in 1952. It was in June. I, too, attended Hebrew school at Beth Jacob a couple of years before the “big event.” I went to Hibbard elementary school and Roosevelt high.

  207. Steve Imgrund August 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    I hadn’t been back here for a while but just noticed the post by Darlene Brill. Yes, Toni Imgrund was my mother and she had a twin Lillian. My mother passed away in 1971 after a long illness. Her twin, Lillian is still alive, although in very frail health. Sorry I confused the name Brill. Your grandparents were very nice people. I think they thought I was an OK kid, in any case I was very respectful. I would sometimes run errands for your grandmother, picking up small items from the supermarket on Foster. I remember a few times your grandmother would babysit me when I was too sick for school. She would make me a warm tea with lots of milk that was very sweet. It was nice to see your reply. Sorry it took so long for me to notice.

    Mike Wolstein I’m sorry I don’t recall you either. I was a bespectacled undersized kid. Perhaps someone has a picture of Haugan school class of 64, there I am in the front row. As I got older one friend described me as Woody Allen with muscles. Our landlords at 4723 N. St. Louis were Clifford and Carolyn Safranski. They moved out west sometime in the 60’s. I used to play a lot of fast pitch with a rubber ball, touch football and 16 inch softball in the Roosevelt playground. There was a man who had a couple of sons in the neighborhood who used to organize 10 or more to a side 16 inch softball games. He would pitch for both teams. 16 inch softball was my best sport, but this man was such a skilled pitcher he could almost always induce me to line out to the short stop. I wish I could remember his name. He was tall, athletic with a basketball players build. We played the games on a makeshift diamond at the corner of St, Louis and Leland.

    Great to hear from you Darlene and Mike. Hope all is well.

  208. Mike Wolstein August 28, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    Hi, Steve! Thanks for the response. And hello to my friend Darlene… Darlene and I have known each other for over 20 years. I didn’t find out until we met up 20-odd years ago that we attended Hibbard elementary at the same time but didn’t know each other then.

    Steve, it’s funny that you say you were an “undersize, bespectacled kid”. The young boy I knew at your address matched that description perfectly, but I remember his name as Spencer. He was tiny for his age, and appeared to weigh in at about 60 pounds. He looked quite frail. Wish I could remember more about him.

    I, too played in those 6:00PM 16″ softball games at the corner of Leland and St. Louis, every night. The pitcher’s name was Ed, and he had two sons who played with us, named Michael and Mark; Mark was a deaf-mute. What great days those were. Some of the best 16″ players came out of those games.

    Take care!


  209. Steve Imgrund August 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    Mike thanks!! Yes big tall Ed who ran those softball games. I left it out but I did remember his two sons, particularly Mark. We used to team up in 2 vs 2 touch football games. He would point to me and then to himself and say “you and me”. We played together too many times to count and won almost every time. I’d make my cuts and head downfield, look up and the ball was in my hands. When he went out I’d return the favor. IIRC Mark wasn’t a very big kid either.

    16 inch softball was really big time when we were kids. On Sundays there would be fierce games among the adult men at Roosevelt. Home plate was at Bernard and Leland and lots of money would change hands. At least to a kid like me it seemed like lots of money. My favorite team had a pitcher that facially resembled Billy Pierce, my all time favorite White Sox player. His name was Danny and he seemed to have the best team.

    The Sox and Cubs thing was more of a friendly rivalry back then. I was and am a Sox fan. There were lots of us in the neighborhood despite the geography. When I played two years at Horner Park our yearly outing was to a Sox game.

    Lots more I could get into. Maybe in time. I remember a lot of names but there are some faces in the mind but the names are forgotten. I’m sure you could connect a lot of dots for me Mike but thanks for remembering Ed and his boys. Like I said previously Ed was really good. He could almost always get me to line out to the shortstop.

  210. Mike Wolstein August 28, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    Hi, Steve.

    Yep, the games at Roosevelt’s campus were great. I remember the Sunday adult games very well. Lots of betting and money going on there. The guy who lived two doors south of me, at 4729 St.Louis, was at every game, smoked stinky cigars, and always had the score card handy. I think he was the “betting manager”, too. 😉

    I believe that Mark and Michael, Ed’s sons, were twins. They were about 12 or 13 when I was playing in the night games, which would have been around 1965-66. I wonder what ever became of them. I don’t remember Ed’s last name, but there are probably some folks here that might.


  211. Mike Wolstein September 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    To Susan HIrsch:

    Thank you very much for that wonderful picture of you with Mrs. Glatt! Wow, what wonderful memories that brought back! I started kindergarten in her class on Tuesday, September 7th, 1954, the day after my 5th birthday. One week from today marks the 60th anniversary of that day!

    Be well!

    Mike Wolstein

  212. Murray Simon September 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    You mentioned above that you were looking for a picture of Cooper & Cooper. I found one and you can get it at:

    Copy and paste the above URL in your browser.


  213. Terri Lynn September 2, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Can you post the photo of Mrs. Glatt mentioned below? I, too, was in her class but not until 1960.

    To Susan HIrsch:

    Thank you very much for that wonderful picture of you with Mrs. Glatt! Wow, what wonderful memories that brought back! I started kindergarten in her class on Tuesday, September 7th, 1954, the day after my 5th birthday. One week from today marks the 60th anniversary of that day!

    Be well!

    Mike Wolstein

  214. Frances Archer September 3, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    Thank you for sending! Much appreciated.

  215. Mike Wolstein September 11, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    To: Terri Lynn –

    I’d be happy to send the photo, but I don’t know if I can attach it here. I’ll send it to Frances and maybe she can set it up so that it can be downloaded from this site.

    Mike Wolstein

  216. Terri September 11, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    Thank you so much!

  217. Jack Cohn October 16, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Why has S&L been so ignored, only one or two references, SE corner of Kedzie & Lawrence.
    Wasn’t there also a bicycle shop on Lawrence west of Central park: Minky’s, or Steinlauf
    or something. Does anybody remember a Hedlin’s milk machine? It was on Albany in an
    empty lot just south of Lawrence, on the east side. It was $.40 for a half gallon carton.
    That was when I could still buy a half of a rye bread at S&L for $ .23. Thanks to all, I’m really enjoying this.

  218. Frances Archer October 24, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    Jack, I’ve forgotten about theose milk machines. Totally remember. S&L has been mentioned here and there but you’re right, not as much as Cooper & Cooper and Purity.

  219. Murray SImon October 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    I can give a little background on S&L. I worked as a counterman there while at Roosevelt HS in the early 1950s. I had started working as a fountain boy at the Purity in 2nd year H.S. (1952) when we moved into an apartment across from Von Steuben that was owned by the parents of Sol & Florence Singer who owned the Purity. They then trained me to be a counterman and I subsequently worked at a few other kosher style delis in Chicago over a period of about 10 years. The S&L was run by 3 men, Morris Pankin, Roy Smith and Abe Levy. It was the best of all the places I worked at. They had a Black female head cook named Beulah and she looked like a Beulah with a head scarf, print dress and an apron (besides her being huge). The waitresses were all long timers and had been there forever and each had her own following of customers. The hardcore customers were largely elderly Jewish people and their families. It was an unforgettable experience as well as are many of the people I connected with there.

  220. Terri Lynn October 25, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    Oh, yes, I remember the S&L. We always went there for corned beef sandwiches the night before we’d leave on vacation. The food was delicious, but I’d become so bored as my parents topped off their dinners with cigarettes and black coffee! I remember Minky’s, too. Hard to forget that name.

  221. Bob Urbon October 25, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    I remember getting a bagel with lox and cream cheese and orange juice for 93 cents at Purity. Also, Kishke was a nickel a schtickel.

  222. Mike Wolstein October 25, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    S&L was a good restaurant… as I lived on St. Louis in the 50s and 60s, the Purity became my “hangout”, along with a half-dozen other great places, like Harvey’s Delicatessen, next door to Sam’s Smoke Shop, Cooper & Cooper’s (the BEST!), Mitch’s, et al.

    Steinlauf’s Cycle Shop was on the north side of Lawrence, halfway between Drake and Central Park (near the old Albany Park Branch Library). I believe Minky’s was on Devon, around 2500 west.

    Speaking of Sam’s Smoke Shop (NE corner of Lawrence and Kimball), photos of that corner taken in the early 20th century show that corner store as being a tobacco shop. Some things never change.

  223. Terri Lynn October 25, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    Bob, you talked about a nickel a schtickel. That’s what we called the skinny sausages we bought at Romanian’s deli on Kedzie.

  224. Lou Shapiro October 25, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    The Romanian sausage was the best!

  225. Frances Archer October 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    Thanks, Murray. I’ve been tracing the ownership history of the Purity and the other restaurants on or near Lawrence. We know from Mel Markon that that Markon’s father and partner Harry Eppel (there was a third partner but I don’t have the name) opened the Purity in 1936. At some point around the end of WWII, Markon sold the Purity and opened the Shoreline Deli on 78th Street in 1948. I’ve also learned through another blog that Lou and Sidney Bernstein were owners of the Purity at one point. And in the 50s, The Singers owned it. I will search for photos of S&L. Thanks!

  226. Frances Archer October 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    I love the phrase “a nickel a shtickel”!

  227. Bob Urbon October 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    The sign on the counter said “a nickel phrase “a nickel a shtickel”!!!. Then they doubled the price and the new sign said,
    “a nickel a shtickel! was a rhyme but now a Shtickel is a dime”

  228. Frances Archer October 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    Bob — love it! Thanks so much for sending that one in.

  229. Ben Kirman October 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    Hi Frances

    I feel the need to get into this discussion about “shtickel”. When I was growing up, in our house Yiddish was often spoken by my mother and grandmother. Shtickel meant a part of something, for example a sthichel of bread a part of a loaf. I checked with my wife who spent 35 years in Israel and she agrees that was the meaning of shtickel, a part of something larger. Stickel is actually a German word as many words in Yiddish come from the German. I have been inactive for a while, but still get all of the posts and shtickel caught my attention and I thought I would chime in; hello to all.

  230. Murray SImon October 26, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    You’re welcome Francis. Here’s a bit more on the Lawrence delis. I didn’t think anyone would remember Harvey’s but I did work there for a while. The owner was a guy named Harvey Renner (another very nice, mellow guy). I don’t know how long he was there. The thing that distinguished his small deli was the way he made Hot corned beef sandwiches. All the larger delis heated multiple whole briskets in a large electric roaster or had built in drawers with heating units. At Harvey’s the corned beef was sliced cold, placed between 2 pieces of deli paper and then placed on top of the toaster to heat it. He just didn’t do enough volume to keep whole briskets hot.

    At the Purity, Sol & Florence sold the place to Sol’s brother Jake Singer & his wife Elsie. Sol & Florence opened a beautiful, new place across from Algauer’s named the Mardi Gras. I think it was 1953 or 54. It was to be a high end deli with gormet dinners and also had the first drive-thru, drive-in deli. But, unfortunately the place failed. They then moved to N.Y. where I heard they opened a restaurant that succeeded. Later, Jake & Elsie also moved to N.Y. Before the move to NY, Jake had also owned one of those $1.09 Steak houses at Randolph & State.


  231. Mike Wolstein October 26, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    The mention of Sol & Florence’s names brought back an interesting memory… some time in the mid- or late 1960s, I was watching The Tonight Show; Joey Bishop was guest-hosting that evening. At some point in the show he went out in the audience to talk to some of the folks, which was done quite frequently, and he asked one couple to stand up and introduce themselves. They said their names, and he asked where they were from and what they did, and they replied “We’re from Chicago, and we own the Purity Restaurant on Lawrence and Kimball”. That was a real treat.


  232. Frances Archer November 3, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    Mike, you have the best memories!

  233. Frances Archer November 3, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    Ben, thanks so much for “chiming in” — I’m thrilled to know the meaning of shtickel! I’ll use it in a post.

  234. Mike Wolstein November 3, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    > Mike, you have the best memories!

    That’s what happens when you’re from the best neighborhood in the world!


  235. Jack Cohn November 6, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    Hi all, I really enjoy your comments. I just had a couple of tid-bits here. First, I’m sure you remember the news stand at Kedzie & Lawrence. I’d always run out late Saturday night to get a Sunday Trib for my parents.
    How about the summer festivals they had at River Park. Every year there would be a “show”,
    and music prepared for a program. I’m not completely sure what it was called, but it was big.
    Also, there was a burger place on Foster, just east of Kimball, and though I hadn’t been in, I think it was called the Choo-Choo, and the burgers were served by a toy train.?
    Also, there was a small shul called Or Israel on Kedzie near the “el” station, on the west side of the street.

  236. Frances Archer November 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    Jack, are you thinking of the big swim suit pageant at River Park. I was pretty young when we went but I thought it was just like Miss America!

  237. Jack Cohn November 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    Hi Frances,
    Thanks for this blog. I love it. It was a big deal sort of festival at the pool. Many different types of water entertainment.

  238. Mike Wolstein November 19, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    In re Jack Cohn’s comment about the “Choo Choo”: I don’t remember that one at all, but there’s a place that fits that description in downtown DesPlaines (also called “Choo Choo”).
    Maybe they moved there from Foster avenue? I remember the one in DesPlaines back to maybe the late 60s.

    Frances, I loved the Maury’s piece that you put together. Seeing that picture of some of my old buddies got me all misty. Thanks for yet another wonderful nostalgic masterpiece!


  239. Frances Archer November 19, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

    Thanks, Mike, but we have to thank Jerry for contributing the photo. I have heard from others that there wsa a Choo-Choo restaurant in our area too. I went to one of them as a child but my mother can’t remember if it was the one in Des Plaines or a different one.

  240. Bob Urbon November 19, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

    The restaurant with the trains was on the southeast corner of Lawrence and Crawford.
    across the street from Jack & Jules and kitty corner from John’s Confectionary,

  241. len November 20, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    Bob, I remember the restaurant you mention as the Corner Hut. I was there many times in the mid to late 50’s and do not remember the train although I have heard and read many reports of it. I am concluding that I just didn’t notice it. I also well remember Johns but never associated confectionary with it. My recollection is that it was part a shot and beer tavern and part ice cream and snack place. There was a dentist office and an apartment upstairs. The fourth corner was Andes Candies which also sold ice cream cones.

  242. Mike Wolstein November 20, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    You’re right, Frances. A BIG thanks to Jerry for those memories. I knew most of the guys in the picture. I see Johnny and Louie White at the softball games in Glenview on occasion. Come to think of it, I’m way overdue for a visit to the games. I ran into Maury at the Wheeling library a couple of years before he passed away. One of the nicest guys anyone could ever know.

    I’m somewhat surprised to hear about the Choo-Choo at Lawrence and Pulaski. I had no idea there was a train running through the place. I don’t remember ever eating there.

  243. Bob Urbon November 20, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    Hi Frances,

    The full Name of the restaurant was the “Corner Hut Junction”

    My Mother’s original Pet Shop (Brown’s Bird Hospital) was on Crawford, Just east of John’s.

    We also had an outdoor Zoo of sorts with Raccoons, Possums, Rabbits, Etc.

    It was later moved to Lawrence and Harding in the old “Cornbeef Corner” location

    John’s Confectionary sold candy and had a soda fountain/food counter.

    I believe the bar in the back was called the “Orchid Lounge”

    Lots of happy memories!

  244. Mike Wolstein November 20, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    HI, Bob. Was your mom Mary Brown? Brown’s brings back all kinds of wonderful memories. I used to love to watch as Mary treated a sick bird… the look on that poor little bird’s face was priceless,but it didn’t know it was under the best of care.


  245. Bob Urbon November 20, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Hi Mike,

    Yes My Mother was Mary Brown.

    She passed away in may at the age of 95.

    Bob Urbon

  246. len November 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Bob, I remember your mother and that zoo very well. I think I commented on it some time ago. Orchid lounge rings a bell and I think that was the name. Spent a lot of time within 500 feet of that corner.

  247. Mike Wolstein November 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Sorry to her about your mother, Bob. She was one very special woman. Anyone who took care of animals the way she did gets a big hurray from me.


  248. marc costa February 16, 2015 at 1:26 am #

    does anyone remember s&l on kedzie and lawrence on the southwest corner i grew up on lawrence and fairfield went to budlong

  249. Andy Romanoff February 26, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

    Hi Marc,

    I remember although we spent most of our nights at Bonfire across the street. It was the South East corner though.

  250. Terri Lynn February 27, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    I remember both the Bonfire and the S & L, the Bonfire for burgers and the S&L for corned beef sandwiches and kishke. As a kid, I thought they were both the best restaurants ever!

  251. Roger Cohn February 27, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

    My memory is that the Bonfire burned down – twice.

    The best corned beef I’ve ever had was at The Romanian Delicatessen, just north of the Alba on the west side of Kedzie. It later moved to Clark & Touhy. Don’t even ask about the salami sticks.

  252. Robert Sachs February 28, 2015 at 12:30 am #

    The Alba, on the west side of Kedzie north of Lawrence, was first a movie theater, then a bowling alley and then a theater. I worked there as a pin spotter.

  253. Terri Lynn March 1, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    I remember those salami sticks. We called them “nickle a shticle (a nickle for a piece) even though they cost 10 cents. Spicy, greasy, and easy to eat. What could have been better to a kid?

  254. Frances Archer March 1, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    Terri, what I’ve heard is that originally they were a nickle a shticle, but then the price went up a dime, and there was a new rhyme. But I can’t recall the new rhyme.

  255. Mike Wolstein March 1, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    The Alba brings back great memories. It was the first lanes I ever bowled at, around 1960.

    Also, when I was in the Mighty-Mites (little league) at River Park in 1959, I’d always stop at Alba during my walk home and play the pinball machines. I remember when they raised the price from a nickel to a dime and we were furious.


  256. Bob Urbon March 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    A Nickel a Shtickel was a rhyme, But now a shtickel is a Dime

  257. Terri Lynn March 1, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    Ha! Wonderful. Thank you.

  258. len March 3, 2015 at 9:23 am #

    That is way more than a shtickel inflationary. 100% price increase?

  259. Paul Warshawsky March 28, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

    Sorry Frances I thought I gave you my last name Sure everyone can know my name , no relation to Warshawsky and Company or Warshawsky & Warshawsky the auto parts giants. But I did have Jack Warshawsky an uncle from Highland park very successful auto parts owner. It’s amazing I lived on the west side Roosevelt Road/Independence Blvd took 3 busses to get to school when I was 15,16,and 17 yet the memories have lasted me my entire life and I don’t have any contact with anyone I knew in those years, I wish I did, I thought they were great friends, I guese not. I was in the “Regular Fellas” Al Hirsch, Archie Camberis, Marv Gassman (Contacted me once then no more) Jay Sher, shelly snider, so many great guys Janice Tipp a great person Toby Ackerman so many memories at such a young age

  260. Lou Shapiro March 31, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    Paul, I do remember you . I was in the class of 6/60. I’ve seen some of your cronies in recent years. The only one I can help you with is Jay Sher. He lives in Northbrook – The Courts of Northbrook . I have seen Marv Gassman, Arnie Garber, Al Hirsch. Good luck. Stay well, stay safe. Lou Shapiro

  261. Susan Hirsch September 30, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    Hi Paul, I remember you, too. I was Jay Sher’s girlfriend when we met. I have a picture of you but it’s on a DVD and I don’t know how to send it to you. It’s a great shot of you in a leather jacket standing on a sidewalk. You looked “Fonzie” cool. I think some of the guys you mentioned still get together. I hope one of them reads this and contacts you.

  262. Michael Pure December 9, 2015 at 1:41 am #

    Please forgive my ignorance. I do not know how to reply in order. But I love this thread and it is obvious we all lived in the same area.
    David mentioned Burt’s delicatessen owned by Burt Kozak. And I agree about the corned beef. I also remember the Juke boxes at the tables. We lived two blocks North on California ave. and felt the blast when they had their fire. I remember running towards the corner but only making it as far as the Seventh Day Adventist Church. There was a municipal fire pull in front of the Church and I pulled it. Burt was out of town at the time and didn’t make it back till the next day. I still remember the utter look of horror on his face.

    There was a car dealership at 3822 Lawrence. I owned the laundry there till recently. Much of the beautiful plater work is well preserved and hidden by the drop ceiling. It is a beautiful building.
    Best wishes,

  263. Frances Archer December 10, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

    Thannks Michael for sharing your memories.

  264. Ben Kirman December 10, 2015 at 9:51 pm #


    May I ask when you lived 2 blocks north of Foster on California, I lived 2 blocks south of Foster on California from 1948 to 1963.
    I attended Budlong School from 1948 to 1956 and back then the district for attendance at Budlong included the area there you lived. Did you attend Budlong and if so when?

  265. Michael Pure December 10, 2015 at 11:04 pm #

    I only attended Budlong for my Kindergarten. 1967.

  266. Tom Russo March 1, 2016 at 4:03 am #

    My mother skated at Hollywood Roller Rink and has asked what ever happened to it. I’m trying to put together a profile of Chicago rinks and Hollywood is among those where there is not much known…or in print. So those familiar with the Albany Park neighborhood, what dates was Hollywood active like 1940s – 1950s? What kind of building was it in? Why did it close?

    For example, I learned that the Roller Bowl, operating in the 1940s was a former cold storage warehouse used as an armory, served as a temporary morgue for the Eastland steamer disaster and became Opray Winfrey’s Harpo Studios!

    Thanks! great stuff. I grew up on the west side

  267. Frances Archer March 2, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    I don’t know about the Hollywood Roller Rink, but hopefully someone who reads this blog can help you out.


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