They were singing a different tune in Albany Park in the early 1950s

Today we welcome guest blogger Allan Zirlin. Allan has contributed wonderful photographs and comments to this blog. He’s from Albany Park and Von Steuben High School. His post was inspired by “This was how they rolled in Albany Park.”

Allan_Zirlin

Allan Zirlin, 1955, in Albany Park

“My ‘gang’ had a different gathering place in the early 1950s. It was on the 4900 block of N. Whipple St., just north of Ainslie. There was a set of concrete “stoops” between the entrances to the gangway that ran from the street to the alley between two court buildings. There were at least six of us on any given summer evening. We even had our own version of the Jersey Boys as we would sing some of the songs popular then. Of course, the people who lived right above the ‘stoops’ weren’t too happy about the noise we were making so once in a while we’d get doused with water from above.

“We’d sit and ogle the girls who also lived on the block as they walked past us. We might even have made some unseemly remarks as they passed.

“Summertime in the early 1950s was a really carefree time. Then we grew up and moved out of Albany Park. And here we thought it would last forever. Evenings on the stoops, nights at Bonfire, Sunday mornings at Alba bowling alley, Saturday afternoons at the Terminal for a double feature plus news and cartoons.

“Korea was a million miles away except for one of ours who was drafted and sent there. When he left it seemed the party was over. Nothing lasts forever.”

Photo credit: Allan Zirlin

Related posts: “This was how they rolled in Albany Park.”  In addition to “Nighthawks in Albany Park,” Allan Zirlin has shared his memories on numerous comments to posts. He contributed photographs and his recollections on this post: “Oh, I love the night life.”

Read more Albany Park Memories

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8 Responses to They were singing a different tune in Albany Park in the early 1950s

  1. Ralph March 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Not much changed from when I was growing up around Foster & Damen in 1970. I was 15 years old and we used to sit on the steps of Temple Steel (the offices) on Balmoral Ave. at Winchester. If we were not sitting there we could be found riding our bikes down to the lake or hanging out at Calo Bowl on Clark Street. Korea was over and some of the older guys in the group was worried about going to Vietnam.

  2. Irving February 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    Cool! We lived at 4944 N. Whipple from 1953 to 1959, and my brother and I went to Hibbard.

  3. Ben Kirman March 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Maybe this post will sort of fit in here. I have come accross another SAC from the very early 50s and probably the 40s. It was called the Jovans and it came out of Hibbard and into Von Steuben. It sort of fits in here because many of the early members were up for draft for Korea. I have one member name and I would love to gather others from that period.

  4. Frances Archer March 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Hi, Ben. I totally remember the name Jovans. I’m guessing they were still around in the early 60s.

  5. GARY HOFFMAN May 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    BEN I WAS A MEMBER OF THE JOVANS 1952 -1957 I HAVE A PICTURE OF ALL OF US IF I CAN FIND IT I WILL UPLOAD IT. IM STILL IN TOUCH WITH A FEW OTHERS JERRY HANDEL HERB SINGER AND MORETHEN WE HAD JUNIORS WHICH MY LATE BROTHER MIKE HOFFMAN WAS A MEMBER

  6. GARY HOFFMAN May 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    THAT WAS ROOSEVELT NOT VON WE ALL WENT TO ROOSEVELT AND HAUGAN AND SOME FROM THE WEST SIDE

  7. BEN KIRMAN July 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Hi Gary
    The Jovans may have had a wide spread membership, the ones I am talking about in the late 40s, early 50s were from northeast Albany Park (Kedzie Avenue) and went to Hibbard and then on to Von.

  8. BEN KIRMAN July 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    The name of the Jovan I am referring to is Robert (Bob) Marks. He went to Hibbard and Von and I know him well, he is my brother-in-law.

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