Meet the Top Hats


Top Hats at Deborah Boys Club, circa 1959 (from left): unknown, Art Kobrine, Mike Stein, Michael Siegel, unknown, Barry Labovitz, Herb Zeidenstien

I’m always asking people, what do you remember about Albany Park? Roosevelt High School alum Michael Siegel recalls the Terminal theater, the Metro theater, the Alba theater then bowling alley, and the Deborah Boys Club.  He shared a couple photos of his club, the Top Hats, taken at Deborah around 1959.

Top Hats

Bottom row, from left: Michael Siegel, Al Israel, Barry Labovitz, Mike Schulman. Middle row: Jordan Boch, Art Kobrine, Todd Sperling, Jeff Orloff. Top row: Mike Stein Stan Nudleman

Roosevelt High School Class of 1961 Gives Back

Mike also mentioned the Roosevelt High School Class of 1961 Reunion. After expenses, they had raised enough donations to make at $2,000 gift to Roosevelt. One thousand was donated to the RHS Athletic Fund for various needs, and the other thousand dollars went towards the purchase of electronic readers and tablets for a new “quiet room” addition to the school library.

This is a class that sticks together. They’ve had 25th, 40th and 50th reunions. At their last reunion, they had a program book and a DVD of their times at school and previous reunions.

Nice going, Rough Riders.


 Read more Albany Park Memories

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47 Responses to Meet the Top Hats

  1. Ernest Knapp May 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    .Aloha from Hawaii,
    Re: Top Hats.
    I am in this picture.Can u connect me to brother Top Hats? How can I get a copy of this photo?
    E. Knapp

  2. Frances Archer May 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Send me an email via the contact form on this website, and I will reply with a copy of the photo attached. With your permission, I can also forward your email to Michael Siegel, who sent me the photo. Thanks for stopping by, all the way from Hawaii!

  3. Stu Moskovitz August 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    You wanted a Top Hat you got one

  4. Cynthia Zeiden August 7, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Frances, you made my day! My Daddy is in your top photo, Herb Zeidenstein (we changed our name when I was a kid). His club brothers were by his side through his fight with cancer. I love all the Top Hats forever. Please write to me if you see this!

  5. Frances Archer August 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Cynthia, thank you for stopping by. I’m sorry to hear about your loss, but glad that I’m able to help remember him and a wonderful part of his life here. I will be in touch via email.

  6. sharlene rosen stein August 23, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    pam siegal, mike’s younger sister, was in our class. where is she?

  7. Steve Lipkin November 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    I was a member of the TopHats, but a year younger I believe. Would love make contact with any that graduated 1962, especially any living on the West Coast. Some members were Nate Karch, Larry Stern, Barry Gillick, Mike Shaer, Bobby Paul, Mike Herman.

  8. Frances Archer November 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Hi, Steve. Welcome to the old neighborhood. Anyone out there know some Top Hats from ’62?

  9. Roger Cohn January 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    This post is in reply to Sharlene Rosen’s request for Pam Siegel’s e-mail. Pam came with Mike to our 50th RHS reunion in July, 2011. I have Mike’s e-mail at that time & would be happy to forward it to Francis.

    Sharlene once gave me the gift of a random act of kindness. I lost my wallet somewhere around Kedzie Ave. when I was in 7th or 8th grade, & figured unhappily that it was lost forever. The next day my mother told me that Sharlene, who was 3 classes behind me at Hibbard, had found it & would bring it to our apartment, which she did. I don’t remember much, but her kindness is something that’s always stuck in my mind.

    I recently visited Top Hat Jordan Bock & his wife in Fountain Hills, AZ. My wife & I went out to dinner with them, the night before flying back to Illinois. I’m sure he’d love to hear from club brothers or classmates. I’ve known Jordy since our mothers wheeled us down Whipple St. in strollers. P.S. His name is misspelled in the picture.

  10. Frances Archer January 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Roger, I will correct the spelling and forward the email to Sharlene when I receive it from you. I sent you an email so you would hav my address, or you can use the contact form to reach me. Thanks.

  11. for roger from sharlene January 29, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    i certainly don’t remember the missing wallet incident, but am glad to know that i was a good person when i was a kid! actually, i would still return a wallet if i found one, but of course would end up meeting at a starbucks or some “safe” place. how funny what we remember.

  12. for steve lipkin from sharlene January 29, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    “Some members were Nate Karch, Larry Stern, Barry Gillick, Mike Shaer, Bobby Paul, Mike Herman.”

    all of those guys were in the jan ’63 graduating class (and we are having a 50th reunion this coming may). nate is in the d.c. area, and bobby paul lives in the northern chicago suburbs.

  13. Frances Archer January 29, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    Isn’t funny how one person recalls an incident his whole life while another has no recollection of the same incident? Happens all the time.

  14. Judie Immergluck March 31, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    Steve, sadly Mike Herman passed away several years ago 🙁

  15. Steve Lipkin April 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Really very sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. How long ago? Details?
    Are you in contact with anyone from the Tophats or Deborah BC now?
    Thank you!

  16. Donny Simon May 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Pam and Mike Siegel lived on St. Louis near Foster (or was it Bernard?). They were both very nice people — real mensch. Don’t know where they live now.

    Rich Rubin and Max Perlman I think was in the senior Top Hats (maybe I have Max confused with the Cobegos)?. Their Juniors also had Denny Perlman (RIP), Kim Nagasawa (RIP), Shelly Ruff (RIP), Mike Londo, and Howie Taplin as well as Mike Herman, Larry Stern, Schaer, Karch, et al. Mike passed from throat cancer I believe, I joined the Top Hats in my senior year after most of my Anaconda brothers graduated.

    Stay playful

  17. Frances Archer May 8, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Hi, Donny. Nice to hear from you again. I also knew of a Siegel family on St. Louis in the sixties, but closer to Bryn Mawr.

  18. Aaron Kawer June 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    Lipkin you forgot me , I even went to Lane Tech my first year then transfered to Roosevelt.Love to hear from you .
    Aaron Kawer

  19. Frances Archer June 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Hi, Aaron. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you connect with your friend.

  20. Steve Lipkin June 15, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Great to hear from a fellow Tophat club brother. How about some contact information?

  21. Steve Lipkin July 2, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    Frances, Can you please pas on my email to Aaron?
    Thank you!

  22. Frances Archer July 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    Steve — I’d be happy to, but which Aaron?

  23. Steve Lipkin July 8, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Frances, I was able to contact and speak with Aaron Kawer; than
    ks for the connection!

  24. MIKE STEIN September 24, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    The Top Hats just had there 70th birthday party at Al Noparstak’s house. What a great time. Had over 20 of the old gang together. We ate drank and put on our old jackets and would believe some actually fit.

    Great memories,

    Mike Stein Gang leader.

  25. Steve Lipkin September 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Truly hope you guys enjoyed…were any of the younger Tophats present?

  26. MIKE STEIN September 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    Just the old group and we made tee shirts like the old club jackets.
    It’s fun to be with the group and listen to Mike Siegel’s great stories.


  27. Steve Lipkin September 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    Appreciate the quick response! I was in Chicago for a wedding last month and connected with Aaron Cower who was my club brother. Unfortunately, no one else was around or available.

  28. MIKE STEIN September 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    That’s funny, I play cards with Aaron and Bobby Paul, Small world.

    Will see them October 11th for a game, will tell them we talked.


  29. Cynthia Zeiden September 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Dear Top Hats,

    Herb Zeiden was with you in spirit, I’m sure!

    Best regards,
    Cynthia Zeiden
    Herb’s Daughter
    A Top Hat Legacy

  30. Steve Lipkin September 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Thank you! Please give them my best. I tried to see Larry Stern too but he wouldn’t response to numerous messages. Apparently he has been having some medical issues.

  31. Cynthia Zeiden September 24, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Dear Steve,

    I’m sorry to tell you that my Dad passed away seven years ago in 2006. His club brothers were by his side through his entire struggle. They are great men, I’d love to keep in touch with the ones I know.


  32. Steve Lipkin September 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    It’s too bad when we lose anyone much less a Dad.
    My heart goes out to you and family.

  33. Cynthia Zeiden September 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Thank you so much, Steve. I so appreciate it!

    Cynthia Z.

  34. MIKE STEIN September 25, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    When you get a chance e-mail if you are interested in getting your dads pictures from the top hat parties.

    Mike Stein

  35. Cynthia Zeiden September 25, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Dear Mike,

    I am interested in getting my Daddy’s pictures! My email is:

    What is your email address?

    Are any of the Top Hats on Facebook, I can create a private group for us!

    Best always,

  36. Steve Lipkin September 25, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I am on Facebook.

  37. Frances Archer September 26, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Mike, did you take any photos you’d like to share on the blog on the SAC page? If so, send me a note via the contact form on my website. Sounds like fun. Would lke to see the tee shirts!

  38. Ed Saksenhaus February 8, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    Years ago I had heard that Mike Seigel’s sister, Pam was a model for Coppertone Tanning Lotion—TRUE or FALSE

  39. Frances Archer February 11, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    Hi, Ed. thanks for stopping by and sharing this bit of possible Albany Park trivia!

  40. Debra kirschenbaum February 19, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    My sister Laurie Kirschenbaum class of 1964… A long time girlfriend of Mike Siegel. I graduated class of 69. Growing up loving Mike… Laurie spent her teen years modeling for The Chicago Tribune weekly and for Marshall Fields. Graduated best looking of her class! Who remembers her. We both share lots of memories of Deborah Boys Club and all of Albany Park.

  41. Frances Archer February 23, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    Hi, Debra, thanks for visiting and sharing some memories here.

  42. MIKE STEIN February 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    All the Top Hats remembered Laurie. We thought for sure Mike would marry her, but all things change. Were does Laurie live, would love to invite to one of the Top Hat parties.

    I thing every Top Hat was in love with her at one time.


  43. Frances Archer February 24, 2014 at 7:50 am #

    Hi, Mike, I’ll send a note to Debra to see if she wants to reply directly to you. Thanks for stopping by.

  44. Barbara Zaretsky July 28, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    Thanks for the memories. I was looking at sites for my elementary school (Volta 1961) and Roosevelt where I would have graduated in 1963 had my parents not moved to Florida. I came across this web page. Thank you so much for the memories. While I am vague at people I knew in the past few years, I vividly recall some of the people pictured and names mentioned,

  45. Frances Archer July 30, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

    Barbara, thanks for stopping by. So glad to hear from you.

  46. Rochelle Newman February 1, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    Love that I found your site. Graduated Haugan 1966 and Roosevelt in 1970. Many memories of Jensen Pk, the Terminal movie theatre, Maury’s french fries, Max Strauss Center….the list can go on……

  47. Frances Archer February 2, 2015 at 9:03 am #

    Rochelle, thanks for stopping by. Hope you “see” some old friends here.

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