With COVID being such a big part of our lives for so long, it’s hard to say when annual events will come back in force. Would the Pullman Family Picnic be the only regular celebration taking place this summer in our part of the country? If so, let’s make the most of it!
Almost everyone has been vaccinated and wearing a mask has become optional with the relaxation of other restrictions. After so many months of living remotely, the Pullman Picnic is gaining momentum. Always important gathering, it means even more this year as we realized how precious it is to be able to interact with others face to face.
I will again set up a canopy for shade, chairs and water for anyone who wants to stop and see who they might know. Please feel free to stop and relax in my facility and review some of the memories of Roseland, Pullman and Kensington that I will have on hand. The members of Spaghetti-Os and the readers of this column are among those who have stopped in the past.
The interesting thing is that my setup becomes a base for them to visit with other picnickers who fill Arcade Park at 111th and Cottage Grove. I like to visit people when they arrive and again when they leave. They are always rejuvenated and smiling, having had a great time talking about the good old days of their youth.
There are always commemorative t-shirts available with food and drink. There are raffles and children’s events that the grandchildren enjoy. Music is constantly played as visitors walk around from group to group to say hello and see who they might know.
Over the years, many people have told me how happy they were to come to the picnic even though they didn’t know anyone there because they had a great time talking about common experiences.
We always talk about swimming in Palmer Park or West Pullman Park, Roseland Little League, keyholes in Kensington Park, “cruising the Ave”, shopping at Gately’s or Mendel dances.
Time is running out to share these experiences with other Roselandites and this is a golden opportunity to do so.
The Pullman Picnic will take place on August 7 from noon and end around 6 p.m. There is plenty of room to set up an awning, table, chairs and whatever else you want to bring.
The Pullman Visitors Center is open so you can enter to view the Pullman memorabilia exhibit, including an entire wall of items from the Pullman Technical Free School of Manual Training. There is a 20 minute film on the history of the town of Pullman, and there are national park rangers and volunteers available with more information to share.
An event of national significance will take place in Pullman on Labor Day. This is when local, state and federal authorities will celebrate the unveiling of the Pullman National Monument.
It’s been six years since President Obama declared Pullman a national monument and the National Parks Service has been busy all the time. We were fortunate that the Historic Pullman Foundation voluntarily shared its reception center office space with the NPS, which allowed it to start work immediately.
The importance of the Pullman in bringing about Labor Day cannot be underestimated. This grand opening is an important step in the recognition of the workers who built this country.
Unionization became a galvanizing force across America because of the Pullman Strike of 1894. The Pullman Porters who fought for 13 years from 1912 to 1925 for union recognition with the Pullman Companies is another reason for this celebration. .
The grounds of the Pullman Administration Building have been redesigned from a fire damaged building nestled in a field overgrown with wild grasses and strewn with building materials. It is now a beautifully landscaped living memorial to the men and women who dedicated their lives, and in some cases gave their lives, on behalf of the working class of America.
While visiting the Pullman National Monument, we should all be very proud, especially the many Roselandians who had relatives and close friends actually worked in the Pullman companies. The completion of the administrative building is only one phase among many that are planned. The building will house exhibitions and exhibitions, classrooms, training areas and administrative offices at upper levels.
The actual factory buildings will also be at least partially exposed pending their reconstruction phase. National park rangers and community volunteers will organize tours of the factory. My September column will have a lot more details on the official opening events, but I suggest you put it on your September calendar.
Do you like the section? Buy the book!
Copies of “Petals From Roseland: Fond Memories of Chicago’s Roseland, Pullman and Kensington Neighborhoods” are available at my house with fast delivery at $ 20 + $ 5 shipping.
Almost 700 copies were sold. The Roselandians who bought my book are delighted to see their memories come to life. I am grateful for the opportunity to have provided so many fond memories of Roseland.
My book is also available at D&D Foods, 1023 S. Halsted, Chicago Heights and at Bookie’s New and Used Books, 10324 S. Western Ave, Chicago.
Contact CJ Martello at 11403 S. Saint Lawrence Ave., Chicago, IL 60628; 773-701-6756; or pé[email protected]