There were no secrets in Roseland.
Everybody knew you and where you lived.
Mrs Reilly caught us boys smoking under the Butlers porch. How she saw us I never new.
My mom found out about in about 5 minutes.
Roseland was really special place,it was more like the suburbs than Chicago.
The neighborhood people would wave as you drove your bike through,it was ok to cut through anybodies yard to get to the next street.
The main feature about Roseland was going up the ave.,or going down the ave.There was no difference,it was said without much thought,you knew what it meant.
The Ave was Michigan Avenue from roughly 103rd street to 120th street.It was filled with shops of everykind from jewelery stores to hobby shops to furniture stores.There were food shops of all kinds too where you could get a cup of coffee for a dime and stay all day if you liked.
The street where I grew up was the typical everybody knows everybody street.104th place was a place where you didn't need to lock your doors,there was so little crime .
There were a few cops, an Ex Chicago Bear,people who worked at labs, painters, racists,crossing guards and lot of old people.
The secret division was between Catholics and The Dutch Reformed.We tolerated each other and never talked religion among the neighbors.I don't think anyone knew any Jews.
We knew Catholics might get into heaven if they were good Catholics and we being Dutch knew we were safe in the Kingdom. Our church was within walking distance and in the summer I would walk with my Gramps.These are things one does not forget..
Gramps brother Abe would join us on Sunday evening services.We would see him coming down the street drunk as can be.My mom would shudder,the tell him he better come with.We always sat way in the back but old Abe would sing louder than all. My school,Roseland Christian was just an alley crossing away,so I was seldom late.I went there from K to 9th grade.Most teachers there were good but some were just awful.
They practiced the relgion of of the times, We Are Dutch So No Need To Talk About Real Salvation Or Jesus.Looking back now I think they taught us just old testament doctrine,which was not bad just not complete.I never heard the real Gospel til much later in life.
Boundries we respected as kids ,never go north of 99th street,that is where the blacks lived,never go west of Michigan Ave,thats where the dreaded Kensington boys lived.They had a reputation of being thugs.I don't think this was true,but we believed it then.
more to come...