This morning, in Front Porch Republic, I have published a reflective essay on the old ethnic Catholic neighborhoods of America's cities--Chicago in particular. This was all inspired by Philip C. Kolin's little book, Pilsen Snow. (Click the picture at left to read.)
Here's a brief digressive excerpt:
"Years ago, I visited the tavern my family owned in Pilsen for just over a century. My last surviving great-aunt, Lulu, maintained ownership of it even in her infirm old age, before letting it pass into the hands of the Godchildren who had run it for many years. I sat at the bar my great-grandfather had built and tended. The regulars in the bar were mostly Mexican, as was the population of the neighborhood. But, my great-aunt came in—close to midnight, if I recall—helped along by her Godchildren. She had been out playing bingo, but hurried over to say hello, when she’d heard I’d shown up. Her sister, my grandmother, had just died the year before; I could see the face and character of the woman I’d known and loved in the face of Lulu, and it was a kind of blessing, a chance to commune with the departed. Great Aunt Lulu bought me a beer."
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