Family parade evokes fond memories
By Joan Hadac
Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge
(708) 496-0265 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you excited about the Chicago Working Families’ Archer Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade this Saturday? I am, both as a 30-year resident of Garfield Ridge and as the granddaughter of Irish immigrants.
What I wouldn’t give to spend just one more day with my maternal grandma, Joan (Donahue) McGee of County Offaly (in the Irish Midlands), and my maternal grandpa, Edward “Eddie” McGee of County Down (in the north, bordering the Irish Sea).
Grandpa was a farm boy who left school after the fourth grade to support his family. He came to the U.S. in the late 1920s with not much more than the clothes on his back. Like all immigrants, he faced his share of discrimination over the years—everything from anti-ethnic taunts and slights to—well, you get the picture. Everyone reading this column today is either an immigrant or descendant of immigrants.
While my grandma and grandpa were not rah-rah Irish flag wavers, they were always proud of their roots, as well as their adopted country, America.
I think they would have liked the Chicago Working Families’ Archer Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade, in large part because it celebrates families and keeps participation by politicians and corporations to a minimum. It has a real “neighborhood” feel that Grandma and Grandpa would have liked.
So on behalf of Eddie and Joan McGee, a genial tip of my flat-top cap to the driving force behind the parade: International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney. Thanks as well to the Clear-Ridge Men’s Social Athletic Club (SAC) for their invaluable role in making the parade happen.
In years past, I covered the parade with a camera and was glad I did. Lots of fun. This year, I’m under the weather and may not be able to attend. But I’m looking forward to seeing photos—especially of the families (moms, dads, kids and even family dogs) wearing the green. That applies to local families with Irish roots, as well as “Irish for a day” families—the Garcias, Kowalskis, Battaglias, Johnsons, Chens, Husseins and so on and so forth. You’re all welcome at this parade, which steps off at noon from Archer and Oak Park and heads east, disbanding at Kennedy High School.
Have fun, everyone!
Mark your calendar
- Want to save money on your property taxes? Make plans to attend a property tax workshop set for 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14 at Hale Park, 6258 W. 62nd St. Just bring your Property Index Number, which is found on your tax bill. At this event you’ll be able to file an appeal on your 2022 taxes (payable in 2023).
On hand at this event will be staffers from the Cook County Board of Review.
This is the fourth property tax workshop hosted this year by 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn and State Rep. Angelica “Angie” Guerrero-Cuellar (D-22nd). My thanks to them for hosting these useful events. Over the years, Alderman Quinn and crew have helped residential property owners in this area reduce their tax bills.
- A “49 Club” poker tournament sponsored by the St. Jane de Chantal Holy Name Society is coming on Saturday, March 18 at Ward Hall, 5157 S. McVicker. Buy-in costs $50, and only 49 players will be accepted for the event, which will see games of five- and seven-card stud. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and games start exactly an hour later. Buy-in includes food and drinks. To reserve your spot, find “St. Jane de Chantal Holy Name Society” on Facebook and leave your name and telephone number.
- Is it possible that the Queen of Hearts jackpot is now over $440,000 at St. Faustina Kowalska Parish? Well, this week’s edition of the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound was printed before the March 4 drawing. But if the queen remains elusive, the jackpot remains big. The Queen of Hearts drawing is held every Saturday at Tom’s Tap, 6707 W. Archer. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the parish office or at Tom’s Tap. This is a split the pot (50/50) raffle. Proceeds benefit the parish.
- The next combined meeting of CAPS Beat 811 and the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday March 21 in the St. Faustina Parish Center (the old St. Jane de Chantal School), 5201 S. McVicker. If you want to help prevent crime and make the neighborhood safer, this is a good meeting to attend. My thanks to CAPS co-facilitator Marilyn Gilroy, as well as Parish Operations Director Celena B. Strader, for sharing this information.
- The Garfield Ridge Civic League’s next public meeting is tentatively set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 25 at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 5550 S. Merrimac.
A strong, independent, non-partisan civic association is an important part of any good city neighborhood or suburban town, and the GRCL has served in that capacity since 1939. So please consider stopping by.
- Next week will be busy at the Garfield Ridge Satellite Senior Center, 5674-B S. Archer (immediately west of Archer and Laramie). Here are just a few highlights:
A “cardio chair” exercise class is set for 9 to 9:45 a.m. Monday, March 13. A $1 donation is requested to join this class. After lunch, bingo will be played at 1:30 p.m.
Trivia with a St. Patrick’s theme is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 14. Bingo is set for 1:30 p.m.
A “cardio chair” exercise class is set for 9 to 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 15. A $1 donation is requested to join this class. A pharmacist from the White Crane Wellness Center will give a presentation at 10 a.m. and stick around for individual consultations. After lunch, bingo will be played at 1:30 p.m. At 12:45 p.m., enjoy a cooking class with Chef Gloria D. Hafer.
A White Crane social worker will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16. An exercise class for those with arthritis will run from 1 to 2 p.m.
A St. Patrick’s Day bingo party is set for 1:30 to 4 p.m. Friday, March 17. Admission is $5, which gets you two cards to play through 10 games. Additional cards are 50 cents each. Lunch is not included, but you will receive coffee and dessert. No tickets will be sold at the door.
For ticket information and more details on the center, its events and services, call (312) 745-4255.
Have a great week.
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