Barb heard the ‘magic whistles’
By Tim Hadac
Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound
I first encountered Barb Dulski in 2011, when I joined the “I Grew Up in Clearing” nostalgia group on Facebook.
As a lifelong Clearing resident and member of the storied Hill family (of Hill Hardware fame), Barb had quite a bit of neighborhood history to share, and she did so with good cheer—chuckling over years gone by with old-timers in the group and giving younger members a depth of understanding of the community they shared.
Later that same year, she became an administrator of the group after its founder, Laura Lutz DuBois, passed away.
Barb always impressed me as a decent person, a nice woman. But I only knew her online, so I’ll lean on her nephew, rock musician Ed Hill (of Ed Hill & The Unusuals fame) to help me out and paint the picture a little more clearly.
“Barb was an amazing woman: mother, daughter, aunt, godmother, grandmother and just an amazing friend to so many different people,” Ed told me. “If you knew her, you loved her. Barb was a mother figure to so many of us, and she taught us so much about life and how to love one another.”
As you can guess by now, Barb passed away recently. A link to her obituary (which includes a list of family members) is posted here.
“She loved Clearing and was huge on family,” Ed added. “She helped a lot of the neighborhood kids. She was kind of everyone’s mom. She was just one of the nicest people you could ever meet, not a mean bone in her body.”
Barb lived in the same house built by her great grandfather, George Hill, not far from the street that bears his name.
“Life will never be the same without her,” Ed Hill continued. “I will miss her until my dying day. And every time I hear the song Puff The Magic Dragon, I’ll be thinking of her, as well as Grammy, Grampy and Auntie Crys.”
Without a doubt, Clearing lost one of its best residents when it lost Barb.
One final thing: I learned the term MagicWhistles from Barb. It’s what she and others called the prolonged squealing sound made by steel wheels grinding against the tracks in the Belt Railway’s Clearing Yard—especially on warm summer nights when atmospheric conditions were just right.
Some folks find that sound annoying. Others, especially folks who grew up in Clearing (like Barb), find it comforting and even soothing because it sounds like—well, it sounds like home.
Sounds like home to me, too.
So as I finish writing this, I see it’s 10:45 at night–a warm summer night. And yes, there’s no wind and atmospheric conditions are just right. So I’m getting in my car, rolling down all the windows and driving slowly along 65th Street, from Harlem east to Lavergne and back again.
And as I do, I’ll think of Barb Dulski, of Laura Lutz DuBois and all those who were fortunate enough to grow up right here in the neighborhood, to be the children who heard the magic whistles, Clearing’s own music of the night.
Mark your calendar
- If you’re looking for some great bargains, head over to the west parking lot of Kennedy High School, near 57th and Narragansett, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 and attend Sell-a-Bration, the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch’s twice-yearly community rummage sale. Free admission, plus food and beverages will be available for purchase.
- Ed Tylka and crew at Ridge Funeral Home, 6620 W. Archer, will host their annual cookout for first responders from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 in Ridge’s parking lot. This is a nice gesture for one of Garfield Ridge’s oldest and most respected businesses. It’s a good example for other businesses to follow.
- Bingo players, mark your calendars! A “super bingo” is set for Sunday, Sept. 10 at the St. Rene Goupil campus of Two Holy Martyrs Parish, 6340 S. New England. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and games start at 1 p.m. Admission is $20. For more information, call (773) 767-1523.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!
Midnight Terror serves up a different kind of spirits at Christmas Fear
Spread the loveBy Bob Bong The Halloween fans at Midnight Terror in Oak Lawn have decided to extend the haunted house season into the holidays with their eighth annual Christmas Fear weekend in December. Savage Santas, eerie elves, and sinister snowmen will be running amok and showing off their own kind of Christmas spirit at…
Catholic schools dilemma
Spread the love. After loss in Springfield, advocates search for a Plan B . By Tim Hadac After a clear defeat in Springfield earlier this month, supporters of the state’s Invest in Kids scholarship program—which includes a number of Catholic school parents on the Southwest Side—are searching for a Plan B. “What we do at…
Tommy Fitz, truly a good man
Spread the love. By Tim Hadac Editor Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound . The obituary said Thomas M. Fitzgerald. But to me, it was almost like it was referring to someone else, if only because I—like so many others in Clearing and Garfield Ridge–knew him as Tommy Fitz. He died suddenly, unexpectedly, on Nov. 15 at…
Mount Carmel beats Downers Grove North for 15th state title
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Mount Carmel’s plan was to open and close the season in Normal. They wanted to open the 2023 campaign by beating then-nationally ranked East St. Louis in a neutral-site game at Hancock Stadium at Illinois State University, then return 13 weeks later and a win a state championship.…
Cold Turkey Trotting | Young runners heat up Orland Park race held in freezing temps
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The temperature may have been freezing, but the winners were not complaining. The 35th Orland Park Turkey Trot, held per tradition on Thanksgiving, started in 30-degree weather. And the young champs embraced it. Jack Krusinski, 16, of Palos Heights, won the 2.5 mile event with a time of…
Area Sports Roundup | Cougars get revenge on Marian, earn date with top seed
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The Saint Xavier defense made sure to get some revenge for a couple of losses in recent years to Marian University. The Cougars racked up 10 sacks, 15 tackles for losses, three forced fumbles and two interceptions in a 31-21 victory over Marian in the second round of…
Girls Hoops | St. Laurence stages huge comeback to win Beecher Tourney
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer This is not the way to start a championship game. But it’s a pretty good way to finish it. St. Laurence fell behind Rich Township, 19-0, in the Beecher Fall Classic final on Nov. 22. While it could have been easy for rookie coach Claire Austin and her…
Two of the best in Illinois
Spread the love Cristin Moreno, a senior at Hancock College Prep, and Nadia Cabral, a junior at Kennedy High School, proved themselves to be two of the best cross-country runners in the state. Both girls qualified for the IHSA Class 2A Cross-Country Championship, held earlier this month at Detweiller Park in Peoria. In the 5K…
St. Laurence falls to Rochester, takes second in Class 4A
Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer As a four-year varsity player at St. Laurence, Corey Taubr experienced three losing seasons before the Vikings made a stunning postseason run this year. They made it to the IHSA Class 4A final, where they lost 59-38 to Rochester on Nov. 24 at Hancock Stadium on the campus…
Temporary staffing agencies seek to block new state labor law
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois email@example.com SPRINGFIELD – A group of temporary staffing agencies and their trade associations are asking a federal court to block enforcement of a new state law that governs how day laborers and temp workers are managed and paid. The lawsuit, filed earlier this month in Chicago, challenges several changes…
Former GOP senator, third-party governor candidate to represent himself in corruption trial
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org SPRINGFIELD – Monday was supposed to have been the first day in the weeklong federal corruption trial of former Republican state Sen. Sam McCann, who allegedly misused more than $200,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses. A pull-down projector screen in the Springfield courtroom of U.S. District Judge…
Candidates for 2024 primary brave cold for potential ballot advantage
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois email@example.com SPRINGFIELD – Monday marked the kickoff for the 2024 election cycle, with hundreds of candidates filing their petitions at the Illinois State Board of Elections. Those in line by 8 a.m. Monday at the ISBE building in Springfield will be entered into a lottery to be the first…
State high court to hear case against staffing agencies accused of suppressing wages
By HANNAH MEISEL & DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear arguments from three staffing agencies that say their industry is exempt from state antitrust laws in a case claiming the firms conspired to hold down wages for their workers. The Chicagoland-based companies have already lost twice in…
State high court skeptical municipal police and fire pension consolidation hurt retirees’ voting rights
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois email@example.com The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in a case alleging the state’s 2019 law that consolidated nearly 650 individual police and firefighter pension funds actually hurt retirees by diluting their voting power. The nearly three-dozen pensioners and 17 individual pension funds that sued over the law…
Pritzker designates additional $160M for migrant response as winter approaches
By HANNAH MEISEL & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org CHICAGO – As winter quickly approaches, Gov. JB Pritzker on Thursday announced plans for the state to spend an additional $160 million to aid and house a sustained influx of migrants sent to Chicago from the nation’s southern border. The administration sold the plan as…
Candidate filing begins Monday, signaling official start of 2024 election cycle
By DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois email@example.com Monday morning marks the official beginning of the 2024 election cycle in Illinois, opening up the week-long period when candidates for local, state, congressional and judicial races are required to turn in the signatures they’ve spent the last two months collecting to get on the ballot. The…
State high court skeptical municipal police and fire pension consolidation hurt retirees’ voting rights
By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in a case alleging the state’s 2019 law that consolidated nearly 650 individual police and firefighter pension funds actually hurt retirees by diluting their voting power. The nearly three-dozen pensioners and 17 individual pension funds that sued over the…
Iowa-Illinois carbon dioxide pipeline application withdrawn
By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois email@example.com Plans for a pipeline that would have transported carbon dioxide from Iowa for eventual storage in central Illinois are off the table – for now. Wolf Carbon Solutions, the company behind the proposed project, filed a motion with state regulators on Monday to withdraw its application, although…
State school board weighs increased funding requests ahead of budget season
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois firstname.lastname@example.org SPRINGFIELD – Officials at the Illinois State Board of Education say they’re receiving more requests for increased funding for next year than the state could possibly afford, and they’re bracing for the possibility that budgets will start to tighten in the near future. “It does appear that…