She Gave Her Two Sons to Her Sister

Sadie Riley was born on February 16, 1914 on a farm near Pittsburgh, Kansas to Lonnie Belanger and Jeannette Fenske.  Lonnie was a cattle farmer, and Jeanette cared for their six children: Fae, Alan, Della, Lila, Elbert and Sadie, all of whom lived into adulthood.

Sadie graduated from Crawford Community High School and got a job […]

August 30th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

She Was Embarrassed by His Early Model Ford!

Honza Ruzicka was born on October 22, 1904 in Chicago to Cyril Ruzicka and Lenka Vesely.  Cyril was born in a little village outside of Prague and came to America as a young man to escape being drafted.  He had an older brother living in the Pilsen area of Chicago, so we went to stay […]

August 23rd, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

One of the Seven Sisters

Almera Navarro was born on August 2, 1908 in the Philippines to Jonray and Divine Santos.  Jonray worked for a trucking company, and Divine cared for their seven daughters: Dorilyn, Eilene, Frela, Almera, Jelinda, Karmina and Lonila, who became known collectively as “The Seven Sisters” of Calamba, the town in which they lived.

Almera attended grade […]

August 16th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“He Could Have Been a Great Man”

Do- Yun Chung was born on August 2, 1914 in Pusan (now Busan), Korea.  His family was relatively well off, with his father working as a surveyor and his mother caring for their six children—three girls and three boys—of whom Do-Yun was the youngest.

Do-Yun went to law school and after earning his degree got a […]

August 9th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“A Real Man of Mystery!”

Brogan Cullen was born on October 25, 1921 in Cleveland, Ohio to Angus and Cathleen Cullen.  Not much is known about Brogan’s childhood.  It is thought that Angus and Cathleen were Irish immigrants and that Angus found work in Cleveland as a factory worker.  Cathleen cared for their three children: Brogan, Lily and Liam.  Apparently, […]

August 2nd, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

They Met Him at a Restaurant and Took Him into Their Home

Nelson Pederson was born on July 22, 1931 in Chicago to Emil Pederson and Asta Brahms, both immigrants from Denmark.  It is thought that Emil worked in a factory in Ravenswood, near where the family rented an apartment, and that Asta cared for their two children, Anna and Nelson.  When Nelson was still very young, […]

July 26th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“His Life Was a Tragedy, and He Doesn’t Even Know It”

Randy Walsh was born on July 13, 1959 in Chicago to Tim Walsh and Genevieve Sutera.  Tim was of Irish descent, and Genevieve was from a Sicilian family.  Tim and Genevieve both worked for the Burlington Northern railroad, which is how they met.  Tim worked as an engineer, and Genevieve was a secretary in the […]

July 19th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

A Family Divided

Glen Mayer was born on September 15, 1932 in Chicago to Adolf Mayer and Elizabeth Bojars.  It is thought that Adolf was a German immigrant and that Elizabeth may have been from Latvia.  They apparently met in Chicago and married, Adolf working as a butcher, and Elizabeth caring for their three children: Glen, Lena and […]

July 12th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“The Cat Helped Me Up”

Fatemah Farhadi was born in a small village in Persia on May 5, 1918 to Arman and Delara Farhadi. Arman was a farmer, and Delara cared for their only child, Fatemah. Fatemah attended high school and then got a job as a seamstress. When she was twenty-one, her father arranged for her to marry her […]

July 5th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

They Met at the Roller Rink in Milwaukee

Roger Fulton was born on June 24, 1915 in Chicago to William Fulton and Elizabeth Muller.  William was an immigrant from England, and Elizabeth was Canadian, though it is thought she was of Swiss descent.  It is unknown what type of work William did, but he was reportedly “always sick” and died of pneumonia in […]

June 28th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|