“He’s All I Have”

Frieda McLeod was born on April 9, 1917 in Chicago to Robert Curran and Eileen Walsh, both immigrants from Ireland who came looking for a new life.  Robert found work on the railroads and also delivering coal and flour, while Eileen worked as a cleaning lady in private homes and cared for their five children: […]

February 2nd, 2017|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

Surrounded by Angels…And One Devil

Gerald “Jerry” Dziedzic was born on October 25, 1909 in Braddock, Pennsylvania to Wojtek and Paula Dziedzic, both immigrants from Poland.  Not much is known about Jerry’s early life, except that he was the youngest of seven children and that his father worked as a laborer in a factory.

Jerry went to school on and off […]

January 26th, 2017|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“I Wanted to Be With People”

Erna Lindner was born on May 27, 1904 on a farm in Austria, which later became part of Czechoslovakia.  Her parents, Alban Hager and Sylvia Kainz, worked “night and day” on the farm, and when Alban had to fight in the First World War, the running of the farm fell on Sylvia and their five […]

January 19th, 2017|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“Be Content With What You Have”

Estelle Oberst was born in Chicago on October 20, 1900.  Her father, Edwin Larsen, was an immigrant from Norway, and her mother, Theresa Amsel, was an immigrant from Germany.  Estelle says that they met after they arrived in Chicago, but she does not remember where her father worked.  She thinks it may have been in […]

January 12th, 2017|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

The Classic “High-Society” Man

Carl Nilsson was born on January 24, 1937 in Chicago to Nils Nilsson and Brita Lindgren. Not much is known about Carl’s early life or his parents, except for a few facts, namely that they were immigrants from Sweden and that Nils worked as a tool and die maker once he got to Chicago.  Carl […]

January 5th, 2017|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“She Could Make a Stick Grow”

Doris Gockel was born on March 15, 1934 in Chicago.  Not much is known of Doris’s early life, except that her mother, Gertrude Molnar, who was of Hungarian descent, had Doris when she was very young.  About a year after Doris was born, Gertrude married a man named Walter Sands, who was not Doris’s birthfather, […]

December 29th, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“Only Hussies Ask Boys to Dance!”

(Part 2 of the Adele and Karel story)

Karel’s Story . . .

Karel Bartos was born on May 7, 1908 in Chicago to Ambrose Bartos and Gabriela Adamik.  Ambrose and Gabriela met and married in what is now Czechoslovakia and began their family there.  Ambrose was a shoemaker, and Gabriela cared for their seven children.  Otto, […]

December 22nd, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“What A Lemon – Revised!”

(This is a longer version of a story posted in this blog on August 13, 2015.  It is the love and life stories of Adele and Karel Bartos, to be told in two parts. Happy Holidays!  Hope you enjoy this special double-feature!)

Adele’s story…

Adele Bartos was born on September 19, 1907 in Czechoslovakia to Daniel Janicek […]

December 15th, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

Her Slow Decline Into Homelessness, Though She Had a “Good Job”

Theresa Svoboda was born on March 23, 1911 in Chicago to Frank and Simona Svoboda, both of whom were immigrants from Czechoslovakia.  According to Theresa, her father came to the United States looking for work and found a job right away, which he considered lucky, as jobs were scarce.  He began working as a sort […]

December 8th, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

Still Grieving For Her Murdered Daughter

Loretta Coleman was born on April 22, 1936 in Louisiana to Frank Harris and Ruth Roberts.  Not much is known about Loretta’s parents, but she says that she and her three siblings had a good childhood and that they were raised in a very strict Baptist household.  Loretta graduated from high school and was then […]

December 1st, 2016|Novel Notes of Local Lore|