“She Played Me For a Fool”

Beatrice “Bea” Weber was born on February 12, 1903 in Chicago to Francis Moran and Sarah O’Toole.  Both Francis and Sarah were born in Dublin, Ireland, where Francis worked as a butcher and Sarah stayed home and cared for their two sons, Herman and Daniel.  When Daniel was just a baby, Francis and Sarah decided […]

June 21st, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“He Stayed in the Picture”

Jonathon Arthur Conrad was born on January 19, 1919 in Arkansas to Bruce “Bubba” Conrad and Marian Moore.  Jonathon was apparently their only child.  Bruce worked doing odd jobs and Marian was a house wife.  Jonathon graduated from high school and worked for a few years in a warehouse.  He eventually married a woman, Ethyl […]

June 14th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

She Worked the Walgreens Cafe Counter For Over 20 Years

Ula Wojcik was born on October 24, 1906 in Indianapolis to Samuel Szymanski and Wislawa Mazur.  Samuel worked in a factory, and Wislawa cared for their children during the day and cleaned offices at night.  Samuel and Wislawa immigrated to the United States in 1903 from Poland, where they had met and married.  Wislawa had […]

June 7th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

Brainwashed by “Hitler’s Philosophies”

Iveta Prochazka was born on February 8, 1923 in Czechoslovakia to Adam Klima and Bozena Pesek.  Iveta was the youngest of three children, her older siblings being Radana and Rudolf.  It is unknown what type of work Adam did, as he passed away when Iveta was just four years old.

Left to raise her three children […]

May 31st, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

Proud to Have Helped Build the Eisenhower and the Kennedy Expressways

Ignac “Iggy” Rybar was born on September 23, 1926 in Trencin, Slovakia to Jacob Rybar and Amalia Laska.  Jacob worked as an “outdoor maintenance man” and Amalia cared for their three children: Ignac, Emil and Lydia.

Iggy went to the equivalent of elementary school and then attended a trade school to learn to become a mechanic.  […]

May 24th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“The Singing Postman”

Irving McDonald was born on April 2, 1915 in Chicago to Wesley McDonald and Lucille Rickert.  Wesley was born in Pennsylvania but at some point moved to Chicago and began working as a mail carrier.  Lucille was a Chicago native and stayed at home with their five children, of whom Irving was the oldest.

From a […]

May 17th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

She Married a Prisoner of War

Apolena Moravec was born on June 30, 1902 in Korovyntsi, Ukraine, though Apolena refers to it as being part of Russia.  Her father, Alexei Popov, was Russian, and her mother, Helena Lisiewicz, was a Pole.  Alexei worked as an accountant, and Helena cared for their five children, of whom Apolena was the youngest.

Apolena attended elementary […]

May 10th, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

She Met Her Husband at a Ball in Prague

Tereza Kadlec was born on October 4, 1897 in Olomouc, Moravia to Karel Hruska and Anna Jandacek.  Tereza was the second youngest of eight children (5 girls and 3 boys), all of whom lived to be over ninety years old.  Karel was a sugar beet farmer, and Anna was a housewife.  Both Karel and Anna […]

May 3rd, 2018|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“This is Not My Mom”

Antonia Pakulski was born on October 10, 1905 in Poland to Bartholomew and Gosia Kowalczyk.  Antonia was the youngest of seven children, and when she was just one year old, the family immigrated to Chicago.

Antonia attended school until the eighth grade and then quit to get a job.  She first began working as an assembler […]

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

He Decided to Flee in the Night

Hyun Sang Choe was born on October 17, 1922 in a small village in Korea to Seo-Joon and Young Nari.  Hyun was their only child, and when he was just a baby, Seo-Joon died.  Young never married again and lived alone with Hyun.

Hyun went to school until about the seventh grade and then quit.  Right […]

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