Reunited . . . Christmas 1933

Hana Jezek was born on September 25, 1922 in Brezova, Czechoslovakia to Bartholomew Jezek and Irena Vedej.  Bartholomew was a soldier and was always on the move with the army.  It was in one of the little villages he traveled through that he met Irena and fell in love with her.  They eventually married and […]

June 4th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“He Was Never The Same.”

Felix Dubicki was born on July 12, 1928 in Chicago to Izaak Dubicki and Anontia Grzeskiewicz, both immigrants from Poland.  It is thought that Izaak and Antonia met and married in Chicago, but Felix isn’t sure.  He knows that his father worked in Chicago at a tannery and that his mother cared for their four […]

May 28th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

Many Sisters Named Aurora

Aurora Sienkiewicz was born on April 5, 1911 to Giovanni and Rosa Corvi, both of whom grew up in the same small village in Italy.  Giovanni’s and Rosa’s families lived near each other, and the two of them often played together as children.  The story goes that one day when Giovanni was passing by, Rosa […]

May 21st, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“I Didn’t Have the Best Life, But I Made It.”

Chester Williamson was born on July 18, 1930 in Greenwood, Mississippi to Walter Williamson and Ethel Jones.  In the early 1940’s, the family moved to Chicago to look for work.  Walter found a job working in a steel mill during the day and later started working in a restaurant at night.  Ethel, meanwhile, cared for […]

May 14th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“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: […]

May 7th, 2020|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 […]

April 30th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

She Crossed the Ocean to Find Her Love

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 […]

April 23rd, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

The Secret to Happiness: “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.  The two somehow met after they arrived in Chicago and married not long after.  Estelle does not remember exactly where her father worked, but she thinks […]

April 16th, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|

“More Like Sisters”

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, […]

April 9th, 2020|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 […]

April 2nd, 2020|Novel Notes of Local Lore|