Friday, September 28, 2012

Crime News Update

Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern and southern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in Sector 1. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

* * *

An alert neighbor's call to 911 led to the arrest of a 19-year-old Auburn Gresham man in a burglary near 87th and Kedvale.

Isaiah McIntosh
Isaiah McIntosh of 81st Place and Oakley was arrested and charged with burglary, possession of burglary tools and unlawful use of a weapon.

At 11:49 a.m. Wednesday, September 26, police responded to a "burglary in progress" call at a first-floor apartment. Upon arrival, they saw the apartment's side window open and a book bag on the ground under the window. Inside the bag was a black crowbar.

A police officer crawled in through the open window and then opened a door to let other officers in. A search of the premises uncovered a laptop computer and various video games stacked by the back door. Further investigation showed a ransacked bedroom and McIntosh hiding in a bedroom closet. Police arrested him and reported that they confiscated a pistol from him.

The victim, a 44-year-old man, was at work when the crime occurred.

* * *

Two gangbangers attacked four Southwest Side teens as they sat in a car at 57th and Lawndale at 6:38 p.m. Tuesday, September 25.

The victims are all 18 or 19 years old; three men and a woman. Three are from Gage Park; one from Brighton Park.

They told police they were sitting in a car after purchasing food from a street vendor, when two gangbangers walked up and asked "What you are?"

When the victims replied they had no gang affiliation, the gangbangers shouted a gang slogan and started smashing every window on the car---using a wooden baseball bat, a large rock and a beer can, and then fleeing.

The attackers were described as white Hispanic men---one 23-24 years old, 6'5 and 250 pounds, light complexion, brown eyes, shaggy black hair, wearing a white t-shirt and sweat pants with red and black stripes. The other was said to be 31-33 years old, 5'8 and 200 pounds, brown eyes, short black hair, medium complexion, wearing a white t-shirt and black jeans.

* * *

Burglars broke into a garage near 63rd and Lamon and stole a snow blower, a lawn trimmer, a car radio and a bicycle.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 29-year-old man, at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 25, when he walked out to his garage and saw a note from his neighbor---informing him that the neighbor had earlier seen the garage doors open and had closed them for him.

* * *

Burglars broke through the back door of a home near 53rd and Harding and stole two gold wedding rings, a gold bracelet, a pair of gold earrings and assorted other jewelry.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 90-year-old woman, when she awoke from a nap at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, September 25, and saw one of the criminals in the hallway outside her bedroom.

She confronted the thugs by hollering "Who are you? What are you doing here?" One of the crooks responded, "We're friends of the neighbors," and the victim fainted.

She awoke as the criminals were leaving. She ran out of her house screaming, according to police, and two neighbors saw the burglars get in a black Chevy SUV and drive away north on Harding and through the McDonald's parking lot.

The crooks are described as two white Hispanic men, with no additional details.

* * *

Three armed thugs robbed the Advance Auto Parts store at 4625 South Pulaski of about $2,000 at 9:24 a.m. Monday, September 24.

The trio entered the store and immediately split up. Three other people were in the store at the time: a 47-year-old woman customer who fled when the robbery began; the cashier, a 26-year-old Brighton Park woman; and the manager, a 29-year-old man from the Montclare neighborhood of the Northwest Side.

While gathering the loot, the bandits forced the manager to kneel on the floor. They then fled in an unknown direction. They were described as black men, each about 5'8 and 160-170 pounds. No other information was available.

* * *

A shoplifter turned into an armed robber during an incident at the Walgreens at 7045 South Pulaski at 5:08 p.m. Monday, September 24.

The offender was seen stuffing merchandise into his book bag. When confronted by the store manager, a 58-year-old woman, the man voluntarily gave back three boxes of Allegra-D (an antihistamine and nasal decongestant) but refused to return other items.

The manager then hollered "Security!" and two store clerks (24 and 29 years old) joined the confrontation. In response, the offender pulled a knife out of his bag and began slashing the air in the direction of the three employees. He then ran outside, fleeing on foot east on 71st Street.

The employees described him as a black man 20-25 years old, 5'10, short black hair, wearing a gray hoodie and blue jeans.

* * *

A 34-year-old Hodgkins man was arrested at 7:55 p.m. Monday, September 24 after he allegedly tried to unlawfully sell two pistols to undercover police officers.

Eric McPherson was charged with unlawful possession of a hand gun and unlawful sale of a hand gun.

Undercover police initially contacted McPherson through an ad he had posted on Craigslist. Police say that during their phone conversation with him, McPherson asked if they were interested in buying two pistols for $300.

McPherson allegedly agreed to bring the two guns to a rendezvous point at the Citgo station at 4710 West 63rd Street. Police say they saw him parked in a car at the station and made the arrest shortly after seeing the unloaded guns in plastic bags in McPherson's car.

According to police, McPherson claimed that he did not think he was violating the law, since the guns are antiques, by his description.

* * *

Burglars forced open the front door of an apartment near 56th and Kolmar and stole three laptop computers, a PlayStation 3 video game console, a set of headphones and $500 cash.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 36-year-old man, when he came home from work at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 25 and noticed his front and rear doors open.

A witness told police he has earlier seen two white Hispanic men loitering around the premises.

* * *

A 29-year-old Ashburn man told police that a thug shot him in the face three times with a paintball gun at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 25.

The man said he was at 79th and Pulaski when a black Cadillac Escalade pulled up and the offender fired the gun at him; then blowing the stop light and speeding away west on 79th Street.

The assailant was described only as a black man. The victim refused medical attention.

* * *

Three knife-wielding teenagers surrounded and robbed a 23-year-old Archer Heights man at 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 25 on a sidewalk near 49th and Kolin.

They stole two cell phones, a book bag, a jacket, an ID card and a credit card.

Two of the criminals were described as white Hispanic boys ages 15-18, 5'7 to 5'8 and 150-165 pounds with short black hair. The third thug was described as a white boy age 15-18, 5'9 and 130-150 pounds with green eyes and short blond hair.

* * *

In a case that police say may be related to the one above, three knife-wielding thugs robbed two Archer Heights men (23 and 27 years old) on a sidewalk near 48th and Keeler at 11:25 p.m. Tuesday, September 25.

The descriptions of the offenders were similar to those given in the robbery at 49th and Kolin.

Stolen from the victims were two pairs of shoes, a sweater and a neck chain.

* * *

A 22-year-old Archer Heights man walking to work was robbed of his iPod by two criminals at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday, September 25 on a sidewalk near 49th and Komensky.

One robber was described as a white Hispanic man age 18-20, 5'5 to 5'7 and 130-140 pounds, brown eyes, black hair and an olive complexion. The second was described as a black man age 18-20, 5'9 and 180 pounds, dark complexion, with a black mohawk hairstyle.

The victim told police that the two are part of a gang-related crew of taggers that hangs out in the area.

* * *

Burglars pried open the side door of a garage near 50th and Knox and stole two snow blowers, two ladders, two garden carts, a garden table and four chairs, two griddles and various other items.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 68-year-old woman, at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 26.

* * *

Want to help keep your children and grandchildren safe? Check out and help take a bite out of crime! 

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

St. Laurence HS Senior From Garfield Ridge Earns National Merit Commendation

Principal James Muting and Michael Hyc 
A St. Laurence High School senior from the Garfield Ridge neighborhood has earned the prestigious "Commended Student" status in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Michael Hyc, an alumnus of St. Daniel the Prophet School, will be presented with a Letter of Commendation from the school, as well as the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program.

“Mike is an exemplary student, athlete and leader,” said St. Laurence Principal James Muting.  “He is involved in all areas of the school and school community. Being a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship program is quite an achievement.  Mike is very deserving.”

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top five percent of the more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

911 Operators Offer Advice to Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch Members

In a community where citizen complaints (valid or not) about 911 call-takers and 911 dispatch decisions are heard with regularity, the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch (GRNW) took action and invited two 911 representatives (Oscar Torres and Garfield Ridge resident Melana Raehl) to speak at their September meeting.

Plenty of detailed, straightforward, useful advice---as you'll see from the 17-minute video.

Also invited to say a few words at the meeting was Chicago Fire Department Captain Charles "Chuck" Maes, who spoke about a range of topics, including carbon monoxide--- a timely topic now that cooler weather is approaching and people are keeping their home windows closed.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.

The next meeting of the GRNW is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, October 15 at Wentworth Park. Invited guests are expected to be 14th Ward Alderman Edward M. Burke and 13th Ward Alderman Marty Quinn, whose newly remapped wards include portions of Garfield Ridge.  For more details on the crime prevention and neighborhood improvement group, visit

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Garfield Ridge Civic Feeds the Hungry

Members of the Garfield Ridge Civic League and members of the Emmaus Outreach Food Pantry at the Risen Assembly of God Church, 6069 South Archer, pause for a photo on Sunday afternoon.

GRCL members donated some eight boxes of non-perishable food items to the pantry, which has operated since 2001 and serves poor people in the Garfield Ridge area, as well as neighborhoods as far east as Brighton Park, Gage Park and Chicago Lawn; as far north as the LeClaire/Hearst area, and as far west as Summit.

The pantry is open every Tuesday afternoon.

For more information about the GRCL, visit

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SW Home Equity Assurance Program Looking Ahead to a Successful 2013

As a gesture of frugality and fiscal responsibility in the most severe economic recession since the 1930s, the Southwest Home Equity Assurance Program has decided to give its annual Welcome Home Walk a break.

Executive Director Kenneth E. Pannaralla
The event, which had been tentatively scheduled for this month at Hale Park, will instead be held some time in the future, time/date/place to be announced.

"We certainly have the resources to stage a walk this year," stated program Executive Director Kenneth E. Pannaralla. "But I think that in these times, there is value in showing restraint to make a point about responsibility."

Figures show that fiscal responsibility appears to be a hallmark of the program in recent years. While attendance at the walk has increased steadily every year, event expenditures have been almost cut in half---from $76,700 in 2005 to $38,900 in 2011.

SWHEAP's brochure
Further, since Pannaralla's arrival as executive director in 2004, the program has cut in half the printing bill for its signature marketing piece, the 24-page SWHEAP brochure.

While the annual walk has been a success by most measures---particularly attendance, which has been in the hundreds---it has not yielded the recruitment results that the program seeks. For example, just one local family last year signed up for the program at the walk. "However, the walk is a good event in terms of building awareness and strengthening our sense of community," Pannaralla added. "We are always looking for more innovative and effective ways to get our message out there."

About the Southwest Home Equity Assurance Program

While the initial impetus for home equity assurance came from community groups (on both the Southwest and Northwest Sides) attempting to prevent racially-driven panic selling of homes in the late 1980s, the Southwest Home Equity Program has evolved over the years.

Today it is, by its own description, "a unique program of the State of Illinois, developed to insure property values for an extended time. The Home Equity Program is financed by a special levy on single through six-unit residential properties within the Home Equity District."

The district includes all or parts of Garfield Ridge, Clearing, West Lawn, West Elsdon, Archer Heights, Chicago Lawn, Gage Park, Brighton Park, New City, Bridgeport, McKinley Park, Ashburn and Scottsdale.

The program has proven highly popular and successfulSince its inception, over 7,000 local homeowners have signed up for the program.

"This is an excellent program for all Southwest Side homeowners; but perhaps especially for younger home buyers who may have concerns about buying a home for the first time," Pannaralla added. "This program removes the uncertainty about home values and helps makes the Southwest Side an attractive place to buy a home and raise a family---even more so than it already is."

In addition to the benefits of equity assurance, program participants have access to a members-only home improvement loan program that, among other things, offers zero-interest loans of up to $10,000 (five-year fixed) for home repairs, maintenance, alterations, additions, remodeling and even landscaping. "This is a great way to add value to your home while at the same time saving thousands of dollars in interest," Pannaralla concluded.

For more details about the program, visit or call (773) 735-2000.

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Local Boys and Girls Are Needed to Write "Mail Call" Thanks to World War II Veterans

Two members of the Honor Flight Chicago Volunteer Coordinating Team are appealing to leaders of local schools, Scouting troops and other youth organizations to help write letters thanking World War II veterans for their service to America.

The letters will be given to veterans served by the Honor Flight Chicago organization, which gives Chicago-area military veterans (primarily World War II) free round-trip air transportation (as well as VIP treatment) to Washington, D.C. to tour the National World War II Memorial.

"I am attaching the School Mail Call letter again, for those of you who have asked for it. We are desperately low in school children letters for the last two flights. I know many teachers like to link letter writing with Veterans Day, but it would be great to have some to use in October, too.  Thanks to all of you who have contacted your schools and libraries so far!" wrote Barb Barkstrom and Kim Adami-Hasegawa of the HFC Volunteer Coordinating Team, in a recent blast email to supporters.

Photo: Honor Flight Chicago website

Honor Flight Chicago, founded in 2008, is part of a nationwide Honor Flight Network---which, since 2005, has flown tens of thousands of military veterans to and from our nation's capital. 
The flights, as well as the war-hero receptions that volunteers give to the vets, are designed to honor and thank those who answered the call and served their country. The flights have been well covered by the Chicago-area news media.

As described by Honor Flight Chicago,

"After a day of camaraderie and reminiscence, these veterans think that their day is over. But waiting for them, on the flight home, is the sound of “MAIL CALL,” the same call that kept their spirits alive during the war.

We ask families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to write thank you letters to the veterans. However, many have little or no family, may live in a nursing home, and have few friends or neighbors left. We want to ensure that each veteran gets a packet of mail.

Photo: Honor Flight Chicago
THIS IS WHERE WE NEED YOUR HELP. We ask that students write letters to these veterans to thank them for their service. The letters will be bundled with letters from other volunteers, other local school children, and elected officials. We have received many, many “thank you” notes from veterans that say that “Mail Call” was the highlight of their trip.

The following note is just one example of a mail call letter. You may even want to get your parents to write one! We appreciate your help making our next MAIL CALL the best ever. If you have any questions or would like to find out about further opportunities to join our volunteer team, please feel free to contact us."


Dear WWII Veteran,

I wanted to thank you for the service you provided our country. We are currently
studying WWII history in school. I read a lot of information about the war, the Holocaust
and how it affected the whole world. I have great respect and appreciation for what you
did for the World.

(You can put in your own story perhaps about a family member or friend that served in
WWII, escaped from the Germans or fought in the Pacific, tell them why you are
interested in history and what their contribution means to you.)

In closing, thank you for all you have done for our country and for me. I can enjoy a lot
of freedoms because of what you did.

Many thanks,

Your First Name (First Names ONLY, please!)
Your Grade
Your School

A few reminders:
*No dates--We will use these letters throughout the year for our flights.
*ONLY first names
*NO HOME ADDRESSES (Feel free to provide your school address.)

~ ~ ~

If you want to help, contact HFC through the Honor Flight Chicago website  or Facebook page for more details.

The final two Honor Flights are set for October 3 and 23.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Crime News Update

Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern and southern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in Sector 1. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

* * *

A 44-year-old West Lawn man was arrested at about 3:20 p.m. Thursday, September 20 after he allegedly burglarized a garage near 58th and Albany.

Douglas Lyen
Douglas Lyen of 65th Place and Kilbourn allegedly entered the garage and stole a space heater, an oxygen tank and a folding chair.

The victim, a 54-year-old man, told police that as he walked out of his house, he spotted Lyen walking out the service door of the garage, carrying the items. He said he confronted Lyen, knocked him to the ground and held him until police arrived.

* * *

Burglars broke into a construction site at the Durkin Park School, 8445 South Kolin, and stole an estimated $30,000 worth of construction equipment belonging to two Elk Grove Village companies.

The crime was discovered at 6:15 a.m. Thursday, September 20 by a construction foreman who noted that a locked gate had been broken into.

* * *

Burglars pried open the back door of a home near 70th Place and Springfield and stole two TVs, a stereo, two Nintendo video game consoles, a PlayStation 3 video game console, three gold rings, a pair of gold earrings, two bank books, $60 cash and the ownership title to a 2002 Ford Explorer.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 57-year-old woman, when she came home at noon Friday, September 21.

* * *

A burglar alarm apparently scared off burglars in a home near 72nd and Central Park, who only made off with a pair of gold earrings.

The alarm was tripped at about 11:45 a.m. Thursday, September 20. When police arrived on the scene to meet the 44-year-old victim, they saw three truck tire rims stacked under a rear window, which had been forced open.

* * *

Burglars broke through the side door of a garage near 53rd and Luna and stole two power saws, a hammer drill, a tile cutter, two nail guns, an air compressor and assorted hand tools.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 36-year-old man, when he came home from work at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, September 20.

* * *

Burglars used a brick to smash the window of the side door of a home near 69th Place and Springfield and then entered and stole a TV and a jewelry box filled with jewelry.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 41-year-old woman, at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, September 20.

* * *

Two thugs followed a 20-year-old West Lawn woman for five blocks before punching her in the cheek and taking her cell phone.

The woman told police that she was walking home with her child from 71st and Kedzie at about 1:50 p.m. Wednesday, September 19 when she noticed two teenagers walking behind her.

When she and her child arrived at the intersection of 72nd and Central Park, the attack occurred. The criminals fled on foot, heading east in the alley between 71st and 72nd Streets.

The victim described the thugs as black boys ages 16-18, 5'5 to 5'7.

* * *

Burglars pried open the service door of a garage near 62nd and Massasoit and stole a miter saw and a paint compressor.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 28-year-old woman, at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 19.

* * *

A 23-year-old Chicago Lawn man was robbed at gunpoint in the alley behind the home of a known gangbanger near 72nd and Avers.

The crime occurred at 12:10 p.m. Monday, September 17. The victim told police he was walking north on Avers when a man approached and asked him if he is in a gang. The victim said he said he is not; and then was led into the alley, where he was robbed of his wallet and his cell phone.

The offender was described as a white Hispanic man, 21-24 years old, 5'4 and 160 pounds, with short black hair.

* * *

Burglars broke through a gate near 60th Place and Oak Park and stole a truck and tools belonging to a local landscaping company.

Stolen were a white 1995 Ford F150 truck, a salt spreader, three bush trimmers, a chainsaw, two concrete saws, a lawn mower, six hand saws, six grass trimmers, six shovels, a sod cutter, a roto tiller, three band saws, two tool kits, a chipper and a gas can.

The crime was discovered at 7:30 a.m. Monday, September 17.

* * *

Burglars kicked in the service door of a garage near 61st and Mayfield and stole a bicycle.

The crime was discovered by the victim, a 34-year-old man, at 9:00 a.m. Monday, September 17.

* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beats 813 or 833 (see map above), come to West Lawn Park at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 25. Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Garfield Ridge Civic League Hosts "Garage Sale," Will Donate to Food Pantry Sunday

An overcast Friday did not prevent some people from coming out to the Garfield Ridge Civic League's "garage sale" held in a parking lot today at Archer and Monitor.

The sale mostly featured used clothing, as well as miscellaneous other items.

Contrary to what was erroneously reported in other publications, proceeds from the sale will be used to cover the League's operating expenses for the 2012-13 year, according to GRCL President Richard Techman.

Techman also said that the League will be conducting a non-perishable food drive for the Emmaus Food Pantry, 6069 South Archer, at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, September 23.

Local residents are welcome to bring a can or two of non-perishable food to deliver on Sunday for the Tuesday afternoon pantry opening.

For more information on the League and its activities, visit

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Garfield Ridge Theft Victims Get Property Back; Tip Leads Police to Pawn Shop

Eight Garfield Ridge residents who left their vehicles unlocked and were then victimized by thieves in the early morning hours of Wednesday, September 19 received their property back after police arrested a 24-year-old man and two 17-year-old boys as they allegedly tried to sell recently stolen items at EZPAWN, 4338 South Pulaski.

Michael Rocher
Michael Rocher, 24, of the Irving Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side, is scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court First Municipal District Branch 48, 151 West 51st Street, on Wednesday, September 26.

Also appearing will be a 17-year-old boy from West Elsdon and a 17-year-old boy from Hammond, Indiana.

The trio allegedly entered at least eight cars and other vehicles from 51st to 54th Streets, Austin to Merrimac. According to police, the three were walking up and down streets, searching for unlocked cars, trucks and vans.

Police said the trio stole a number of items from the unlocked vehicles. Some of those items are a Garmin NĂ¼vi GPS navigator, a Magellan Roadmate GPS navigator, a Cobra Laser 360 radar detector, an Alpine stereo face plate, a Sirius XM receiver, and a Kodak EASYSHARE digital camera.

Police said the case broke open when they received a tip that the three were attempting to sell the items at EZPAWN.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

J & R Variety---One of the Best (and Last) Genuine Dime Stores in the Chicago Area

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Just about all of us over age 40 can recall with a smile the dime stores of our youth---the places where we bought trinkets, toys, baseball cards, bubble gum and candy, kites and string, hula hoops, rubber balls and so much more.

Sadly, the vast majority of those old dime stores are long gone---from the thousands of independents to the chains like Woolworth, McCrory, W.T. Grant, V & S Variety and so forth.

Fortunately, the Southwest Side is home to one of the last genuine dime stores anywhere.

So if you're looking for that old-time dime store experience---complete with the wonderfully unique sounds of creaky wooden floors, drive over to J & R Variety, 6318 South Pulaski (a half block south of The Indian).

Plenty of parking, both in the lot and on the street in front.

Step inside J & R, and you'll wonder if you stepped back to 1972 or 1962 or even 1952. A diverse assortment of basic merchandise (literally thousands of items large and small); yet organized sensibly---yesteryear shelving and retail structure (looks almost like a mini-department store, as dime stores often did).

It's impossible to walk in this place and not smile in aisle after aisle as you discover things you thought existed only in your memory---yet at the same time, it's nearly impossible to walk out without buying a number of fun and useful things---more than you thought you would.

So head on over there---and bring your kids or grandkids, to give them a fun taste of yesteryear. And say hello to longtime owner Mike Gehant and thank him for owning and operating one of the unique small businesses that make the Southwest Side one of the best parts of Chicago.

And check them out on Facebook.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

History Walking Tour Set for Oct. 6th at Chicago Portage Site at 48th and Harlem

All are invited to a free walking tour of the Chicago Portage National Historic Site, 4800 South Harlem, set for 10:00 a.m. Saturday, October 6.

Statue depicting early explorers at the Chicago Portage.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Chicago Portage historical group, the tour will be led by veteran tour guide Jeff Carter, who will talk about the “Birth Story of Chicago” from the geological beginnings of the Portage to how it is still functioning in Chicago today.

The tour is approximately a half mile in length on a gravel path through the woods. It will take about two hours. Those taking part are advised to wear long pants and walking shoes or boots. The tour will be held rain or shine.

One of only two national historic sites in Illinois, the Chicago Portage National Historic site is said to be the only place where people today can stand on the same ground walked by all the early explorers, early settlers and creators of Chicago.

The late Chicago Tribune columnist John Husar, after touring the site, called it “Our sacred ground."

For more information call Gary Mechanic at 773-590-0710 or

Friends of the Chicago Portage promotes the historic interpretation, ecological restoration and appropriate development of the Chicago Portage National Historic Site through volunteer advocacy, public events and other projects that raise public awareness of the site’s history and significance.

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