138 rue de bonheur

Everything Happens for a Reason

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”


I’ve started to build a Cache of stories as my Daughter Alisa and her Husband Tim are going to give me my Christmas gift when they come out next week. A new Computer for me to use, A different type of Computer than what I’ve been using so I’m stockpiling stories as a precaution till I learn how to use it.

I went to Coonley School for only a year as St. Benedict did not offer a Kindergarten class. I don’t really remember much of my first year in school as it probably wasn’t exciting as one might think. Kindergarden never really is, is it. Parochial school was a lot different than conventional school was, First there was the teachers, excuse  me, Nuns, and there was the discipline factor, and then the Religious point of view. I still had to walk to school, about the same distance only a different route. This time I had to cross two busy streets, Irving Park Boulevard and again Western Ave, No Crossing Guards as they weren’t afforded to parochial schools. It was OK as I had already learned that crossing busy streets was a no nonsense thing and also to cross with other people. There was no Candy stores along the route just a Tavern, Dinner and a lots of small businesses. A story about that Dinner in later Blob.  I remember the Nuns and the Priests at school and I remember that the school day started with prayers every Morning. We had desks which was new to me and all my books had to fit inside the desk under the top. Homework was a thing that I didn’t like as it took up too much of my free time back at home, although my Sister helped me with it. I still saw my friend Douglas on weekends and we would play and do things together as much as we could. One thing is we would ride our bikes all over the City to watch Trains  and save some of our allowance for riding the Elevated train system around the Chicago, doing the latter as we were older of course. It was about 3rd. grade that I became an Altar Boy. I must of done this on my own as I don’t remember being coerced into doing it. I do remember that I got out of morning prayers in the Classroom as I served at 8:00 Mass then changed my Garments and headed to Class about 9:00. I did this till we moved to Downers grove in 1955. It was fun and I did it 5 days a week and also on Sundays.

My Sister and I went to Parochial Schools, her at Queen of Angels and I at St. Benedict’s but I don’t remember my Brother going to either one. You know, I never asked him. I guess I’ll have to ask my Sister-in Law. I do remember him going to Lane Tech High School though. And here I thought I had assembled all the information before I started this Blog. If I find the answer, I’ll make an addendum to a future Blog, OK?

Again nothing stands out about going to grade school, I must have been average as I  was capable of having conversations with family and friends and really didn’t make an Ass of myself, well rarely. I could count, read, write, somewhat spell and I knew how to dress myself. It was assumed that by the time one entered Grade School, especially a Parochial School that one’s belief in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny was gone from your vocabulary and the real reason for those Holidays was driven into your mind, and so it was. Those were good times and good memories and the Holidays in our household were Happy Times. Having an older brother and Sister were fun and having them spoil me was just as much fun as one could have. Also having an Aunt and Uncle around gave me pleasure in knowing our Family was a good Family and get togethers were always great.

Next;  Family Fun and new Adventures




December 2, 1940 brought forward a little Boy into this world. The place, Swedish Covenant Hospital corner of Foster Ave, and California Ave. in Chicago, Il. A flurry of  messages traveled back and forth from my Mom in the Hospital to my Brother and Sister and My Father at home as to what name I should carry around with me for the rest of my life. No decision could be reached a stalemate was inevitable. It was at this time my Mother saw an old flame she knew from back in High School days walked by the Maternity Ward. She immediately sent home the name of Glen and it was accepted by my Family, so, I was named after one of my Moms old Boyfriends.

I guess not much happened after that till I started School. As I said in a earlier Blog, one’s Memory is based on other things that happened on or around the specific item that was filed for future recall, (ex)  Smell, Sounds, Relatives, Family and events. I do have Memories of times prior to attending School and I’ve burned out a lot of Brain Cells trying to remember and placing these thoughts in some sort of a chronological order. Like, I remember moving out of my Parents room (Crib I guess) up to my Brothers bedroom after he joined the Armed forces back in 1943 (I would have been 3) and he had a Radio in his room that I would listen to every night before I fell asleep, mostly Big Band Music.  Being a mischievous  little boy and disrupting my Sisters Sleep-Overs by spilling a jar of Pickles on the Bed.(maybe 3 or 4). Remembering my Brother coming home after the War. I have spotty Memories of my Childhood up to this point and a few have been jogged by looking at old Photographs of that time and conversations with my Sister and Sister-In-Law.

I started my Education at John C. Coonley Elementary School on N. Leavitt and Bell Plain Aves. in Chicago. Of course it was Kinder Garden but the thing I remember the most was I had to Walk to and from School. I was alone, I was on a adventure trekking from my house on Campbell Ave. to the School on Bell Plain and Levitt  Aves. a  total of 8 City Blocks, and I had to cross Western Ave. which was very busy, but made safe by a Crossing Guard at Bell Plain and Western. As I became familiar with the route to and from School I began to notice other things that would appear in my life and leave indelible memories . One of these Memories was a Classmate in Kindergarten that walked home with me, at least to Western Ave, where he lived at. Douglas became my best friend and we would stay in touch till I went into the Navy. I wish I knew if he is still alive.  Also there were these Trains that traveled down Western Ave, and later found out that these were Streetcars which ran on tracks buried in the Bricks of the street and were connected to wires above them that would occasionally spark and crack. Fascination I recalled, and I vowed that I would ride on one of those .Another thing that caught my attention was that I Walked by a Candy Store. Wow! All I needed was some money. They had a lot of my favorites there and some that I never have seen before. They had a new thing there that was like a plastic dispenser and it would dispense these little hard candy squares called Pez. I surely have to get my Mom to allow me to buy one of these, which she did. They had Chocolate also, but in very limited quantities especially in the Summer as stores didn’t have Air Conditioning and things like Chocolate would melt on the shelves, even Chocolate Cookies. Eating or even worse, opening a package could be messy. I stuck with my Licorice and hard candies.

School, Friends, Church next;



  I started this blog because I was bored and had nothing to do. So kay said” You always wanted to write about your life” So I began what was to become a bigger job than I thought, not that it was hard, but trying to unearth information about my life that I thought was readily available wasn’t! So I started visiting web sites that had pictures of Chicago from back in the 40’s and 50’s. In seeing these pictures they have jogged my memory and often enough has lead me down other paths which inturn leave me with more questions about my past. But I’m working on it. One of these web-site is “Forgotten Chicago Forum” which allows one to ask questions about places in the City of Chicago from way back in the 40′ and 50’s. Another is “Chicago Past” which is a site full of pictures of Chicago dating back to the Fire in 1871. One thing I’ve leaned while looking at the pictures from the 1940’s (the year I was Born) is I was born in a Black and White time. There were no Color Pictures and from appearances  everyone drove a Black Car, wore dark clothes and the Sun never shone, Geeze, so depressing! I’ve taken notes and have accumulated a lot of interesting things to share with you in upcoming Blogs.

    Kay is down in Portsmouth Ohio this week watching Cole while Troy and Julie Vacation, so Molly and I are House sitting up here. I’m putting a couple of hours a day on the computer in writing this blog, taking a good hours walk with Molly every day and in the process  give this computer a hours rest. I know it’s dying and I need to last at least another year. I’ll be typing along and all of a sudden the typing cursor will jump back several words or sentences and continue to add words I’m typing, so I have to constantly watch what I’m typing and where the words are going, or the screen goes Pink! Which means I have a Driver going bad. A few taps with the Mouse on the side of the Laptop usually corrects this.

      My upcoming Blogs will appear that I’m living in the past, well I’m not! I just find the past so genuinely interesting and wish I had paid more attention to it when I was growing up. Hopefully I can get one up and out to publish next Monday and from then on ,every monday.




Sorry, been busy today. Dr. visit this Morning, everything checks out good. Helping Kay out with the laundry, Finishing up the Grocery Shopping List for tomorrow, getting Molly to the Groomer and in between , doing some research for future Blogs. Great website I found by accident, ” Forgotten Chicago Forum”. It’s been very helpful in jogging my memory about my years in Chicago. Found some good books, but way to expensive to buy. Every time I find something I like to do, it cost money!

Talk to ya later,



The time has come to close down the Stone Creek Railroad Yard for the Season. By Easter I have spent enough money on this Hobby as I have planed on doing. Over the past 10 years the cost of building this railroad has doubled, luckily I have most of the things I wanted purchased. It has kept me busy over the Winter and has kept me from going insane with Winters Blahs.

Time has come to go on to new ventures in the Wood Shop. Kay has given me a list a mile long on what she wants as far as Crafts go and I have a few things I’d like to build myself. So hopefully the Weather will cooperate and starting next week the Railroad gets shut down and the Wood Shop opens up.Image


Jokingly I asked Kay if she was going to color Easter eggs for Sunday. “NO”,Image she said, then paused for a while and said, “Maybe I should”. Her Grandson of 23 and his wife are coming over for Easter Dinner and after mulling the thought over, Kay said “I’ve always colored Eggs for the grand-Kids and why should I stop!”

This got us talking about how we each greeted Easter with our kids.From Colored Eggs to Baskets of Candy to trying to find that right Chocolate Easter Bunny. One that wasn’t hollow but solid.

I think back on Easter when I was a Child and remember how exciting it was. Waking up and seeing the Easter basket along side my bed and with the help of my Brother and Sister taking the basket and start looking for Easter Eggs that my parents had so easily hidden around the house. Then getting all dressed up and having to go to Church and the fear of leaving my Easter Basket alone in the house, wondering if all that candy would be there when I got home.

I don’t know when I gave up on believing in the Easter Bunny, it was probably when I started school at St. Benedict’s in Chicago and was introduced to the religious meaning of Easter and why after all these years of receiving tons of candy it abruptly stopped, and the candy was replaced with clothes I really did’t care to wear. Why should one belief be replaced with another. Shouldn’t they be both adapted in to Easter traditions. I really hated to give up my anticipation of waking up to a basket full of candy. But as I got older my desire for candy dissolved into a deeper belief in the true meaning of Easter. Being an Alter Boy had a lot to do with that and having the responsibility of my position on the Alter and with the priest. I was an Alter Boy for the 8:AM service and had to go home afterward and change so I could be with my Parents and Siblings for the 10:AM service, and as I got older I would become astonished at the Men and especially the Women who came to Church on Easter Sunday. The men really never looked different for Easter, but the Women , that was a whole different story. The Women who came to church during the day or on any given Sunday would be dressed in their Dark clothes, Black Shoes and Heavy Opaque stockings and that familiar Babushka on their head or a lace Doily pinned to their hair,  were transformed into this beautiful Woman on Easter Sunday Morning and most Sociable towards other Women who normally she would not even cast a glance at. Coming up to the Alter for Communion and kneeling down as the priest and I would approach them I would wonder why on this day would they choose to be so beautiful and so social towards others in the church, and then come Monday Morning come back to church looking so down trotted and poor in attire.

It took me a long time to understand older people, maybe because I’m old now myself, and I still have the beliefs that were taught me by my parents. Dress codes have changed over the past 70 years, so has traditions, and one’s love and beliefs in religion that they were raised with are still inherent in us. It’s a shame some have chosen not follow them.


pamela-gladding-chef-soupOh come on now, you know what that means. You Girls out West there with those German Maiden names go back as far as I do know your Mom always had a good German meal she would serve to the family and/or Guests. One of  ours was Liver Dumpling Soup with pretzel Bread.

When we went to Hasselbacks earlier this week I picked up a pound of Goose Liver Sausage and today I made up some Liver Dumplings and Froze them to be used later in some liver Dumpling Soup. To make the Dumplings you cut up the Liver sausage into small pieces use about two cups of Bread Crumbs(Seasoned) Garlic, Nutmeg, Onion Minced, Sage, Marjoram, Course Black pepper, 3 Eggs. Mix all the ingredients and form into balls about 1-1/2 in size. Wrap in Saran wrap and freeze till ready to use.

The Broth is easy, 2 Lg cans of Beef broth,(low sodium) Finely chopped celery leaves, 1 Large Onion, chopped, 1/4 Teaspoon Red pepper and Chopped parsley. Bring to boil, drop in Liver Dumplings, cook till Dumplings are heated thru. Serve with dark Rye Bread or pretzel Rolls.

My Vise

The Storms so far this Winter have been missing us but Yesterday we got hit. 5 In.  of heavy wet Snow, then another 2 in. of Lake Effect Snow on top of that. We really can’t complain for as Winters go, we have had a very mild and Snow less one. The Crocus and Daffodils have been sticking there noses out of the ground and the trees are full of buds, and as soon as this Snow melts, we’ll have Spring Flowers abound. I’m waiting for some warmer weather to set in as I’m getting that craving for a good Cigar again, but it’s been too cold to go out behind the Wood Shed for a smoke.  One of the Ladies in Church Sunday came up behind me and gave me a Hug. “Oh Phooey” she said, “I thought you started smoking again”.  “I miss that smell”  Carl her late Husband use to smoke Cigars.  Some people like it, some don’t.  Kay hates the smell, but if a-good-cigarI stay at least 50 to 100 feet from her it’s tolerable. Ah, there’s nothing like a good Cigar!


Steam 11   Just received an e-mail that they fired up #765 this morning. The Spring schedule has been released and Kay and I have noted when she’s coming thru here (Fremont Area). To see this Beast and to stand along side her gives one a chill, Weight(400 Tons), Top speed 70 MPH  Horsepower(3000) She carries 44,000 lbs of Coal and 25,000 gallons of water. Enough to take her 100 miles. She was Built in September of 1944, has been fitted with all the new and required instruments for safety and is ready to go till 2019 when she’ll have to be torn down and rebuilt per government regulations to haul Passengers.

#765 carries a GPS and can be followed by logging onto her website and a link to the GPS mapping page to see here travel thru the Midwest. We will, and getting a Photo-Shoot of her coming down the tracks is a collectors item.


Steam 13I like the Rural life here in Ohio.  It gives me the opportunity to be a part of Country life. The Green Hills, the Streams, Watching Wildlife from our window.  I like the slower pace of life here, the warmer side of Society. Not having to compete with the Jones’s or having the newest Social Media device. I’ve lived for 73 years without a Cell Phone and I’m surviving quite well, without one, thank you! I talk to my Children and Grand kids via the Computer and our old fashioned Land Line Telephone. We still believe in  going to Church on Sundays, sitting around with other Church members before services discussing things that matter to a small community. We buy food items from local Farmers or the Amish community, we don’t care if the roads don’t get plowed right after it Snows or we lose our power after a bad storm, we enjoy our life here in Ohio, and we take care of others. We spend our Money here in our community when ever possible and eating good food to keep us healthy, mostly from our garden, which we Harvest and do a lot of Canning of the Vegetables from it  and enjoy them all Winter long. Have you ever had a Free Range Chicken, Brown Eggs, Fresh meats and Vegetables and Fruit without all the chemicals and Insecticides.  Home made Soups and baking our own freshly made breads. Some of you would say were living in the Past, were hiding from the World. No, But were not stick-in- mud couple either and we do get away to travel to far off places and cities, but always look forward to getting back to our two traffic light community.  It’s a good life, a healthy life, and a life we both enjoy, and I for one wouldn’t change it. Civilization, Bah!

Post Navigation