JOHN CHUCKMAN’S PLACES – SOUTH SHORE CHICAGO – PHOTO – CHICAGO – 7504 COLFAX AT THE CORNER OF 75TH – OUR FIRST SOUTH SHORE APARTMENT – 2ND FLOOR OVER STORES ON 75TH – MOVED IN 1955 – A JOHN CHUCKMAN PHOTO   4 comments

CHUCKMAN 75TH COLFAX - OUR FIRST SOUTH SHORE APARTMENT - 2ND FLOOR OVER STORES ON 75TH - MOVED IN 1955

TAKEN OCTOBER 11, 1968

THIS COMMERCIAL APARTMENT BUILDING WAS THE SITE OF OUR FIRST APARTMENT IN SOUTH SHORE. IT WAS A TINY PLACE WITH NO BEDROOM AND A MURPHY BED IN THE LIVING ROOM. I SLEPT ON A SMALL STUDIO BED IN THE DINETTE.

HERE WE GRADUATED FROM CLIMBING GARAGE ROOFS IN THE ALLEYS OF HYDE PARK TO CLIMBING STORE AND APARTMENT ROOFS AS PART OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD “YARD.”

BOY, DID WE ENJOY CLIMBING THE ROOFS OVER 75TH. PLACES LIKE THE ROOF OF THE HIGH-LOW FOOD STORE WERE  SECRET CLUBHOUSES FOR US. MY BEST FRIEND AT THIS TIME WAS ANOTHER BOY FROM SWITZERLAND, NAMED JOHNNY HOEHNER WHOSE FATHER WAS THE JANITOR OF THE LARGEST COURTYARD BUILDING FURTHER UP THE BLOCK ON COLFAX. 

LOOKING DOWN FROM THE APARTMENT ROOF, ACCESSED FROM THE BACK PORCHES,  IN WINTER ON 75TH STREET WITH LARGE FLAKES TUMBLING DOWN AND THE STORE FRONTS GLOWING WITH NEON AND THE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS ON SWAGS ACROSS THE STREET SWAYING IN THE WIND BELOW MADE AN UNFORGETTABLY CHARMING SIGHT THAT RATHER FIXED IN MY MIND THE IDEA OF URBAN VILLAGE.

AL’S DELI WAS ON THE CORNER OF THIS BUILDING AT 75TH IN THE RIGHT FOREGROUND OUT OF THE FRAME.  THE SAME BLOCK OF 75TH STREET HAD PETE’S BARBER SHOP AND A TOY STORE (I FORGET THE NAME).

THE STORE WINDOW IN THIS PICTURE, TO THE LEFT OF THE DOORWAY, WAS A TAILOR’S SHOP.

THE SHORE THEATER WASN’T FAR WEST FROM HERE. REMEMBER SHORE HILL BEHIND THE THEATER? ACTUALLY A LOADING RAMP, WE USED TO BUILD SOAPBOX RACERS WITH JUNK WE GATHERED IN THE ALLEYS AND ROLL DOWN SHORE HILL. BOYS DID THIS WITH BICYCLES TOO.

THE ALLEYS OF THOSE TIMES WERE GREAT PLACES FOR ADVENTURE, WHETHER SCROUNGING FOR PARTS OF SOME CONTRAPTION WE WERE MAKING OR FINDING POP BOTTLES WE COULD CASH IN AT THE STORE FOR PENNY CANDY OR PRETZELS.

I HAD MY FIRST PAPER ROUTE AT THIS TIME WITH CHUCK’S NEWS AGENCY ON 74TH & EXCHANGE, DELIVERING THE CHICAGO DAILY NEWS. SOMETIMES MY YOUNG BROTHER RODE ALONG IN THE FRONT OF A BIG YELLOW CART WITH BICYCLE WHEELS. I DELIVERED ALONG COLFAX NORTH OF 75TH, ALONG 75TH, AND DOWN COLES AVE.

ANOTHER ADVENTURE JOHNNY HOEHENER AND I HAD AT THIS TIME WAS GOING TO THE BEACH IN WINTER TO CLIMB ON THE “ICEBERGS.” OFTEN WE BROUGHT A COUPLE OF APPLES OR POTATOES WHICH WE ROASTED IN A FIRE WE’D BUILD IN A HOLE IN THE SAND – FUEL WAS LOOSE SLATS FROM THE BEACH’S SNOW FENCES – NEAR THE LOW WALL AT THE TOP OF THE BEACH.

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4 responses to “JOHN CHUCKMAN’S PLACES – SOUTH SHORE CHICAGO – PHOTO – CHICAGO – 7504 COLFAX AT THE CORNER OF 75TH – OUR FIRST SOUTH SHORE APARTMENT – 2ND FLOOR OVER STORES ON 75TH – MOVED IN 1955 – A JOHN CHUCKMAN PHOTO

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  1. John and Elizabeth Hoehner were friends of my family. My Mother worked at the 75th St Walgreens and she was friends with Mrs. Hoehner. They once spent a little time at a small vacation home we had in Indiana. I did have a slight crush on John which he never noticed.
    Wasn’t Bloom’s store at the corner (not shown) of where you lived? I loved the gum ball machine they had. If you got a wooden ball with stripes you won a candy bar. One day I won 3. Simply great pictures John. Thank you sooo much for making them available.

    Donna Mattson Allman
    • Thanks for that, Donna.

      John usually went by “Johnny.” His father was the janitor for at least one large courtyard building in which they had an apartment on the first floor, a short distance up Colfax although I don’t recall the number.

      It was an odd coincidence that I had two good friends for a while from Switzerland, Johnny in South Shore and Tommy in Hyde Park. The Swiss are not a people who emigrate in large numbers, and I’ve never met another person from that country.

      Johnny had a cousin named Erica Strahl (sp?).

      After graduating from Bradwell, I never saw or heard of him again.

      I don’t recall the name Bloom’s although I do remember many of the stores along 75th. The store at the corner was Al’s because I used to go there every once and a while for a bagel or, mostly, what we called an onion roll. They were in a cabinet with glass doors.

      John Chuckman

  2. In my head…..it seems that you lived behind the cleaners where I used to sell all my families hangers…..when no one was at home. Is that right? We used to skate on a new patch of sidewalk next to the parking lot behind you. there was a house there with a side empty lot. We used to sit on the steps . We never saw anyone that lived in that house. Reminded me of the house that Boo lived in . ” To kill A Mockingbird” We loved that patch of sidewalk cause it was new and sooo smooth. Of course I had to share my sisters skates so I only had one.
    If I was coming home in the dark from 75th and Colfax to my house at 2600 E. 76th st…..I would take a deep breath and then run all the way home….and sometimes I ran in the street……that way no one could get me. Funny the things we remember. thanks so much for all the time and effort it took to put this up for everyone to see. Great memories John.
    Donna Mattson Allman. Bradwell 1959. SSHS 1963. Moved from South Shore in 1968….however my heart is still there.

    Donna mattson Allman
    • Hi Donna,

      You sold hangers. I used to roam the ally looking for pop bottles on porches.

      You could buy quite a treat with five cents then.

      I don’t recall the house you mention, but at one time I knew almost every square foot of the area between Exchange and Jeffery and 75th and 79th owing to paper routes and “exploration.”

      Bradwell 1959? I was in the January class of that year. I guess you were in the following one with the”As” and “Bs” we had then?

      John Chuckman

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