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Posted April 23, 2010 by JOHN CHUCKMAN


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  1. Thank you for the great walk down memory lane. you did a great job.

  2. Thanks for the wonderful photos I grew up in a poor neighborhood called Pilsen born in 1948. South Shore was for people that had money which we did’nt but to just go there was exciting, I am 63 now & living in north Alabama and very homesick wish i could move back home but on social security don’t see how I could afford renting there, just to look at your wonderful photo’s brings back a lot of memories & I remember them report cards I have some identical to them, this was a walk down memory lane & I want to thank you & God Bless.

    • Hi Jerry,

      Yes, there were people in South Shore with money, but there were plenty of others too.

      Otherwise, my poor old mom who was divorced (almost unheard of in the 1950s) and who worked as a secretary and had two boys to bring up alone could never have afforded an apartment.

      Of course, we lived in very modest situations. Our first apartment had no bedroom at all. My mom slept on the hide-a-bed, my brother on the couch, and I slept in the dinette on a little studio bed.

      After a couple of years, we got a one-bedroom place, and despite a couple of moves, that’s all we ever had. I shared a bed with my brother until I was an adult.

      The family of my best friend, Preston Uney, lived in a pretty small beat-up, Insul-brick-coverd house on an alley the whole time I knew them – that was a boy, two sisters, and their parents.

      I guess the modesty of our apartments was part of why I so loved the neighborhood: it was all one big yard and playground from the yards of nearby houses to the stores and alleys and back porches.

      John Chuckman

  3. john,what a wonderful site you got here….its really cool to look at all these old pics..its like going back in time.but do you have any northside of chicago pics….lakeview highschool,belmont ave,southport ave… stuff like that…

    kelly mccartney
  4. This made me cry. I was disappointed that there were no pictures of my family drug store, on the corner of 79th and Exchange (Gouwens Drugs). I have pictures somewhere, but hoped to find one on your site. It was a beautiful neighborhood. I believe there was a Chinese Laundry next door, and a theater called the Chelton (sp ?). Spent a lot of time there.

    • Hi Susan,

      Thanks for the note.

      Yes, it was the Chelton.

      Please, if you have any photos of South Shore landmarks or family businesses, I would love to put them on the site, crediting you.

      Just send me a decent jpeg.

      John Chuckman

      • Hi John,
        I just found this e-mail from my sister. She was right South Shore was a beautiful neighborhood. Our father’s drug store is the only building still standing today (it’s the currency exchange) but I remember fondly the little comic book store next to the tracks on 79th. Every time I went to “work” with my dad, I ran right down to that store. What was the name of the little resturant on Exchange just south of the my dad’s store? If I remember corretly it was a yellow brick building. Our family doctor was in South Shore. Do you remember Dr. Stanekus?(sp) His office if I remember correctly was around 73rd & South Shore I may have some pictures of my dad’s store for you
        Thank you for the memories

      • Hi Kurt,

        Thanks for the note.

        I remember some of the places you mention.

        I knew the comic store. The doctor’s name is familiar, although we saw a Dr Bidwell in the professional building at 71st and South Shore Drive (site of Mitchell’s).

        In my time, the NW corner of 79th and Exchange was a Walgreen’s.

        If you have any photos I could use, please send a scan in jpeg format to me at

        I can only use images of some general interest, but I’ll be glad to look at what you have.


        John Chuckman

  5. Thanks for the wonderful walk down memory lane. I am currently living in Costa Rica and your site made my homesickness ease a little

    Pat Delsing Spielman
  6. thank you for the memories. I remember Gouwen’s Drug Store, Walgreens, magazine store by the South Shore RR tracks across from the 79th St station. Handmade pizza from a couple of the places, can taste them now. Dad worked at St Bride’s Church, grandma at Our Lady of Peace. Loved walked down Coles Ave past all the apt bldgs. We had at 79th and Cheltenham a 3 story brick bldg. we call the “tenement bldg.” It was pretty shabby and worn with people experiencing some hard times. Went to Bradwell School for a year. Taking the train down to the Y in South Chicago for swimming and activities. Rainbow Beach on a hot summer day, the lovely park with its paved nooks. Going down to the commercial bakery Mrs ? on Ashland to pick out hot warm rolls off the huge racks to take home.

  7. Today is June 22, 2015. I grew up walking my English Sheep dog through Rainbow Park and spending the summers at Rainbow Beach. Yesterday I saw the movie: “Inside Out.” About a young girl who moved from her long time childhood home to a new place states away. I nearly cried during the whole movie. Our childhood is the core memory of so much. At a recent reunion the first question for me was “Do you remember Devil’s Canyon?” I nearly burst into tears then too. South Shore was a little world where kids were allowed to be kids; where fun was a daily event; where peace rose with the sun and where magic happened around every corner. Sure sh-t happened in my life but the good times balanced out everything for me. I moved back to South Shore and it’s changing again….. they still play handball at the courts though — just in case you’re around on Sunday mornings! I can’t thank John enough for creating this site!

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