Page 10 - Pat's Tavern
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Pat’s Tavern by Thomas J. CraneIntroduction To WoodlawnWoodlawn was not a totally segregated neighborhood. There were pockets of various racial and ethnic groups. One of my early girlfriends was of Mexican descent by the name of Josie. Also, one of our neighbors was of Japanese descent who lived in constant fear of being turned into the authorities and placed in an Internment Camp during the Second World War. Nobody said anything and they lived on in peace. One of their children got cut very badly in the house and the mother carried her screaming into the street. A motorist stopped and took them to the hospital where the girl was treated and released. Some of our friends consisted of a white family who did not move when their section of the neighborhood changed. Whenever we visited, the Black neighbors treated us with the same courtesy and respect that they exhibited towards their own friends. The motto that we followed was, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It worked!The major concern was, since this was a blue collar neighborhood, that a person maintain his or her pride through the work of his or her hands and back. Many Blacks shoveled coal into the houses and apartment buildings and rode the streetcars back to the coal yards with their shovels and went on about their business completely uninterrupted. Actually it was fun climbing the coal pile until it was all shoveled and the workman never said anything to us. If it was a hot day, people would bring water for the coal men to drink and they were grateful. In addition, Hyde Park High School which was on the boundary line with Woodlawn, had a diverse student body that even included the aviator, Amelia Earhart and the singer, Mel Torme plus my very own sister and other Woodlawn residents.Woodlawn was made up of very few new houses and apartment buildings. Many were built before the turn of the Twentieth Century and many were soundly constructed and beautifully made of gray sandstone blocks and had curved glass windows. Most houses were heated by coal and in the case of most frame houses kerosene was used. Grass was mowed with a push type rotary mower and dandelions were pulled by hand. The newer apartment buildings were built before the Stock market crash of 1929 and consisted of red brick. Many of the apartment buildings had a janitor who collected the garbage, fired the furnaces and did minor repairs. At that time, my mother paid $48.50 a month for a five room apartment. Many old people rented rooms or sub-leased apartments. Because seniors very seldom left their rooms, errand girls went to the store for them and10

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