In May of 2013, Chuck Rini class of 1/61 from Poplar Grove, IL. published his book, “Fragments of the West Side”. In his book, Chuck chronicles life growing up on Chicago’s west side spanning a time frame from the late 1940’s through the early 1960’s including many pictures from that era. The four years he spent at Steinmetz from 1957 to 1960 are covered in great detail including some of the more notable teachers and stunts the students used to pull such as, ‘Library Day’ and ‘Great Pumpkin Day’.
More information regarding Chuck’s book can be found on Amazon.com
Fragments of the West Side chronicles life growing up Italian in four distinct and very different neighborhoods in the Lincoln Park and near west side areas of Chicago. It covers a time-span from the early 1940’s to the late 1960’s and was, in my opinion, the perfect place and time to be a kid.
Daily life and the interaction between family and friends are covered in great detail to provide an insight as to what it was like to be a kid in those early years.
As kids, our top priority was having fun. Whatever the season, we were outside as much as our parents and daylight would allow. We played hard and we played rough. Sure, we got cuts, bloody noses and, on occasion, had to make a trip to the emergency room to set a broken bone, but we took all it in stride. If that was the price we had to pay, so be it.
Growing up meant a host of new and exciting discoveries on an almost daily basis that, along with our imaginations, allowed us to go anywhere or become anyone we wanted to be. It also meant life altering events that helped shape our characters and reminded us that life can sometimes throw us a curve.
I decided I had to write a book detailing my life on Racine Avenue and the other neighborhoods we lived in. Each move meant leaving old friends, making new ones, starting new schools and a host of other challenges that seemed overwhelming. I can remember there were some great times and other times that weren’t so great. However, in looking back, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.