"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots."

Jan22nd2017

Family Stories – Pass Them On!

by  Phyllis Zeck

Auntie Phyllis and her daughter Gina’s Family

Today I will post the 5th and last audio clip that I have from a series of interviews that my bother Rob and I had with our beloved Aunt Phyllis in 2011. To listen to the other interviews, click on the box titled “Vincent Family” in the categories box to the right.

This series of blog posts have brought back wonderful memories for me and I hope that listening to Auntie’s voice has brought you as much joy as it has brought me. In the clip below you can hear the tenderness in Auntie’s voice as she tells us the story of how she sat in her grandmother Elvira’s kitchen on Sunday and Wednesday to watch her grandmother prepare spaghetti for dinner. Thank you for the priceless stories Auntie!

2244 Harrison St

Photo courtesy of Todd Harrison & Oakley 1939

The photo to the left is 2244 W Harrison St which was Auntie Phyllis and mom’s first home. I can envision the girls dashing across the street to see their aunts, uncles, and cousins each day. The photo below was taken in 1939. Click here to read more about the music store. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you will see my great grandfather’s name (P. Del Principe) on the top of the building on the left, next to the gas station.

Auntie Phyllis was born Phyllis Elvira 16 Nov 1927 and passed away 21 Sep 2013. Some very significant events happened the same year Auntie was born. Population in Chicago was over 2.7 million people. Transatlantic telephone service began between New York and London, a woman took a seat on the New York Stock Exchange breaking the all male tradition, Babe Ruth signed a 3 year contract with the New York Yankees for a guarantee of $70,000 a year becoming baseball’s highest paid player.

Babe Ruth

The US Supreme Court ruled that bootleggers must pay income tax (still pondering how that was enforced), Charles Lindbergh flew from Long Island, NY on the Spirit of St Louis on his solo flight to France, the era of talking pictures arrived with the opening of “The Jazz Singer” starring Al Jolson. In Chicago Al Capone’s support allowed Big Bill Thompson to return to the mayor’s office where Thompson pledged to clean up Chicago and remove the crooks, and Chicago Midway International airport opened. 

My siblings and I love to reminsece about our mother and Auntie Phyllis and Holly has shared one of her favorite memories below.

Holly and Aunty Phyllis 2009

“Driving around with the ladies (Mom and Aunty Phyllis) was always a scary adventure. Mom was the navigator. I’m not sure how or why she got that job when she would get lost 10 feet away from the house. Aunty was the driver. I’m convinced she scared everyone
driving around her as much as she scared me. I was always designated to the back seat where I would have plenty of air for my panic attacks while we drove around aimlessly, mom yelling at aunty, “Turn here!” and aunty yelling back, “Which way??”. Every time aunty would turn left and go over the cement dividers in the middle of busy streets, I’d throw my hands over my eyes and say, “You’re not supposed to do that!”. She’s calmly brush her hand through the air and say, “Those are there just to make you go slower when you do U-turns… we should have left her at home Corinne”. They’d both laugh and turn the Andrea Bocelli music up louder.” 

Corinne Del Principe Winike (my mother). Corner of Harrison and Oakley

Click the audio below to hear the last clip of Rob’s and my interview with Auntie Phyllis.

 

One Response to Family Stories – Pass Them On!

  1. 7 months ago by Lori Anderson

    Interesting that Auntie’s family thinks that she made the best spaghetti sauce and they still make it today, and Mom’s family thinks that she makes the best sauce and still make it today, and the truth is that they both probably got their recipe from their grandma! So think about that family the next time you have spaghetti, that recipe is over one hundred YEARS old!


 

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