Hold a huge reunion for EVERYONE in your family tree

If somehow you could have every one of the relatives on your family tree come back to life for just one day, wouldn’t it be fun to  hold a huge family reunion for all of them?  

Here are some tips to plan your big event:

Because your tree has hundreds or even thousands of relatives, you are going to need a very large venue, be it a banquet hall or a large outdoor space. Check your ancestry or your familysearch tree and plan accordingly.

You will need to think about food, entertainment, table favors, photography, whether or not to have an open bar and more. Your oldest relatives probably were born in Europe or beyond so you might well have a language problem. Also be aware that everybody will be there including people you never liked. Who knows you may have a bank robber or a horse thief in your midst?

That brings up the seating arrangement:  you have many difficult choices here. Would you seat everybody by the year that were born?, or do you just mix it up and have Uncle Louie born in 1934 sit with your great great great aunt Tillie who was born in 1803? It certainly would make for interesting conversations. You might not want put the Germans and the Polish at the same table because they never got along back them.

Consider the wide variety of occupations of your relatives. How interesting would it be to see a politician next to a hairdresser next to a cabinetmaker next to a coal miner.. Picture Albert Johann the harness maker born in 1821 finding something to say to Uncle Bert born 1934 the car salesman still wearing his plaid suit.. Picture Emil the German barrel maker born in 1741 trying to make meaningful conversation with Molly born 1912  the exotic dancer who worked the 1933 worlds fair.

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The ONLY Fumbling Waitress at Chicago’s Ivanhoe

The Ivanhoe restaurant at 3000 N. Clark St. in Chicago was a favorite place of fine dining where all meals were served by waiters, only waiters.

Mary Brant

But there was one waitress you need to know. Mary was the most outrageous (and only) waitress at the Ivanhoe who fools her guests with her clever and unique act as a deadpan fumbling waitress.. She would wander from table to table and “annoy” unsuspecting guests with her unconventional waitress skills (or lack thereof). Her primary asset was a poker face and a top-notch knack for fumbling. Mary was an act, a wonderful entertainer, who worked for tips and made the Ivanhoe so much more special.

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Roadhouse Terror

They were up to 500 Roadhouses in the Chicago area, nine in Morton Grove alone, places of gangsters and jazzy women, gamblers and drinkers, partygoers and criminals. They were often speakeasies sometimes disguised as summer gardens, clubs or even “soft drink parlors”, Many were gangland haunts, with a side dish of violence, murder or kidnapping. Many roadhouses burned, some of arson. Most all were the epicenter of prohibition between January 1920 and December 5, 1933.

The Chicago area had names like like The Dells, Ferris Inn, The Studio, Club Del Rio, Murphy’s, The Bungalow, Villa Venice, The Purple Crackle, The Garden of Allah, The Triangle Café, The Lincoln Tavern, Niles Tavern and dance hall on Milwaukee Avenue, Casino Gardens in Robbins, Cyprus Inn in  Northbrook, McCormick’s in Lake Bluff and hundreds more.

Most were located on main roads on the outskirts of Chicago from Chicago Heights to Blue Island to Robbins, Winfield, Evergreen Park, several in Glenview, Rondout,  and beyond. Evanston being dry was spared the roadhouse scene.

They took on many styles, like an old roadside tavern once a stagecoach stop, some raunchy, shady and dimly lit, with all the charm of an odorous beer hall. At the other end was a 2500 seat two-story palace with a breezy terrace, orchestra, stage shows, a dance floor for 300 couples,  beautiful girls and gorgeous costumes and an eight course dinner for $1.50. Many were run or control by gangsters, cronies or henchmen. And even legitimate roadhouses were forced to buy their liquor from the boys.

Morton Grove , just north of Chicago and about  5 miles west of Lake Michigan was way more than just bedroom community. was the centerof what came to be called “Rural Bohemia,” an area of that large roadhouse district north and northwest of Chicago frpm the Chicago city limits up into Lake County.  

Arlene Harvey

Late in the day on March 24, 1935, Arlene Harvey left her parents’ house at 8023 Kilpatrick in Niles Center (now Skokie). Although she went by the name of Arlene Harvey, her real name is Ruth Arline Pearsall, age 22, born October 8, 1910, to Charles and Leand Pearsall. She was an only child, engaged to be married in June 1935 to Clifford Peterson. Sadly on the last day of her life she arrived at her job as a checkroom girl at the Club Rendezvous at 5931 W. Dempster one of nine busy roadhouses in Morton Grove.

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Electric car for sale – BRAND NEW – $2475 call Ralph


 Up to 200 miles on one charge. Perfectly quiet with six speeds forward and three speeds in reverse. fine broadcloth upholstery and silk whipcoard trimmings. An ideal in town or suburban vehicle, safest for a woman to drive.  Comfort, style, convenience and dependability in both summer or winter., A tiller instead of a steering wheel. Armored wood frame.  Patented ball joints. Spring suspension. 32 inch pneumatic tires. Weston Ammeter/Voltmeter.. Less maintenance than a team of horses. Every two weeks a skilled mechanic will call at your home or garage and examines your Baker in detail. Any work can be done in our modern service department. Every car comes complete with a battery charger for your garage.   $2475.00

 For a test drive call or visit the Ralph Temple Automobile Co. at, 1219 – 21 South Michigan Ave just south of 12th St. (Roosevelt Road). in Chicago or call Calumet 3347 today!

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