Wow, I'm impressed by the quick response. Here's our first guest post, from 49th Street:
Regarding the blessing of the animals last Thursday, it was quite astounding to me at the presence of all the people (especially in our community) that showed up with their beautiful pets. I saw a turtle, small rooster, four parrots, about 4 kittens and about 12 dogs. Father Ed also looked intrigued since I am sure that he was not expecting all these people to show up!
One thing that I have to say regarding the BOY is that it has definitely transformed from what it was back in 1991, when i was about 13 years old and had just moved from the Little Village area. I was young and though I knew my surroundings I was taken aback at the atrocities being committed day in and day out. The only reason that my parents had picked to move to this area was because it was the only area affordable enough for my dad to purchase a not so dilapidated home; and even to this day our home is one of the ones that stands out in our block of 49th and Hermitage. Anyway, those were the days that most of our blocks were packed with various gang members representing every other block. As a youngster, although I was never initiated into a gang, I know some gang members from every other block, plus it did help not to get beat up or pressured to join one from the other. Although I knew that being part of a gang was not the right thing to do I knew not to be initiated into one because I did have my father who looked out for me too. Most of the individuals that were part of gangs back in the day did not have father figures or quite simply didn't care for their lives and other people's lives either.
Before I forget, this past Saturday from what I heard from around the neighborhood, they shot the owner of the building that sits right off 49th and Paulina, who or why nobody knows!
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