Tata's Tree: A Memoir of Life in the Back of the Yards

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Memories of an era past...of a neighborhood that no longer exists. A time when sidewalks and gutters were swept clean each morning and burning autumn leaves evoked thoughts of baked potatoes.

Hot summer evenings were spent outdoors visiting with neighbors while children played hide and seek or chased fireflies. The first winter snow fall meant sledding down a viaduct grading or ice-skating across the lagoon in Sherman Park.

Memories of the changes that slowly changed a neighborhood, and how one family coped with new beginnings. Tata's Tree was written not only as a reminder of the legacy and the deep roots left by those beginnings, but it is also meant to be an inspiration to a new generation of immigrants and their family that each day should be met with that renewal of hope.

The sketches in this book were drawn mostly from memory, the authors and her elders. The passage of time may have repainted some events and places to the slight injury of accuracy.

Some historical information was obtained from the following books:

Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago, Dominic A. Pacyga

Natuare's Metropolis, Chicago and the Great West, William Cronon

Everyday Life from Prohibition through World War 11, Marc McCutcheon

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About the author (2000)

Carpenter-Wood was raised in the Back of the Yards on Chicago's south side. At 72 she is planning to continue her writing career.

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