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 Legends Of Hessville Park
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LegulusQ

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2012 :  17:56:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


This is an item from the August 15, 1957 edition of The Hessvillite. I'm not sure if the text will be readable, so I'll include a key to the Rogues' Gallery! Check out David Hiduke in the front row, he looks like Sinatra right off the "Ring-A-Ding-Ding" album cover!

Front row: Lorri Grenda, David Hiduke.
Middle row: Terry Hiduke, Rita Sansone, Connie Lannin, Kathy Grenda, & Phil Harris.
Back row: Carol Groot, The Immortal Clem Wiechecki, Leandra Huber, Judy Wilson, Carolyn Lannin, Joan Wilson, Tom Wilson, & Lucy Baker.

This is truly a rare photo of Hessville/Morton legend Clem Wiechecki in the prime of youth! Leandra Huber is from the Huber Funeral Home family. The Wilson family lived on Black Oak Road (aka Orchard Drive) between Kennedy and Arizona across from the park. The Hidukes lived down near the apex of Hessville Park at the junction of Black Oak Road and 173rd. Phil Harris is another Hessville Park icon to whom the little kids (like me) would have to offer their respects, as he was one of the local kingpins. And all the kids who spent summers in and around the Hessville Park shelter house knew and revered Lucy Baker, who ran the show for years. I went to school with members of the Grenda family. Carolyn and Connie are my sisters.

I have fond memories of countless hours devoted to box hockey, washers, loop tennis, and wood cutting and similar "crafts" offered during the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer in Hessville Park!

LegulusQ

Edited by - LegulusQ on 09/03/2012 18:05:06

LegulusQ

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2012 :  17:58:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


Here is a larger copy of the photo for your inspection.
Also, note the TIlden phone exchange, alluded to in earlier topics.

Craig

LegulusQ

Edited by - LegulusQ on 09/03/2012 18:02:13
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LegulusQ

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2012 :  18:11:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


I thought this would also be a good place to repost the Charlie Harvey trampoline photo, with the Hessville Park shelter house in the background.

Craig

LegulusQ
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2012 :  21:28:36  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Craig. Sorry you didn't get any responses from anyone. I'm not from Hessville but I still enjoy the posts and pictures about it.

Tom
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seejay2

USA
676 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2012 :  08:18:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, I can give a few names here:
All the way to the right-Mickey Gibson.
The girl next to him-Lois Hopf.
I remember the 3 guys to the left of Lois, but I can't remember their names.
The blond girl further to the left (fingers under her chin) is Donna Buza...Cj
quote:
Originally posted by LegulusQ



I thought this would also be a good place to repost the Charlie Harvey trampoline photo, with the Hessville Park shelter house in the background.

Craig

LegulusQ

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wvcogs

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2012 :  13:34:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here are a couple pictures from the 1959 Top Hat that are somewhat related to Craig's article and photo from the Hessvillite. One is, as Craig said, of "The Immortal Clem Wiechecki" that was taken as his senior picture during the summer of 1958. The other picture is of Nick Luketic, a teacher and coach at Morton, who is listed in the article as a play leader at the park that summer.

Ken

Clem Wiechecki

Nick Luketic
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HassoBenSoba

USA
642 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2012 :  04:35:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Craig,

Yes, those were the days when legends were legends, especially in Hessville of old.

But.... a style show in the Hessville Park shelter house??

FYI-- I have pics of Dave Hiduke (the mini-Sinatra-like dude) and Rita Sansone (also
in the 1957 pic), but for some reason I can't upload them to Photobucket at present; I'll post them
as soon as I can.

IN THE MEANTIME....

I'm glad that you've re-introduced a real Hessville "legend", Charlie Harvey, my best buddy from
my Hessville glory days ('62-64), and a profound influence on my life. He reminds me of a combination
of Ed Norton (Honeymooners) and Soupy Sales, a bright, witty guy who was totally nuts, and who encouraged
me to adopt his own brand of benign insanity.

(When you posted the trampoline pic on the "Photo Album" thread, a few more of the Hessville young'ns
were identified, including the thuggish Tom Kocur and Jackie White, who is apparently no longer with us).

ANYWAY.... here again is a pic of me (right) with Charlie,
in our backyard at 7340 California Ave, summer of 1962.



I have recently unearthed a few extremely rare photos of Mr. Harvey, taken in the same area of the
backyard you see in this photo; would you be interested in seeing them posted here?
(warning: they are truly "legendary").

Larry

Edited by - HassoBenSoba on 09/15/2012 04:39:06
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LegulusQ

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2012 :  18:04:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Tom, for apparently shaming folks into a response! Thanks, Ken, for sharing the yearbook photos of Nick L and Clem W! [Do you have any personal Clem stories you could share with us?]. Larry, Charlie does qualify as a legend of Hessville Park! Also, thanks for your e-mail. Thanks, Seejay, for your photo ID's. I thought that the girl second from the right was the late Jackie White, although I could be mistaken. As Larry mentioned, Tom Kocur is definitely the one wearing the Morton shirt fourth from the right. I believe the lad to Tom's right is one of the Keilman boys, but I'm not sure.

I'm posting another photo that comes from my Dad's extensive Kodachrome collection, which I'll eventually get around to scanning to digital in its entirety. He was really a photography buff, and had his own darkroom, etc. [He didn't develop his own Kodachromes, because of the expensive, proprietary Kodak process required for that film]. He has many great photos of Hessville/Hammond-related people and events. I chose this one because of the references to Nick Luketic above. This photo depicts the Club Pour Nous softball team, circa 1947-48. Nick L. is kneeling, second from the right. My Dad was one of the team coaches, and is standing fifth from the right. You can just catch a patch of brown on his shoulder, which is part of his beloved Club Pour Nous sweater that he kept hanging in his closet forever. We lost him in January, 2011, but I think my Mom still lets the sweater hang in the closet where it has always been. At the time this photo was taken, he and my Mom had been married for 4-5 years, and had just moved into a house on Alabama St., just down the block from our Sheptalk friend TestPattern! Prior to that, they had lived in an apartment above Janc's Drugs on the corner of Kennedy and Martha St.



Perhaps some of our Sheptalk brethren can identify other people, or who knows, even family members in this photo!? BTW, Nick L's son Barrett, my classmate at MHS, followed in his Dad's footsteps into teaching and is now the principal at a high school in Tennessee!

Although I don't seem to find the time to post often, I greatly enjoy reading the various threads here, and feel like I've gotten to know something about the fine group of people who hang out here and share their memories and experiences growing up in the great Northwest [Indiana, of course]!

LegulusQ
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wvcogs

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2012 :  21:58:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm including this post here because Jack Georgas coached the baseball team when it played at Hessville Park while the high school was in the Marshall Avenue building.

I just received an email sending the following link to an obituary for Jack Georgas. Jack taught and coached at Morton for 35 years beginning around 1955.

Ken

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nwitimes/obituary.aspx?n=jack-s-georgas&pid=160016189#fbLoggedOut
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LegulusQ

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2012 :  00:56:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ken, thanks for your post about the passing of "General" Jack Georgas. He was a very nice man, and did become a "legend" of Hessville Park during his long coaching career.

As our house was just off the corner of Arizona Ave. and Orchard Drive [BOR], we were right behind the backstop of Hessville Park's baseball diamond. Because of that proximity, I took in many MHS games over the years, along with Club Vale [later known as the Bocken Cubs] and American Legion games. Our next-door neighbor, Mr. Lane, lived right on the corner. He had a pretty dense hedge lining his property along Orchard Drive, and invariably, foul balls would get "lost" in his hedge. He would find them and promptly turn them over to my brother and me. We were kept in a good supply of nearly brand new baseballs all summer long for own sandlot games in the park!

Depending on how many kids we had available, we would play either pitcher's hand out [remember that?] or first base out. If we were really limited, we would play right field out, or left field out if we had a southpaw at the plate. We would line up our bicycles in an arc out in the outfield, so we would have a "home run fence" to add to the excitement. Each year, the bikes would have to get pushed back a little more, so hitting a homer remained a challenge.

At least once a summer, we would organize a game or series against another Hessville neighborhood, and play nine on a side at Caldwell Field with full catcher's equipment, base stealing, etc. All organized by us, without any input from an adult. Somehow, I don't see today's generation of kids doing that. Then again, most kids today don't even play organized baseball, much less sandlot! Of course, we had much more limited options for amusement compared to kids today... OK, that's enough, I don't want to sound like a grumpy old man! Times change; we had opportunities our parents never had, and our kids have some unique to this era. But I wouldn't trade the experiences I had back then for anything!

Craig

LegulusQ
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LegulusQ

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2012 :  01:10:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, Larry, I can't take the suspense any longer! You must post those "bizarre" photos of Charlie Harvey! Just assure me that we won't be breaking any laws by having them on the website. Did their existence cause Charlie to have to go deep under cover? Did he have to enter a witness protection program? Did they have something to do with the missing sign mentioned in the other thread? What's the skinny?! We must know the truth!

LegulusQ
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HassoBenSoba

USA
642 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2012 :  02:30:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Craig,

It's either feast or famine around here! Now that you're back in touch, I don't what stuff to post first;
so the Charlie Harvey pics (from '64) will just have to wait a while longer (they're in terrible shape---
they were damaged in a basement flood, so the emulsion can literally be scraped right off the paper---
but I was able...through careful restoration...to preserve enough of the image on each of them. How's that for
raising expectations?).

I was saddened to read in your above post that your dad had passed away; I've said it elsewhere and I'll
say it again---he was one of kindest, most even-tempered, and generally classy guys I have ever met,
and was very patient and considerate towards me, an undisciplined, impulsive 15-year old organist at
OLPH church; your dad served as commentator for many of the Masses I played, and he always treated me
as a peer--something I doubt that I deserved.

Anyway, here's an item you might enjoy....well...maybe not.
It's the LANNIN CLAN from the 1970 OLPH Parish Directory! Sharp-eyed readers will compare
this pic with that of your dad above in the group baseball shot, taken 23 years earlier.



And since (as I've always said) you can't tell the Lannin kids apart without a scorecard,
I'll let you do the honors of identifying you and your sibs.

Larry

Edited by - HassoBenSoba on 09/26/2012 02:34:09
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