Sunday, January 3, 2016

Found Again!

Readers of this blog know I have posted a number of times on the pre baby boom history of my hometown of Morton Grove, Illinois, and pipe up every now and again about goings on in or near my family's current residence of Bozeman, Montana. As these municipalities are geographically separated by the better part of a mile vertically and some 1,300 miles horizontally, and their populations are modest (Bozeman 37,280 and Morton Grove 23,270 in the last decennial census) you would not expect there would  be a whole lot of intersection between the two populations.

But I received an email at my blog address the other day titled "Small World" (you can get to my email address by clicking through the "View my full profile link" on the right side of this page). The sender, who we shall refer to as Mr. Moody, wrote as follows,

Hi Grady:

I recently happened upon your Blog.  I am also from Morton Grove, and vaguely remember you from early childhood.  I lived on 9000 block of Moody Street,  went to Park View, then Niles West (Class of 76), and then on to Ann Arbor, Berkeley and beyond.  You were about 4-5 years ahead of me if my recollection is correct.

I relocated here (Bozeman) in 2000 in an effort to escape the city and the practice of law (and to flyfish, ski, hike, etc.)

It would be good to meet you sometime.  Keep up the Blog!

Mr. Moody
### West Something or Other St
Bozeman, MT 59715

We love making new friends, discovering long lost or previously unknown relatives, and assisting people seeking our help to connect with others whom they surmise we might be able to find or hone in on based on writings in our blog (though the story had a bittersweet ending, we were able to help a man adopted as an infant track down his birth mother). 

My life story seems to parallel (I attended rival schools in Madison and Palo Alto) my Bozeman neighbor more than a little bit. I responded.

Mr. Moody,

Great to hear from you!

Your name sounds familiar, like I met you playing golf here or something like that. Your name is not ringing a bell from back in the day.

We are ... just east of town.

I presume you've read my Morton Grove posts. If not, they are tagged Morton Grove in the right hand column of my blog.

Caddied for nine years at Glen View Club, got the caddie scholarship, went to U Wisc. then Stanford and lived and worked in the DC area for 34 years before retiring and moving to Bozeman.

Yes I graduated Niles West 1971 after attending Park View all the way through. Lived on the corner of Austin and Davis at 9101 N. Austin. I probably walked by your house on the way to or from Park View a thousand times.

I have accumulated a lot of research on the Poehlmann Bros. greenhouse operation that, depending on which side of Moody you lived on, would have been in your backyard (see greenhouses in image below). I'll get it written up sometime in the next couple of months.

Inline image 1
Morton Grove, aerial view, 1939, courtesy USGS>
I have a question. The Bozeman Parks website says Southside isn't open for skating yet, Is that right? I promised to take my kids skating.

Until later.



The Poehlmann Bros. Greenhouses (shuttered but not yet taken down in this 1939 view) are the row upon row of structures between Moody and the (North Branch of the Chicago) river in the above right photo. Our correspondent grew up in a home on Moody Avenue between Lake Street and Davis Street. We actually blogged once about the route I walked in my childhood to Park View School down his block of Moody, and another time wrote on the block north of Mr. Moody's childhood home that has been taken back by nature. I learned how to ice skate in Harrer Park and attended Park View School grades K through 8, located since the 1950s where the Poehlman brothers once grew roses, carnations, mums, lilies, and other flowers and greenery for the wholesale florist market. 

I passed by Mr. Moody's childhood home the day Kennedy was shot.
My correspondent wrote back.


Great to hear from you, too.  They still seem to be working on the ice each morning, but it does not appear to be open yet.  It should be open any day now.

Please feel free to give me a call (or knock on the door) when you head to South Side Park – my house faces the north side of the Park.

Mr. Moody

Just how small of a world is it?

Our daughter Blake skating at South Side Park in Bozeman, February 2014. Our correspondent's home -- quite literally -- is in the background. 

With below normal temperatures through most of December, it most certainly has been cold enough, long enough to lay the ice at South Side. We suspect some sort of a labor issue is responsible for the delay. When we get around to lacing our skates up, we will be sure to knock at Mr. Moody's door and say "Hi."

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