Arthur and Nancy Dallia

Does MPHS have photographs: No

Date of Interview: 11/23/1991

Interviewer: Leo Floros

Text of Oral History Interview:

LEO FLOROS: This is Leo Floros. I’m in the home of Arthur Dallia at 7 North School Street in Mount Prospect. Art has consented to be interviewed as part of the Mount Prospect oral history project. This is Saturday, November 23, and Art, we’re delighted that you’ve consented to go back into your memory and tell us what it was to be in Mount Prospect as long as you have. So let’s take it from the beginning. You were telling me a few minutes ago that you started visiting here back in the mid-’20s –1922, 1923.
ARTHUR DALLIA: Yes, somewhere along there –1923, ’24. A friend of mine opened up a drugstore in town here down at 22 West Busse and we came out to visit him.
FLOROS: That’s the place that now houses a chiropractor.
DALLIA: That’s right. That’s the building right there. We would come out to visit every so often, and the population, I believe, at that time was about 400 or 500. There weren’t any streets paved back at that particular time.
FLOROS: So that was how you got familiar with Mount Prospect?
DALLIA: That’s right.
FLOROS: Tell us a little bit about that area then, back in 1922, 1923 or whatever it was. How many stores were in town?
DALLIA: Well, there weren’t very many stores. There were a few stores on Main Street on the east side of the street, and then, of course, there was Kruse’s Tavern over there that was there. Then south on Emerson there was a farm supply –an equipment supply –company that was there. I don’t recall much of anything on the north side at all. Well, there were a few houses along Main Street going north, and I don’t just recall when Busse built the garage there for the automobile place. That I don’t quite remember.
FLOROS: But at that time you were living in Chicago.
DALLIA: I was living in Edison Park at that particular time.
FLOROS: So when, then, did you ultimately move your family, and what did your family consist of then? You moved to Mount Prospect when?
DALLIA: I moved to Mount Prospect in 1945. I bought the property in March., I got in in March, by golly.
FLOROS: And that was located where?
DALLIA: That was at 15 South Albert Street, which is one block west of Mount Prospect Road. At that particular time, there were farms right in back of my lot for several blocks down, and there was complete farming on the other side of Mount Prospect Road. Actually, there was farmland all around here.
FLOROS: Your family then consisted of …?
DALLIA: Well, my family consisted of –I had a son that was fifteen years of age, and my daughter was about twelve at that time. They went to what they at that time called the Mount Prospect School, which later became the Central School.
FLOROS: Which later became the library.
DALLIA: That’s right. My brother-in-law lived here, and he was the postmaster back in about 1928 and lived through there up to about 1934. The post office was in a store just south of Busse on the east side of the street. There was a dry goods store there, and Meeske had the corner where he had a small store there as well. When I first moved out here, too, I used to go and get eggs from the farmers throughout Central Road just beyond the railroad track –and pick up eggs. And the Zenith tower over there. ..
FLOROS: And that was where?
DALLIA: That was on the corner of Mount Prospect Road and Central. That was a broadcasting station owned by Zenith. Their equipment and everything was on the first floor, and upstairs was an apartment. They actually broadcast from there.
FLOROS: Now, this was 1945?
DALLIA: 1945.
FLORaS: Were you working in Chicago?
FLOROS: How did you get to and from Chicago?
DALLIA: Well, I rode the train. In those days a monthly pass was probably six or seven dollars.
FLORaS: It’s about seventy-nine now.
DALLIA: Whatever it is now, I don’t know.
FLOROS: I’ll tell you; it’s seventy-nine dollars.
DALLIA: I’m retired since 1969, so I don’t know.
FLOROS: But you were one of the early commuters to Chicago.
FLOROS: How long of a train ride was it to Chicago? Do you remember?
DALLIA: I don’t quite remember, but, of course, they were steam engines and they were all open cars. In the summertime the windows were open and you would get the smoke and what have you coming back in there. A great place to eat in those days was Kruse’s, who served plate lunches and so on, like that. Now I’ve got to do a little more thinking. The first village hall was a small building there one block south of Busse where the water tower is at now. There was a building there which was the village office, and next door was a garage for the fire department. Loris Lemmer, I know, was the village clerk at one time at that location there. But that’s all that the village consisted of –they had one office there. That was it.
FLOROS: And the police chief. ..?
DALLIA: Oh, yes, there was one policeman, and that was George Whittenberg. He also rode a motorcycle. He was a very good man and kept good order all the way through.
FLORaS: What did they do for fire protection?
DALLIA: Well, I was just thinking about that. They had the volunteers. That’s where the one fire deparment was, in that particular building. It just was a pumper. And then they had a tanker that they would store someplace else, and they were all volunteers. If there was a fire they would blow the siren and the volunteers would rush down. Maybe some of them got on the truck and the others would drive and follow.
FLOROS: Now, your children went to Central School?
FLORaS: And when they got to high school they went where?
DALLIA: They went to Arlington Heights [High] School.
FLOROS: That’s the one that’s closed now.
DALLIA: Yes. The enrollment was around 800 or 900.
FLOROS: At the high school.
DALLIA: The entire 214 district was in that area. Of course, everybody knows what happened after that –we had an increase in population and. ..well, I don’t want to go into the church part.
FLOROS: Well, I happen to know that Art was one of the founding members of St. Mark Lutheran Church. Tell us a little bit about the history of St. Mark Church that you’ve been involved with right from the start, Art.
DALLIA: Yes, well I tell you, I moved in in March here, and along in October I got a call from Dan Borgen on a Monday after I got home from work about whether I would come over to his home in regards to starting a church. So, there were about five couples there at that particular time. There were two pastors there; the one from Edison Park –I can’t remember his name at the moment –and another one. They said that the University of Chicago had issued information that the population would go northwest, and that was why they wanted to get a church started there. After we met there in October, we started then to hold church services for a few families in the evenings –on Sunday evening –when one of the pastors would come out and conduct the service. And then in June of ’46, Pastor Anderson answered our call and he came here on a visit. I remember very vividly that we went out to lunch to the forest preserves and had a meeting with him. We accepted him, and hen he moved his family into Arlington Heights. At that particular time, in order to do any building you had to be a military man to get a permit to build, because there hadn’t been any building for years. So at that time he rented a place in Arlington –or we did –and we started services in the basement of what was eventually the Central School. That was in 1946. We met there and had our regular services there until we were able to build the first unit, which I think we dedicated in 1948.
FLOROS: On Evergreen Street.
DALLIA: Yes, that’s right.
FLOROS: Back there in the forties, where did you shop? Did you have any shops in town, or did you have to go back to Chicago? What did you do when you needed a new suit?
DALLIA: Well, as far as clothing was concerned, we shopped in Chicago. As far as food was concerned, the National opened up a store on the southwest side of Prospect Avenue where that little shopping center is, and that was the first main store as far as food was concerned.
FLOROS: There was a National on that side of the street?
DALLIA: The National was there –that was the first one. And then eventually the Jewel opened up down where that electronics store is now.
FLOROS: On Northwest Highway. And then there was an A&P?
DALLIA: There was an A&P over here on Main Street, just on the northwest corner in that building there.
FLOROS: Back up a minute. The main store in town was. ..?
DALLIA: Meeske’s, that’s right. That’s where we did the shopping until the others opened up. That was the food store. Edwin Busse opened up a place after he built his building.
FLOROS: And Meeske’s was located where?
DALLIA: Meeske’s was located in a store in between Busse and Northwest Highway on the east side of the street, and it was just a single store. Where the bakery is now, he built a new building there. There was an empty lot, and he built a fifty-foot building there and started it in a bigger way. But first of all, he had the little bit of a twenty-five-foot store in the middle of the block. That was it. And there was a dry goods store there, too. And then, of course, the post office was there. I think that’s about what it was –Meeske’s, the post office and the dry goods store.
FLOROS: How about the bank? Was there a bank in town?
DALLIA: Oh, that I must tell you about –the bank. The original bank building was a twenty-five-foot square building on the northeast corner of Busse and Main Street. That’s where the bank started. And then, of course, they moved. I can’t remember the year, but they moved over in that building that’s on the northwest corner. On the first floor there, they had fifty feet back there. Then eventually they moved to where the village hall is today, and then they went into where they’re located today. But the very first building was a twenty-five-foot square building –a little bit of a thing. I can’t remember the year –I didn’t make notes –but that’s what it was. I’m glad you brought up about the bank. That’s where it started. William Busse, Sr., was the one that started the bank.
FLOROS: He probably knew everybody in town.
DALLIA: He did and you know, when the [Depression] was on which started in 1929, that bank stayed open all the time because of Busse’s contacts and so on like that.
FLOROS: Art, did you have a car in those days and, if so, how was driving in these areas? You didn’t have traffic jams like we do today, did you?
DALLIA: Oh, no. There were no traffic jams then. And you know, as far as Rand Road, I remember when there were no stop-and-go lights at all. It was clear all the way through. I had a car, a Studebaker Champion. I got that in 1941. That’s the last year they built them. After I was out here, I traded that in and got a Ford. That was in 1949, I believe that was, or so. First, Central was only a two-lane street or road –whatever you want to call it.
FLOROS: Was it paved?
DALLIA: Yes, it was; that is, after I moved here. But I’ve got to also remember another thing. Northwest Highway did not go through because of the railroad crossings down there. Eventually–I don’t know what year it was –but the Soo Line and the Northwest crossed right at that point down there, and we used to drive out to get on to Mount Prospect to come out into the downtown section you would take Rand Road out to just beyond River Road and then there was a street that went right down into Cumberland, and that’s where Northwest Highway started. Now, I can’t tell you the year that they put that viaduct in, but when I first moved here that viaduct was not there. We came out the other way.
FLOROS: I’ll be darned. So over the years you’ve seen Mount Prospect grow from a town of …
DALLIA: Well, from way back –1923, 24; 400 or 500. It’s grown up to I believe 57,000 now.
FLOROS: Over 50,000; that’s right. Let’s go a little back into your background. What did you do for a living in Chicago, Art?
DALLIA: I started with my company in 1918 and started as sort of an office boy, and I got into inventory control and eventually I became purchasing agent in 1928. We were a manufacturing company, and manufactured safety cans and oily waste cans for fire prevention, carbine mining lamps for mining coal and metals and what have you, and eventually we went into electric hand lanterns and so on like that.
FLOROS: And you retired when?
DALLIA: I retired in November of 1969, but my last six years I was president of the company. I don’t know whether I should have said that.
FLOROS: That’s fine. As I recall, though –since I’ve known you a long time –didn’t they call you back after you retired?
DALLIA: Oh, yes. They called me back several times. Three times I was called back because of some problems. One of them was, the purchasing agent quit very suddenly and I got a call from the owner on Saturday. Would I come in Monday and take over purchasing for possibly another month or so? I also got a call to come back to get bids on punch presses and so on, because they had sold them all because of labor problems.
FLOROS: Getting back to Mount Prospect in the forties, what were the boundaries of Mount Prospect? How far north did it go, do you know? Do you recall? When you got up to Foundry Road, was that about the end of it?
DALLIA: No, there was nothing. It was all farmland north of Central when I moved here in ’45.
FLOROS: How about to the south –to Golf Road or something?
DALLIA: Well, over in the area there where that golf course was built, it was a real estate project, is what it was. When you bought property around there, you became a sort of a member. I don’t remember –he was in the real estate business, and he was in business with a man by the name of Florence. They had an office in Arlington, and they sold that property all around the golf course. That part of town there was the golf course –is developed those homes all around there. There was nothing south of Golf Road at all, and over in this area here along Emerson, there was all farmland over there. As a matter of fact, there was a barn over there that Evenson started in their business –the Evensons in the business that they are in. They were in an old cow barn.
FLOROS: Is that right?
DALLIA: Yes. That’s where they were at. But southeast of that–right in back of where Kruse’s is in there –that was all vacant. That was farmland back then.
FLOROS: What did you do if you had to go to a hospital back then in the forties?
DALLIA: Oh, that’s a good point. Well, you either went to St. Francis. ..
FLOROS: In Evanston.
DALLIA: …in Evanston, or you went to Elgin.
FLOROS: Is that Sherman?
DALLIA: Yes. Those were the two hospitals. Then there was one down in Elmhurst. That’s what you had to travel in order to go to a hospital.
FLOROS: You didn’t have any 911 ambulance service, huh?
DALLIA: No, there wasn’t anything like that. We had a doctor here by the name of Dr. Woolfarth. He was one of the real old-timers of doctors here. Over there on Prospect Avenue he had a two-story brick, and he lived upstairs. On the first floor was  where his office was. For about a year or so he ran it as a hospital and had a couple of beds in there. But that didn’t last too long. He was one of the first doctors here, and he always traveled with the fire department when they went on fires. He went along on that, too.
FLOROS: As the town grew in the fifties, as one of the pioneers yourself, did you welcome this kind of growth? How did you feel about it? Did you have any concerns that now you had to build schools and all those other things that cost money?
DALLIA: Well I’ll tell you, I probably didn’t think too much along those lines because I was a very busy man as far as my work was concerned. I ran inventory control and what have you, and when I came home I wanted to more or less rest and I didn’t do too much thinking, and I got involved with the St. Mark Church. So, I didn’t give a whole lot of thought one way or another, to be frank with you. I wasn’t concerned about it.
FLOROS: All right. You had a lot of positions in your company. Did you have to fly at all –go out of town –and if so, you didn’t have O’Hare Field.
DALLIA: I did do some flying. I was a member of the Chicago Purchasing Agents Association, and I became president of that organization. Eventually I got to be what was called a national director. Twice a year we had meetings in different parts of our district and you would fly. That’s how much flying I did. Otherwise, in my business, my work, I was not involved with flying, but I was flying for the Purchasing Agents Association.
FLOROS: You didn’t have to worry about where the airfield was.
DALLIA: No. We went to Midway. That was the only one. That was a long trip to go out there, between Cicero and –5200 West and from 55th Street to 63rd. That was the airport. That was a long way out there.
FLOROS: You said the high school was at Arlington, of course, which meant that everybody had to go by bus.
DALLIA: They had a bus that picked the students up, but that was it. They had around 850, or in that category.
FLORaS: Art, when you moved here in 1945, you only had one car, right?
FLOROS: The car stayed home when you went to [work]. Did your wife drive around?
DALLIA: No, my wife did not drive. She never did drive an automobile.
FLOROS: So how did she get to the store? I mean, Albert Street.
DALLIA: I would take her to stores on Saturday or in the evening –one of the two. She did not drive a car. I’ve got to tell you a little bit about over here on Cumberland where that circle is over there. I’m thinking about the year that was. That was about 1937 or so, the insurance companies that had foreclosed –wait a minute. Yes, the Depression came in ’29. A lot of people lost their homes because they were unemployed, and the insurance companies decided to sell the homes that they had in 1937. Where that circle is over there in Cumberland, that’s Golf Road. Just beyond that on the south side of the street, I bought a building over there, or put a deposit on a building for $6,000. It was a two-story house with a garage in the back, and there were two homes there. After I had done that I decided, why, my wife doesn’t drive, so I got my deposit back, and that’s when I found a home in Edison Park and I went into Edison Park in 1937.
FLOROS: I see.
DALLIA: But that was all vacant over there in that area, too.
FLOROS: Now, when you bought your home on Albert Street, how old a house was that?
DALLIA: Well, that house was built in 1930. It was a very well-constructed house. The wood trim in that house was all oak.
FLOROS: Is that house still there?
FLOROS: Would you mind telling us what you paid for that house?
DALLIA: I paid $10,750 for a two-story with a fifty-foot lot and 165 feet deep. I paid $10,750 for it.
FLOROS: And you lived there how long?
DALLIA: I lived there twenty-two years.
FLOROS: And then you moved to …?
DALLIA: Then I moved here. I think I sold it at that time for about $26,000.
FLOROS: And this one you built new?
DALLIA: No, no. This house was built in 1954, that I’m in now –7 North School Street was built in 1954 by Serafin. He built all
the houses on the north side of Central for several blocks. And Blewitt built the houses north; those houses up there beyond the second street north.
FLOROS: Gregory.
DALLIA: No, no –between Thayer and Gregory. He built them. Those houses were small, and the village could not authorize taking that property in because his houses were too small. He built his own streets, and if you’ll notice, the sidewalks are much narrower in that section than they are in Mount Prospect.
FLOROS: Oh, they weren’t incorporated? That wasn’t in Mount Prospect then?
DALLIA: No, it was not in Mount Prospect.
FLOROS: It came in later?
DALLIA: It came in later, after it got all built up by –Blewitt built those.
FLOROS: And shopping? We talked a little bit about Meeske’s. What other stores were in town? Wille’s? What did Wille operate in those days, or Busse Hardware?
DALLIA: Well, Wille had lumber and hardware and what have you. When I first moved here on Robert Street I used to buy coal from them, and the two twin boys used to deliver it.
FLOROS: You burned coal, I take it.
DALLIA: I burned coal. As soon as I could, I got transferred to gas when it was permitted. Then I changed over to gas. But
Busse-Biermann’s Hardware Store –Frank Biermann and Fred Busse, which was his brother-in-law, started that particular store, which was set up by William Busse, Sr. And of course, he had the first automobile shop there which was –I can’t think of the name of that Busse. His oldest son was William, Jr., and he eventually was involved with the bank. He was in the real estate business, and that’s who I bought my house from at that time. He was the real estate agent.
FLOROS: Oh, is that right?
DALLIA: Yes. William Busse, Jr.
FLOROS: How about things like drugstores?
DALLIA: Well, let’s see, I told you of Bilhorst, and then there was a woman who had a drugstore on Northwest Highway just between Main Street and. ..
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DALLIA: …over on the other side. But that’s where he started –about the middle of the block.
FLOROS: Who, Jack Keefer?
DALLIA: Jack Keefer. That’s where he started. That was in the next block from where Van Dreil is at.
FLOROS: Gas stations? Were there a lot of gas stations town? Where did you have to fill up?
DALLIA: There were only a few gas stations. One was right on the corner of Northwest Highway and Main Street. Winkelmann ‘had one down at Central and Northwest Highway [Winkelmann’s Service and Greasing Palace]. They had been in that
FLOROS: How about Huecker?
DALLIA: Well, Huecker, I can’t just recall when he started that one there. I don’t recall that. Well, yes, I’ll take that back. He was there for a long time.
FLOROS: Huecker, yes.
DALLIA: And then the Shell gas station –that’s one I know pretty well –at Central and Rand, that started about 1955 because I lived close to there. Before that, the farmland went right up to there. That was one of the first pieces of property that was bought. It was all farmland going west of that Shell station.
FLOROS: Well now, the farming –were there big farms here? Who was farming this land? Were there big farmhouses there?
DALLIA: Yes, there were. There were quite a few farms around here.
FLORaS: What were they growing?
DALLIA: Well, they were growing corn. At one period of time they were growing sugar beets, and they used to bring them in the fall. Where the parking lot is there at Emerson and the railroad track, the farmers used to bring in [the sugar beets] and they had cars–like coal cars; or gondolas, I guess you would call them –and they dumped them right in there. They had a sort of conveyor and they would bring them in and dump them right in there. Now that went on for quite a few years there. I don’t remember when that shut off, but there were a lot of sugar beets that were grown in this area. And corn, because I know I had corn right in back of me. Another thing that was grown –there were a lot of peonies that were grown by …
FLOROS: Busse Flowers?
DALLIA: No, no. The fellow that was up there on the corner of –he’s well known –Klehm’s. I don’t recall just where that location was of Klehm’s, but it’s over there in the southwest section of town. He had peony farms.
FLOROS: Oh, yes?
DALLIA: Yes. And the young kids used to go in there and they’d clip the suckers off and they’d get paid so much for doing that, because I know my daughter did it at some time or another, too.
FLORaS: Well, now. People talk about onions. Did they grow onions there, too?
DALLIA: Oh, yes. They grew a lot of onions here. Those buildings down there, they had two onion houses.
FLOROS: Where was that?
DALLIA: On Pine Street, just south of Central Road there were two big buildings where the onions were dried. And in the fall, or sometime, they used to have dances in those onion houses when they were cleared out. Maybe that was in the spring when they would have a dance in one of those onion houses. But there were two large buildings where the onions were kept for a period of time, anyhow; over the fall or whatever it was. There were two of them there.
FLOROS: Going back to your first house on Albert Street, did you have your own well? What did you do for water? Was it city water or what?
DALLIA: It was city water, and [we] also [had] sewers, as far as that was concerned. I came in there in ’45.
FLOROS: Okay, so you didn’t have your own well or anything?
FLOROS: You said you commuted.
FLOROS: Did you drive to the station?
DALLIA: I used to drive down to the station. Over in back of Evenson’s there was a parking area there which is still there, and
that’s where I used to park. And there was some parking along the railroad track.
DALLIA: Free. They were free, except that down there in back of Evenson’s you paid a very nominal amount –maybe it was twenty-five cents a day or something. Along the railroad track that was free, but there was only so much space. So, somebody
opened up that place back there and there was a minimum charging–I would say something like twenty-five cents a day. There was a fellow there as you pulled in, and he collected it.
FLOROS: I see.
DALLIA: But that goes way back. And then eventually the village took over more land there and put in meters and what have you. But in the beginning there was just parking there along the railroad track. It wasn’t even paved at all. FLOROS: You were talking about the old insurance company –Kirchoff. Tell us a little bit –who was it, Walter Kirchoff?
DALLIA: Yes. His father had a farm out there west on Central. I’m pretty sure that’s where it was located. Whether it was his farm or not, I used to go out and get eggs that way. Walter eventually started an insurance business and built a building right across from. ..
FLOROS: From the old movie house, wasn’t it?
DALLIA: Yes, right across from there is where he built the building and started the insurance business. And of course, you’ve got a road out there called Kirchoff Road, too.
FLOROS: When was that movie house built? Do you remember? Was that here when you moved into town?
DALLIA: No, that was not there when I moved into town. I can’t recollect just when that was built.
FLORaS: What did the kids do for excitement when they first came out here?
DALLIA: Well, I know when I lived in Edison Park I used to take them down to Milwaukee Avenue and Lawrence Avenue –I forget the name of that theater that was down there.
FLOROS: How about here in Mount Prospect? No movie houses?
DALLIA: I don’t think –oh, Nancy!
FLOROS: At this point I’m going to ask Nancy Dallia, Art’s daughter who moved here in 1946 with Art, to talk a little bit about what it was like to be a kid in those days, and what they did for excitement. Nancy, if you wanted to go to a movie back in 1946, what did you do?
NANCY DALLIA: Well, we got our parents either to drive us to Arlington Heights, because the Arlington Theater was there. I think that’s where that big condominium complex is now, on Northwest Highway and –I don’t remember the name of the street. And then we went to the Youth Center which was down in the basement of Recreation Park in Arlington. And then we would just gather in Mount Prospect then –just stand around and talk and have a good time. We very seldom ever got into trouble. There were two schools. There was St. Paul and then there was Central School. We knew the kids from both schools because there weren’t that many. I think we had 28 in our graduating class in 1947 from Central School. And then we all went to Arlington. Arlington High School took in Mount Prospect, Elk Grove and Wheeling. I’d get on the bus with a couple of friends –we lived on Albert and George Street –and it took us 45 minutes to get to Arlington. One semester we would go way out into Elk Grove and pick up the farm kids, and then another semester we’d go all the way out to Wheeling and pick up the farm kids because there weren’t too many kids that lived right in town.
ART DALLIA: Van Driel’s had an ice cream counter, too. Tell something about that.
NANCY DALLIA: Van Driel’s had an ice cream counter. We used to go over to Van Driel’s and have lunch once in a while, from school–from Central School. They had a lunch counter and they’d serve sandwiches and Cokes and so on. Van Driel’s is still there, but it’s not the same.
FLOROS: What was the McDonald’s of the day? Where did you go for a hot dog or a hamburger?
NANCY DALLIA: At Arlington we went to Rapp’s. It was called “The Big Freeze” at that time. Of course, you could walk over from the high school for lunch.
FLOROS: There was nothing here in Mount Prospect?
NANCY DALLIA: No, not that we knew of. Sometimes we would go down to Des Plaines. We would ride the train on Saturdays.
NANCY DALLIA: No. We had to pay. I don’t remember, though, how much we paid, but it was probably a nickel or a dime or something like that.
ART DALLIA: Well, that movie [theater] in Des Plaines was built quite a few years back.
NANCY DALLIA: Yes, the in Des Plaines, but we very seldom went into Des Plaines. We always went to Arlington. Why, I don’t know.
FLOROS: Well, Nancy, you moved out here in 1945 from Chicago. What were your feelings? Was this like the end of the world or what?
NANCY DALLIA: No. I used to kid my mother that I was sure that there had to Indians around here somplace. There were cows that were grazing across Mount Prospect Road from where we lived, and they used to come in and eat her grapes on the grapevine. I remember that very well. She used to get very angry and take two garbage can lids and bang them together.
ART DALLIA: I don’t remember that.
NANCY DALLIA: I can see her doing that, because her grapevine was her –she used to can grapes. But it was so far out, especially when you were only two houses on a block and there were trees all around, [compared to] where we came from –a very residential area in Edison Park. But everybody knew everybody, and it was fun.
ART DALLIA: Well, it’s a good place.
NANCY DALLIA: It was nice to live here. It still is nice to live here, but it’s not the same. You always knew somebody and you could go right up to their door.
FLOROS: Did you lock your house?
ART DALLIA: I was going to say you didn’t lock your homes at all in those days.
FLOROS: Or your car?
ART DALLIA: No, not the car either.
NANCY DALLIA: And of course, kids didn’t drive until they were like seniors in high school because we didn’t get a driver’s license until you were eighteen.
ART DALLIA: That’s a good point.
NANCY DALLIA: And you had to get your parents to help teach you how to drive because they didn’t have driver’s education in school at that time. So, my father had the pleasure of teaching me how to drive.
ART DALLIA: And then, of course, that was with a manual transmission, you know, where you had a clutch pedal.
NANCY DALLIA: So when somebody turned eighteen in the senior class that was “the big time” because then they could drive. Otherwise our parents always drove us. We always went every Friday night to a basketball game or a football game. The school was the center of the social [life]. And the church was, too, I would say –St. Mark –because we had a very active Luther League.
FLOROS: Art, we’re just about wrapping this up. Just for the official record here, give us your full name.
ART DALLIA: My full name is Arthur Frederick Dallia. I originally lived in Chicago. I was born in Chicago.
FLOROS: Where?
DALLIA: Down at Racine and Belmont Avenue which was the Swedish part of Chicago at that particular time. My parents were both born in Sweden. FLOROS: And in what year were you born?
DALLIA: I was born in 1899 –May 20, 1899.
FLOROS: Ninety-two years young. And your parents’ names were?
DALLIA: My father’s name was Oscar and my mother was Ida Anderson–maiden name.
FLOROS: Both born in Sweden?
DALLIA: Yes. My mother came here when she was about fourteen, and my father came here at seventeen years of age. Those things [today] are almost unbelievable.
FLOROS: Came to Chicago.
FLOROS: And when did you move to Mount Prospect?
DALLIA: I moved to Mount Prospect in 1945 –March of 1945 –to 15 South Albert Street.
FLOROS: And you have lived here continuously since?
DALLIA: Yes. I lived twenty-two years at that address, and I moved here to 7 North School Street in 1967.
FLOROS: So you have occupied two homes in Mount Prospect since 1945.
DALLIA: That’s right.
FLOROS: And you intend to live here for at least another twenty-five or thirty years?
DALLIA: Well, I hope so.
FLOROS: Okay, Art. Well, thank you very much for consenting to this interview. We appreciate it, and may you live many more years of happiness here in Mount Prospect. Thanks again, Art.

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