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The Rooming House Diaries – Life, Love and Secrets. Two Polish immigrants meet, marry, start a family and build a rooming house in the 1880’s. Over the years, a true cast of characters live there. In 2009, the current owner dies and informs his heirs there are diaries filled with information and secrets. This book consists of six diaries and other correspondance filled with the ebb and flow of Chicago history in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, the DNA family, and how some roomers became non-DNA family. It has Chicago all through it. Polish, Germans, Jews, Blacks, Latinos, Gays, Chicago dialect, street cars, the depression, world wars, Viet Nam and the YMCA. Everyday people struggling and succeeding through the ups and downs of 135 years of life in one neighborhood. It’s rich, earthy, heart-warming, funny, sad and inspiring—just like Chicago itself.
Where else will you meet a French love child from WWI who shows up and says you’re my dad? Or encounter a single, pregnant teen who has her baby in the owners bedroom and both mother and daughter end up living in the rooming house for 15 years? Then there’s the woman who really isn’t who she said she was, and the male street worker from Tijuana who ends up inheriting the place. All of them loved, welcomed and adopted into the family by Polish immigrants and their generations of children.
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