The Society's Rob Case talks with an event attendee.

The Society’s Rob Case talks with an event attendee.

On August 11, 2014, more than 200 alumni of Mather, Boone, Senn, and other Rogers Park and West Ridge neighborhood schools gathered at Max and Benny’s Restaurant and Deli in Northbrook to celebrate “Welcome to Rogers Park/West Rogers Park Night 2014!”

Most guests now live in the Northwest suburbs, but one couple came from South Shore, and another happened to be visiting from Florida. All came, in the words of Eileen Levy (Sullivan ’70), “to reconnect with old friends and meet new people.” Richard Reeder, Events Coordinator for Max and Benny’s and a former Rogers Parker, plans to make this an annual event.

Historical Society volunteer Robert Case and Board members Dona Vitale, Kay McSpadden, and Colleen Sen were on hand with a display of memorabilia and information about the Society’s current offerings.

The evening featured reserved tables identified with signs bearing the names of neighborhood streets, schools and restaurants. Menu specials reflected the culinary heritage of Rogers Park and West Ridge’s restaurants, now sadly gone: Chicago-Style Steamed Hot Dog (Lippy’s Red Hot Ranch, once located at 3114 West Devon); Double Cheeseburger (Randall’s, California and Devon); BBQ Brisket Sandwich (Ashkenaz, 1432 Morse); BBQ Ribs (Sally’s Original BBQ, 6345 Western, where the waitstaff were on rollerskates); BBQ Skirt Steak Sandwich (The Town House, 6935 N. Sheridan).

One of a group of Sullivan ‘65 classmates met an old neighbor she “hadn’t seen in years.” Another was touched at connecting with someone who had served in the military with her deceased brother. It was a noisy evening marked by many hugs and lots of animated conversation.

Historical Society volunteers brought along literature and merchandise to familiarize attendees with the Society’s extensive photo archive and full range of programs and events. For many, looking at the materials on display brought back fond memories and prompted the sharing of some great stories.