StoryCorps Chicago: ‘Growing Up, I Thought Chicago Was A Bicultural City'

55 minutes ago

Ron Grossman grew up surrounded by a tight-knit extended family in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

During a visit to the StoryCorps booth at the Chicago Cultural Center, he reflected on thinking the city was divided into the "us" and "them" he saw in his neighborhood — Jews and Catholics. 

Grossman said he explored the city through books and words until he eventually ventured outside of his neighborhood and saw "the signs in the window change from one language to another." 

"That's when I realized that the 'them' are many and there are all these wonderful subcultures," he said. 

Today, at age 82, Grossman covers ethnic neighborhoods as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Press play to hear his recollections of the neighborhood of his youth.

Bill Healy is WBEZ’s StoryCorps producer. You can follow him @chicagoan.