Sunday, December 28, 2014

We used to spend alternating Thanksgivings and Christmases at my two grandmothers' houses, and Frances truly presided over a splendid feast. She and Adeline both wore wool crepe suits with starchy aprons, and they were assisted by their housekeeper, Elizabeth. Pictured here in 1958 (before my time) Adeline is wearing her accustomed suit and apron, her dog Chinga as sous chef.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Frances Hackett is in the third row from the bottom, eighth child from the left.
 Saint Benedict's  School, early 1920s.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hot Springs

Adeline and Jim at the Hoke Smith Hot Water Fountain,
Bathhouse Row, before 1923

Thanks to Liz at the Garland County Historical Society
for dating this photo and identifying the fountain.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Jim Hackett explains lawn care to Frances 1933

Kidnapping was a booming business. The Daily News Almanac and Yearbook 1933 records that between 1929 and 1932 "Illinois led all states in crimes of this character, with forty-nine."
It seemed that the time was coming when every successful businessman would have to spend time sequestered by a professional syndicate of kidnappers. With public opinion demanding a solution to the kidnapping epidemic, local law enforcement was busy trying to pin an assortment of crimes on suspects they had in custody.
Frances was sent to Saint Mary's Academy in South Bend, Indiana to complete her high school studies, while her brother George was kept at home in Blue Island. George had a living space done up for him in the basement of the family house on Greenwood Avenue.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Memorable Incident

For Father’s Day, I’ll tell you a story Frances told me about her dad. One afternoon she and some neighborhood children were playing together when a man came along pushing a cart. Some of the kids started skipping along after the man shouting Ben de sheenie Ben de sheenie, and she joined in the fun. Frances remembered figuring that the peddler was an Italian and that the kids were just chanting his name.
Just then, Jim Hackett came home, passing the children in the road. He jumped out of his car, pulled his daughter aside, upbraided her, and spelled out for her that the little mob was taunting the man because he was Jewish and that “sheenie” was a bad word used to insult Jews. Frances was about seven years old at the time, so it would have been 1921.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jimmy Blouin 1886-1947

Jimmy Blouin was Jim Hackett's business partner and played an important part in paying his ransom during the 1931 kidnapping. Above, 19 year old Blouin poses for a Chicago Tribune photographer as if throwing a bowling ball, 1905. In February 1925 Blouin beat Joe Scribner of Detroit to win the world's bowling championship. He was inducted into the Bowling Hall of Fame in 1953.

James Blouin won the USBC Open Championships all-events title in 1909 and captured the singles title two years later. Blouin made his mark on the lanes in the days when challenge matches were the determining factor for the stamp of greatness. He possessed steely nerves and had a strong, slow curve ball he seemed to push rather than roll. For many years he took on all comers in the Chicago area and around the nation. -from United States Bowling Congress, n.d. Web. 8 Jun 2011.