All posts filed under: Jackson Park

“I used to cry a lot”

Jack Daniel Reese sits with his friend at a picnic table in Jackson Park, not far from Forest Home Avenue. Reese’s unbuttoned jean shirt, greying hair, hard, weathered look and a long scar on his left cheek give a little hint to where he’s been. “My buddy … he makes sure I get outside just to talk,” he says. “He’s knowledgeable and he’s [a] very kind person. He respects me and I respect him — he’s like a brother, you know?”

“I never saw a movie that’s been as interesting as my life”

Ronnie hobbles down a lonely stretch of Oklahoma Avenue supporting himself with crutches. The 77-year-old wears a pair of old-fashioned Koss headphones over a baseball cap adorned with American flag pins, his scraggly brown hair peeking out from beneath. Ronnie is on his way to visit with his daughter and granddaughter. “That was my big thing — to get married and have children,” he says. At this point, they’re all he has left. “My son only lived to be 19,” Ronnie says. “He went into the army and he was stationed in Germany. He got killed, not like in combat or anything, but he was in an automobile accident when he was coming home from seeing his daughter who was born prematurely — she was in the hospital ‘cause she was only two pounds.”

“It definitely changes the world”

Katie Glembin sits on the concrete stoop of her family’s home in Jackson Park. Glembin’s 8-year-old daughter and another young girl rotate between playing in the yard and sitting beside her. “She’s my best friend,” says Glembin, who’s a single mom. “It’s just been great, just us two. I mean, obviously, two incomes are better than one, but we’ve made it work.”