“I’m one of the really old seniors who call Chesterfield Villas home,” jokes 90-year-old Chester Bolek (COM ’49, MS ’73). Chester grew up in Chicago’s “Little Poland” neighborhood and, encouraged by his parents Frank and Rose Bolek, chose DePaul University for college. “I have an ongoing love affair with my school… even though I graduated over half a century ago,” he says, “[DePaul] molded me into a clear-thinking person.”
Recently, Chester shared with DePaul about another “ongoing love affair” — this one with his wife of more than 65 years, Dorothy Bolek. The couple met at a DePaul dance, and Chester tells the story best himself:
64 E. Lake St. – Chicago, Ill: These are not just street numbers — mere digits. They are the focal point of my life. This was DePaul University’s address in 1941. There I acquired the fabric which allowed me to evaluate the events in my life and make decisions based on Christian principles in a materialistic world.
Great as all that was, there is something that surpasses all that in importance. I ment my future wife, Dorothy, there at a DePaul dance — same address — on October 17, 1941. Dorothy was there as the date of one of my friends… . What can I say? She was good looking — major correction — she still is. Looked like Alice Faye, the movie star. Remember her?
My date grumbled somewhat! I danced a lot with Dorothy. After the dance I suggested we go to the Hotel Gramere overlooking Garfield Park. There they had a lounge, The Glass House, which was a cool place. Well, we went there and to my surprise the leader of the band was an acquaintance of mine… . I then introduced him to the group. Talk about making an impression — I just lucked out!
This was the beginning of a World War II romance, and it all began at 64 E. Lake St., Chicago, Ill.
This coming weekend, Oct. 15-17, we’re looking forward to hearing more memories from DePaul alumni during Reunion Weekend 2010. Phone registration is still open for the weekend’s many events; simply call the Office of Alumni Relations at (800) 437-1898. If you can’t make it back this weekend, but want to share a DePaul memory, post a comment here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, Chester, for sharing such a lovely snippet from your life!