Marshall Field’s Celebration

The June 22  "Celebration of Marshall Field’s" held by the Park Forest Historical Society was a resounding success.  Thirty-six attendees included 10-12 former employees.  Those who spoke about the store included Amelia Castillo, who worked for about 30 years, Jim Francesconi, who worked in various capacities, including as the last store Santa, and Lillian Perez, who worked at the store from the time she was 18 until it closed.  Alice Michalak, the former head of personnel also spoke for a minute or two, stating that it was a wonderful place to work.  Panel speakers included Sally Wallach, who relayed memories of shopping at Field’s as a young girl, always with a group of friends; Valerie Nicholson who shopped with her family, and as a young adult, but also worked at the store when she was in high school; and Jane Nicoll, archivist, who relayed very brief facts about the store’s history, presented some facts on the demonstrations, along with Therese Goodrich, and read a statement from Janet Muchnik on how the store was convinced to stay and honor the last ten years of its lease. Leona DeLue spoke about how much people enjoyed eating at the Trail Room, and how people from all over the region used it as a meeting place.

There were some display boards with articles on the groundbreaking and opening of the store along with articles and ads from the life of the store in Park Forest.  Past employees displayed memorabilia like service pins, a clock-shaped cookie jar, a Santa photo and wore their employee badges.  Collectors Cynthia Ogorek of Calumet City and Edris Hoover of Beverly, along with others, loaned collections of a large variety of Field’s shopping bags and Christmas boxes  which gave a festive air  with displays across the front and back of the Village board meeting room. 

Attendees lingered over refreshments, looking at the displays and exchanging stories about the store.