StoryCorps Chicago: 'Just A Little Patch In The City That's Been A Comfort Zone'
John O'Dea grew up next to the Stock Yards on Chicago's South Side, in the Canaryville neighborhood. When he was a kid, the meatpacking industry thrived. And so did the communities surrounding it. But by the 1970s many businesses had moved away, leaving behind just a handful of institutions. John and his wife Susan stayed, and rehabbed an old drugstore into a single-family home where they raised their kids. He and Susan recently talked about their connections to their community, as part of our StoryCorps series.
This interview was recorded through a partnership with the Packingtown Museum, which exists to preserve the history of Chicago’s Stock Yards and surrounding neighborhoods. The Packingtown Museum is located at The Plant, a former meat-packing facility that is being repurposed as a collaborative community of food businesses committed to material reuse and closed loop systems.
Bill Healy produces StoryCorps Chicago and teaches journalism at Northwestern University. Follow him @chicagoan.