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Mom and Dad visit Don Karaiskos, ca 1957–58
Mike Royko & his mother and siblings—June, 1958
The Royko / Belushi connection
This photo is probably from 1959, though it could be 1963, because Mom appears to be pregnant with either me or my younger brother Robby. They are with Marion and Pete Belushi. Pete’s brother was Adam, father of eventual comic stars Jim and John Belushi. I have a vague memory of some family gatherings with the Belushis when we were kids, with John and Jim present, but my parents were closer friends with Marion and Pete—so close that Mom and Dad named Aunt Marion and Uncle Pete my Godparents. They’d become friends soon after Mom and Dad were married. Dad would meet Mom during her lunch break from her job in a doctor’s office, and Marion and Pete ran the grill where they would eat. Dad’s column from March 7, 1982 (reprinted in the posthumous One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko) was written when he learned of John’s death. In it, he talks of Pete, Marion, Adam, Jim and John Belushi. This photo was likely taken in Marion and Pete’s restaurant, Fair Oaks, on Dempster in Morton Grove (now long-gone), the kind of self-made success story that Dad appreciated, and loved to see his friends achieve, as he did himself.
Carol and Mike Royko in 1963
Before the farewell—1975
Mom’s Last Christmas—1978
My cousin Amelia sent me this picture, taken in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin at my Uncle Bobby and Aunt Geri’s house in 1978. I was thrilled to receive the photo, unaware that it existed. Note the portable cassette recorder near my feet (I’m the guy in the middle, without a guitar). From Royko In Love, page 108: “Mike mentions singing with Carol, which they continued to do throughout their life together—I happened to tape-record a family Christmas gathering in 1978, the last before Mom’s unexpected death, and there they were, singing songs in harmony, with Dad’s guitar in accompaniment.” This is a picture of those moments.