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December 31, 2005


Wow. What a blast from the past.

Amba's and my grandfather was a Standard Club regular, and even was president in the early '50's. Every time I go there for some function, I say hello to his picture on the wall.

Of course, his not-so-secret yearning was to belong to the Union League Club, which didn't admit Jews. Many years later, when he was in the grip of what later would be called Alzheimer's, my grandmother moved him to the Whitehall nursing home. When they arrived, she asked him if he knew where he was.

He took it all in. Then his eyes lit up and he said hopefully, "The Union League Club?!"

Happy New Year, Danny.

Danny, I don't know how you manage to do it...but your description is so vivid, that I feel like I was there! Great post once again. Happy, healthy new year to you and your family.

Thanks, Randi! David, I remember always hearing that the Standard Club was primarily for the German Jews who looked down their noses at the Russian, Polish, and Hungarian Jews of the Covenant Club (although I'm sure your grandfather was not that kind of a snob!). We forget today how Jews back then had their own internal caste system. And what a poignant story about your grandfather's Union League Club fantasies!

Synchronicity strikes again!
I was talking with your sister @ arranging a holiday-birthday celebration tomorrow to get all the kids and parents together and she referred me to your post today. I hadn't caught your wisdom earlier b/c instead of cruising the net I was at the health club. Guess what I was listening to through the headphones while sweating? Maria Callas in "La Gianconda" 1952.
Great post with one caveat: I would have your fact-checker (or Aunt Ann) verify where Sam & Anita were married. I doubt the Covenant Club---I don't see Itsheh Meyer approving.

what a great shot!

have a great new year.

Isn't that just perfection?! I recall seeing photos like that of my parents and grandparents NY Eve celebrations and thinking I would never be that glamorous or sophisticated - here I sit on 12/31 so maybe I was right - haha - but I so enjoyed reading this post - happy new year Danny and the best in 2006 to you!

Danny, what a great stroll down memory lane. With your knowledge of history/trivia -- or perhaps it's just your wonderful GOOGLEing savvy -- you really recreate for us family scenes and general scenes from the past.

This family photo is so reminiscent of those postcards that are signed "Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here!"

All the best to you & your family for 2006.

Thanks, and happy New Year all! Paul, I'm almost positive about the Covenant Club wedding in 1932—at least that's what I was always told. Don't you think it was frum enough for Itshe Meyer? I assume their kitchen was strictly kosher, no?

Ann and Jack are the only eyewitnesses I can think of. Can someone ask them? I can tell you the Covenant Club was strictly unkosher----those were different times.
Happy New Year to your gang! Your nephews and cousins once removed should be here in 25 minutes!

Sliding in late ... to wish you a really Happy New Year, Danny!

I stumbled upon your website in the craziest, most roundabout way. I am an old friend of Kendall's and would LOVE it if she got in touch. [email protected]. (Melissa Clark) Thanks!!! -mc

Of course I want to eat...I worked on Image Junion for years!
Danny: I'm looking around for memories of the Covenant Club for my doc on Chicago in the 1950s and 1960s and there you are. You were supposed to send me films!! Leslie Cherney said so! I'm cracking up from the Covenant Club...I was there, too!

Did you contribute any material to the WTTW production about remembering Chicago in the 1950s and 1960s?

hi, i know you dont know me, but i was searching for info on the Covenant Club and ran across your post. my grandparents lived in Chicago after WWII and were telling me stories about dressing in their finest and going to the Covenant Club. unfortunately they couldnt tell me very much. Thanks for writing about it and teaching me a bit more than i knew!

Danny, your writing is what makes reading worthwhile. Being a close cousin and seeing those photos ripped me from my now to back then. Parties prevailed, dressing up was important and adults only fun was the choice of fare. That's why your memory is so vivid, it was special for you to go to such a place. As for me, I was there maybe twice, once for sure and still remember the Covenant Club. I might share with you the time we (Marvin and I) took our girls to the Shangrila Resturant and Club. sp?. They were dressed to the nines with their patent leather shoes, purses and starched dresses. The memory of them walking up the spiraled stairs to the second floor flew into my head and is something they never forgot. I wonder what kinds of things will remain in the overstimulated minds of young people today. Love to you and Kendall, Betty

I Came across your page doing a Google on the Covenant Club. I loved your essay. I miss the place and mostly I miss my grandparents. We'd have Passover and special family dinners there . My granfather let me use his account number to goof around in the gym and eat lunch at the Grill. I'd get a hamburger and a big crazy milkshake, while the old guys were playing cards in the back rooms with thousands of dollars on the tables. I'd imagine the history of those rooms from the off-color stories I heard. Wow. These guys were like Jewish giants.

I see the posts about the Standard Club and think of my mother asking my grandfather about the difference. He said, "one's for rich millionaires, the other's for poor ones."

My grandfather was a member, and our family frequented the club in the 1960's and 1970's.

I've long been told that Sid Luckman was a member (and that my grandfather played cards with him there).

My Grandparents were also long time members. My grandmother belonged until they closed the doors. I wonder if someone has old photos

I went there as a child with my parents before and during WWII. I remember the magnificent staircase and the "getting dressed up" for special dinners there. When we moved to California in 1946, the Covenant Club was one of the places I most missed about Chicago.

As a child I went to every Chanukah party for many years. My brother had his bar mitzvah party there and we have many pictures of that event. My brothers and I also went every Saturday morning to the club where organized games (basketball and football) were a staple of the club. Afterward we ate luch in the dinning room (complements of my grandparents). Anyone have the recipe for their creamed spinach?
By the way, the origin of the Covenant Club was the practice of the Standard Club to exclude non German Jews. Hence the name of the two clubs (Standand, the standard for Jews and Covenant, representing the more traditional Eastern European Jews).

Hello,My Name is Gloria Langston Dixon.
My Dad Eugene Langston worked for the Covenant Club for many years.He passed away on August 29,1975 a casualty of crime on the streets of Chicago.I remember the joy my father would have in talking about his dad always told me it doesn't matter what kind of job you have as long as you do the job right.enjoy what you dad would have been in his retirement years and I am sure he would have retired from the Covenant Club.Those were happy times for my dad.I remember coming downtown as a young child in the early 1960's to my dad's job never entering the premises,my dad would always come outside to greet my siblings and my mom now I see dad kept what he did private but I guess he enjoyed it just the same.I am still fasinated as an adult that my dad worked in the downtown area and I never did. I am sure he would be pleased that I still have a fasination in his work. Thanks.

My father's uncle was Henry Burkart, the manager of the Covenant Club and the chef before he became manager. He was also an internationally renowned chef who acted as judge at many international culinary competitions. I never tire hearing all of the stories about the C. Club from his daughter, Elizabeth, who grew up at there. Uncle Henry's wife, Elsa, was a beautiful, charming and dignified woman. And my mother is a wonderful cook - why - because Henry Burkart taught her how to cook when she came to Chicago in the mid 50's! To this day, when I smell cigar smoke, it reminds me of my uncle Henry. He didn't speak much, but his presence was definitely felt.

For fun I googled "The Club" and came across this site. What fond memories of Sunday dinners as a child in the 50's (lamb chops with green mint jelly), my Sweet 16, lunches and dinners with family and friends while working downtown. The food was always great. That marble staircase is imprinted in my mind. A sad day when "The Club" closed.

I worked in the building at 10 N Dearborn after it was sold and turned into office space. Our cubicles filled the former dance floor under the balcony and I often wondered what kind of wonderful events took place in that ballroom. Thank you for filling in the missing piece of history for me!

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