Chicago Heights street renamed in honor of 101-year-old resident - New York News

Chicago Heights street renamed in honor of 101-year-old resident

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

For many of us, buying a home and raising a family is the American dream. Now, a south suburban man is being honored for living the dream on the same street for almost 100 years.

For 98 of his almost 101 years, August J. Barberi lived on the same South Chicago Heights street. That street, Interocean Avenue, has now been renamed the Honorary August Barberi Way.

A lot has changed since Barberi's early days in 1912, far removed from the frenetically paced "get it done" world of today. Back then, Chicago's longtime iconic Wrigley Building wasn't even in the planning stage yet, the United States had only 45 states, few people had a radio, there was no TV, and like most Americans, Barberi was born at home.

"The family spent time together," Augie reflects. "There was nothing else."

Several years later, World War I would breakout and Barberi would lose many family friends.

After high school, August would soon meet and then later marry his beloved Ida. The two moved into the home Augie built right next door to his parents place and they would buy this new "thing" called a refrigerator. He still has the working 1939 refrigerator today!

Several years later, Ida and Augustine would have two boys.

Augie worked at the Hotpoint General Electric factory for the World War II effort, all the while saving their nickels and dimes and once in a while, taking in a White Sox game or Notre Dame football game.

He was once honored by the Sox for his 100th birthday and he still has the ticket from his first Notre Dame game in South Bend on 1945

"The tickets were a $1.20," he recalls.

As the boys grew, Ida and Augustine got their first television in the 1950's. "The Honeymooners" and "The Jackie Gleason Show" were his favorite shows.

While his children grew up, moved out and started families of their own, Augustine and Ida stayed enjoying the birth of their grandchildren and great grandchildren. These days, he sometimes worries about the world the young ones are now growing up in.

"It's so different," August says. "We didn't have dope then…nobody had a gun."

His beloved Ida died in 1995 and he thinks of her often, as he will when he soon has another birthday. So, what would be a good present for his 102nd birthday?

"Oh, to stay like I am....but that's about it," Augie says.

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