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From the years after they got married to A November Farewell 1958-1975

From the years after they got married, visiting Don Karaiskos, Dad and his sibs and mother, Mom & Dad around the time he began his column, Marion & Pete Belushi, and Mom with my brother and me at the summer house Dad wrote about in his column, A November Farewell 1958-1975

Mom and Dad remained friends with Don ("Chris") Karaiskos throughout their lives.

These were taken by Don in his back yard in Akron, Ohio. The others are John Falatok (full face view) and Bob Capana, both friends of Don's. "I remember that particular picnic," Don told me, "as your dad had everyone in stitches with some of his stories."

Mike was best-man at his younger brother Bobby's wedding (whose first marriage was short-lived).

L-R: Mike, Dorothy, their mother Helen, Eleanor, and Bobby

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.

Halloween partiers

Mom and Dad's love of costume parties continued throughout their life together -- I remember some doozies when I was a teenager. Here are a couple of photos from Halloweens of the '50s. Based on the date of development, the second one is from 1959. Mom looks pretty good considering she'd had a baby (me) only a few months earlier.

Attending a wedding reception.

They were married for almost 9 years, had a four-year-old (me) and a newborn (Robby), and Dad was about to write his first column. 

12-year-old Robby, Mom, and me at 16 at the Wisconsin summer house Dad wrote about in his 1979 column in memory of my mother, A November Farewell.

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.

From left to right: Dad (Mike Royko), Mom (Carol Royko), me (David Royko), Amelia Royko (daughter of Uncle Bobby and Aunt Geri), Rob Royko (my brother), Uncle Bobby (Dad's younger brother)

Special thanks to Dean Blobaum of the University of Chicago Press for the color correction.

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