One of only a couple photos I have (the other is included in the Royko In Love book) of Dad from 1953, when he was in Korea with the US Air Force. It's also a rare picture of Dad in uniform. He was 20 or 21 years old.
After her separation from Larry in January, 1954 after barely a year of marriage, Mom moved into her parents' home at 5408 N. Central Avenue in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Chicago, where Dad addressed his letters to Carol Wozny, then Carol Duckman, and finally Carol Royko. Once he was transferred from Blaine, Washington to the Air Force base at O'Hare in January of 1955, Mom and Dad lived in an apartment, but eventually moved into the third floor of the Central Avenue house, which had been the Fred R. Duckman Funeral Home, a short-lived (around 1950 to the mid-'50s) family business run by Carol's mortician brother Bob (his middle name) and their parents. By the time I was born in 1959, the funeral home was no more, and we lived on the second and third floors, and my grandparents, Fred and Mildred Duckman, lived on the first. By 1969, my grandfather (an electrician) had retired and they moved to, and we moved to . Before selling it, Gramps and Uncle Bob gave the house, built in the 1880s, a fresh coat of white paint from top to bottom. It was for naught -- a developer bought it to tear down, replacing it with a couple of . These are the only photos I have of the house (the second is water-damaged, not taken after a blizzard).
The 757th Radar Squadron -- Mike’s base in Blaine, Washington, photographed from the air (a Fairchild 22) by Don Karaiskos in the Spring of 1952.
Courtesy of Don "Chris" Karaiskos, here they are (Dad's on the left) with the car they shared, in the countryside around the base.
We have all of Dad's letters to Mom, but none of her's to him. However, she did keep a diary -- sporadically -- during this period, and I have included several passages from it in Royko In Love. This is the diary, and her entry from the day she received Dad's first letter to her with his huge confession.
Standing (L-R): Michael Royko Sr. (Dad's father), Corky Ozag (Eleanor's son), Joe Pardell/Padolski (Helen Zak-Royko's 2nd husband), Fred Duckman (Carol's father).
Sitting (L-R): Marie Royko (2nd wife of Michael Sr.), Mom (Carol), Mildred Duckman (Carol's mother), Eleanor Royko-Ozag (Dad's sister), Helen Zak-Royko (Dad's mother and the 1st wife of Michael Sr.), Michael Ozag (Eleanor's son).
Mom's dressed for her job in the doctor's office. This was taken alongside the house at 5408 N. Central, on Dad's leave when he proposed; by his expression, you would've thought she said "no!" Maybe that's what their faux-argument was about.
The round-trip ticket cost $97.90, which is more than $765 in today's dollars.
But at least the dinner looks good.
Hard to believe, but I don't think any photos exist of Mom and Dad's wedding or honeymoon. In a small box that Mom kept of wedding-related items, there is this postcard from the Lake Wilderness Lodge, 30 miles southeast of Seattle, where they honeymooned. Now owned and operated (as of 2010) by the City of Maple Valley, in 1954 it was new. Tucked away in the pocketbook Mom carried when she died in 1979 was a black-and-white version of the same photo of the lodge that was used for this postcard, and folded with it was the dateline from a newspaper, "November 6, 1954," their wedding day. Finally, Mom wrote to her parents on the back of the postcard, but never got around to sending it, or else mailed it in an envelope.