Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tales of the South Side & Billy Corgan: Barks Coleman's Childhood Home for Sale

By Bob Goldsborough
Special to the Tribune
7:48 a.m. CDT, April 28, 2014
The four-bedroom, raised ranch-style house in west suburban Glendale Heights where Smashing Pumpkins founder and frontman Billy Corgan spent much of his preteen and teenage years has been listed for $175,000.
One of the most successful rockers ever to come out of the Chicago area, Corgan, 47, now lives in a massive vintage mansion on Lake Michigan in Highland Park.
But for close to a decade -- from 1977 until he graduated from Glenbard North High School in Carol Stream in 1985 -- Corgan hung his hat in his family’s 1,531-square-foot house in Glendale Heights.
Corgan’s father, blues and rock guitarist William Corgan Sr., and stepmother, Penelope, paid $49,000 for the house in 1977, according to public records. After the couple divorced in 1983, Corgan, his brother and his half-brother all continued living in the home with his stepmother, according to court records.
After graduating from high school, Corgan moved to St. Petersburg, Fla. for a brief stint before returning to Chicago and proceeding to form the Smashing Pumpkins. In 1986, Penelope Corgan sold the house for $80,000 to . . . 

I deserve a big old spank for not giving Chicago rock retiree and celebrity pain-in-the-ass his props, yesterday! Well, I was busy and that is certainly no excuse.  The Chicago Tribune posted the above article on the front page, because Billy Corgan's "childhood' home is on the realtor's block.

How about that? Well, did you know this ?

Driving home from Leo High School yesterday, I took a turn west through the old neighborhood along 76th Street.  I noticed a for sale sign on former the home of Terry "Barks" Coleman. Barks was the son of button accordion genius Maurice " Mossie" Coleman who immigrated to Chicago during the Irish Civil War from northwest County Kerry.

Mossie Coleman was a pathologically taciturn gentleman, who closely kept his own counsel, but otherwise spoke volumes when his huge fingers danced on the buttons of his vintage Salterell  Le Bouebe with like of Joe Shannon,  John McGreevy,  Eleanor Neary,  James Keane,Sr, Frank Thornton, Jimmy Neary, Maida Sugrue and the great Terry Teahan at Hanley's House of Happiness on 79th Street, AOH's Cannon Hall on Halsted and at every Ceile in Chicago.

Mossie worked as a stationary oiler/fireman at the old Audy Home which was a very good trade and bought the Georgian two-story home at 76th & Wood Street in 1955. Mrs. Coleman worked as a waitress at the Beverly Woods Banquet Hall in Morgan Park on the weekends and raised the four boys Terry, Austin, Brice and Maurice, who later went by Maurey eschewing the Turkey bird*cognomen.

Terry was my age and pal'd it up all through grammar school and into high school.  Terry became "Barks," in 6th Grade when he came to school each day with a nasty chest-deep cold and emitted massive Barks when he coughed and annoyed the perpetually annoyed Sister Doralese, RSM.  " Barking, Barking Barking Terry Coleman! Ye'll bark yer last on the next go round, my fine man! No room in the TB home for the likes of ye?" She was as pretty as she was nice.

Barks has that name, like every young person who grew up on the south side and a handle attached by dint of signal flaw, physical, ancestral, or moral to his/her presence on earth.  Barks fit Terry Coleman like a glove, or cheap pants.  He will carry that name into eternity.

Barks learned button accordion from his father and transferred his talents and skills to the Farfisa Mini-Organ in 1966 and played with a local garage band at dances, block parties and beer summits in the abandoned house Ronnie Graff and Al McFarland discovered over by Lindbloom High School.  Barks Coleman was in demand as a musician and was picked up by Cyrcul Jerques - 
Five neat guys from Little Flower, Tommy More and St Sabina's parishes - That's Barks at the keys in the greaseball shades.

 Barks could do all the requisite organ and piano riffs to the best tunes of 1960's. He could Paul Revere, Young Rascal, Wilson Pickett, Vanilla Fudge, Kingsman and Steppenwolf with the best of them.

His old house is up for sale, just like Uncle Fester of Smashing Pumpkins. 

* "In the South side of Chicago, the term "turkey bird" is often used to describe a person who was born in Ireland. Although both my parents were Irish American, my father was a "turkey bird," while my mother was born in the United States. My siblings and I often affectionately referred to our father and his Irish-born friends as "turkey birds." Neither my father nor his friends ever took offense to this term and, in fact, used the term themselves to define a person’s exact roots. Recently one of my brothers was at a family party and started to discuss the origin of this term with a nephew (whose father also was born in Ireland). A woman, who is not of Irish heritage herself, but whose husband was born in Ireland, overheard the conversation and took great offense to the discussion. From where did this term originate? Is this term used throughout the United States? Has the nature of this term changed? Is it now considered offensive? Was it always offensive and my father and his friends just had thick skins?"  Kathleen Klinger

No comments: