This young girl was part of a crowd of kids I found outside of the Buena Grocery store near the ‘L’. It was August of 1974 and the group was enjoying the last days of summer vacation. I often wondered if kids like this managed to stay happy as they grew up. I got my answer when I heard recently from this young lady’s sister. Buena Girl grew up to manage a major chain grocery store in Ohio.
Living conditions in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood during the mid-1970s were difficult. But the neighborhood also taught many people important life lessons – about compassion, hard work and cooperation – that helped them in the long run. The Buena Girl eventually had three kids and four grandchildren before succumbing to cancer in 2015 after a two year struggle with the disease. When I took this picture, I was in my mid-twenties and she was in her early teens (if that). It’s hard to see people younger than you die at such a young age. My guess is that she would have been in her early 50’s when she passed. My heart goes out to her family