May , 2018

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By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.


Remember the days when Maxwell Street was in its prime? There were rows of vendors setting up on the weekends during early morning hours to ensure that they got the best spot or the usual spot where regulars knew they could be found. You could purchase just about anything imaginable there, from food and clothing, to shoes and toys, and to electronics, cameras, furniture, appliances and musical instruments, etc.

While walking down the vendor’s created isles with limited space, one could hear the loud sounds of laughter and talk by potential buyers looking for a good deal. They were involved in some serious haggling with vendors, trying to get a good price on various items they had an interest in.

The smell of hot dogs and polish sausages permeated the air and had a way of whetting the appetite, forcing buyers to seek out food places where the scents were coming from. It was a collectors’ paradise. If shoppers put in a little time in the area they could run across many unusual and unthinkable treasures.

Some watched as vendors cleared items they had cleared away from their homes or located at yard and estate sales. Their wholesalers were often the Salvation Army, Good Will and thrift stores. This was during the pre-internet years, long before Ebay and Craigslist came on the scene.

My interest in Maxwell Street, as well as many others, was swap meets. My favorite passion was to collect old View Master Reels, projectors and viewers. I was obsessed with the world that existed in those little circular wheels with 2D films that gave one the impression of 3D viewing while looking through those little brown nicely weighted viewers – not like the brightly colored ones of today that are designed to appeal to children.

If you never had the chance to experience the start-up businesses of the past, Ma and Pa strips that often grew into brick and mortar shops, check out the new Maxwell Street on Desplaines (http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/maxwell_street_market.html). Or if you want a little nostalgia with something extra, check out the Southside Maxwell Street Rhythm and Blues Marketplace in Chicago Heights (http://www.maxwellstreetblues.com). You can enjoy the sound of live blues or have an authentic Maxwell Street lunch or dinner.

Want to get in on the game? You can set up a booth or table from $25.00-$50.00 and start selling stuff.

Pamela Bratcher-McMillan is a technology Expert and President, Chair & CEO, of PETAL et al.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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