Someone You Should Know

 Janice Woods 

“Zsa Zsa”


For the first time since we started this website, we are honoring a female "Someone You Should Know".  A while back we put up our girl's softball team, "Bad Attitude", but we have yet to put up an individual female.  We are not sexists.  There simply aren’t that many who qualify.  I'M KIDDING!!!

Our family got together for Duke's 50th birthday (New Year's Eve) and the subject of our next "Someone You Should Know" came up.  When Terry and Tommy Duds came up with the same person, almost at the same time, it was unanimous.  Everyone in the room agreed that it was a perfect choice, our life-long carrot-top friend, Janice Woods.

Our parents moved our growing family from 36th and Union into our home at 38th and Union in 1958.  The Ryan, Pegausch, Ramos, Turner and Shanley families were already there.  We were the new kids on the block.  And now, 54 years later, members of all of these families are still there.  But from the day we moved in, the Woods and Shinnick families were joined forever.

Janice was the oldest of Pete and MaryEllen Woods' 4 kids.  She had 3 brothers:  Pete, Eddie and Billy.  Her Grandparents and Uncle Bill also lived on the block.  Her Grandpa had sort of a kennel in his back yard at 39th and Emerald.  In 1961, a litter of mutts was born and Janice brought 1 to our door.  We couldn't resist the little cutie.  We had "Biff" for 18 years.  He had a lot to do with the canine population explosion in Bridgeport. 

Janice's biggest and proudest contributions to the world are 3 of our bartenders, Bobby, Billy and Benji, three young men who are a tribute to her legacy.  She was very proud of this trio, (AKA “The Woods Kids”), and rightfully so.

Janice followed her dad in the law-enforcement field.  As a Deputy with the Cook County Sheriff's department, she had a stellar career.  Her daughter-in-law Jackie, Billy's wife, continues in her footsteps.  Just mention Janice  to any Deputy in the Daley Center and they remember her fondly.

In several ways Janice reminded us of our Mom.  She had a huge heart.  She absolutely loved celebrating the 4th of July.  And, sadly, she was taken way too early in life.

I remember her wake.  I never really know what to say at wakes, but somehow the right thing seems to come out.  When I got to  Mr. and Mrs. Woods, all I could say was "She was one of a kind".  I know this is an overused expression, but it never fit so well .  I've never met anyone like her and I doubt that I ever will.  She is missed deeply by her family and friends, but we are all better off for having had her in our lives.  We’ll meet again Jan.  Take care.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

Jimmy Bruhnke

"Our Special Friend"

Who has more friends than Jimmy Bruhnke?  If you grew up in Bridgeport, you're probably one of them.  He has been given several nicknames over the years: JB, Bruno, Brunk, pick your favorite.  Jimmy grew up on Emerald Avenue with his parents, Bill and Ruth, and his older brother Billy.  We all have fond memories of growing up with Jimmy.  One of my favorites is when his Dad took him, my brother Terry and I to a Sox game at Comiskey when we were kids.  It was his birthday present and he picked us to go with him.  At the game, his Dad bought us a bag of peanuts in the shell.  To this day, he reminds me that I ate most of the peanuts.  This was 45 years ago.  And I'll never forget sitting in class at Nativity as an 8th grader. Jimmy would wait outside for us to get out of school.  The chant would start, "Yo da Moose, yo da Moose".  It was OK. Even the nuns knew Jimmy.

Jimmy's athletic career took off in 1966, when he became a member of the Daley's Shamrocks basketball team.  The team was coached by Richie Daley and one of the greatest athletes and people I've ever known, Jackie Corbett.  The highlight of that season was a 10-minute exhibition game against a northside team, during halftime of a Chicago Bulls game.  The Bulls were pretty new to the NBA at that time and they played at the International Amphitheater on Halsted Street.  Jimmy came off the bench late in the scrimmage and got a shot off, but it fell short.  It took him a while to get over that.  He has always been very competitive.  That competitive streak has really peaked in the last few years.  Jimmy has participated  in the Annual Special Olympics and always brings home a medal.  He's very willing to show you the medals, which some say only come off to shower.

Jimmy has been a regular in the bar for quite some time.  He came in daily to help as a sanitation apprentice for Celine.  He has also been part of the Pub entertainment.  On special occasions, he would bring in his microphone and amp.  He really is quite the crooner.  He does a fantastic Sinatra.

Jimmy has recently moved to Korea with his brother Billy and his family.  A neighborhood bar is a collection of faces and personalities that paint a picture.  Anytime you add or remove one of those faces, it changes the picture.  We're not the same without you Brunk.  But we'd miss you more, if you bought one once in a while!!!  We love you Bruno!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

Women's Softball Hall of Fame

Shinnick's Bad Attitude


Back in the 1990s, a few neighborhood girls from Bridgeport got together at the “White House” (the home of Patty and Kelly White) and discussed the idea of creating a softball team. All they needed was a coach willing to help them organize, a sponsor willing to pay the entry fees, and some players willing to play on their new team. Not surprisingly, the pieces quickly fell together when Jon Floodas agreed to coach them and even helped them with their name. They became Floodie’s Cuties.

As the years passed and the team gained playing experience, interest in the team grew. Before long, the Shinnck sisters (Kittle and Stella) secured Shninnick’s as a sponsor and Floodie’sCuties became Shinninck’s Bad Attitude. Because of Coach Floodas’ excellent eye for talent, the team attracted some great women’s players and Shinnick’s Bad Attitude became the powerhouse team where great players wanted to play.

The team and its great fans (said to be some of the greatest to ever watch the game) traveled to play at Lawler, Hoyne, Mt. Greenwod, and McGuane parks. Shinnick’s Bad Attitude was a competitive force that earned the respect of such other great teams as Joey’s, Smashed, and Bunco. They won tournaments at Grant Park, Mt. Prospect, and the Firecracker Tournament at Mt. Greenwood.

Throughout their years playing together, the teammates of Shinnick’s Bad Attitude formed a bond of friendship that has grown stronger as the years have passed. Twenty-seven years later, they still find time to play together in the annual Y-Me Softball Tournament.

Shinnicks / Bad Attitude spokesman said, "All my girls were All-stars. Because if you did not have that ninth and tenth player you didn't play. Every player was just as important to me as anyone else on the team. We also had some of the greatest fans in the world. They traveled with us to various parks ... the fans and the players partied hard."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

 Michael Raymond Houlihan 



Michael Houlihan, like his parents Jackie and Ray and their parents before, is a life-long resident of Bridgeport. He attended Nativity of Our Lord grammar school, DeLaSalle Institute and went on to spend a year at Carthage College, although he claims to have been there for 4 ½ semesters.  He was a standout football player at Nativity as well as DeLaSalle.  While at DLS, he claims to have been timed at 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash.  This would be quite a feat if it could be verified.  But to date, we are unable to find any player, coach or any human being who actually witnessed it.  (Nice try Near!)

In 1995, Near coached the Nativity grammar school football team to it’s first and only Catholic Conference Championship in the 140 year

history of the parish.  This was a great accomplishment for Near, although it depicts Nativity as the Cubs of grammar school football.  But we’re all waiting for 2049, when the Cubs take sole possession of the “Biggest Losers of All-Time” award.  

Michael is also an honorary member of the Shinnick’s Pub bartenders “Hall of Fame”.  He would be an actual member if he had actually shown up.  His debut behind the bar never materialized because of his decision to lead a contingent of loyal and devoted Shinnick’s Pub faithful to the Milwaukee Irish Fest, completely forgetting his bartending responsibilities and making this the only Saturday since 1938 that Shinnick’s Pub was closed.  Near gained a reprival when the Pub crew took a road trip to Miami for a Monday night football game.  Near lead the crew to an Irish bar on South Beach where we watched the Sunday NFL games.  He commanded every TV and supplied all with unlimited line cards for every game.  He also ran the beer kitty that easily went through 30-35 cases of Miller Lite!

Near became a member of Local 7, the Stationary Fireman Union.  He subsequently joined Local 73 Sheet Metal Workers.  His favorite things are hanging out with his friends and watching College football on Saturdays.  His favorite saying is “It sure helps when you have some action!”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

Frank Kaminsky

“Big Frank”  

At 6’ 10”, Frank is by far the tallest story in the bar.  He is the oldest of Frank and Marie Kaminsky’s 5 children.  Frank is a great athlete in any sport he chooses, a tough but fair competitor in everything he does.  He has been blessed with many talents, and has always used them to the best of his ability.  One of these talents, which many people aren’t familiar with, is music.  When you think of young singing groups, New Jersey normally comes to mind.  But in the 70’s, Frank and his group, “Smokey Pearl & the Van Cleevers”, could be heard harmonizing around the 28th can, in the alley behind 35th and Union.  This was a popular drinking spot for them.  Frank was the lead vocalist, while Terry, Richie and Half-Pint would provide backup and choreography.  One night, when their harmony drew the attention of Chicago’s finest, they bolted through a gangway to get away.  The Van Cleevers led the way, passing under an unnoticed window air-conditioner with no problem.  Frank wasn’t so lucky.

Like many guys from the area, Frank has had a brilliant 16-inch softball career.  He played with such teams as the original Union Army, the Monsters and the Stickmen.  At first base, with his sure hands and wingspan, he helped a lot of infielders look good.  But he was at home in right field.  It has been said that Frank is 1/3 of the greatest outfield, in the history of 16-inch softball.  I happen to agree with that, although the debate continues, and I’m usually in the middle of it.  Of all the great softball memories that Frank has, there is one that he relives over and over.  It’s the catch made off of a Lukey Capuano shot to center field.  But, that wasn’t Frank’s catch and that story is for another “Someone You Should Know”.

Frank’s basketball career began at St. Rita High School, and he went on to become one of the most prolific players in Lewis University basketball history.  He was selected as an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American his senior year in 1976-77 and the MVP of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference his final two seasons.  In each of his last two years as a Flyer, Frank averaged 23.5 points per game, which are the second-highest season totals in Lewis' 54-year history. His 1,521 points scored in his four-year career (19.3 ppg) rank him sixth on the team's all-time list.  He was inducted into Lewis' Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992.  He spent several years as a professional in South America , while simultaneously competing with former college and professional players on the AAU team, Marathon Oil. During his 15-year stay with Marathon Oil, which played worldwide, he helped his teams capture two national tournaments as well as two Amateur Basketball Association/USA National Tournaments.  The only sour note to Frank’s career was his being banned for life from the Hamburg A.A. basketball league due to his professional status, but if you ask me, he was snubbed because he could make a left-handed layup.

Frank lives in Lisle, has three children - Kaylee, Frankie and Hannah.  He is currently the head coach of the University of St. Francis women’s basketball squad, but who knows how far he’d be if it weren’t for that air conditioner.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

Jim O'Hara

It's been almost a year since we updated our "Someone You Should Know" page.  This is due more to my laziness, than the lack of candidates to write about.  There are enough characters in the bar to create a sitcom that would rival "Cheers".  The one I'm writing about today is actually more like John Larroquette's character in "Night Court".  I'm talking about Jimmy O'Hara.  Jim is an attorney who, in his earlier years, worked as a Public Defender at the Cook County Courthouse.  His specialty now is medical malpractice and personal injury.   A more caring person would be hard to find.  Who else would go out of their way to drive by the bar each day, just to see if anyone got hurt at work?  His work in the medical malpractice area has actually made him a valuable resource.  Simply put, when it comes to doctors, he knows who's good and who's not.  Believe me, his insight has helped several people in the bar.  Jim's dad, Jim "Dinny" O'Hara, grew up in Bridgeport.  He was a member of the Hamburg Club and the neighborhood minstrel singers.  Singing is one of those talents that skips a generation.  His mom, Dolores, was one of those special people that you can't say enough about.  This trait skips no generations.  Jim has done many things in his life to be proud of.  Marrying Julia is number one.  She’s beautiful, smart, witty, proving opposites do attract.  His daughter Crissy Roberts is another.  He lights up, just talking about her (her husband Rich best remember, we are all watching him closely).  With St. Pat's Day just a few weeks away, we know we'll be seeing them all, along with Jim's sisters Mary Lee, Dolores and Maret, who try to celebrate St. Pat's with us every year.  So if you're not too busy this March 17th, stop in for a beer with the O'Hara clan.  But you can also catch Jim on most Fridays, when he and Bill Chamberlin hold their meeting of the H-Club.  They are the last surviving members.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Pat Fitzpatrick Jr.

Na na na na, hey hey hey, ...

  If you’ve ever wondered who the first person to start the “Na na na na” chant at Sox Park was, it was our own Pat Fitzpatrick.  Pat can be found in Shinnick's most days after work. He's the only son of Joan and Pat "Pappa" Fitz Sr..  He has said that the best things in his life are his wife Diane and their four kids, Jennifer, Tricia, Patrick and Kelly.  He's been a member of the Chicago Fire Department for over 26 years.  After family, his friends are the most important thing in his life.  Besides having a good time with his friends at Shinnick's, his favorite things are vacations, going out to eat, and watching Kelly play volleyball (even though he gets mad when she's not in the front line).  He's been a mainstay at the Pub for many years.  He always respected and had fun with our Dad, who gave him his nickname, "Bondo".  After giving our Dad a hot horse (that's still running), Big G told him he was nothing but "Bum Dope".  “Bum Dope” soon turned into Bondo.  Pat sponsored a hole at the GWS Golf Outing every year that it was held.  When in Shinnick's, his favorite five words are "Get it out of me".  Pat is famous for the holiday parties he throws, where he cooks skirt steaks and other foods to feed half the neighborhood.  He was voted "Rookie of the Year" and MVP at last years Kentucky Derby Trip, where he easily put the guys from the younger generation in their place.  When Pat is in Shinnick's, two things are guaranteed, he’ll buy you a drink and he won't listen to a word you say.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mike Flynn


"Nicest guy I've ever met"   "None better"   "What a great guy"

We all know men who fit this description.  We are extremely lucky.  We've been blessed with several in our family.  Grandpa Mike Dougherty and Uncle Jimmy Connors are two who are, without a doubt, second to none.  And now we have the brother-in-law Mike Flynn, Michaelene O'Flynn if you will.  The first time we saw Mike, he was playing center field for the 49ers Club at Boyce Park.  His head was shaved.  For years, we thought he was a marine.  We later discovered that the shaving was done at the Club on a $101 bet.  Mike played baseball and basketball for Mount Carmel, and is still faithful to the Caravan, even though his son Pat saw the light and played for De La Salle (but that was part of the marriage agreement).  Mike's a natural athlete.  He's the kind of guy who never skied, and then went on a ski trip and didn't fall, until he was in the bar later.  In the fall of 2003, Mike was inducted into the Chicago 16 inch softball hall-of-fame.  He has been with the Chicago Fire Department for almost 25 years.  He is also a master carpenter and senior partner of FlynnickConstruction.  Take a look at the pictures of our bar, to see some of his work.  But most importantly, like Grandpa Dougherty and Uncle Jimmy, Mike is a true gentleman and loved by all.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

Elmer Mestrovic

"No man is a failure who has friends"

Elmer is truly the George Bailey of Shinnick's.  If friends are the tool by which we measure success, he's our CEO.  Elmer spent 4 years at Western Illinois University learning how to work one side of the bar.  Now he works the other side for us.  He has been one of our valued bartenders for nearly 15 years.  The reason is not so much his great ability as a bartender, but more so his tendency to draw a crowd.  Coming from a neighborhood well-known for its fine athletes, Elmer fits right in.  His sports career peaked in 1978 as a member of the Hamburg A.A. championship Blue Team.  But the highlight of his life, (next to his family), is his work.  He has spent his entire adult life working with special education children.  He started the "Elmer's Kids" Fund which allows his students an overnight stay downtown, uniforms and more, leading up to their participation in the Special Olympics.  There are givers and takers in life .... Elmer never stops giving.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   

Edgar Fitzpatrick

Edgar has been a patron of Shinnick's longer than anyone we know.  He became a regular upon his return from duty with the Marines during World War II.  After a long career as a City of Chicago Firefighter, he is now able to make daily visits, to ensure that we are doing things correctly.  He is known as the second smartest man in the pub, next to Duke.  His advice normally goes something like this:  "There are two ways to do that, the right way and YOUR way, ya horse's ass!".  We love you, Edgar.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~