CALUMET CITY | Cynthia “Cindi” Pallick’s campaign signs from her 2009 failed bid for re-election got put to use one more time Saturday.
One of those signs could be seen at Michigan City Road and Henry Street, where city officials decided to create a flower garden meant to provide colors “like a rainbow” to celebrate the life of the former 7th Ward alderman, who died last month after an accident in her home, located about one block from the new garden in the area that local residents call “Pigtown.”
Not that the orange-and-black sign (Pallick’s campaign ‘colors’) was merely planted in the ground. It had been altered to inform passersby that Pallick was not only “in the 7th” ward, but also “and in Heaven.”
Pallick’s family, friends and neighbors gathered Saturday morning to plant various types of marigolds, sunflowers and zinnias. Current 7th Ward Alderman Antoine Collins said he let Pallick’s family pick the flower types, while Pallick’s partner, Cindy Horvath, said they went for “a variety of purples and yellows, something just as colorful as she was in life.”
Some people also paid tribute to that last political campaign Pallick ran by digging out their “Pallick At Work in the Seventh” T-shirts from three years ago. Pallick served six years in the City Council, and also did stints with the Calumet City Housing Authority and with the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
Pallick’s memorial garden, which Collins said he hopes neighborhood residents will assist the city in maintaining, attracted a crowd of about 40 people.
Those included Aldermen Magdalena “Leni” Wosczynski and Eric Schneider, along with city Treasurer Gerald Tarka, city Clerk Nyota Figgs and Pam Cap, the police sergeant who in 2009 ran unsuccessfully for mayor in a candidate field aligned with Pallick.
Also present was Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush, who although she occasionally quarreled with Pallick when the two served in city government, said Saturday she regards Pallick as a friend whom she misses dearly, particularly since both were 1976 graduates of T.F. North High School.
“She loved Calumet City and its people,” Qualkinbush said. “A lot of people miss her, and this is a nice gesture of respect to her family and her memory.”
Not that Pallick herself would be demanding such a memorial if she were alive, Horvath said.
“She always thought about what she could do for other people, it was never about what should be done for (her),” Horvath said.