Blog 2017-09-01T13:20:38+00:00

“Chicago, A View Over Time” takes on subjects explored in Linda’s book: race, marriage, mental illness, and Chicago history. You can read “sneak previews” of book excerpts, and even get a peek at some scenes that had to be cut, but are still fun, poignant, or intriguing.


Family Archaeologist explores a century of family letters, diaries, and artifacts, and how they illuminate history and our shared humanity. To get an overview of the blog, click: “Welcome to Family Archaeologist

Family Archaeologist

Letters of a World War II Airman shares original letters to and from my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, from 1943-1945, tracing the course of WWII, life on the home front, and the evolution of a neighborhood kid into seasoned airman.

Letters of a WWII Airman


First Responders on 9-11 and today

With the 17th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks drawing near, my mind is drawn back to the images of the First Responders, laden with gear, climbing up the stairs at the twin towers as everyone else was coming down to escape. I am thinking about all the lives lost that horrid day, including the lives of the First Responders- the fire fighters who put their lives on the line every day.

September 7th, 2017|Chicago history, Chicago: A View Over Time, Race|

Memoir and Chicago History: Interwoven

WHAT THE HECK IS THIS STORY ABOUT? That’s the critical question every author, fiction or nonfiction, has to answer. In my case, I had so much material–the thousands of pages of letters, diaries, documents, etc. I found in my parents’ attic after their deaths, I felt overwhelmed, but knew the only way to start was to read through it all. [...]

August 24th, 2017|Chicago history, Chicago: A View Over Time|

Blacks denied entry

I wanted to find a way to connect this week’s blog post with last weekend’s display of hateful bigotry: white supremacists violently protesting the removal of Confederate General Lee’s statue in Charlottesville, Virginia. Demanding that Confederate symbols remain is another way of saying “We approve of the Confederate stance that blacks should be enslaved; that they are subhuman.” Even if only the most racist of Americans would actually mouth those words today (like the white supremacists in Charlottesville), back in the 1950s and 1960s, whites spoke openly against blacks entering their communities–and thought they had good reason.

The “Mankini” as cutting edge beach fashion

Chicago and family history buffs (no pun intended) –and anyone who enjoys a good laugh, should get a kick out of today’s blog post. Summer is waning, giving way to back-to-school ads (sigh), and later sunrises, but the Lake Michigan water is nice and warm (71-73º) after a summer of sunshine. I thought it would be fun to celebrate beach [...]


At age 17, my mother became the sole support of her parents The Depression had destroyed 50% of all manufacturing jobs in Chicago. Her father was a tool and die maker, a machinist–and sixty-years-old to boot, so...tough luck for him. He got the boot. When the banker came around to demand their mortgage payments, he said, "Why don't you take your daughter out of school and send her to work to pay the mortgage?"

Coming April 3, 2018

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