Chicago, A View Over Time

“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.

Russell Baker: A brilliant writer, human being, and influence

"Russell Baker died Monday at his home in Leesburg, Va. He was 93." That's the opening to the New York Times obituary after the death of one of the twentieth century's greatest newspapermen, memoirist, writer, and overall high quality human being. I didn't know Russell Baker personally, but after reading and rereading his Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir, Growing Up, to the point I could quote passages verbatim, I wanted to know him.

2019-06-05T22:10:11-05:00January 24th, 2019|Chicago: A View Over Time|

Landing the immigrant dream

On Jan. 11th, 1911, (1/1/11) a massive steamship, named "Friedrich der Grosse" (for Frederick the Great, a one-time Prussian ruler) pulled into New York Bay. My dad's father, Josef Gärtz, was on that ship, peering out at the Statue of Liberty, greeting him and the other hopeful and exhausted boat-load of immigrants. It was the beginning of a life entirely different from the lives of the family and friends he left behind.

New Year Nightmare

On New Year's Eve, 1910, a young immigrant boards a steamship from the Port of Bremen to head out into the unknown, across the Atlantic to America. Using his wits, Josef Gärtz overcame every obstacle in his path—and recorded how he did it in letters and diaries. That's why I can share with you today a first-hand account of what he experienced 108 years ago. Read on to find out what happened.