In his latest book, “Pullman: The Man, the Company, the Historical Park” (History Press 2021; $21.99), he showcases what once was among the ultimate company town and is now a Chicago neighborhood. George Pullman, whose last name became synonymous with plush railroad sleeper cars, believed that happy workers were productive workers and so developed his town along the western shore of Lake Calumet in the late 1800s.
I thought I knew company towns having grown up in East Chicago, Indiana my friends whose parents worked at Inland Steel lived in Sunnyside in Indiana Harbor. On the East Chicago side there was Marktown built in 1917 by Clayton Mark, for those employed at the company he owned, Mark Manufacturing.
But they’re different Schoon tells me. Both Marktown and Sunnyside were residential neighborhoods. But Pullman was an actual town with its own schools, library, churches, Masonic Hall, businesses, and even a band. Garbage and maintenance was paid for by the company.
Though I vaguely knew about the town of Pullman, it had never been on my radar as a place to visit even though it was less than eleven miles from where I lived.
“The same with me,” says Schoon who remembered going to the Florence Hotel, one of the fanciest structures in town, to eat when young never to return until hired by the Historic Pullman Foundation to write about the history of the town for their brochure.
Today we talk about experiences, but that’s what Pullman was all about back then. His sleeper cars were luxurious, but the brand also meant great service. After the Civil War, he hired recently emancipated African American men, to work as porters becoming the largest employer of Blacks in the U.S. Their jobs were to attend to passengers needs by serving food and drink, shining shoes, tidying up the train, making sure the temperature was just right and that lighting fixtures worked. Black women were hired as maids to take care of women guests on the most expensive cars—babysitting children, helping with their baths, giving manicures, and fixing their hair.
Pullman was no dinky little town. The Arcade Theatre could accommodate 1000 people and Schoon says it was, for a time, the finest theater west of the Hudson River.
With the advent of automobiles and highways, the need for sleeper cars lessened. But luckily many of Pullman’s historic buildings remain including the Florence Hotel which is currently closed for renovations but expected to open within a few years.
“The old stable is now a store,” says Schoon. “The old fire station is still there and of the 600 residential buildings all but three are still standing.”
In an interesting tidbit, Schoon notes that Pullman was originally dry because George Pullman was a Prohibitionist. Luckily for those who wanted to imbibe, Kensington, the town next door had 23 taverns at the time.
Kenneth Schoon will be signing copies of his book during the Labor Day Weekend at the Grand Opening of Pullman National Monument Visitor Center and Pullman State Historic Site Factory. For more information about times and other events, visit www.pullmanil.org
Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of American Book Fest said this year’s contest yielded over 2,000 entries from mainstream and independent publishers. These were then narrowed down to over 400 winners and finalists in 90 categories.
“The 2020 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the United States,” says Keen about the awards, now in their 18th year. Winners and finalists traversed the publishing landscape: HarperCollins, Penguin/Random House, John Wiley and Sons, Routledge/Taylor and Francis, Forge, Hay House, Sounds True, Llewellyn Worldwide, NYU Press, Oxford University Press, John Hopkins University Press, The White House Historical Association and hundreds of Independent Houses contribute to this year’s outstanding competition.
“Our success begins with the enthusiastic participation of authors and publishers and continues with our distinguished panel of industry judges who bring to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise,” says Keen.
American Book Fest is an online publication providing coverage for books from mainstream and independent publishers to the world online community.
Business: Motivational Unlock!: 7 Steps to Transform Your Career and Realize Your Leadership Potential by Abhijeet Khadikar Vicara Books
Business: Personal Finance/Investing Enhancing Retirement Success Rates in the United States: Leveraging Reverse Mortgages, Delaying Social Security, and Exploring Continuous Work by Chia-Li Chien, PhD, CFP®, PMP® Palgrave Pivot
Business: Real Estate Market Forces: Strategic Trends Impacting Senior Living Providers by Jill J. Johnson Johnson Consulting Services
Business: Reference The Non-Obvious Guide to Virtual Meetings and Remote Work (Non-Obvious Guides) by Rohit Bhargava IdeaPress Publishing
Business: Sales The Visual Sale: How to Use Video to Explode Sales, Drive Marketing, and Grow Your Business in a Virtual World by Marcus Sheridan IdeaPress Publishing
Business: Technology Amazon Management System: The Ultimate Digital Business Engine That Creates Extraordinary Value for Both Customers and Shareholders by Ram Charan and Julia Yang IdeaPress Publishing
Business: Writing/Publishing Great Stories Don’t Write Themselves: Criteria-Driven Strategies for More Effective Fiction by Larry Brooks Writer’s Digest Books (a division of Penguin Random House)
Children’s Religious That Grand Christmas Day! by Jill Roman Lord, illustrated by Alessia Trunfio Worthy Kids
College Guides Diversity At College: Real Stories of Students Conquering Bias and Making Higher Education More Inclusive by James Stellar, Chrisel Martinez, Branden Eggan, Chloe Skye Weiser, Benny Poy, Rachel Eagar, Marc Cohen, and Agata Buras IdeaPress Publishing
Cookbooks: General Recipes from the President’s Ranch: Food People Like to Eat by Matthew Wendel The White House Historical Association
Cookbooks: International Cooking with Marika: Clean Cuisine from an Estonian Farm by Marika Blossfeldt Delicious Nutrition
Cookbooks: Regional The Perfect Persimmon: History, Recipes, and More by Michelle Medlock Adams Red Lightning
BooksCurrent Events In All Fairness: Equality, Liberty, and the Quest for Human Dignity, edited by Robert M. Whaples, Michael C. Munger and Christopher J. Coyne Independent Institute
Education/Academic The EQ Intervention: Shaping a Self-Aware Generation Through Social and Emotional Learning by Adam L. Saenz, PhD Greenleaf Book Group
Health: Cancer All Of Us Warriors: Cancer Stories of Survival and Loss by Rebecca Whitehead Munn She Writes Press
Health: Death & Dying Aftermath: Picking Up the Pieces After a Suicide by Gary Roe Healing Resources Publishing
Health: Diet & Exercise Whole Person Integrative Eating: A Breakthrough Dietary Lifestyle to Treat Root Causes of Overeating, Overweight and Obesity by Deborah Kesten, MPH and Larry Scherwitz, PhD White River Press
Health: General True Wellness for Your Gut: Combine the best of Western and Eastern medicine for optimal digestive and metabolic health by Catherine Kurosu, MD, L.Ac. and Aihan Kuhn, CMD, OBT YMAA Publication Center
Health: Medical Reference The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook: Your Guide for Everything from Hangovers to Homesickness by Jill Grimes, MD Skyhorse Publishing
Women’s Issues Muslim Women Are Everything: Stereotype-Shattering Stories of Courage, Inspiration, and Adventure by Seema Yasmin, illustrated by Fahmida Azim Harper Design, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Young Adult: Non-Fiction My Life, My Way: How To Make Exceptional Decisions About College, Career, and Life by Elyse Hudacsko Self-Published
When Rebecca Graff, a PhD student at the University of Chicago in need of a dissertation, was told by a professor that the view before them from the school’s Ida Noyes Hall was “a hundred years ago the center of the world,” she didn’t see the bucolic splendor of Jackson Park hugging the Lake Michigan shoreline. Instead her sights went to what lay beneath and that was the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, an unexcavated but huge part of Chicago’s history. Held in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus arrival in the New World, the exposition attracted 27 million people who paid 21.5 million for admission in a six-month period. Designed by noted landscape architect Frederick Olmsted, the 630-acre park had more than 65,000 exhibits from 46 countries and introduced to the public such new inventions as a 250-foot Ferris Wheel, Aunt Jemima’s Pancake syrup and Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Gum. Electricity, still rare back then, was used to light up the expo at night.
Surprisingly what seemed an almost guaranteed bureaucratic nightmare in terms of permits and permissions all fell into place but then Graff was told she couldn’t start without a million dollars in liability insurance. Not likely for a graduate student.
“I needed to turn the excavation into a job,” she says. And so she did, teaching a field class at the University of Chicago where she and her students excavated the site.
Expecting to find those things that archaeologists love—pottery shards, a coin here and a twisted spoon there—Graff and her team were stunned to unearth a section of the Ohio Building, a stately Beaux Arts-style edifice with an elaborate portico entranceway that served as a meeting place for Ohioans. It was among the best of all the other findings they uncovered such as a collar stud, religious medal, cruet tops indicating that food was made on site, and lots of pipes. Though to hear Graff describe them, they’re all treasures and keys to the past.
As for the building, contemporary sources said it no longer existed.
“Even the New York Times wrote it had been thrown into the lake,” says Graff, who instead found segments in a ditch where it might have been used as landfill.
Coincidentally, Graff later discovered she wasn’t the only family member to dig at the site, so had her great grandfather, Morris Graff, a Russia immigrant who dug ditches at the fair.
Graff would like to return to Jackson Park for further exploration but was denied a permit the second time around. She says it’s surprising that Chicago doesn’t have a city archaeologist as other big cities do. But she’s certainly doing her fair share of uncovering urban remains. She is currently excavating the Charnley-Persky House Museum, a National Historic Landmark located on Astor Street in the Gold Coast designed Chicago architect, Louis Sullivan and his young draftsman Frank Lloyd Wright.
Cover image from Disposing of Modernity: The Archaeology of Garbage and Consumerism during Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair by Rebecca S. Graff. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2020.
I am proud to announce that my book, Lincoln Roadtrip: The Backroads Guide to America’s Favorite President, published by Indiana University Press, is a winner in the 2019-20 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, taking the bronze in the Travel Book category. The annual competition is sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.
Winners of the awards, the most prestigious in the field of travel journalism, were announced October 16, 2020, at the annual conference of SATW, the premier professional organization of travel journalists and communicators. This year’s gathering was a virtual event.
The competition drew 1,299 entries and was judged by faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. This year, the SATW Foundation presented 99 awards in 26 categories and more than $21,000 in prize money to journalists. The awards are named for Lowell Thomas, acclaimed broadcast journalist, prolific author and world explorer during five decades in journalism.
In honoring my work, the judges said: The concept of this book is straightforward, “historical travel” with a focus on perhaps the most beloved President in the history of the United States of America. But a straightforward concept does not automatically signify a simple task. Author Ammeson completed massive research about Lincoln’s life before his ascension to fame. The photographs enhance the words nicely. Another attractive enhancement: offering current-day sites unrelated to Lincoln that provide entertainment along the route of the dedicated Lincoln traveler.”
I wanted to create a fun and entertaining travel book, one that includes the stories behind the quintessential Lincoln sites, while also taking readers off the beaten path to fascinating and lesser-known historical places. Visit the Log Inn in Warrenton, Indiana (now the oldest restaurant in the state), where Lincoln dined in 1844 while waiting for a stagecoach, stop by the old mill in Jasper, Indiana where Lincoln and his father took their grain to be milled (and learn of the salacious rumor about Lincoln’s birth–one of many) and spend the night at the Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Ohio, a gorgeous inn now over 200 years old.
Connect to places in Lincoln’s life that helped define the man he became, like the home of merchant Colonel Jones, who allowed a young Abe to read all his books, or Ashland, where Mary Todd Lincoln announced at age eight that she was going to marry a president someday and later, Lincoln most likely dined. Along with both famous and overlooked places with Lincoln connections, I also suggest nearby attractions to round out the trip, like Holiday World, a family-owned amusement park that goes well with a trip to the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial and Lincoln State Park.
Featuring new and exciting Lincoln tales from Springfield, Illinois; the Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown, Kentucky; the Buxton Inn, Granville, Ohio; Alton, Illinois; and many more, I wrote Lincoln Road Trip hoping that it will be a fun adventure through America’s heartland, one that will bring Lincoln’s incredible story to life.
For more information about the awards, including a full list of winners and judges’ comments, and SATW, visit www.satwf.com and www.satw.org.
To order a copy of Lincoln Road Trips, click here.
There was a time when electric railroads, called interurbans, crisscrossed the state, connecting the small villages and large cities of Indiana.
“I was about 10 when my mother first started letting me take the interurban on my own,” recalls Lorraine Simon, who was born in East Chicago in 1911. “My mother would put me on the train and I’d go to Chicago and get off and walk to where my grandmother worked sewing linings into hats for a millinery company.”
Also, according to Simon, the interurban she rode, known as the South Shore, also served food — for awhile. “But that didn’t last long,” she says.
With names like the Marion Flyer and the Muncie Meteor, the electric-powered interurban railway was the first true mass transit in Indiana in the 20th century. Coined interurban by Anderson, Ind., businessman and politician Charles Henry in the early 1900s, the name meant between towns or urban areas.
“Before the interurban, public transportation in central Indiana relied upon mules or horses to pull crudely fashioned passenger wagons,” says Robert Reed, author of “Central Indiana Interurban” (Arcadia, 2004, $19.95). The interiors of these passenger wagons were piled high with straw for warmth in the winter and candles were used after sunset to light the interior. It was, as can be imagined, less than an optimal way to travel.
“The genius at work was the idea of using electrical power, on the pavement beneath the tracks or on overhead lines, to power existing traction cars,” writes Reed in his book.
Though the book’s title would seem to indicate a focus on the interurbans in Central Indiana, Reed points out that it encompasses many of the interurban lines that ran through Northwest Indiana.
“Indianapolis may have had the busiest interurban terminal in the world early in the 20th century but Chicago laid claim to the busiest corner in the world at State and Madison streets,” he writes. “Clearly interurban and cars were jammed in with all other traffic. The Chicago and Indiana Air Line Railway was established in 1901 at a cost of $250,000. Through reorganizations and acquisitions it grew from just over three miles of coverage in the beginning to nearly 70 miles of routes as the Chicago, Lake Shore and South Bend Railway, a decade and a half later. Eventually, encircled by its transportation lines were East Chicago, Indiana Harbor, Gary, Michigan City and Hammond.”
The Gary and Interurban Railroad provided 50-minute service between Gary and Hammond, according to Reed, and 60-minute service between Gary and Indiana Harbor. “In the years before the 1920s,” writes Reed, “one of their major routes began at Hammond and continued on to Indiana Harbor, Gary, East Gary, Garyton, Woodville Junction, Chesterton, Sheridan Beach, Valparaiso, Westville and LaPorte. Variations of the Gary and Interurban Railroad routes commenced at Valparaiso, Chesterton and LaPorte. Typically more than 20 different interurban cars from that line arrived and departed from Gary each day.”
To highlight the popularity of the interurban throughout the state, Reed mentions how in 1908 the French Lick and West Baden Railroad Company connecting the West Baden Springs Hotel and the French Lick Resort & Springs, about a one mile route, carried 260,000 passengers.
The book, filled with black-and-white photos from the interurban era as well as timetables and postcards from the routes, came about after Reed, a former magazine editor, wrote a book called “Greetings from Indiana” which showed the state’s history through early postcards. As Reed collected the postcards, he noticed that many were of the towns on the interurban route. “
It made sense that people riding the interurban would send postcards of their stops and that these postcards were often of the interurban terminals,” says Reed who specializes in writing about antiques and collectibles. “I really became fascinated with interurbans because they were so much a part of Indiana.”
Laying tracks for the interurban was an expensive proposition. “It eventually got to where it was about $144,000 a mile,” Reed says. “And they reached a point where it was too expensive to expand.” Besides, by then Henry Ford had introduced his Model T and people were starting to drive more and more. “A lot of old timers say that if the interurban had survived until after World War II, they would be popular today,” Reed says. The one interurban to survive, the South Shore Railroad, did so because Samuel Insull, the utility magnate whose holdings included Commonwealth Edison and the Northern Indiana Public Service Company, also owned the South Shore.
In other words, he helped usher the South Shore into the era of public subsidies for passenger transport. That is considered to be the reason why the electric train, which still travels from Chicago to South Bend and back on a regular schedule, is the only interurban that successfully made the transition to a commuter railroad.
All the others are now just vestiges of history — abandoned track lines here and there, faded black-and-white or sepia-colored postcards, a few timetables and even fewer fragile memories.
Patience and Fortitude, the marble lions gallantly standing at the steps of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan, were only 2 years old when Jack Lyons, along with his wife and two children, moves into a large apartment hidden away on the library’s mezzanine floor. It’s all part of Jack’s job as superintendent, an intriguing fact that Fiona Davis uses in her latest historical mystery, “The Lions of Fifth Avenue,” which was selected as “Good Morning America’s” August Book Pick.
“While researching, I discovered that when the library was built, the architects included a seven-room apartment deep inside, where the superintendent and his family lived for 30 years. I thought it would be the perfect setting for my book and I invented a fictional family — the Lyons — and decided to tell the story from the wife’s point of view in 1913, as well as from her granddaughter’s in 1993,” said Davis, who chose 1913 because that decade was when women made great strides, socially and economically. “What surprised me about the 1910s was just how actively women were involved in feminist causes, including the right to vote, the right to birth control, and the right to exert agency over their own lives. There was a huge movement forward in terms of the ‘New Woman,’ one who considered herself equal to men.”
Living in the library creates an opportunity for Jack’s wife Laura, who yearns to be more than a housewife, and is mentored by Jack’s boss, who encourages her to find her own writing voice and helps her win entry to the Columbia School of Journalism. But Laura soon learns that she doesn’t want to be relegated to writing housewife-like features for the women’s section as expected, and instead becomes a noted essayist and crusader for women’s rights.
“It was wonderful to step back in time and imagine what it all was like then,” said Davis, noting that both she and Laura attended Columbia. “I earned my master’s degree there, so it was fun to draw on that experience.”
Fast forward 80 years in time to when Laura’s granddaughter, Sadie Donovan, a curator at the New York Public Library, is chosen to step in at the last moment to curate the Berg Collection of rare books. Among the rare papers are those of Laura Lyons, who had been forgotten over time, but whose writings are now being celebrated again.
At first proud of her connection to her grandmother and excited that Laura once lived at the library where she now works, Sadie hides their connection after discovering her grandmother and grandfather were caught up in a scandal about a rare book of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry, typically stored under lock and key, that’s gone missing.
Before long, history is repeating itself when Sadie finds that vital materials about her grandmother are also missing, and only a few people had the opportunity to take them, including Sadie herself. Soon Sadie, already shattered by her husband’s infidelity and the couple’s ultimate divorce, is the prime suspect of the theft. Her reputation is on the line as is her grandmother’s and solving the mystery is the only way to redeem them.
“These places are all about the people who made them,” says Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks,“and the people who worked at saving them.”
Once a glorious example of Streamline-Moderne architecture and one of only five theaters in the U.S. to premiere “Gone with the Wind,” in 2001 the future of the 81-year-old Fowler Theatre was bleak. No longer open, its owner planned to sell anything architecturally significant including the original marquee. To prevent this, the non-profit Preservation Guild was formed to save the theater, purchasing the theater for $30,000 and obtained a $2000 grant and a $60,000 line of credit from Indiana Historic Landmarks Foundation.
Today, the Fowler Theatre is a marvel, one of many buildings throughout the state that dedicated citizens and the Foundation have worked together in order to preserve Indiana’s heritage and also benefit communities. In the case of the Fowler Theatre, it was a way to keep low cost entertainment available and to help revitalize the downtown.
The theatre is one of 50 success stories highlighted in the recently released Indiana “Landmarks Rescued & Restored,” a lovely coffee table book with before and after photos showcasing what historic preservation can accomplish.
“I want the book to be an acknowledgement of the wonderful people and partnerships that have made Landmarks as effective as it is,” says Indiana Landmarks’ President, Marsh Davis who wrote the forward to the book. “When we take the approach of working together, then we become part of the solution.”
One of Landmarks most well-known projects was the restoration of two grand early 20th century resorts, French Lick Springs and West Baden Springs in Orange County. Returning them to their glory has made the entire area boom economically by bringing in an influx of tourism, creating local jobs and improving property values and instilling a sense of pride and vitality.
Landmarks, largest statewide preservation group in the country, saves, restores, and protects places of architectural and historical significance, including barns, historic neighborhoods such as Lockerbie Square in Indianapolis, churches and other sacred places, schools, bridges and even the Michigan City Lighthouse Catwalk.
Rescued and Restored also highlights other successes in Northern Indiana including partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service in the restoration of the House of Tomorrow in the Indiana Dunes National Park, considered one of the most innovative and influential houses in modern architectural design.
The book, edited by Tina Connor, who worked at Landmarks for 42 years, retiring from her position as the non-profit’s executive vice president in 2018, 144 pages with more than 200 color photos. Hon. Randall T. Shepard, honorary chairman and long-time director of Indiana Landmarks, wrote the book’s foreward.
Statewide, Marsh says that he feels privileged knowing that Landmarks worked with the Lyles Station Historic Preservation Corporation to save Lyles Station Community School. Now a museum and the last surviving building of what was a successful African-American farming community founded by former slaves in 1849.
“These places are all about the people who made them,” says Davis, “and the people who worked at saving them.”
I was going to write a column about New Year’s Eve celebration foods but got distracted by Ten Restaurants That Changed America by Paul Freedman (Liveright 2018; $23.95), a look at how food evolved in this country. I’m going to be interviewing the author after I finish the book but instead of reading it from front to cover as soon as I read the introduction I turned to the chapter on Howard Johnson’s because those orange roofed restaurants and lodges are part of my youth. I worked at HoJo’s when I was a teen and as a young girl, when we traveled to New York, Connecticut and along the eastern seaboard, we typically stayed at their lodges.
I remember the sparkling pool, so inviting after a long day in the car, trying to read a book or do crossword puzzles while whizzing along—we only had an AM radio in the car and my mother didn’t like the noise of it when she was driving. Dinner was typically fried clams, hamburgers or clam chowder and always one of their many flavors of ice cream. Probably most famous for their clam dishes, the chapter about Ho Jo’s in Freedman’s book is titled Howard Johnson’s: As American As Fried Clams. If you’re wondering about all the clam dishes, Johnson was from Massachusetts and the chain started off in New England. And maybe people ate more clams back then.
At one time, according to the book,
during the 1970s, Howard Johnson had 929 restaurants and 526 motor lodges
stretching across the U.S. In the 1960s, the restaurants served more meals
outside the home than any company or organization except for the U.S. Army.
There actually was a Howard Johnson (his middle name was Deering) and he was
born in 1897 and though he liked to present himself, even at the height of his
company’s success, as a simple man, he married four times, owned a yacht, three
houses and a substantial art collection. Oh, and he didn’t really eat at Howard
Johnson’s much. Instead he liked high-end French dining like Le Pavillon and
the Stork Club, both fancy and ultra-expensive New York restaurants.
I’m not quite sure if there are any
HoJo’s left. There were a handful less than a decade ago including on in Times
Square and another in Bangor, Maine but those are gone. A Google search
indicates that the last one, in Lake George, New York, was, as of earlier this
year, was up for sale as a possible site for redevelopment. It had just
re-opened the year before after being closed for four years. Unfortunately the
person who had re-opened it had some legal issues. For more information, check
out hojoland.com, a Website for all things Howard Johnson’s.
Occasionally I see a building that
looks like it was once a HoJo but has been converted to another use and the
orange roof has usually been replaced. Because there are websites for almost
anything, there are a few identifying converted HoJo’s as well.
Though the restaurants are gone, many of the recipes remain and I looked up a few that I remember enjoying way back when and was fascinated to find out that the legendary French chef Jacque Pepin once worked at HoJo’s, a time he talks about in his memoir, The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen. Pepin, who would make their clam chowder in 3,000-gallon amounts, recreated the recipe for home cooks, saying he makes it “when a bit of Howard Johnson’s nostalgia creeps in.” His contains pancetta which I’m guessing is a substitute for the bacon in the original recipe and he also uses Yukon Gold potatoes and I don’t think that variety was common back in 1929 when Johnson opened his first restaurant.
Jacques Pepin Howard Johnson’s Clam Chowder
5 quahog clams or 10 to 12 large cherrystone clams
4 cups water
4 ounces pancetta or lean, cured pork, cut into 1-inch pieces
(about ¾ cup)
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 large onion (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch
pieces (1-1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 cup light cream
1 cup milk
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Wash the clams well under cold water, and put them in a saucepan
with 2 cups of the water. Bring to a boil (this will take about 5 minutes), and
boil gently for 10 minutes. Drain off and reserve the cooking liquid, remove
the clams from their shells, and cut the clams into 1/2 –inch pieces (1-1/2
cups). Put the clam pieces in a bowl, then carefully pour the cooking liquid
into another bowl, leaving behind any sediment or dirt. (You should have about
2-1/2 cups of stock.) Set aside the stock and the clams.
Put the pancetta or pork pieces in a large saucepan, and cover
with the remaining 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, and boil for 30 seconds.
Drain the pancetta, and wash it in a sieve under cold water. Rinse the
saucepan, and return the pancetta to the pan with the oil. Place over medium
heat, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onion
and garlic, and continue cooking, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the flour,
mix it in well, and cook for 10 seconds. Add the reserved stock and the thyme,
and bring to a boil. Then add the potatoes and clams, bring to a boil, cover,
reduce the heat to very low, and cook gently for 2 hours.
At serving time, add the cream, milk, and pepper, bring to a
boil, and serve. (Note: No salt should be needed because of the clam juice and
pancetta, but taste and season to your liking.)
Johnson’s Fried Clams
1 cup milk
freshly shucked clams
1 cup cake
1 cup yellow
evaporated milk and whole milk, egg, vanilla, salt, and pepper. Soak clams in
liquid and then dredge in combination of cake flour and cornmeal, fluffing them
in the flour mixture for light but thorough coverage. Shake off excess flour
and fry in oil. Serve with French-fried potatoes, tartar sauce, homemade rolls,
Johnson’s Chicken Croquettes
chicken fat (can use butter instead)
1 ¼ cups
2 1/4 quarts
chicken stock. hot
tablespoons chopped onions
3 cups bread
boneless chicken, finely minced
in chicken fat but do not brown.
Make a roux
(recipe below). Add hot chicken stock, and add seasonings. Stir constantly
until mixture thickens and is well blended.
chicken and chopped parsley. Cook 5 minutes more, then remove from fire and
chill. Scoop and shape into croquettes. Dip in flour, egg wash and bread crumbs
and fry in deep fat until lightly browned on all sides.
served a cream sauce (see recipe below).
1/2 cup milk
in pan; stir in flour and seasonings. Cook on low until smooth; stirring
constantly, add broth and milk slowly; to maintain thickness, stir on medium
heat until all milk and broth is added and sauce is thick.
In a heavy
pot, melt butter and then add the minced celery. Stir in the flour and cook for
3 minutes., stirring constantly. Fold in the chicken meat and allow to cool.
Johnson’s Boston Brown Bread
1 cup unsifted
whole wheat flour
unsifted rye flour
1 cup yellow
teaspoon baking soda
flour a 2 quart mold. Combine flours, corn meal, soda ,salt. Stir in molasses,
mold, cover tightly. Place on trivet in deep kettle. Add enough boiling water
to come half
way up sides of mold; cover. Steam 3 1/2 hr., or until done. Remove from mold
Patricia Schultz and I had only been on the phone together for five minutes before we decided to make the trip to New Zealand—neither of us had been and both of us wanted to go. And no, I haven’t bought my ticket yet but that’s how mesmerizing Schultz, who introduced the concept of bucket list travel when she wrote the first edition of her #1 New York Times bestseller 1000 Places to See Before You Die in 2003. It was so popular that over the years more than 3.5 million copies have been sold.
Now Schultz has updated her book with
a new twist, her words accompanied by mesmerizing and amazing handpicked photos
of some of the most beautiful places in world. The book itself, weighing six pounds with 544
pages, is oversized eye candy—compelling us to pack our bags and head out to
1,000 Places to See Before You Die
(Deluxe Edition): The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before was years in the
making—after all Schultz had to travel to all those places.
Calling her new book, a veritable
scrapbook of her life, she says she became teary eyed when choosing the photos.
In its pages she takes us to destinations so exotic many might have remained
unknown to most of us if not for her writing. One such is Masai Mara, the
world’s greatest animal migration that takes place each May when hundreds of
thousands of wildebeests travel north from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the
grasslands of Kenya’s Masai Mara. It’s a two to three month journey and the wildebeests
are joining by other migrating herds including antelope, zebras and gazelles
swelling the animal population to a million or so. There’s also ballooning over
Cappadocia, a Byzantine wonderland encompassing a natural and seemingly endless
landscape of caves and peaks of shaped by eons of weather with wonderfully
colored striations of stone. Even better, Schultz points out, you can take a
side trip to Kaymakli, an ancient underground city just 12 miles away.
For those less inclined for such
travels or whose pocketbooks don’t open that large, Schultz features closer to
home destinations that are still special such as Mackinac Island where cars
were banned in the mid-1890s, New York City (where Schultz resides when not on
the road) and one of my favorites, Stowe, Vermont. And, of course, the majestic
While Schultz’s parents weren’t world
travelers, they encouraged her to find her way to what she loved. But for her,
it’s not just the road, it’s the people she meets as well. When the first
editor of her book proved so successful, she treated herself to a trip to Machu
Picchu in the Urubamba Valley of the Cuzco Region of Peru often known as the
Lost City of the Incas. Located 7800-feet above sea level, it’s isolated at the
top of a mountain surrounded by jungles and other peaks. There she met a
90-year-old woman who had been inspired by her book to travel there.
“She asked me if I had heard of the
book,” says Schultz. “Peru was the first stamp in her first passport.”
This venturesome woman who had
traveled outside the U.S. for the first time in her ninth decade, offered the
seasoned travel writer a pearl of wisdom that has remained with her for the
“She told me to make sure to see the difficult
places first,” recalls Schultz. “You can see the easy ones when you’re not as
active or energetic.”
Is Schultz burned
out by travel? Has she reached the point of been-there-done-that?
with an emphatic no.
“There are still so many places I
want to visit,” she says, noting that her list remains long. “I doubt if I’ll
get to do them all, but I will try to do as many as I can.”
What: Authors Group Presents Patricia Schultz, 1000 Places to
See Before You Die; Luncheon
When: Tue, Oct 29, 2019 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: Union League Club of Chicago, 65 W. Jackson Blvd.,
Where: Anderson’s Bookshop La Grange, 26 S La Grange Rd, La
Cost: This event is free and open to the public. To
join the signing line, please purchase the author’s latest book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Deluxe
Edition, from Anderson’s Bookshop. To purchase please
stop into or call Anderson’s Bookshop La Grange (708) 582-6353 or order
than 40 years, Joe Marlin, author of the just released Fading Ads of Chicago,
photographed ghost signs, those fading advertisements painted on the sides of
brick buildings, a onetime popular way to advertise in the U.S.
notes when I was driving to and from work on the west side of Chicago or when I
was going to business meetings,” says Marlin, a retired clinical social worker
and director of hospital social work services at Mt. Sinai Hospital. “Then I’d
organize the notes by neighborhood and go back and take photos.”
signs, some more than a century old, often advertised businesses, products,
stores and services long gone. These include the Boston Store which opened shortly
after the Chicago Fire in 1871 and was then replaced with a new building in
1906, closing for good in the late 1940s. One of Marlin’s favorites is an ad
for Marigold Margarine, which was likely painted in the 1890s.
that one because its colors were still so vivid,” says Marlin, whose book
contains more than 150 color photos of ads painted, for the most part, between
1890 to 1940s. “It wasn’t as faded because another building was built right
next to it.”
are sometimes called ghost ads because they were painted with lead based paints
that overtime begin to fade into the soft brick of the sides of buildings. When
it rains, the colors, longer lasting than non-lead paint, sometimes begin to
reappear or are easier to see. Marigold Margarine is one such ad. Concealed
over for decades it came into the light again for a brief period when the
building hiding it was demolished.
Then it vanished again with the construction
of a new building next door, concealed again for who knows how long. So many of
the ads Martin took are also gone, making them even more poignant as lost
reminders of forgotten times.
“I regret that I didn’t take more photos,”
he says. “More and more are disappearing when they tear down old buildings to
put up new one or their removed when the exteriors are renovated.
Marlin, who also collects vintage cameras particularly those from Chicago’s
photographic industry such as still, movie, and street cameras as well as Art
Deco items, pursues these disappearing works of art.
“I just took
a photo of one recently, but it was too late to make it into the book,” he
says. “It’s an ad for Wizard Oil and claims that it ‘cures rheumatism, colds,
sores and all other pains.’ It was a patent medicine and they made all sorts of
grandiose claims back then.”
Marigold Margarine and other remnants of the past, this one has a story too,
dating back to 1861 when a former Chicago magician invented it.
old ads take us back to a different time,” says Marlin. “In order to find them,
just look up when you’re walking or driving through the city.”
a photo because they might not be there next time you go by.
What: Joe Marlin talk and book signing
When: Tuesday, June 25; 6:00-7:00pm
Where: 57th Street Books, 1301 E 57th Street,