At the Ref Desk (9/23/17): OMG, someone going through our book catalog, asks me what 'print' means. [more...]
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Personal/Family

Staats-Zeitung, My Uncles and Abraham Lincoln

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 6/15/17 (9:08pm)

I saw Sidney Blumenthal discuss his book "The Political Life of Lincoln, 1849-1856" at Printers Row Lit Fest over the weekend. He talked about the critical role local newspapers played in the anti-slavery movement -- some of which Lincoln wrote articles for. One newspaper in particular was the Chicago-based "Staats-Zeitung". This rang a bell for me as I recalled my uncles Julius and Ernest being involved with the same paper in the late 20s early 30s. Below is a copy of the newspaper's listing from the "Illinois Newspaper Directory & History" (1934).
IL_newspaper_directory_1934.jpg

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Looks Like Uncle Julius

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 1/10/17 (8:48pm)

Found this picture in a book titled, "German Chicago: The Danube Swabians and the American Aid Societies". That older fellow with the bowtie sure looks like my Uncle Julius.

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First Seven Jobs

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 8/22/16 (10:09am)

Okay, since everyone's doing it:

  1. Sales Assistant (Radio Shack, Chicago) - 16 yrs old.
  2. Print Shop / Mimeograph Machine (Small indy business selling mailing lists on magnetic tape*, Playboy Tower, Chicago) - High School.
  3. Customer Service, Credit Dept. (Carson, Pirie, Scott, Downtown Chicago) - College.
  4. English Teacher (Year Abroad Program, Paris) - Post-College.
  5. Manager, Hot Dog Stand (Fullerton Ave. Beach, Chicago).
  6. English Teacher (Rome, later West Berlin).
  7. Construction/Rehab Worker (West Berlin).

*Computer storage 70s style [source]:
magnetic_tape_1970s.jpg

Site Launch: GermaniaBroadcast.net

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 6/3/15 (4:00pm)

Today was the official launch date of GermaniaBroadcast.net. I announced it on all the usual social networks.

It's actually been up for maybe a month -- with me fiddling around, adding content, rearranging it and the like. I guess, an alternative name for the thing could be, "Fun with Drupal and Content Management".

The site is built around various digital records that we have of daddy, William Klein and his radio show, "The Germania Broadcast" (1927-1970). Working with the data, I managed to organize everything into four principle categories, Events, People, Places and Library (or 'Documents').

The neat thing with Drupal is how you can connect one item in one category with items in any other. Say, the name of a singer pops up in the description of a concert in 1928 which happened at the Auditorium Theater; You can relate the person to the event and location going backwards and forward. The magic is called "Entity Reference" but again, I like to call it, 'Fun with Content Mgmt".

In any case, there's a slightly fuller explanation of the original radio broadcast plus background here: The Germania Broadcast : An Introduction.

Daddy in Wartime London with the ABSIE Team

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 1/24/15 (1:43am)

Amazing picture of daddy along with what looks like the rest of the 'American Broadcasting Station in Europe' (i.e. 'ABSIE') team in London in 1943 (see larger image). I just came upon it after going through a box of old pictures. Note, daddy is in the back with the headphones next to the guy in a sweater.

New York Times from Sept. 30, 1943.
The picture above is a close-up (flipped) of the New York Times that the fellow on the right has on his desk. It dates from Sept. 30, 1943 and has the headline: "Naples' Fall Near as Allies Break Line and Pursue Fleeing Germans on Plain; Russians in Kremenchug, Aim for Baltic".

Here's a write-up I once put together on his tour of duty: "Daddy Was a DJ to the Germans in WWII" (6/9/07)

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What with all the talk of the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, I recalled an episode that happened to me a bit earlier while visiting East Berlin.

The way it worked is you got to spend a day there but had to be back by midnight or they'd make you pay a fine. Normally we'd go there, visit the sites (such as they were), head to a couple of bars to spend the practically worthless East-German marks, and then head back to Checkpoint Charlie.

One night as we were racing back, we got stopped by an East-German policeman or border guard or I don't know what -- on the final street right before Checkpoint Charlie. "Why", I asked the guard.

"Because you crossed the street against the light," he explained. The fine for this trespass was 20 marks (West German of course). Naturally I grumbled as I handed over the ransom money.

"But," he said by way of defense, "we have our laws, you have your laws. It would be the same in Chicago."

I looked at the deserted street I had just crossed and then the huge forbidding Wall stretched left and right with watch-towers, spotlights and men armed with machine guns -- all to keep their own people trapped inside.

"No," I assured the guard, "this is nothing like Chicago."

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Moon Landing in Eagle River, Wisc. (1969)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 7/16/14 (2:01pm)

The lunar landing in 1969 -- I remember it well. We were kids hanging out at Camp McCormick in Eagle River, Wisc. There in the darkness, under a star-lit sky, sitting on a hill overlooking the pine forests and lakes and streams of northern Wisconsin's 'Land O'Lakes', we listened on our portable radio -- TV not being allowed in summer camp -- as the Apollo 11 astronauts made their landing. When it happened and Armstrong said those famous words, we jumped up and cheered.

Daddy Fronting for the Home Team

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 4/13/14 (9:19pm)

Suburbanite Economist (4/30/1958):

"United Film and Recording Studio has been awarded the production of a full length motion picture on the subject of rehabilitation of the men- tally ill, by the State of Illinois. William L. Klein, owner of the Chicago studio expects the awarding of this contract to pave the way to promote Chicago as an able film capital. He says, "Chicago has the manpower and facilities to do a supreme job and does not have to take a back seat as far as New York or Hollywood is concerned." Hear! Hear! Hear! (Suburbanite Economist, 4/30/1958, p20.)

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Mom at Reference

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 4/6/13 (8:40pm)

Mom at the Reference Desk dealing with an unruly patron.

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Two Pictures, Same Street, Then & Now

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 1/30/13 (12:45am)

I caught a video clip from WTTW about the Great Snow Storm in Chicago of 1967. One of the photos (see above top) which came in at around 2m30s in the clip looked familiar. I could make out the Kroger's Supermarket sign and off to the left on the storefront were what looked like the final few letters of 'Barry Regent' [Cleaner's]. That would place it on Broadway just north of Wellington. I'm not 100% sure but the 2nd photo (courtesy of Google Street View) is a bit more recent. The supermarket is long gone -- replaced by Dominick's which later (2005) succumbed to fire -- but the Cleaner's is still there. All of this is just around the corner from where we used to live on Broadway & Barry.

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