At the Ref Desk (10/12/19): Today is International 'Can You Help Me With My Research Paper' Day. [more...]
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Personal/Family

Three Events in My Life

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 11/7/08 (9:10pm)

They're selling Obama hats at my local 7-11. I know 'business is business' but this is the first time I can recall when the 'swag' from a presidential campaign was thought valuable enough to hit the retail shelves.

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Old Friend Mark Stewart Up For Tony Award

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 6/15/08 (7:57pm)

Finally someone I know is famous!

In the 80's in crazy Kreuzberg, West Berlin, a bunch of us belonged to this good-time group called the 'Wonderful Guise'. Mark Stewart Stew was one of the lead musicians.

Well, Mark Stewart Stew is now up for a Tony award as "Best Musical" for his show 'Passing Strange'. According to a write-up in the Village Voice, this Bildungsroman in musical form "takes him to Amsterdam and then to Berlin, where he's indoctrinated into hardcore bohemian life."

Hardcore bohemian it was! Above is a shot from a concert we gave at the venerable SO36. Mark's on the left, followed by Enrico, Freie Freya, Art and me. Not pictured were Marek the drummer and Anthony Millionaire (of Maakies fame) who did the costumes and sets.

UPDATE: Results are in. 'In the Heights' won out over 'Passing Strangely' 'Passing Strange' for Best Musical which kind of makes sense considering the subject and location of each show. 'Passing Strangely' 'Passing Strange' did get the 'Best Book' Award which is still pretty good.

UPDATE (5/27/2013):The content of this page is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License.

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1st Day at OAR

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 3/17/08 (6:20pm)

Today was my first day as Web Coordinator at the Office of Admission and Records at UIC. Bunch of nice people and lots of possibilities for the site.

On a totally unrelated note, here's a shot from the day before of my sister blowing out the candles on her birthday cake.

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9/11 Home Video: Lower Manhattan Two Weeks After the Attack

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 9/11/07 (5:08am)

I've witnessed two major events of "historical" proportions, one very good and one very bad. The very good one was the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The very bad one was 9/11 in New York.

At the time of 9/11, I was living in Manhattan. Here are a number of video clips I took around two weeks after the attack.

We see the flyers for missing persons, a NYFD Fire Station set up almost like a shrine; we see the World Trade Center in smoldering ruins with debris everywhere; finally we see energetic attempts to get things back in working order.

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July 4th BBQ

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 7/4/07 (1:21pm)

Living the High Life at the Lake in Lincoln Park -- with relatives and old friends from both coasts in for the occasion. A perfect day.

Some Things Never Change: Bibliothèque de la Sorbonne

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 6/12/07 (8:49am)

I was a student at the Sorbonne for two years. For most of that time, I was in the library. This was in the early Eighties -- way before "automation" (i.e. computer catalogs). You'd look the book up in the Card Catalog, fill out a form -- literally in triplicate, and then hand it to one of the attendants at the "guichet" (i.e. service window).

"Vingt minutes", they'd invariably say, and you'd sit around looking at the mural of Francois I while they fetched your book. "Vingt minutes" -- I'll never forget it. I'm happy to see things haven't changed a bit...

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Daddy Was a DJ to the Germans in WWII

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 6/9/07 (4:42pm)

Family History note: my father, William L. Klein, had a very popular German-language radio show in Chicago called the "Germania Broadcast". He had been doing it in one form or another since the 1930's and it consisted mainly of music with the occasional skit, etc.

Anyway, once WWII came along, he shifted gears, going to London and doing essentially for the Allies what he had been doing so well in Chicago -- namely producing German-language radio shows -- only now beamed into the homes and barracks of enemy Germany.

[read more...]

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Berlin 1987: Summer of Hönkel

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 6/3/07 (1:38pm)

With all the talk of anniversaries, I thought I'd mention the "Summer of Hönkel" which happened in West Berlin twenty years ago.

It was a hectic period of cultural ferment and turmoil. "Hönkel" -- which I think was a beer -- was supposed to represent this vast chaotic mix.

I was reminded of it most recently by this picture in Flickr. The picture is of a supermarket that went up in flames in the course of a riot on May 1 1987. My house was across the street from the supermarket.

[more after the jump...]

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CTA EL Train Crash : Feb. 4, 1977

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 2/4/07 (2:55am)

Thirty years ago, I had a part-time job at Carson, Pirie, Scott in Chicago. It was a Friday night and I had just gotten off of work, walking down Michigan Avenue to catch the 151 Bus.

When I got to the corner of Lake & Michigan, I looked west and saw the most incredible thing: a CTA EL train dangling from the overhead tracks all the way to the ground. There were police cars, fire trucks and ambulances all over the place. Huge spotlights shone on the train.

It was an incredible sight -- something you'd see in a Hollywood disaster movie or a child's train set. But it was all too real. One of the great people working at Carson, Pirie Scott was in that train and while she survived, she was unable to ever come back to work.

I was reminded of that scene by a report on WBBM Radio. They have a article about it on their site. Chicago-l.org also had an informative page on the accident.

It's something I'll never forget.

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