Second printing of Pied Piper of South Shore out NOW

The well reviewed, successful book The Pied Piper of South Shore, Toys and Tragedy in Chicago sold out the first printing.  The second printing is now available.  It is the true family, true crime story of Chicago’s South Side in the 1950’s and ’60s.  To obtain your copy email or call 847-895-6449 – visit for the whole story.

Pied Piper books sells out first run – reserve second printing copy now

The first run of 3,000 Pied Piper of South Shore books is sold out!  I am considering a second printing.  If you are interesting in books please contact me by phone 847-895-6449 or email and I will put you on a list for the reorder. When I have enough orders to warrant a second printing I will place the order.  A second printing will take 2-3 weeks.  Pied Piper Posters and limited edition giclees are available directly from Mitch Markovitz at (574) 772-7939 – visit his website to see all the art also available from other areas in the greater Chicago area.   Please note that my 800 number is no longer in service.  I will continue to take Visa, Master Card and Discover for a short time. 

Advertising now acceepted on South Shore newsletter

The South Shore News Spot will now take limited advertising.  You can try it out for three months for $30 per issue, six months for $25 per issue or 1 year for $20 per issue.  The product or service advertised should be relevant to our audience and in good taste. Ads will appear throughout the newsletter not bunched all in one place. If you would like more information please contact me by phone (847) 895-6449 or email  I will continue to take credit cards for your convenience in charging your advertising. 

Welcome blog newcomers – sign up for email newsletter

I am gratified by the constant requests for The News Spot.  My book The Pied Piper of South Shore, Toys and Tragedy in Chicago started it all.  It is my true family true crime Chicago social history set in South Shore from the 1940’s -1970’s.  My family owned Wee Folks Toy Store or 25 years on 79th Street.  The foreword is by former customer Mandy Patinkin.  The cover is by Bowen graduate and fine artist Mitch Markovitz who also did the poster and prints of the cover. The book has won several literary awards and rave reviews.  For more information, check out the website

Want to be part of a new book?

Want to be part of my new book?

The Pied Piper books are almost sold out.  I can use your assistance with a new one. 


I am considering writing another book on the great reunions and reuniting of old friends that resulted from the Pied Piper book and this newsletter.  This book is for you – all of you – my South Shore area friends. 


I have already heard many great stories.  If you were able find old South Shore friends from the newsletter or the book please call or email me with your reuniting stories.


I am considering all stories I receive for the book, not past stories but current experiences resulting from the book or newsletter.  


 Did your personal reunion start any group reunions or spark an event? 

 Did the newsletter make you aware of a reunion you would not otherwise know about where you met many classmates? 


Do you know of a former South Shoreite who has had a notable, successful career, please let me know for a Who’s Who section. 


Have you corresponded with people you found through the newsletter?  Former teachers?  Old classmates?  Old loves? Tell me about it! 


Have you visited your old neighborhood haunts, your former school, stores or your old house?  How did that go?  Have you revisited Carl’s? Mitchell’s?  How about Rainbow Beach?


I shared 100 of the best stories in the Pied Piper book.  Now I would like to use your story for this new endeavor.  Now is your chance to be part of an inspiring book about how people have located each other and the happiness it has spread.  So far I have heard from people as diverse as judges and rocket scientists.  It’s your turn! I know there are good stories out there.  If I get enough stories I will write the book. 

As of December 1, 2008 only 21 Pied Piper of South Shore books left!  Great for holiday gifts!  You can no longer purchase books directly from bookstores or my website. Books are $19.95 plus tax in Illinois only and $5 shipping for one book. I will autograph your purchase.  See page ONE of the website ( for prices on books, posters and giclees (limited edition prints) of the cover.   To purchase books, posters and giclees call me directly at 847-895-6449.  Until 12/31/08 I will take Visa, Master Card and Discover.  Email me at with your phone number and I will call you Check or money order to Caryn Amster, P.O. Box 366, Medinah, Ill 60157-0366.  Please note that my 800 number is no longer in service. 

Chicago High School Reunions – South Shore Area

UPCOMING REUNIONS – 2008 -2009 will see MANY reunions – is your school, neighborhood or area planning one?  Please let me know.  If you’re planning to attend a reunion make sure you call and reserve ahead.  Nothing is worse than herds of people without reservations showing up hoping to be fed. 

These reunions are described in more detail with contact information in my free monthly email me at  email South Shore News Spot Newsletter – For your free copy


The combined California, Illinois mini South Shore reunion party photos are finally posted!

Their home page has links to tons of photos from all our minis and the 45th and 50th that you attended!


Aquinas High School – 50th (1959) reunion – Fall 2008 – The 50th high school reunion from Aquinas High School is in the planning stages.


NEW ENTRY – Bowen 1968 – Any news about a Bowen class of ’68, 40 year reunion? If not people should get it together and try to get it done- we have such a lazy class- me included- anybody interested I would certainly be willing to get involved- thanks- great letter as usual.


Bowen High School – 65th Birthday Bash – The 65th Birthday Bash for Bowen High School’s class of 1960 projected date is August 18 in Chicago.  More information is coming.  Meanwhile, we’re just anxious to find everyone. 


Bowen High School – Class of 1958 – The Bowen graduating classes of January and June 1958 is planning their 50th year class reunion October 3 and 4 to be held at the Calumet Country Club located on 175th Street in Homewood, Illinois and we are trying to locate graduates.  For the January, 1958 class,  

Bowen High School – 40th Class reunion – We are beginning to plan our 40th reunion for Bowen.  I would like to send out information to find my colleagues.  


Bowen High School – Class of 1969 reunion – There will be a 40th reunion for the Bowen class of 1969 on July 25, 2009


Bryn Mawr Grammar School – 1958 reunion – They have found all their past grads except Susan Skogsberg.  The reunion will be this summer, date to be determined soon. 


Hirsch High School – Classes of 1958 – 50th reunion – The event is planned for August, 2008.  


Hirsch High School – January & June classes of 1959 They are making plans for a 50th reunion to be held June 11, 12, 13 2009.  Tentative plans are for an informal dinner on Thursday, a pizza party Friday evening and a dinner/dance on Saturday.  We are looking for missing classmates. 

Hirsch High School – 60’s Reunion – Here is some info on the Hirsch ’60s (go Huskies) reunion this summer. It is scheduled for August 8-10, 2008 in Matteson, Illinois.  Hirsch has a pretty well organized alumni association and a great website with lots of pictures.   

NEW ENTRY – Horace Mann 1950 and South Shore 1954 – We need your help. My name is Marilyn Kitzis Goldsmith class of Horace Mann 1950 and South Shore 1954. We are looking for classmates from the class of Horace Mann ’50. Bob Greitzer and I would like to have a get-together this summer. It would be a possible dinner or Sunday brunch. The problem is we are having problems locating many who no longer live in the Chicagoland area. We would love to see everyone, so please get in touch. 


Hyde Park High School – January and June 1958 – 50th reunion – Ann Shlensky (in Chicago) is planning a 50th reunion of Hyde Park High School 1958 to be held Saturday, September 20, 2008. 


Hyde Park High School – 1963 reunion – (welcoming 1961-1965 grads) – The Class of 1963 is planning a reunion for August 29-31, 2008.   The reunion is welcoming the classes 1961 to 1965. All classes are welcome and invited to participate.


Update – Just an update that things are well on their way for Aug 29-31 here in Chicago.  This 45th HP reunion is missing your response.  Were you planning on coming?

Jeffrey Manor Reunion – The annual MANOR Picnic, will be on Saturday August 2nd; for those wanting additional information please contact me,  


Luella Grammar School – Class of 1969 – Charity reunion – The Luella Class of 1969 is sponsoring a charity reunion the weekend of July 4th 2008. It’s open to ALL graduates, family and friends of Luella. The is a charity event, and will be co-sponsored by the Junior Cancer League a Chicago-based organization founded 55 years ago by residents of Jeffery and Merrionette Manors. Please stop by our web site for more information.


Luella/Bowen Reunion – 1957-1972 reunion – The event is planned for summer 2008.  It is open to all alum, family and friends and it has events and a charity function. There is great response from people who attended Luella and Bowen from 1957-1972. 


St Ignatius 50th reunion – Contact Jim Foley 


South Shore High School – Class of 1948 Reunion is planned for this fall?  There has been some talk – stay tuned! Carl Godman (Evanston, IL) ’48 graduate and Shirley Hoff, Valparaiso, IN, Jan. ’48 graduate are in the beginning stages of putting together a reunion of the 1948 classes.  


South Shore High School – Class of 1956 – Birthday party – There is a reunion in the planning for a birthday party for all the graduates of South Shore’s class of 1956.  It seems most of us are turning 70 this year.  Hopefully it will help find 28 lost classmates. 


FINAL CALL – January 1956 South Shore High School Class Birthday Party – June 13, 2008 from 5 pm – 10 pm at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 South Michigan, Chicago, Ill .Anyone interested can contact

South Shore High School – 70th Birthday Party – Class of June 1956 –   The 70th Birthday Party for the June 1956 Class of SSHS will take place on Saturday evening, October 18, 2008. It will be at The East Bank Club in Chicago. The invitation will come out in April. If anyone has any questions they can contact 


South Shore High School – Class of January 1958 reunion – The event will be held on Saturday June 21, 2008 at the Erie Cafe in Chicago.  It just happens that both this reunion and the June 58/January 59 reunion are on the same day.  This reunion will be at the Erie Cafe in Chicago. 


South Shore High School – Classes of June 1958 and January 1959 will be held from June 20-22 in Skokie.  The combined reunion is June 21, 2008 at Maggiano’s in Skokie.  The January class was small with only 99 graduating students which is why the groups decided to combine the reunion.  Many students in the January class went to Summer school to graduate early and became class of June 58.  We have had all our past reunions together.  Dress is informal (no ties – no jeans). Bookmark our web-site for any updates and messages.   


Time is drawing near!!  If you are procrastinating and haven’t sent your reservation to Birdie yet – “just do it!”  And, we need your completed questionnaire as well, even if you have decided not to come. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again, acting like teeny-boppers and trying to leave the aches and pains of age behind us for the weekend. It should be lots of fun – but YOU being there will make the difference.

By the way – please check out our web page for photos, and missing persons. If you know where they are, forward the information to them and let me know.

South Shore High School – Class of June 1959 50th reunion –CORRECTION from

last month’s issue – South Shore High School Class of June 1959 50th reunion  is tentatively scheduled for October 16, 17, and 18, 2009 and may be in Downtown Chicago. The planning committee is meeting on April 27, 2008 to discuss the options. We have had mini-reunions in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Scottsdale, and plans for one in Houston in May and New York City or Bucks County, PA in June or July.

South Shore High School – Class of 1963 reunion – The event will be held on Saturday July 26, 2008 at the home of a Cleveland classmate.  Send inquiry with name including maiden name, address,  phone, email, cell number – SSHS class of 1963 

South Shore High School – Classes of June 1960 to 196645th reunion – The June Class of 1963 is planning the 45th reunion from SSHS. The event will be at The South Shore Cultural Center on Saturday, November 1, 2008. It is for SSHS graduates from the years 1960 through 1966, although graduates from other classes are welcome, space permitting. A portion of the ticket price will include a donation to a Scholarship Fund for current SSHS students.  


South Shore High School – Class of 1968 40th reunion – planned for September 2008.  It will include the classes of 1967 and 1968 AND 1969.  


St Felicitas – June of ’58 – 50th reunion – Dates have not been set as of this date. I hope to have a final date by June 1. Preliminary discussion called for late September early October. Missing in Action for our 50th year reunion St. Felicitas Class of 1958
The folks listed below have left the radar screen and we would like to locate as many as possible. I’m hoping that some members of the readers of your South Shore Newsletter will remember a few of them and may still now how to contact them. Some of you will have known them in high school and thereafter. So lend a hand if any of these names rings your bell.

Janice Altendorf, James Beaghan, John Berquist, Joseph Bishop, Susan Brooks, Gail Caron,  Dixie Doody, Muriel Dore, MaryLeigh Durham, Jack Elenteny, MaryJo Feldt, George (Russ) Fischer, Kathleen Fitzgerald, Margaret Flanagan, Terrence Fogarty, Nancy Gracyk,  Kathleen Hawkey, Michaelene Hoy, Thomas Husum, Bernard Kerwin, Maryann Krakowski,  Robert Lavery, Robert Leinweber, George Liptak, Mary Louridas, Jean Martinson, Ronald Mikus, Walter Mitchell, Sue Moran, James Nauer, Thomas Nolan, James O’Connell, Eileen O’Malley, Hannelore Skony, Donald Steffens, Valerie Stevens, Margaret Stopka, Mary Francis Tiernan


This is not just a South Shore High School newsletter/blog.  It is for all greater South Shore area schools from 1940-1970.  It is for Bowen, Aquinas, CVS, Hyde Park, Hirsch, Leo, Carmel, Mendel and everyone with a South Shore connection.  I would be glad to use any other school logos I receive in a usable format. Thanks Caryn

December 2007

SOUTH SHORE NEWS SPOT   2008 © by CMA Publishing

The exciting over 20 page free email, The South Shore News Spot is packed with news, reunions, and stories about former South Shoreites finding friends from over 40-50 years ago.  To hop on just email and I will add you to the list of over 2,000 people just waiting to hear from you.

Here is a glimpse of the December 2007 newsletter.  Go to the newsletter page of this blog to see the latest month’s entries. 

“EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY SOMETIME”- SEEKING LOST FRIENDS – Looking for lost South Shoreites?  Email and I will try to put you in contact.  Note that writing me your story gives me permission to use your name & email address.    

I just read your latest newsletter and saw the note by Diane Shagam Yerushalmi. Her father was my family’s eye doctor and he fitted me with my first pair of eyeglasses on my first return home from the University of Wisconsin after I realized I wasn’t able to see the writing on the blackboards 50 to 100 feet away. I read Diane’s husband’s book From Baghdad to Jerusalem ISBN 978-1-84728-666-6 published in English by  I strongly recommend the book as a fast and stimulating read. It’s a true life story involving sex, violence, murder, and intrigue. I was a few years ahead of Diane. I was in the class of June 1959 at South Shore. I was in the 1955 class at Bradwell. I went to summer school to complete 7th grade at Phil Sheridan School in south Chicago. Until 4th grade I went to Kozminski. I am fortunate to see many people from all of those years. I look forward to our 50th reunion for the South Shore class of 1959. Hon. Michael Jordan, Mediation & Arbitration Services

NEW FEATURE – Good GNUS (NEWS) – like this newsletter wasn’t long enough already! We have so much good news coming in I wanted to give you all an opportunity to share yours. 

Here is some good gnus for anyone out there that is a caregiver.  A good friend and book shepherding mentee of mine Sue Salach has published her first book about her true life experiences as a caregiver, “Just When you Thought U Know What You’re Talking About Along Comes Grandpa”. – A care giving resource for people in the real world.  This valuable resource is available from the following  or email Sue at or at Salach Senior Services salachseniorservices@yahoo.comSue holds a bachelor’s degree in Health and Aging and has worked in the geriatric healthcare field for over 15 years. Her professional career includes nursing home, assisted living and independent living experience, hospice education, and geriatric care management.   Sue is passionate about finding ways to assist caregivers.  Her book has been helping families as they go through the care giving journey.  Now she is introducing a new FREE resource for family caregivers.  It allows them to access information, download spreadsheets with important information they should know and questions they should ask when speaking with healthcare professionals caring for their loved ones. The site is free and easy to understand. 


I read your book and loved it! Through you newsletter (which a friend sent me) I just reconnected with my first cousin whom I haven’t seen since the 70’s. Linda Frank Robertson SSHS Class of ’64

Shirlee (Peterman) Prior, Helen (Taylor) Regan, Marjorie (Snyder) Beckett and Doris (Nelson) Olson, all graduated in 1943 from South Shore High School and recently got together and shared many SS memories. They enjoy the News letter.

Here is a follow up to the Bryn Mawr Graduating Class of January 1958:  We found everyone in the class except two.  The two missing are Leo DuBois and Susan Skogsberg.  Any information on these two is appreciated.  We’re looking at a reunion late next spring.   Bill Saphir