Archive for December, 2008

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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.