As this week’s visit to Chicago approaches, I reminisce about how my Illinois background has had such an impact on my life.
There are so many connections. My parents met over a pair of stockings at Marshall Field’s, the Chicago landmark where Mom was working at the stocking counter after the war. (Dad naturally had little interest in stockings other than to meet this gorgeous saleswoman).
And how tumultuous it was to be in Chicago in the late sixties, and in the seventies, researching the Weatherman and the riots there in those days.
In fact, I got the Weatherman story because my mother knew the Oughtons, parents of Weatherman Diana, whose life I traced for the Pulitzer-winning article with Thomas Powers. My mother was a close friend of the late Jean Alice Small, a social and intellectual leader of Kankakee, Illinois, where Mom grew up. Jean Alice introduced me to Diana’s parents, who lived a few miles away in Dwight.
Of course I wrote about Chicago memories in both My Father’s Secret War, and TIMELESS: Love, Morgenthau, and Me.
I look forward to telling you all about it, and more, this Friday, October 23, 12:00-2:00 PM at Books-A-Million in Chicago. In the meantime, I also invite your thoughts and questions at my first Facebook Q&A, tonight at 8:30 Eastern.