Were you glued to the news Friday night as our very own hometown President Barack Obama ate dinner in our very own South Loop on the 1800 block of South Prairie? I was. And by the way, if you want to see a short but compelling video of Barack's arrival with his entourage in the alley on the east side of South Prairie Avenue, just south of 18th, watch this.
Steve, among many other things, is a fellow docent of mine at the internationally renowned landmark Glessner House Museum
, also at 18th and Prairie, built in 1887. Steve used to be in the publishing business. With his Prairie Avenue knowledge, he collaborated with, and helped Colorado novelist Olivia Newport
get her facts right about Lucy's life during the Gilded Age
among the famous and industrious self-made richest-of-the-rich men and their families who lived on the street during its short-lived, but illustrious era. Only a handful of significant houses remain (some of which will be open next Sunday, by the way, for the annual "Walk Through Time" housewalk
on Prairie Avenue).
Newport--using Steve's impeccable historical research--has written a delightful and interesting novel, of which I am in the middle and which I am finding hard to put down. In a nutshell, Lucy's heart and sensibilities are torn apart while living as a poor little rich girl among the elite of Prairie Avenue
. It's the street where George Pullman and Marshall Field and Philip Armour and W.W. Kimball ran the show--not to mention ate, slept, relaxed, and on at least one occasion, shot themselves
But I will say no more about the story. If you want to buy this book in person on Tuesday evening, partake of some refreshments and meet South Looper Steve and author Newport, there will be a signing at the Glessner House
at 6:30. If not, there's always Amazon.
We are no longer accepting new comments on ChicagoJournal.com