Friday, March 04, 2022

Picture of the Week

 Found this one while looking through some old photos this morning. Not sure why, but I love this picture. That's Bridget, Sean (now 19), and Johnny (soon to be 24), 17 years ago, giving me a "Ta-Da!" after finishing some crafts.

This Week in 1908

 One of my favorite features of the Just One Bad Century website was This Week in 1908. It was my effort to show just how long ago 1908 really was. Even though the Cubs have won the World Series now, it's still fun occasionally to look back. Here's this week's entry...

1908 postcard first american public flight March*Alexander Graham Bell turns 61 (March 3), and is one of the most famous men in America–known as the inventor of the telephone. Now he is experimenting with aviation. He and his aviation team are working very hard on preparing his aeroplane “Red Wing”. It will make the first American public flight next week (March 12) in Hammondsport, New York. The photo is a postcard of that historic flight. (Postcards are a particularly popular way of publicizing events in 1908)

In Chicago

1908 murder victim Lazarus AurbachIt is a very tense time in Chicago. The anarchist movement is strong and organized. The police are attempting to protect the God-fearing Chicagoans by staking out churches every Sunday. They spend the rest of the week breaking up worker rallies where the anarchists are most likely to appear. In the midst of this turmoil, a high profile murder shakes the city: a dead body is found in the home of the Superintendent of Police, George Shippy. Lazarus Averbuch, an alleged anarchist, was supposedly attempting to assassinate the Police Superintendent. Shippy’s son Harry was wounded in the attack, and Supt. Shippy claims to have shot the man in self defense. There are a lot of problems with his story, and the forensic evidence doesn’t seem to match up, but Shippy is portrayed as a hero in the Chicago papers. They splash this photo of Averbuch’s dead body, propped up in a chair by Police Captain Evans, all over the front pages. Police Superintendent Shippy died only three years later…of syphilis. (Photo is from the Daily News collection at the Chicago Historical Society.)

Baseball News

~ A crazed fan throws a brick through a train carrying the Cleveland Naps to training camp, injuring several players (March 3)

~The Cubs have a mishap on the way to spring training too. Frank Chance is late arriving at the train depot, and has to hop on the train while it’s moving. He leaves his suitcases behind, including the one with the team uniforms.


~Knute Rockne turns 20 (March 4). He is working as a laboratory assistant to noted polymer chemist Julius Arthur Nieuwland and won’t become the head football coach of Notre Dame for another ten years.

~A baby boy is born in a suburb of Liverpool, England (March 5). The young lad, Reginald Carey Harrison, will later go by the first name of Rex and become an Academy Award winning actor.

~Louis Francis Cristillo turns 2 in Patterson, New Jersey (March 6). He would become a stunt man in silent movies before turning his attention to comedy. In the early 30s he changes his name to Lou Costello, and teams up with a straight man named Bud Abbott.

Price Check: A 50 gallon drum of Seroco ready-mixed house paint can be yours for only 85 cents a gallon. The paint comes in fashionable colors including French Gray, Pea Green, Beaver, Milwaukee Brick, Fawn, Drab, Light Drab, Buff, Yellow Stone, and Nile Green.

If you travel back in time, don’t ask someone to sing the National Anthem. It won’t be called that until 1931. From 1931-1942 it will only be played at baseball games on special occasions. Not until after the United States becomes involved in World War II, will it become a regular part of the ballpark routine.

Free Kicks--Soccer Responds to War

 The latest episode of Free Kicks is out. Listen to it here.

The European soccer governing bodies are coming down hard on Russia, the crowds are cheering the Ukrainian players, and Chelsea’s ownership future (currently owned by a Russian Oligarch) is in doubt. Rick and Adam discuss. [Ep147]

Eric Litt

The Mysterious World of Hybrid Publishing

 REMOTE: Rick Kaempfer and David Stern-The Mysterious World of Hybrid Publishing

  • April 07, 2022
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • remote


Remote Only. Please do not register for this session if you want to attend onsite

Eckhartz Press co-publishers Rick Kaempfer and Dave Stern will take potential authors through the maze of the publishing world. They are hybrid-publishers, something that didn’t exist just fifteen years ago. Rick and Dave will…

*Define the three different types of publishing (Self-publishing, hybrid publishing, traditional publishing)

*Explore the pros and cons of each

*Tell the story of Rick’s background and Dave’s background, and how that led them to forge this professional partnership.

*Discuss the evolution of Eckhartz Press and what they have learned along the way.

*Fully explain the hybrid press model they have adopted.

Rick Kaempfer is the co-founder and publisher of Eckhartz Press in addition to being the author or co-author of Eckhartz Press releases, “Everycubever”, “Father Knows Nothing”, “Records Truly Is My Middle Name” (with John Records Landecker) and “The Living Wills” (with Brendan Sullivan). Rick had been published several times before founding the company (including a novel “$everance” and a how-to-book about radio called “The Radio Producer’s Handbook”). In addition, he was also a member of the media for more than twenty years as the producer of two Hall of Fame radio shows (Steve Dahl & Garry Meier and John Records Landecker), and still covers the industry as the media critic for the Illinois Entertainer. He has watched the media landscape change over the past thirty years from a front row seat, and is excited to use that experience as the publisher of Eckhartz Press.

David Stern is the co-founder and publisher of Eckhartz Press, and the author of “The Balding Handbook”. After a 20+ year sales and marketing career, and a ten year stint as a principal in a Chicago advertising agency, Stern comes to Eckhartz Press uniquely qualified to tackle the realities of an ever-changing publishing landscape. He and Kaempfer have been collaborating in one form or another since they met at the University of Illinois in the early 1980s (when both must have been mere children). Stern is also one of the officers of Eckhartz Press’ parent company Just One Bad Century, Inc, and proud to call himself a life long (“City Boy”) Chicagoan.

Rick and David will accept 1 page single spaced query letters for critique for $15 and the first ten pages of a book at $3 per page,  fiction or nonfiction. Please see manuscript section on our website, for details

We offer free student memberships at a discounted rate of $5.00 per session. You must send verification of your student status. Please contact Claudia Katz at for details.

9-9:30 Socializing 

9:30-12 Program 

Eckhartz Everyday

 *Today is World Grammar Day, so it's obviously a day to celebrate Jim Baumann's incredible book, Grammar Moses, which is still available at Eckhartz Press.

*Today is the birthday of former Chicago Bears safety Doug Plank. Doug was kind enough to provide a quote for Chet Coppock's book Your Dime My Dance Floor. This is what he said...

When I think of Chicago sports, I think of Chet Coppock. Chet is everywhere and he knows everyone. He has done everything there is to do in sports reporting and broadcasting.

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Cubs Tweet of the Week

Eckhartz Everyday

 *Today is Eckhartz Press author Beth Jacobellis' birthday. Happy birthday Beth! 

Her novel Cameo is still available at Eckhartz Press.

*Tim Kasurinsky is also celebrating a birthday. Tim was famous for his stint on SNL, but he also co-wrote the great Chicago-based film "About Last Night." He was a fan of Eckhartz Press author Pat Colander, and provided this quote for the back cover of her book Hugh Hefner's First Funeral and other True Tales of Love and Death in Chicago...As Paul Simon bookended…”Time it was, and what a time it was….A time of innocence. A time of confidences.” Chicago in the ’70’s was surreal, scary and freaking hilarious. My Second City kith and kin may have found brighter lights in N.Y. and L.A. — but we were spawned and fermented at North and Wells. Good thing Pat Colander thought to take notes and chronicle everything.

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Some News

Love This


Minutia Men Celebrity Interview--Fizaa Dosani

 The new episode it out now. You can listen to it here.

The stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer, and mental health advocate talks to Rick and Dave about some of her unusual comedy gigs. [Ep93]

Chicago Writes

 If you're a writer (or a reader) and you haven't checked out the new podcast from the CWA...Chicago's time to give a listen.

Click here.

Studio Walls

  Every week I send my Minutia Men Co-Host Dave Stern a list from our audio archives for this week's Studio Walls feature. These are the possibilities for this week. Which one will he choose?

*February 27 would have been Howard Hesseman's birthday. He sadly passed away a few weeks ago. We had Tommy Chong on the show a few years ago, and he told us the story of his feud with Howard. (Listen to the entire interview here)

*February 28, 2008, I was on the radio with John Landecker and Turi Ryder discussing my brand new venture, Just One Bad Century. (AUDIO)

*March 1 was Harry Caray's birthday. I wrote a tribute to Harry when he passed away, called Hats Off To Harry, which appeared on Landecker and the Legends, Volume 5.

*March 1, 1996, Buckinghams lead singer Carl Giammarese appears on the John Landecker show, and I hand him a parody song I've written to one of his songs. This one is about the Girl Scouts (we were selling girl scout cookies at the time). Carl told us about that day when we interviewed him for Minutia Men. (Listen to that entire interview/song here)

*March 1 is Roger Daltrey's birthday. We interviewed the keyboardist from the Who, Loren Gold, and he told us some great Roger Daltrey stories. (That interview is here)

*March 2 was Lou Reed's birthday. One of his running buddies in the early 70s was the late great photographer Mick Rock. He told us an unbelievably great Lou Reed story. (The entire interview is here)

*March 3, 1978, Bill Kurtis broke the biggest story of his journalism career. It was about Agent Orange in Vietnam. When we interviewed him, he told us all about it. (The whole interview is here.)

*March 4 is World Grammar Day. We had the great grammar author, Jim Baumann, on the show to discuss his book Grammar Moses. (Listen to the entire interview here)

*March 4, 1992, Jim Peterik debuted his song "Spirit of Chicago". He told us about it, and played it for us on the podcast (Listen to entire interview here)

*March 4, 1837 is Chicago's birthday. We had famed Chicago historian Robert Loerzel on the show, and he told us some great stories about this city's history. (Listen to entire interview here)

*March 4 was also Tim Weigel's birthday. Tim was a friend of ours and cut a promo for our advertising agency, AMISH Chicago Advertising. (AUDIO)

Eckhartz Everyday

 *Today is the birthday of Eckhartz Press author Lee Kingsmill (Safe Inside). Happy birthday Lee! To read our Q&A with him, click here.

*On this day in 2005, I appeared on Taped with Rabbi Doug, a local Chicago cable television show. Yikes was I young. 


Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Chili Dog MVP

Mark Caro

 The new issue of Illinois Entertainer is out and includes my interview with Caropop host Mark Caro. Thanks again Mark Caro for your time.

You can read it here.

From the Writing Archives

Premature Jubilation by RICK KAEMPFER This story ran in Shore Magazine in March 2007. At the time I was eagerly anticipating the publication of my first novel "$everance". Now that I'm working on my third novel, which will be released later this year, I'm once again going through the ups and downs of this song and dance. Maybe it will resonate for those of you who may be going through the same thing.

 My first novel, $everance, is going to press soon. At the age of 43, I'm finally achieving my lifelong dream of becoming a published novelist. How does it feel? Well, I've discovered that the process of becoming a published novelist is really a series of premature celebrations. 

By my most recent count, I've celebrated the end of the process eleven times already-and my book isn't even out yet. All of the following celebrations turned out to be a tad premature: 

 1. I celebrated when I figured out a way to weave my complicated plot together. I just knew it was all downhill from there. This book was going to write itself. 

 2. I celebrated when I finished my first draft. Six solid months of working on the manuscript every day-it was certainly all but over. 

 3. I celebrated when I finished my second draft-which I considered to be perfect. I just knew that I wouldn't have to change another thing. 

 4. I celebrated when I found a publisher. Granted, the publisher required a few minor plot changes-but that wouldn't be a big problem. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

 5. I celebrated when I figured out how to implement her changes. All I had to do was rewrite the second half of the book. Surely that wasn't going to take too long. I knew these characters like the back of my hand. It was all but over. 

 6. I celebrated three months later when I finally finished writing the third draft. I clinked glasses with my wife right after I hit the send button on the email. 

 7. I celebrated again when my publisher emailed me a few weeks later, saying she was proud of me for pulling it off-and she was sending me a contract. That was it. It was all over. 

 8. I celebrated again after I signed the contract. Finally! 

 9. I celebrated again after she sent me the artwork for the cover. Now it seemed real. There, on a stylishly designed cover, was my name (with the more author-sounding first name "Richard," instead of "Rick") in big block letters. Clink! 

 10. I celebrated again after the editor sent me the final line-edits. This wasn't going to take long to whip into shape, and then we were ready to go. 

 11. I celebrated again when I finished those final edits, and got them approved. Okay, now it's time to break out that bottle of champagne we've been saving. 

 Of course, I still don't have a hard copy of the book. That will be premature celebration #12. I still haven't put together my marketing plan or scheduled my book tour (#13). I still haven't seen my book on a bookshelf in a bookstore (#14). I still haven't sold a single copy of my book (#15). And I still haven't had a single thing written about my book . . . unless you count this article. Let's call this article premature celebration #16. 

 I must admit that I feel a little more sheepish with each successive celebration, but I just can't help myself. I'm not just the boy who cried wolf-I'm the boy who cried wolf sixteen times . . . and counting. When the true moment of celebration comes, my friends and family will think it's another false alarm, and I'll probably have to celebrate alone. 

 If you really think about it, though, wouldn't that be the most appropriate celebration of all? Writing is, after all, a totally solitary experience. Shouldn't someone who works by himself, celebrate by himself? If you look at it that way, my first solitary celebration will be my first truly appropriate celebration. Which, of course, calls for a celebration. 

 Don't worry. I plan on checking into rehab as soon as the book tour ends.

Eckhartz Everyday

 March is National Women's Month, and we salute the many female authors who have written Eckhartz Press books. We still miss the late Pat Colander, Felizitas Sudendorf and Dena Mendes, and we'll always appreciate Vicki Quade, Janet Sutherland-Madden, Lauren LoGiudice, Margaret Larkin, Becky Sarwate-Maxwell, Beth Jacobellis, ML Collins, Ann Wilson, Jeanne Bellezzo, Deb Tokarz, Lori Oster, and Kim Strickland. Also, Kristin Oakley who edited "The Write City Review", and Jessica Hagy who provided illustrations for Kipper McGee's "Brandwidth." 

Thank you to all the contributions from our gifted female writers. (Click on their names to read their Eckhartz Press author bios)

Monday, February 28, 2022

Dee Snider

Nicely said.

Eckhartz Everyday

*On this day in 1983, future Eckhartz Press author Joel Daly (The Daly News) was one of the most popular broadcasters in Chicago, and he posted this report about the end of the great show M*A*S*H... 

*Today is also Leslie Keiling's birthday. Leslie contributed several stories to John Landecker's book Records Truly Is My Middle Name., including the story about what it was like being on the air the morning of 9/11, and how the morning show reacted to that life-changing event. (We recently told that story together on Garry Meier's podcast)

*On this day in 2012, future Eckhartz Press author Margaret Larkin (Wicker Park Wishes) interviewed me about my two novels, $everance, and The Living Wills. It's a fun interview. 

*On this day in 2014, Chuck Quinzio's Life Behind the Camera got a great write-up from the NABAT Union.. 

*On this day in 2019, Litpop paid tribute to the late great Pat Colander, author of the award-winning Eckhartz Press book Hugh Hefner's First Funeral

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Minutia Men--Strategic Incompetence

 The latest Minutia Men episode is out now. You can listen to it here.

Dad Goes Overboard, Frosty the Finnish Firehose, Jim Peterik sings “Rebel Girl”, The Bells Won’t Stop Ringing, and C’mon 22 are discussed by Rick and Dave. [Ep261]