Pied Piper of south shore

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The first printing is sold out. To purchase second printing books please contact me at:



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PO Box 366
Medinah, IL 60157

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Caryn Lazar Amster

"Writing this book, I discovered how our store benefited from good economic times in the '40s and '50s and was at the center of sociological change as it came to the inner city in the '60s. I started writing this book about our toy store to tell my parents' story. I discovered  it was also a way for hundreds of customers to say, 'Thank You, Mr. and Mrs. Wee Folks". Caryn Lazar Amster

Caryn Lazar Amster, a Chicago marketing specialist, grew up working side by side with her parents in their Wee Folks toy store. "The Pied Piper of South Shore, Toys and Tragedy in Chicago" is her first book.

She is the elder daughter of a successful retailer with 15 years experience in her family's business, Wee Folks. For the past 16 years she has been owner and CEO of a marketing planning, and consulting firm.

She has over 25 years experience in management, marketing, public relations, advertising and fund raising. She has 15 years of real estate experience in commercial property management, marketing, public relations and advertising. Her shopping center experience includes Manager, Marketing Director, Corporate Marketing/Public Relations Director for strip and enclosed shopping centers and mixed-use developments throughout Illinois. She earned the Certified Marketing Director (CMD) designation from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Her fund raising experience includes Vice President & Fund Raising Chairman for a national woman's organization, Chicago Region National Foundation March of Dimes volunteer chairman, Director of Development and Public Relations for a rehabilitation center where she wrote corporate and foundation grants.

She has also served as an Account Executive for a business-to-business marketing agency, and a syndicated newspaper columnist/feature writer. Caryn is a professional speaker, trainer and author of nationally published articles. She has been Marketing Specialist for a major Chicago hospital with full marketing and public relations responsibility for the hospital's first satellite facility. She has also conducted medical research in pediatric and renal physiology research at three Chicago area hospitals.

Caryn is a 1996 Graduate of the Northwest Leadership Academy. She is a past board member and Executive Board Vice-Chairman for Greater Woodfield Convention and Visitor's Bureau where she earned the Red Lantern Award in two consecutive years for her outstanding contributions to area tourism.

She is President of CMA Marketing Group, Inc., and its divisions, CMA Publishing and Custom Marketing Associates. Caryn lectures and trains on many aspects of marketing for businesses and organizations.

As one of her company's major accomplishments, Caryn assisted in the conception, marketing and production with the Walt Disney Company of the grand opening of One Schaumburg Place, a 100,000 square foot regional shopping center, attended by over 100,000 people

Caryn Lazar Amster is a charter member and board member of the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce and a charter member of the Schaumburg Business Association. She has served on the Business Advisory Board for the Schaumburg Township District Library.

The Business Ledger Newspaper awarded her the Excellence in Business Award in the Small Business Category. Talking To The Boss Newspaper honored her with the Top 100 Small Businesses Award.

She attended Southeast Junior College and Northwestern University.


Mitchell A.Markovitz
artist and illustrator

Mitchell A. Markovitz was born to Robert and Jacqueline Markovitz on October 1st, 1950. He was raised on the South Side of Chicago and graduated from Bowen High School in June of 1968. South Shore has been a major part of his life, from the South Shore neighborhood, South Shore Day Camp, South Shore Temple, and finally, The South Shore Line.

Markovitz is a professional commercial illustrator and fine artist based in rural Knox, Indiana. Mitch has recently unveiled his "Starke Beauty" poster campaign promoting Starke County in cooperation with the Starke County, Indiana Tourism Commission.

In 1996, he was engaged by the Northwest Indiana Forum to be the Founding Artist and Art Director for the renowned "Just Around the Corner" series of posters focusing on life in Northwest Indiana. In connection with this project, Markovitz illustrated and co-authored the book Moonlight in Duneland, an anthology of the advertising art of the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad.

He served as the advertising director and chief illustrator for the South Shore Railroad from 1984 to 2001. In 1990, Markovitz was the first fine artist to exhibit at the New York City Transit Museum with his "Subway Series." The series is a collection of over a dozen works centered on the New York City Subway and its environs.

Markovitz studied art at the American Academy of Art, Chicago, and the Chicago Academy of Fine Art, with additional studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Throughout his artistic life, Mitch has combined his art career with his deep passion for railroading. After art school, he worked for several Chicagoland railroads. He went downtown to his father's studio on his layovers to do artwork. "They paid me to commute," he said recently. His last stint in railroading came when he fulfilled his lifelong dream of being an engineer on the South Shore Line in Indiana.

Markowitz's works are featured in the corporate collections of Walt Disney, Nsource, Inc, Lake Erie Land Company, Businessman's Insurance Corporation, BP, Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority, Valparaiso University. Markovitz is a Director of Community Development of the Indiana Society of Chicago.

Special thanks from Caryn

This book was the inspiration for writing my book.


In the early 1950s, a photographer named Hugh Celander opened a small studio on 79th Street in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood. For the next twenty years he documented the people, places and events of the area. Today, more than 200 of these photos have been collected in a book, Chicago's South Shore by Charles Celander. Some of the oldest photos date from before 1900, some are from the 1950s and 60s, and others were taken in 1999. Altogether, a century of South Shore is represented.

This fascinating book also assisted me in writing my book.


"Midnight Flight: A story of white flight in Chicago"

Author Ray Hanania details the phenomena of White Flight in Chicago in the late 1960s and his family's move to the "suburbs." Serious, funny and detailed, the online book puts the racial event into a Chicago context.

Former South Shoreite and book quoter Curt Erler's
EBAY Store link below.
http://www.stores.ebay.com/id=1266281 - He
specialized in old music recordings - originals &
reissues - His daughter Honey is a photographer at

Winner of the USA Book News award "Best Book 2004" in the True Crime category

Marketing Your Successful Book article - By Caryn Amster





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Poster and special editions

The "Pied Piper of south shore" book cover

Full color lithographed posters (24” x 33”) of the book cover painted by Mitch Markovitz.

$29.95 plus $7.50 shipping

Giclee special limited (150) editions (20"x30") of the 79th Street scene without the book text - signed, numbered, certificate of authenticity.
Giclees at $450 plus shipping to be discussed with artist at time of purchase

ORIGINAL painting of the book cover (oil on canvas), 50"x33", with book title lettering - $10,000.
Email Mitch Markovitz

Personally autographed books, posters and prints make great gifts!



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