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Grand Crossing: Coming of Age on Chicago’s South Side during the Great Depression

Jack McGuire

Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-145752-344-1
List Price: $15.95
Category: Memoir / Biography
Available: April 2014
Edition: Perfectbound

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Against the backdrop of the mid 1930s and the Great Depression, life goes on for the McGuire family. Protagonist Jack and his four siblings, their father—Chicago Police Detective Martin “Mugsy” McGuire—and mother, sweet-natured Kit, each cope with their hardscrabble existence.

Jack’s Roman Catholic upbringing…uncompromising as the cross of Christ…is pitted against emerging doubts about his faith, a growing aversion to his old man’s dictum that he become a priest and his own dreams of a more glamorous future as a big band leader.
Tag along with young Jack and his cohorts through the mischievous misadventures that color their lives. Meet the crazy quilt of characters in his Grand Crossing neighborhood— many first-generation European immigrants—who leave an indelible imprint on the 18-year-old Pvt. McGuire serving in Europe during WWII.

And in a riveting you-are-there recounting of headlined exploits lauding his dad’s police career, discover why the father finally emerges a hero in his son’s eyes.

Jack McGuire launched his professional career as radio/TV beat reporter for the Chicago bureau of Variety. As a press agent, he handled famed Rush Street nightclubs and celebrities including Elvis Presley, Jonathan Winters and Johnny Mathis, and later, his eponymous public relations firm represented bluechip clients such as ABC Radio and 3M Company. He served as president of the Publicity Club of Chicago, founded 20 North Productions and as announcer/producer of Make Believe Bandstand, recreated “live” remote radio broadcasts of his beloved 1940’s Big Band music.

While traversing the globe as an award winning travel writer, he was creator/host of Chicago radio’s long running Travel Briefs and has published more than 2,000 articles. A graduate of Northwestern University, McGuire lives with his wife, Jill, in a Chicago suburb.