For Immediate Release
May 7, 2014
Special to: Chicago Police Memorial Foundation
Kids, Cops & Catholics
Grand Crossing: Coming of Age on Chicago’s South Side
During the Great Depression
By Jack McGuire
Lifetime Chicago-area resident and author Jack McGuire recalls his rite of passage during one of the darkest periods in our nation’s history.
In a chromatic recounting of everyday life along the streets and back alleys of his childhood neighborhood, Grand Crossing recaptures the essence of inner-city Depression-era Chicago. A gentle, malleable soul – the proverbial middle child of five – Jack struggles to find his way…and his voice…in the bustling, McGuire household dominated by a hard-drinking, volatile Irish-American cop-dad, Chicago Police Detective Martin “Mugsy” McGuire.
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 amid the bittersweet irony of these pivotal years. Meet the crazy quilt of characters in Chicago’s Grand Crossing neighborhood – many first generation European immigrants – who leave an indelible imprint on 18-year-old Pvt. McGuire, as he recalls those bygone days from an Army outpost 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.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Grand Crossing will be donated to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation (www.cpdmemorial.org) in remembrance of the author’s father, brother and two uncles who served on the force.
About the author:
Jack McGuire launched his professional career as radio/TV beat reporter for the Chicago bureau of Variety, the show biz journal. As a press agent, he handled famed Rush Streetnightclubs and celebrities including Elvis Presley, Jonathan Winters and Johnny Mathis, and later, his eponymous public relations firm represented blue-chip clients such as ABC Radio and 3M Company. He became president of the Publicity Club of Chicago, and as the founder of 20 North Productions, was announcer/producer of Make Believe Bandstand, re-creating “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-runningTravel Briefs and has published more than 2,000 articles. A graduate of Northwestern University, McGuire lives with his wife, Jill, in a Chicago suburb.