Friday, January 3, 2014


Last week, with very little fanfare, I reached the 50,000 pageview mark for this blog.  I said before that if this was a pornography blog I could have that many pageviews in one day, but I think it's pretty good for a blog about dead people.  I am so grateful for all the kind emails I have received from all over the world about the articles I have written.  As of today the count is 52,553 pageviews.  I guess that means that there are people out there who are interested in the people and stories of the past - I know I certainly am.

Up until just recently my article about Fanny Lazzar from Fanny's Restaurant had the most views - now that has been surpassed by the story of the "Other" Franks son, Jack M. Franks. 

I have had the most emails from the story about Dr. Michael Regent titled "Tainted Caviar and Body Snatching" - maybe because of the catchy title.

I was accused at one time of turning this into a "Military Blog" and that has not been my intent.  I have tried to feature people from all walks of life.  It has also been said that I favor stories about people buried at Jewish Waldheim Cemetery - that's because I am there almost every weekend doing research and photographing for Find a Grave - although I have tried to feature stories from other cemeteries as well. 

I want to take one minute to remember someone very special who was taken from us this past year:  Rabbi Moshe Dov Kushner.  I met Reb Moshe through my work for and he quickly became my best "customer" as he requested photographs of the graves of Chicago's rabbis of years gone by for his book "Orthodox Rabbis in Chicago 1853-1950."  He died suddenly on October 11, 2013 from complications after surgery.  There were over 1,000 people at his funeral, and I was one of them.  He was an extraordinary man with a great love for his Faith and for history.  I was proud that he considered me a friend, and was honored to assist him with his important work.  It is my fervent hope that someone takes his book through to completion. Reb Moshe, I miss you.

Many of you have asked how Maggie and I are faring after the loss of our beloved Lucy last March.  It was my intent to get another dog to keep Maggie company, but she seems to like being "Queen Bee" and getting all the attention.  We are managing OK, but still miss Lucy and we always will.  Each dog is unique in their own personality, but all of them are a gift of unconditional love.

Please "stay tuned".  I have many more stories in the hopper.  For all of you fans of silent film star Rudolph Valentino I have more stories coming about people connected with him as well.  My stories on Mabel Sykes, his favorite photographer, and Kabar, his beloved Doberman are among my most read stories.

Special thanks also to Cynthia Richardson, the banjo-playing genealogist.  She has been there from the start with suggestions and encouragement, and on more than one occasion has helped me decipher the handwriting on a death certificate.  One of the nice things about writing a blog like this (other than the people I have met) is the fact that I will never run out of stories to tell, because there is a story "Under Every Stone."

With my thanks,

Jim Craig
Evanston, Illinois

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