333 Warwick Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045

Local father-daughter duo pen new book to highlight selfless acts.

After its release on Dec. 3, “Unselfish Kids,” a book written by a local father-daughter duo, received national attention.

Sammie Parkinson and her father, Paul, who lives in Logan, spent the last year and a half collecting stories highlighting the selfless and charitable acts of children all over the country. This collection became the second book in Paul’s popular Unselfish series.

On the day the book was released, three of the children featured in the book joined Paul and Sammie on NBC’s Today Show.

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Gabby Road

Gabby Road with Hannah, Fred & Justin

“Gabby Road with Hannah, Fred and Justin” … three generations, smart talk and good discussion, every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central on WCGO 1590 AM/95.9 FM and the Smart Talk Radio Network.

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Selling Americans on America: Journey into a Troubled Nation
In the aftermath of WWII, America was on the verge of losing its soul. In response, The Freedom Train traveled the U.S. American values to those who had lost their way.

This is the podcast for Extension 720. The show originates from Chicago on WGN Radio and features newsmakers, tastemakers and trailblazers.  Hosted by award-winning broadcaster Justin Kaufmann, this talk show/audio magazine goes in-depth to help you better understand the city (and world) that you live in.

Gerry and Janet Souter have  authored and co-authored more than 50 non-fiction books in history, biographies, young adult, art books, military history, business, memoir, computers, and the Internet. Gerry was a writer, producer, international filmmaker, and columnist and photographer for The Chicago Tribune. He is proud of his work for the Arizona State Guard and Detective Agency and his stint in the U.S. Merchant Marine. Janet Souter was a news coordinator, editor and columnist for the Daily Herald Newspaper.

Gerry Souter at mic   Janet Soute in office   Selling Americans on America

Here Gerry and Janet Souter are in the WGN (720 AM National SuperStation) radio studio with our host, Justin Kaufmann. They are flogging their latest history book released in September, “Selling Americans on America – Journey into a Troubled Nation.” The gig lasted about 20 minutes at 8:00 PM. Justin took time to acquaint himself with the book and was an excellent interviewer. To tell the story of the Freedom Train’s marathon journey through all 48 states, stopping at 300 towns and cities from 1947-49 showing original documents from the National Archives guarded by U.S Marines to bust Americans out of their post WWII malaise had us spinning non-stop (pant, pant). The time shot by.

How a “Freedom Train” reignited faith in a country that was riddled with dissent, anxiety and mistrust in its leaders.

In 2018, 10 years after the damaging recession of 2008, America was barely hanging onto its democratic values, shaken by a profound mistrust in government, with freedom of speech under attack and thousands of refugees seeking asylum in America. Compounding those problems were economic inequality, a loss of common civility, and a failure to provide for the needs of returning warriors.  By 2019, the fabric of American society was barely holding  together.

Selling Americans on America tells of another turbulent era—Post World War II— when a phenomenon called the “Freedom Train” reignited citizens’ faith in a country that was riddled with dissent, anxiety and mistrust in its leaders.

 In 1945-46 more than five million workers enlisted in labor strikes across the country. The constant fear of communist infiltration dominated the headlines. Returning GIs demanded jobs and housing. Government entities continued war-time meat and dairy rationing. Displaced Persons fleeing war-torn Europe poured into the country. Overseeing the chaos was a president nobody elected, coupled with a bitter, divisive Congress.

To renew citizens’ unity and pride in their nation, a privately funded consortium of advertising, civic, and entertainment professionals created a product to literally “Sell Americans on America.” To help carry their message of hope, they assembled 130 priceless documents including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Emancipation Proclamation. Combined with a media blitz of songs, operettas, radio shows, and local festivities, the train reminded Americans that “Freedom is Everybody’s Job.”

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[LISTEN to the Podcast ] –>


Talking about Hollywood, The Chicago International Film Festival,

His new Book, new Podcast and state of cinema today!

All in 17 minutes OMG

WCGO Radio in Chicago on October 6, 2019. Fred Weintraub, Hannah Aggie and Justin Kulovsek from the show “Gabby Road” interview with Michael Kutza, Founder and Director of the Chicago International Film Festival.

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Tomorrow, May 5th, is Derby Day, the 144th annual running of Kentucky Derby. “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” is always the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The Derby highest attendance of any stakes race in North America (~200,000). The winning jockey gets $2 million More than $210 million is legally wagered around the world.

Many fans and participants overlook the importance of the jockey in winning the Derby. Their precise handling of the horse, their dynamic direction work and strategy as they move around the track is essential for victory. They must always remain calm and composed, despite the constant looming threat of disastrous injury from falling off the horse. Their job one of the most dangerous and demanding of any athlete.

Get ready for the Kentucky Derby with this video that highlights the important role of the jockeys. This 4 minute video was edited from “Thunder and Reins,” a 47-minute, 2007 documentary produced by thoroughbred Kentucky filmmakers, producer Eleanor Bingham Miller and director Bruce Skinner.

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Chicago Tonight | Jay Shefsky | May 3, 2018

Quest for ‘Lost City’ Leads Chicago Man on Risky Jungle Expedition


The story traces the 20-year quixotic obsession of a few guys that blossomed into a world-renowned scientific, historical and archaeological breakthrough. Pals since the 1970s, Weinberg and expedition leader Steve Elkins and his expert team uncover incontrovertible evidence of a previously unknown civilization.

It includes the author’s private journals written in Honduras, plus more than 180 photographs and Weinberg’s deep reflections on his “Adventure of a Lifetime.”

The reader is brought into the world of the discoverers, complete with dangerous snakes and insects, gorgeous untouched beauty, exhilaration and a rare disease that came with the discovery.

It’s a great read and the pictorial and personal companion to the 2017 New York Times #1 bestseller, Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston (Grand Central, 2017.) Preston calls Weinberg “The Official Chronicler” who wrote on his laptop in impenetrable Mosquitia Jungle.

By his own admission, Tom Weinberg is not the kind of guy you’d expect to embark on a dangerous jungle expedition.

“I was 70 years old, a desk-sitting urban Jewish TV/video guy who never spent a night sleeping on the ground in a jungle.” That’s how Weinberg begins his new book “Chasing the Lost City: Chronicles of Discovery in Honduras.”

The 2015 expedition was the culmination of a 20-year quest by Weinberg, a lifelong Chicagoan and longtime independent video producer, and his longtime friend Steve Elkin, to find evidence of an ancient abandoned city in the Honduran jungle. They are not archeologists or explorers themselves, but they got filmmakers and archeologists, as well as jungle experts and the Honduran government, to help with their search.

They succeeded in entering a part of the jungle believed to be untouched by humans for hundreds of years. And they did find evidence of human habitation as recently as the mid-15th century.

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Tony has tips for you:

  1. Don’t hole up in your house. Get out, mingle and meet people.
  2. Get your spouse out, too. If you have kids, even better.
  3. Don’t make a big deal about what you did previously. Play it down.
  4. Find something in the community that interests you and get involved.
  5. If you have a specialty or skill, offer it up gratis.
  6. Get involved with local sports. Everyone goes to games, a great way to meet people.
  7. Offer to write or report for the local paper.
  8. Take a class or teach a class.

tony vandervarker

Losing a job you love, selling your beautiful home in a vibrant city, and leaving your friends behind to move your family to an entirely different environment can be traumatic. It could also be the best decision you ever made.

 That’s what Tony Vanderwarker, an Ivy League-educated advertising executive living a sophisticated life in fast-paced Chicago, discovered when he relocated to rural Virginia. He shares his life-changing experience in his new book, “I’m Not from the South but I Got Down Here as Fast as I Could.”Tony Vanderwarker cover of I'm not from the South

 “I perceived the South to be a foreign land where people talked funny, drank moonshine, and considered it fun to watch NASCAR racers drive in a circle for hours,” Tony says. “I wasn’t excited when my wife Anne arranged a visit her parents who recently retired to the small town of Keswick, Virginia, but I was taken by the spectacular scenery and the town’s laid-back charm.”

 His in-laws introduced them to friendly and interesting people and a few eccentric ones.  They explored the area including nearby Charlottesville, a world-class city. He was sold. They settled in Keswick in 1993.

Tony Vanderwarker's house and land

 “It wasn’t easy at first,” he admits. “We bought a house in need of major updating, and the contactors were in no hurry. Our children were not happy.   And despite being close to her parents, Anne was not adjusting well.  But once she and our kids made friends and we got involved in the community, everything was great.”

 He developed a political campaign for a woman running for Albemarle County supervisor. She won against all odds on a platform to control development and preserve the natural beauty and historic character of the region.  Later he joined a conservation organization, the PEC, serving on the board for 12 years, six as the chairman. He became a witty and popular columnist for the monthly Keswick Life.

 “I changed from a snobby and cynical Yankee into an easy-going, grits and hominy-loving Southerner.”

 Anne, with her colorful artistry, became a sought-after flower arranger. She made videos of her work, placed them on her website, and began making presentations. Before long, she was speaking once a month up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

 Their son became a high school football and lacrosse star. Their daughter excelled in academics and acted in school plays.

Among their circle of friends was best-selling author John Grisham, who advised Tony on how to write novels.

 In addition to his personal story, “I’m not from the South” includes local history dating back to Thomas Jefferson. His book has plenty of anecdotes, stories and gossip about the characters who define Keswick, and he delights in describing some unusual traditions and fun social events.

 Tony  conveys how much grace and joy there is in a simpler way of life, but tells a series of hysterical stories about country living—confronting snakes and yard-destroying moles, his failed attempt to rid the roads of reoccurring potholes, the elaborate steps needed to prepare for stormy power outages, and problems building his dream house. 

 He is candid and self-effacing in relating a number of common annoyances, such as his claustrophobic experience in a MRI tube, trying to find something in Anne’s purse that contains more items than a drugstore, Anne’s neat-freak obsession, and dealing with the physical and mental consequences of aging.

 He concludes by saying that when you move to an area unfamiliar to you and your family, you need to make friends and get involved.

 Contact: Lynda O’Connor, or Jim O’Connor,

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“The Final Service” the 3rd book by critically acclaimed and award winning author Gary W. Moore.
“He arrived unannounced but where and when she needed him most.”
Sandy Richards, a 40 year old music teacher in Walton Center carries a burden she cannot release. Beloved by her students and family, Sandy’s damaged relationship with her father and her unfulfilled dreams bring her to the brink of her destruction. An unexpected visit from an unfathomable source shakes the core of her belief system and her life forever.

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