Saturday, October 01, 2011

Suzy Eckmann Needs Our Help, Love and Prayers -- Message from Sari Kadison-Shapiro

Hi Fred...
I wrote you a couple of weeks ago to let you know about Suzy. This is an appeal to everyone and I'm addressing it specifically to you because of the great job you did gathering everyone's email addresses and keeping them up to date, and also in acknowledgement of Sooz being your prom date all those years ago. I've communicated with a few people about this, but not many. And now that I realize that I'm addressing everyone that I can possibly reach through email, it's just about the most difficult thing that I've done in recent memory.

Richie Rosen's eloquent eulogy for Stan Katz inspired me....especially the part about our looking out for each other.Our classmate and my dear friend, confidante and godmother of my son (as much as a Jewish kid can have a godmother), Suzy Eckmann, has been diagnosed with stage 3-4 non-Hodgekins Lymphoma and unfortunately has no health insurance.

Suzy has worked all her life as many of you might know. She worked at Howard Johnson's in high school and worked very hard to be a headliner in Student Stunts as a freshman. (Remember?) She was in Second City (with John Belushi and the Murray brothers, Brian Doyle and Bill) and then the Proposition in Boston with Jane Curtin.

Her comedy partner John Monteith was in Toronto's Second City with Gilda Radner, Dan Ackroyd and John Candy. Together they had their own Off-Broadway show, attended by many
show busisness luminaries and then the show moved to Broadway and was produced by Jim Lipton (of The Actor's Workshop.) During that time, I got to meet Robin Williams, Norman Lear, Carol Channing, Sylvia Sims, Andy Warhol and others who came to their shows. I have to say that Suzy was even more thrilled when old friends she knew from Highland Park came backstage to see her.

No one becomes a comedian for the money and anyone over 35 can't keep up with the demands of the comedy circuit. So what happens to our childhood friends who make us laugh and keeps us entertained?

We count on them to lift our spirits and put a smile on our face. One way we can give back is buy one "ticket" to all the shows we never paid for and for all the memories of good times past and present. We gotta be able to laugh in a decade where daily life is no laughing matter. Even just among friends from HP this could be a great way for friends to help friends.

Last year, the company Suzy was doing catering for cut all their employees back to part time, which meant no benefits. It's quite difficult to pay rent in New York City on an hourly wage. And now that she is ill, she cannot work at all. The doctor she went to said she could use a PET scan, but since she had no insurance she would have to make do with a CT scan. It hurts my heart to think that her care could be compromised because of a lack of funds.

During this time of the Jewish High Holidays, even those of us who are not religiously observant look back on the past year and think of the friends, family members and/or acquaintances we have lost. Like Richie said, we are so fortunate to have our friends from school in our lives. Even if you're not religious, please say a prayer for Suzanne to be written in the "book of life" for the coming year.

Perhaps if we all can contribute a small amount or whatever we can afford, we can help Sooz get the care she needs....or at the very least help ease some of her very real financial worries while she fights for her life.

I've set up a fund at called "No Laughing Matter". Here's a link to it:

Thanks to everyone....for your generosity of spirit and being in my life. Stay well.

Love, Sari

Friday, August 05, 2011

Sad News - Stan Katz

Stan Katz died of a heart attack Friday.  Funeral is Tuesday, August 9 (details below).

I knew Stan from the time we were five when we attended Tamarack Camp together. Stan and I talked many times over the following 57 years, becoming closer in the last few years. We got together several times following his therapy at the Chicago Rehab Institute.

Stan was a great guy. He was fortunate to follow his passion of bridge for so many years, eventually serving in a professional capacity with the American Contract Bridge league.



Stanley B. Katz, 62, beloved brother of Ellen (David) Block; devoted son of the late William and Ruthie Katz; dear uncle of Joshua (Allison) Mora, Aaron (Nicole) Block, Benji Block and Emily Block; fond grand-uncle of Charlotte Mora, Julianne Mora, Brody Block and Raquel Block; loving cousin and cherished friend to many. Retired Chief Accounting Officer of the American Contract Bridge League and Diamond Life Master at contract bridge. Funeral services Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, 10:30 a.m. at North Shore Congregation Israel, 1185 Sheridan Road, Glencoe, IL. Interment Shalom Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Ruthie & Bill Katz Archive Fund, North Shore Congregation Israel, 1185 Sheridan Road, Glencoe, IL 60022, or Make-A-Wish Foundation, 640 N. LaSalle St., Suite 280, Chicago, IL 606010. Info: PISER FUNERAL SERVICES, 847-679-4740, or

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Steve Ettlinger Makes the E-plunge!

Dear Friends,

Well, I've gone and done it -- leapt into the e-book fray with the digital publication of my FIRST book, yes, the infamous Hardware Stores book from 1988(!). Just couldn't hold out any longer.

After 23 years in print in various formata -- a new one roughly every five years -- The Complete Illustrated Guide To Everything Sold in Hardware Stores is now available on-line through the major e-retailers, including:

- Apple iBookstore
- Kindle
- Barnes and
- and the Sony e-reader store, too.

I just couldn't resist letting all my friends know about it. If you want more information about it, you can check out its web site, What the heck.

And now you can rest assured that I have no new books to bother you about, at least for a while...

Cheers, Steve

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Terre Cohen and Rich Maisel: Premiere of Terre's One-Woman Show, June 5

Terre Cohen returns to the Skokie Theatre June 5 for the Premiere of her 
One-Woman Show

"I'm Still Here!"

A Life Survival Guide in Song
Produced and Directed by Ascap Award-Winner *Rich Maisel*

Experience an afternoon filled with Love, Light, and Song, as Terre explores the roller coaster of Life’s Emotions. She will be drawing on her long and varied career as a professional Singer/Actor, her work as a Psychotherapist, and her reflections as a Lymphoma survivor.

Terre's truly amazing Voice is only equaled by her Beauty, her Heart, and her Spirit.

This will be a memorable occasion for those lucky enough to be in attendance.

Rich and Terre will be joined by
Ben Jammin' Johnson on drums and
Tom Krol on guitar and
Mike Fiorino on bass.

Tickets $20 in advance  $25 at door

Available @

20% of proceeds will Benefit the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Here's Lookin' At You Highland Park!

Stan Katz posted a connection to this Highland Park Historical Society video on his Facebook site.  Hope you enjoy watching it, seeing some familiar faces and places.