On Chestnut Street



By Barbara Sternig

Author Barbara Sternig here steps away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood, to travel back in time to the 1940s, and to the cherished home and people on Chestnut Street in tiny Deerfield, Illinois, where she spent her early childhood. In a true posthumous collaboration with her late talented father, her words become the frames for hundreds of his vintage photographs, pictures which accurately and poignantly bring alive again an era and a way of life now vanished from America and the world. A heart-warming trip to a real past where you’ll wish you lived.

Download a free chapter excerpt here.



Front Row Publishing proudly presents ON CHESTNUT STREET…A 1940s CHILDHOOD IN WORDS AND PICTURES, a poignant and amusing new book by longtime entertainment journalist Barbara Sternig.

In this age when people think fondly back to childhood in the last century, Sternig recreates the one she lived in tiny Deerfield, Illinois, in the America that was. It’s a trip back home to a vanished time….and all of it, richly illustrated with a treasure trove of vintage real-life photographs. Barbara Sternig has had a long career covering Hollywood, and is famous not only for her witty and descriptive prose, but also her well-honed memory. She uses both these skills masterfully to write word- frames around hundreds of pictures taken between 1935 and 1949 by her late father John Sternig, a noted educator and early camera enthusiast. His albums mounted with hundreds of family photographs indeed provided the spark for Barbara’s literary portrait.

With a lifelong reporter’s vivid recall, Sternig brings back in intimate detail her 1940s childhood: steam locomotives chugging past her block, causing the Jesus statue to vibrate on top of the cupboard; huge family gatherings; coal chutes; tooth fairies; television’s historic arrival; cars and clothes of the era; beloved toys; the family’s gila monster; outings to exciting 1940s Chicago and to Milwaukee where her grandparents and many aunts and uncles lived; to Wyoming and Arizona where her father taught university summer sessions; and even back to Austria when it was still the Austro-Hungarian Empire, for the stories of how all her grandparents came to bravely migrate to this new and future-filled land called America.

ON CHESTNUT STREET will bring a heartfelt sting of recognition and remembrance to those who shared that era, and will give pictorial proof to those who weren’t around and can’t believe such a time really existed, that indeed it did. Surely it never will again. So ON CHESTNUT STREET by Barbara Sternig, with its special images, both verbal and photographic, is truly a historical record, as well as a treasure. Available now.

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