A CHICAGO FIREHOUSE:
By Karen Kruse
SPECIAL NOTE: My beloved dad, Robert F. Kruse, subject of my book, passed away Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011. Dad, I'm proud to have honored you by writing this book, my finest achievement. I'll see you on the other side. My everlasting and eternal love, KK.
UPCOMING APPEARANCES FOR 2020!:
Saturday March 21, 2020; 8 am - 2 pm: Start the year out right! Join us for the first fire event of the year! The 8th annual Fire & Police Swap Meet sponsored by the Peotone Firefighters will be held at the Will County Fairgrounds (same place as last year), 710 West St., in Peotone.
Thursday June 11, 2020; All day: Your favorite author turns 62! Yikes!
Saturday TBD; 8 am - 1 pm: This is my favorite event of the year! Help me celebrate my 62nd birthday! Join me at the 26th annual Swap Meet & Fire Engine Rally at the Quinn Fire Academy (20th consecutive year for me), 558 DeKoven St., Chicago.
AWARDS & HONORS:
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum - Acknowledgement Letter - 01/20/12 - My book is part of the Library's published collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, IL. It's an honor to have my book housed in such an important institution. I visited the museum in November, 2011. It's simply spectacular and not to be missed. To visit their website and learn more, click
My Reader Letter printed in "Writer's Digest" - October, 2009 - An article ran in the July/August issue about what not to do when writing a novel, such as opening with a cliche. My response appears below:
My opening paragraph reads: "Once upon a time is the way all good fairy tales begin, but this particular tale is true. It is the story of an American firehouse, the firemen who love her, and the area she serves. The knights on white horses in this epic are actual heroes riding a bright red fire engine when help is needed. This is the story of Engine Co. 78."
Incidentally, my book ends with "happily ever after," as well.
My book mentioned on "190 North" - 04/12/09 - My book appeared on screen and was mentioned as part of a "190 North" episode, hosted by Janet Davies of Channel 7 (local ABC news) on a segment about the Wrigleyville area of Chicago.
Northwest Side St. Patrick's Day Parade - What a Ride! - 03/04/07 - This time I'm in a Pirsch pumper riding as a member of the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago. I rang the bell (my job) and waved to the crowds, grinning ear to ear! Channel 2 even showed a snippet of me in the parade as part of the evening news. Thanks again to the Fire Museum!
Freedom of the Seas - Acknowledgement Letter - 08/10/06 - My book is included in the library of the Freedom of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world. To visit their website and learn more, click
Smithsonian Institution Libraries - Acknowledgement Letter - 08/29/05 - My book has been accepted into the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History Library. It's now a part of "America's Attic," and will be used by researchers, scientists, and visitors as they go about their work. To visit their website and learn more, click:
Visit to Chopper 2 - 03/04/05 - I had the pleasure of visiting with Kris Habermehl and the staff of Channel 2 (CBS) Chicago.
This was THE St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Chicago - What a thrill to be in the granddaddy of them all! - 03/12/05 - Once again, the trusty 1956 Ward LaFrance pumper was my ride for the classic St. Pat's Parade down Columbus Drive in Chicago.
Northwest Side St. Patrick's Day Parade - Another Great Ride! - 03/06/05 - Once again, in the 1956 Ward LaFrance pumper as a member of the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago I rang the bell and blew the siren for the second time in this relatively new St. Pat's Parade on the northwest side. Afterwards, I was interviewed by CAN-TV! Thanks again to the Fire Museum!
Forest Park St. Patrick's Day Parade - A great ride! - 03/05/05 - I got to ride again in the Fire Museum's 1956 Ward LaFrance pumper in the first St. Pat's Parade of the season!
Northwest Side St. Patrick's Day Parade - Ride of a lifetime! - 03/07/04 - I received the priviledge of riding in a 1956 Ward LaFrance pumper as a member of the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago in a brand new St. Pat's parade on the northwest side. I rang the bell, waved to the crowd and blew the siren, all at the SAME time! Thanks to the Fire Museum! To see of photo of me with the engine, click here:
Association for Gravestone Studies - Congratulations Certificate - 02/09/04 - "Congratulations on receiving an Honorable Mention in the 2003 AGS Gravemarker Competition!" To learn more about the AGS, click here:
Queen Mary 2 - Acknowledgement Letter - 05/29/04 - My book is also included in the library of the Queen Mary 2, the 2nd largest cruise ship in the world. To visit their website and learn more, click
Glenview Public Library - Certificate of Appreciation - 03/23/03 - "For outstanding community service through her writing." This event was also taped for Glenview Cable TV.
Alexandria Library in Egypt - Acknowledgement - 10/20/02 - My book is included in their collection of world history: "This donation will remain a landmark in enriching the intellectual content of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina." To visit their website and learn more, click
Daily Herald "Praise for dad, all firefighters at heart of Schaumburg author's book" written about my book and it's connection to the Schaumburg FD. - 11/12/06 - To read the article, scroll to the bottom of:
Chicago Sun-Times "Five-Alarm Self-Promotion: How firefighter's daughter "shamelessly" pitches book" written by me, Karen Kruse - 06/16/02 - To read my article on shameless self-promotion, click here:
"What it takes to be a Hero" is an article written by me about firemen as the true heroes they are. It appeared in several publications, as follows:
The Booster and News-Star , November 28, 2001.
American Mensa, Ltd's publication The Bulletin , January, 2002
The Hometown Journal , September 10, 2002, as a tribute to those of September 11th, 2001.
Several websites also host my tribute article.
Please visit Emergency Ministries, hosted by my friend Fire Chaplain Skip Straus at:
or Butler Township Fire Co. where my article is part of their mission statement:
Glenview TV - GVTV - 01/20/11 through 01/25/11 - 10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm each day - TV Cable Interview for "Off the Shelf: Conversations with Local Authors."
WGN Radio - 720 AM - 02/25/07 - 7:30 - 8:00 am - Radio Interview with Rick Kogan on "The Sunday Papers with Rick Kogan." Visit them at:
WONU-FM Radio Rise & Shine Chicago on 89.7 FM, Bourbonnais, IL - Broadcast 12/18/06 at 7:20 am and again on 12/19/06: - Radio interview with Johnny (a HUGE Cubs fan) from the Rise & Shine Chicago Morning Show. To visit their website, click:
World Talk Radio Be the Star You Are! on 1700 AM (CA) - Broadcast 09/25/06 from 3:20 to 3:40 pm (Chicago time): - Internet Radio interview with Cynthia Brian, speaker and development coach. To hear my complete interview simply visit the world Talk Radio website, then scroll down and look for the Play buttons to hear the program:
WJJG Radio Cop Talk on 1530 AM, Elmhurst, IL - Broadcast 08/27/05 at 10:30 am: - Radio interview with Bill Jaconetti, the most decorated cop in the city. To visit their website, click:
The Salon an author chat - 05/24/05 - 8:00 - 9:00 pm - Special Guest Author on Live Internet chat in AOL's Author's Chat room.
Homeland Defense Radio Firehouse Gourmet on the Internet radio station at www.homelanddefenseradio.com - Broadcast 07/30/04 at :28 & :58 minutes after the hour: - Radio interview with Marlis Majerus on our family's cherry coffeecake recipe, with special mention of my book, A Chicago Firehouse: Stories of Wrigleyville's Engine 78 . To visit their website, click
WNOI Radio R&B Revue on 104 FM, Flora, IL - Broadcast 05/19/04 at 2 pm: - Radio interview with Randy Poole and Brenda Miller on my book. To visit their website, click
CAN-TV - MY CHICAGO CABLE DEBUT! - Shown 03/09/04: 5 pm & 03/10/04: 12 pm (noon) - Chicago Cable TV Interview on CAN-TV, complete with several pictures broadcast. To hear and see the whole interview through Google Video, click
CBS2 TV - 04/07/03 - 11:15 am - TV Interview with Stacia Dubin, complete with photo gallery of pictures, many from the book, held on the day of the Chicago Cubs Home Opener!
Glenview Cable TV - ANOTHER CABLE TAPING! - Cable taping of the Glenview Author Reception held at the Glenview Public Library, with moderator Jack Mabley, 03/23/03
Library Cable Network - CABLE DEBUT! - 06/13/02 - Cable taping of lecture given at the Park Ridge Library, 01/29/02 - For schedule of future broadcast times and link to site, see above.
AOL Keyword: FIREFIGHTER - 02/28/02 - 8:00 - 9:00 pm - Special Guest on Live Internet chat in AOL's Firefighter Chat room.
WGN Radio - 720 AM - 11/25/01 - 1:20 - 2:30 pm - Radio Interview with Nick Digilio. To hear part of that interview, follow the link:
NBC5 TV - 10/09/01 - 6:51 am - TV Interview with Art Norman and Nesita Kwan.
In the interest of space (and loading this page quickly), only events since 2010 (where dated) are displayed below. Believe me, there are a boatload more!
05/03/18 - Ravenswood Lake View Historical Association - Chicago
07/17/17 - Bridgeway Senior Living - Bensenville
05/19/16 - Ela Area Public Library - Lake Zurich
11/09/15 - Palos Park Senior Club - Palos Park
10/05/14 - Long Grove Historical Society - Long Grove
09/05/12 - Rolling Meadows Library - Rolling Meadows
05/08/12 - Cook Memorial Library - Libertyville
10/09/10 - Museums at Lisle Station - Lisle
04/30/10 - Reaching Forward Conference - Rosemont
02/24/10 - Itasca Community Library - Itasca
FIRE MUSTERS, CRAFT SHOWS, & OTHER EVENTS:
03/16/19 - 7th Annual Fire & Police Swap Meet - Peotone
10/27/18 - Mundelein Firematic Flea Market - Mundelein
09/29/18 - Jeffco Fire Engine Rally - Herculaneum, MO
09/09/18 - Colona Fire Muster - Colona, IL
09/08/18 - The Great Milwaukee Muster - Oak Creek, WI
08/25/18 - New Haven Fire Muster and Expo - New Haven, IN
06/16/18 - Chicago Fire Academy Muster - Chicago
03/17/18 - 6th Annual Fire & Police Swap Meet - Peotone
10/28/17 - Mundelein Firematic Flea Market - Mundelein
08/26/17 - New Haven Fire Muster and Expo - New Haven, IN
08/05/17 - Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show - Oswego
06/17/17 - Chicago Fire Academy Muster - Chicago
03/24 & 25/17 - Miles Greenwood Flea Market - Cincinnati, OH
03/18/17 - MABAS 7 Fire Investigators Fire & Police Swap Meet - Peotone
10/29/16 - Mundelein Firematic Flea Market - Mundelein
09/10/16 - The Great Milwaukee Muster - Oak Creek, WI
06/18/16 - Chicago Fire Academy Muster - Chicago
03/19/16 - MABAS 7 Fire Investigators Fire & Police Swap Meet - Peotone
10/31/15 - Mundelein Firematic Flea Market - Mundelein
09/26/15 - Jeffco Fire Engine Rally - Herculaneum, MO
08/01/15 - National Police Collectors Show - St. Louis, MO
06/27/15 - The Great Milwaukee Muster - Milwaukee, WI
06/20/15 - Chicago Fire Academy Muster - Chicago
06/06/15 - Spring Grove Cemetery - Cincinnati, OH
05/02/15 - MABAS 7 Fire Investigators Fire & Police Swap Meet - Peotone
10/25/14 - Mundelein Firematic Flea Market - Mundelein
08/30/14 - Warrenville FD 75th Anniversary - Warrenville
06/14/14 - Chicago Fire Academy Muster - Chicago
06/07/14 - Spring Grove Cemetery - Cincinnati, OH
05/16 - 18/14 - National Police Collectors Show - Cleveland, OH
05/03/14 - MABAS 7 Fire Investigators Fire & Police Swap Meet - Peotone
10/26/13 - Mundelein Firematic Flea Market - Mundelein
08/03/13 - Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show - Aurora
07/13/13 - The Great Milwaukee Muster - Milwaukee, WI
06/15/13 - Chicago Fire Academy Muster - Chicago
06/01/13 - Spring Grove Cemetery - Cincinnati, OH
03/09/13 - MABAS 7 Fire Investigators Fire & Police Swap Meet - Peotone
02/08 & 09/13 - 21st Annual AFFI Honor Guard Convention - Schaumburg
11/17 & 18/12 - DuPage Expo Center - St. Charles
11/10 & 11/12 - Harper College Festival of Arts & Crafts - Palatine
10/27/12 - Mundelein Firematic Flea Market - Mundelein
06/16/12 - Chicago Fire Academy Muster - Chicago
06/02/12 - Spring Grove Cemetery - Cincinnati, OH
11/19 & 20/11 - DuPage Expo Center - St. Charles
11/18/11 - Juliet Low Elementary School - Arlington Heights
11/05 & 06/11 - College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn
10/30/11 - Mundelein Firematic Flea Market - Mundelein
10/22/11 - 32nd Annual Conant HS Craft Fair - Hoffman Estates
10/15/11 - St. Paul's United Church of Christ - Crystal Lake
10/01 & 02/11 - Lake County Fairgrounds - Grayslake
09/24/11 - Stillman Valley Fire Swap Meet - Stillman Valley
09/17/11 - Community Presbyterian Church Fall Festival - Mt. Prospect
08/27/11 - The Great Milwaukee Muster - Milwaukee, WI
07/15/11 - Mount Horeb Muster - Mt. Horeb, WI
03/18 & 19/11 - Miles Greenwood Flea Market - Cincinnati, OH
03/12/11 - Palatine High School - Palatine
03/05/11 - Garden Homes Fire Protection District - Merrionette Park
11/20 & 21/10 - DuPage Expo Center - St. Charles
11/13 & 14/10 - Harper College Festival of Arts & Crafts - Palatine
11/06 & 07/10 - College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn
10/23/10 - Mundelein Firematic Flea Market - Mundelein
10/02 & 03/10 - Lake County Fairgrounds - Grayslake
09/25/10 - Stillman Valley Fire Swap Meet - Stillman Valley
08/28/10 - Mount Horeb Muster - Mt. Horeb, WI
08/14/10 - Northern IL Fire Museum Pump-In - Marengo
08/07/10 - Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show - Mooseheart
06/26/10 - Chicago Fire Academy Muster - Chicago
05/15/10 - Romeoville FD's 50th Anniversary Celebration - Romeoville
05/01/10 - Plainfield East High School Pancake Breakfast - Plainfield
04/24/10 - LifeTime Fitness Spring Fling - Schaumburg
03/14/10 - Crystal Lake Holiday Inn - Crystal Lake
03/13/10 - Palatine High School - Palatine
03/06/10 - Fremd High School - Palatine
BOOKSTORE, BOOK FAIR, & OTHER SIGNINGS:
"Off the Shelf" Author Fair - Glenview
Glenview Authors Reception - Glenview
Elgin Authors Fair - Elgin
Schaumburg Public Library - Schaumburg
Bucks for Burn Camp Benefit - Chicago
Batavia Public Library (twice) - Batavia
Club Belmont - Chicago
Printers Row Book Fair - Chicago
Barnes & Noble - Deerfield, Chicago (on Webster), Old Orchard (Skokie), Schaumburg, and Geneva
Borders - Deerfield, Randhurst (Mt. Prospect), Beverly, and Schaumburg
WaldenBooks - Randhurst (Mt. Prospect) and Golf Mill (Niles)
The Book Stall at Chestnut Court - Winnetka
Books-a-Million - Niles
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To read articles from the Daily Herald, the Courier News, the News-Star, and the Booster click here:
To see the Chicago Sun-Times article I wrote, click here:
To see other pieces I've written, click here:
To read The Family Business and get a good taste of my book, click here:
To see the Foreword, Preface, and Table of Contents, click here:
To see Karen Kruse's Biography, click here: