Many of us would like to tell our lifes story but
dont know how to begin, or wonder whether it is interesting
enough to share with others.
Linda (Klein) Means has capsulized her life into eight
fascinating chapters in her book, Passport to the World:
Looking Back While Moving On. It reaches from here to Caracas,
Venezuela, and then across the Atlantic Ocean to Paris. She has
chosen snippets of her lifetime of experiences, turning them
into eight short essays. They even make good individual stories.
It would be a good way for any of us to assemble our own biographies,
except she has a lifetime of journalism experience to draw upon.
We were classmates at Northern Illinois University, both
majored in journalism and were part of the Northern Star staff
in those free-wheeling days of student journalism when print
media still reigned supreme. After college, we went our separate
ways I moved out West, and she went to Wilmington, Delaware,
to work at a large daily. But she returned to work at the Chicago
Linda (Klein) Means
Tribune before going to U.S. News & World Report, then getting
married and moving to South America.
I only heard of her travels and later life in Boston, where
she hosted a cable TV talk show, through her brother, Ron, a
well-known DeKalb attorney.
She spends part of the book telling about her early life
on the family farm near Hinckley, focusing on her grandmother
and how she influenced Lindas life.
The most poignant chapter for me is about her younger brother,
John, who lived with Down syndrome. She shared details about
their interactions and how much love there was in the family
surrounding John. She wrote a poem at the time of her brothers
death, which she has included in her book. Linda is no stranger
to poetry; her first book written for children a few years ago
was one long poem titled Old Gramma Cat.
Linda is flying here for NIU Homecoming week and also will
be speaking to the Rotary Club of Sycamore on Oct. 10 about her
life. There also is a book signing at the Hinckley Historical
Society later in the week.