A Work of Love Completed


If A Store Could Talk...

My new book  “If a Store Could Talk… The Spiegler Family Remembers” came out at the end of September.  On the first weekend in October my wife Fran and I traveled to northern Illinois to attend my fiftieth high school reunion and conduct a book signing event at the Des Plaines History Center on Sunday afternoon.  It was good to see some old close friends at the reunion and my brother Glenn, who we stayed with the last night.

Glenn, Fran, and I traveled to the History Center for the book signing and it was truly a special  event.  About forty people attended, which was more than I expected, and the  crowd was composed of family members, former employees, old customers, family friends, and a few high school buddies.  After a brief introduction by me, family members, including  two cousins of my father, and former employee and friend Roy Hansen, read interesting passages from the book. It was a very warm moment.  We ended up selling all fifty of the books we had shipped there, with the History Center buying the last ten books to sell in their gift shop. I was not expecting to return to Tucson with no books.

We are selling quite a few books on the Internet right now, and people who are buying the books are spreading the word to others.  Hopefully we will have bit of a snow ball effect.  Two people named Spiegler who I have never met have also contacted me once they saw information about the book.

Ultimately I am glad I wrote the book not just for our children and grand-children, but for the many people who have been touched by the book.  This was not what I expected, but is very gratifying and has made it all worthwhile.

Book Launch!

If A Store Could Talk...

By Denise Fleischer, Des Plaines Journal & Topics, October 1, 2019

Allan Spiegler presents his non-fiction book “If a Store Could Talk…The Spiegler Family Remembers” from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Des Plaines History Center. Spiegler will discuss his family, Des Plaines history and the store’s evolution during a book signing event.

Spiegler Department Store was located on Ellinwood Street before it moved to become an anchor store of the Des Plaines Mall. It’s doors opened at the first location on June 6, 1900. It closed at the mall March 31, 1992.

“This is the legacy of a family on the frontier. Not the fictional frontier of cowboy movies, but the real frontier of American immigration, commerce, and suburban life as it progressed through the 19th and 20th centuries,” said Des Plaines History Center Director Philip Mohr.

“The book portrays an era when local towns were the business center for the community,” Spiegler explained. “It really has a lot of interesting insights into the past as well as great anecdotes. In a sense, because I talk about the history of the family, I also tie it to national events. Not only a story of who we were, but who we are today. How the inventions of cars, internet and technology, in general, have changed the way we shop and live. People no longer shop chiefly in their local community.”

The public is invited to attend. The History Center is located at 781 Pearson St.