News and Observations from Wapella, Illinois: Home of the Wildcats.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tom Snyder-The Uncomforter

A great YouTube of Tom Snyder with the charmless, but entertaining, John Lydon. Complete disaster of an interview, yet Snyder just keeps the tape rolling, as a true pro. Hat Tip to the EEP for this video of the media master in action vs. a rather clever punk who wants to blur the divide between the media and the audience. I toss in a photo of Carl Sagan, who kind of looks like Tom Snyder.

Monday, July 30, 2007 mourns the passing of Gladys Arteman

Gladys Marie Arteman, 86, of rural Wapella, died at 7:25 a.m. Friday (July 27, 2007) at Asta Care Center in Bloomington after a short illness. Gladys, a much beloved Wapella character, was the wife of the renowned Elmer Arteman, who preceded her in death in 1980. Gladys Arteman was a long time member of St. Patrick's Catholic Parish in Wapella.

Fire up a colortini, sit back, relax

How is this for a catch phrase "Fire up a colortini, sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air." Tom Snyder smoked who throughout his Tomorrow show, the cigarette cloud swirling around him during interviews, has died at age 71. Among his guests were John Lennon, Charles Manson and Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols.

Snyder, who more than potraying someone who was funny, actually was funny, was known for his uninhibited laughter, disdain for broadcast conventionalism, and mind bending rapport with his guests. A favorite joke from Tom Snyder

A little bird was walking along the road one day, and all of a sudden, a vulture jumps out of the bushes, grabs the little bird, pulls it into the bushes and has its way with the little bird. When all is said and done, the little bird comes out of the bushes merrily singing "I'm a dove, I'm a dove and I've been loved".
A little later the vulture sees a lark. He swoops down, picks it up and goes into the bushes. A few minutes later, the lark comes out and says, "I'm a lark, I'm a lark and I've been sparked!

"Then along comes a duck. The vulture comes out, grabs the duck and heads for the bushes. After much commotion, the duck comes out singing "I'm a drake, I'm a drake and there's been a terrible mistake".

RIP Tom Snyder

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sound the Trumpets! Flag Winner Announced

The winning design has been produced for the Flag contest. In between over 100 entries varying from artistic to downright bizarre, the attached graphic shows the style which won over the judges.

Quoting Wapella Flag Commision Chairman Bill Morris, "Wapella has needed a banner for some time now. The flag simply shows what we already know, but it still covers the important parts of the village history. Yeah Wapella!". The winning design, submitted by New York Architect Matt Alderman, and made production ready by Motorola Graphic Designer, Chris Drackett comes down to a few important elements:

1) Stripes Crossed to represent the English, Scottish, Irish, and Northern European heritage of many of the villagers.
2) Blue and White color design to reflect the town and school colors of Royal Blue and Brilliant White.
3) A text "W" for the village name and school mascot, the Wildcat
4) A numeric 1854 anchoring the flag on the village founding date

Further refinements include a coat of arms, marching banners, and street light hangers taking in and expanding on elements of the winning flag.

Friday, July 27, 2007 mourns the passing of Dr. Daniel Brown

From the Pantagraph

Dr. Daniel Warren Brown, devoted husband, loving father, educator, and community leader, died Thursday (July 19, 2007) at his home in Iowa Falls, Iowa. He was 62. Graveside services were held at the Long Point Cemetery in Wapella.

Dr. Brown received his PhD from Iowa State University after serving in the US Army. In 1965, Dan enlisted in the United States Army where he earned the rank of first lieutenant and served in Vietnam from 1967-1968 where he was a Combat Infantry Platoon Leader. For his service, Dan was awarded five Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars for Valor, and the Silver Star. Dan said his proudest achievement during his service was that he never lost a soldier in Vietnam.

All flags half mast for Dr. Daniel Brown.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Reel Jr. Mac in and win big prizes!

Five Dollars is our best offer to bring Jr. "Junior" McFarland to Wapella to the WHS Class of 1982 Reunion. Jr. a good musician, and all around pleasant guy has yet to confirm his attendance at the Reunion Wapapolooza. So here is the offer...

The cover charge at the Irish Circle that night is $5. The bounty on retrieving Jr. Mac...well it is also $5, and will be covered by the brass section of the 1982 Cats. Come on Phil Scmid, Karen Mandrell, Lana Welch, Eldon Cusey, Steve Wynn, John Long...bring in Junior and win big.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Starting Lineups

Toohill, Morris, Quaid, Underwood, & Bruning all on the same team. Does this sound like WHS in between 1868 and 1994? Well the 'Cats have moved on and these familiar names are now gracing another local High School. Any bets as to which High School now lists these Hog City emigrants on their starting Football lineup?

Monday, July 23, 2007

WHS 1982 Stands United

Like getting the Arabs and the Israeli's to stop their squabbling was how many have described it...1982 Power Brokers AJ Weinheimer and Rose Toohill have settled 25 years of smackdowns to formally announce:

WHS 1982 Class Reunion
At the Irish Circle
Saturday August 4, 2007 at 6:30PM

Any and all WHS Grads are invited.

What settled it? Quoting Rose "I was talking with Al on my car phone and Foreigner's "Dirty White Boy" came on the radio. As it happened Al was also listening to Dirty White Boy on the same station in his car. I realized we both are looking for the same thing: good rock and roll and some conversation with old friends. Says Al, "I always liked Rose, and will support her to the bitter end, as long as Foreigner is on the Radio"

Thanks to Al and Rose for volunteering to buy the first two rounds for all who attend.

Along Came Jones

Some say he is the greatest country singer of all time, some say he is the greatest singer of all time, some say he is just the greatest. Here is a find from YouTube of Green Ring favorite George Jones circa 1968 going wild on "The Race is On". George's haircut is still a flatop in those hairy days, his band is starting to grow out a bit. A special treat, Porter Wagoner is the host and Dolly Parton shows up at the closing credits

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wapella Business Profile

Murphy is a name with deep Wapella roots. Here is a profile of Scott Murphy and Associates, the Lexington based business, with Fred Murphy on the Masthead. Try Scott Murphy and Associates for all your farm equipment needs. Here is a snippet about the Murphy Staff

For 6-7 years Mark hauled seasonally needed seed machinery back and forth to Mexico. He has worked with Murphy’s on and off for over 20 years. Mark is a jack of all trades in the operation and specializes in the removal and refurbishing of used seed equipment.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Artificially Sweet Hog City

An ever alert reader, Jim Hull (who looks something like the Prince of Wales), asks a very pertinent question concerning Wapella advertsing history:

Do any of your subcribers recall what, I believe to be a cultural piece of signage that stood on the southwestern approach to Wapella, East side of Highway 51. Sign advertised anearly Splenda type product named-Sugariame (or maybe Sugartime)?

Quite a question, in my opinion, and per Mr Hull, knowing this piece of Wapella History can help make Wapella "a magnet for tourism" to which I heartily concur.

So, does anyone have more info on this billboard that stood in Wapella, braving the traffic to advertise the sweet life in Hog City?

Top Nicknames-Walt "No Neck" Williams

One of the only rules in assigning nicknames is that you cannot chose your own. For example, if you want to be called "Clubber" or "The Baron", you have to stick with a name like "Dog Face" or "Tiny" regardless of how flattering it is.

Case in point, Walt "No Neck" Williams. Good hitter, decent career, but appropriately nicknamed "No Neck".
Any nicknames laying dormant for Wildcat usage?

Sunday, July 15, 2007 Mourns Everett Baker mourns the passing of Everett Baker at age 81. Baker, a Wapella original, was employed at a variety of Central Illinois Enterprises, and worked in many farm operations. He is survived by his sons Wayne, Rick, and Randy and daughter Linda, all Wapella Wildcats.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Good Advice

This in the Pantagraph

people driving from Bloomington to Heyworth to exit U.S. 51 north of town and come in on a blacktop. People intending to go on south to Wapella or Clinton should “stay in the passing lane, be cautious and use good discretion,”

In other words, please be cautious and use discretion when entering Hog City.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ten Reasons Buck's Red Fox was the Greatest

Nothing said Wapella like Buck and Dorothy Johnson's Grocery Store. Yes, the Troxell Brothers had their charms, Howard Abraham was a legend, and John Blakeman ran a good operation, but Buck and Dorothy defined Wapella with their inviting personalities, and sharp business. Here are ten good reasons why Buck's was the greatest.

10) The Topmost Brand. Symbol of quality, and great taste. Almost exclusively sold in Wapella.

9) Strategic placement of cigarettes. The smoking employees reminded everyone to pick up a pack of smokes for the road.

8) Full magazine selection. Some rare and exotic titles for a small town.

7) Butcher shop on site. Bring Bessie in for a visit, leave with T-Bones for dinner.

6) Early implementation of Dig-Dug, my favorite video game

5) Frosty brand Root Beer. Can't taste the Sasparillo for the Sugar.

4) Charge Accounts. The economics were shaky, but the convenience was awesome

3) Buck was still selling old Coke after new Coke was introduced. Visitors came from miles to get their Cola fix.

2) One of the only stores you could buy Wildroot Hair Tonic. High volume sales to Hog City Gentlemen

1) Buck and Dorothy Johnson: a legendary Grocery Team.

Got any more?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wilson Township Action

You may have thought you entered into an old episode of Columbo or Match Game with so many celebrities on site. But the big draw was Danny "Sunshine" Toohill bringing out the joy of the last 35 years. A quick rundown of the action
1) Schmid, Wilson, Ryan, Toohills all in heavy attendance as well as the likely suspects in the immediate family.
2) Slow cooked pork butt brings in people dreaming of the cornbread and bean festival.
3) Game show format entertains all with a customized version of the Newlywed Game.
Now I would take Danny and RoseAnn vs. most anyone in the Newlywed Game, but when many in your family have the looks of Jack Cassidy, the wit of Richard Dawson, and the delivery of Fanny Flagg, wouldn't you consider the Match Game?
Which Toohill does the picture on the Left look most like?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Spent last evening with some Wildcats, pouring over some old stories (mostly about the old Metropole in Bloomington). There were some non-Wildcats present, but I can assure you we kept the below in mind in excluding them from the conversation (from a post last year):

What makes a Wapella Wildcat? How does one keep cheering on the Blue and White when the town has been battered a time or ten? has noted a few handy tips

1) In mixed company, talk only about people from Wapella, despite the fact the you are the only one who knows the people you are talking about. Eventually, (maybe a year or two later) they will know whoyou are referring to, or never talk to you again.

2) React violently to old sports injustices. Someone think Maroa may have beaten Wapella in summer league basketball in 1980? Ker-splat.

3) While imbibing, volunteer for charitable activities and then complain about it constantly when you straighten up. Don't ask for sympathy or assistance, just gripe like you just stepped on a burr anytime you actually have to do even a moderate amount of work you volunteered for when you were intoxicated. When questioned why you volunteered to begin with, if all you were going to do is gripe, take a swing at your inquisitor, despite the fact you can't fight your way out of a paper bag..

Those suggestions really don't help much of anything, but they will getyou through a day wondering about the Good Life in Wapella. Anyone fromHog City got any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Higher Education Maroon Style

DeWitt County seat Clinton, Illinois is considering an accreditation program in serving alcohol. In a novel approach to providing higher education to booze dealing Maroons, Clinton's Mayor proposed

“They would earn a certificate and that certificate would follow the employee wherever he or she goes,” he said. “I believe that would also make the employee more employable. In a way, it would be similar to holding a high school diploma or college degree in the fact that it certifies the employee has been through the proper training.”

So, if I have this straight, in Clinton, Illinois, serving '57 Chevy's is similar to say, holding a degree in Nuclear Engineering or Russian History. This high minded development in higher education is unique in its skill set, and will certainly be in competition with such institutions as Harvard, Yale and the Peoria Bartending Academy. Will training including forced viewings of Tom Cruise miserable "Cocktail"? Is there a course in Advanced Draft and Pours Technology? Bottle Openers 201? How about a historical course "Aluminum Cans: The Peril of Streator"? A multicutural "Viva Compadres: Limes and SeaSalt for Flavor and Zest"?

Most importantly, will Goon U Degrees be transferrable to Hog City Pour Stores? I for one have always been happy with the non-certified service in Wapella, as have most patrons for the last 153 years. Does Wapella need some Maroon Style Higher Ed?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Put Out More Flags

While Greg Toohill was bravely putting out the fires, some civic minded citizens were putting out the Flags for Wapella's Patriotic Holidays.

These are from Flag Day, but I think we can show them for the upcoming Independence Day Holiday. If there was ever a town that was independent, it is Hog City, still doing its best to stay clear of the County, State, and Federals in a valiant attempt to keep the Spirit of '76 alive. A Salute to all those who served, and those who continue to serve their country is in order for this July 4, so here it goes...Full Salute. Do you have any Salutes in you for this holiday?

Thanks to Wapella Civic Leader David Taylor for the shot.

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