News and Observations from Wapella, Illinois: Home of the Wildcats.
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Thursday, January 31, 2008
Fooey, I have had enough politics for a while. Now how to light it up a bit on a bitterly cold day in Hog City? Hmm...how about some Ol' Possum doing The Love Bug? Drat, nothing available, have to find a backup here it is, George Strait covering George Jones' The Love Bug. Ah the punks disabled the insert tool, but you can
Click over to King George II doing The Love Bug
I wonder what George Jones thinks of Dean Jones in the Herbie movies.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The primaries are coming right along, giving the staff at Wapella.com pause to reflect on a few campaign techniques that were successful in the past.
1) A ride to the polls always helps. Did Danny come over and pick up likely voters and use his powers of persuasion to seal the deal?
2) The handsome guy usually wins. So, with Clem Toohill for example, it is a great idea to show a photo of the candidate to give people a preview of what they will be looking at for the next 4 years.
3) A parade in Wapella can generate a lot of buzz for a candidate. Check with Alex Seith, Larry (?) Lenz, Jerry Costentino for results of campaigning in Hog City.
Here's a salute to Clem, and all those who have run for (a not very glamorous) office. The participation of taxpaying citizens at all levels is one of the assurances of our democracry.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
An alert Alabaman Wildcat was kind enough to pass along this story from the Pantagraph:
“There’s nothing haphazard in nature, but humans,” said Winkelman, 58, who will share his insights at this weekend’s Illinois Fish & Feather Expo in Bloomington on Saturday. The event runs Friday through Sunday at the Interstate Center and will feature seminar speakers, boat and tackle dealers, resort representatives and guides.
I'll take a bit of an issue with Winkelman's natural sciences observations (come on Babe, do you really think dogs, for example, are not a bit haphazard? I have yet to see a dog fill out a job application, do retirement planning, build a house that would last more than a day or two), but I cannot argue with his entertainment and sporting values. The man is a legend for good reason, he earned his stripes over 30 years on TV outdoor shows and selling associated products.
Who is going to Bloomington to see the Babe?
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Help me out here scrutinizing an old history of Wapella Township
The first church house was built by the Christian denomination in 1856. It is a plain frame building, and situated in the little hamlet of Zabriska, in section 22. The church is yet standing and in a fair state of preservation, and the passer-by would conclude that it was built by the Catholics, as the cemetery grounds are situated in the same lot close by the church.
The first justice of the peace elected was John Montgomery Senior. He died only two years ago, a citizen of the town, and was nearly a centenarian at his death.
The second justice was John B. Swearingen, who now resides in Minnesota.
The first post-office was established in 1845, and was kept Abraham Swearingen at his private residence in section 15. In 1849, it was moved to the hamlet of Zabriska, and subsequently to Wapella.
I distinctly recall St. Patrick's Parish celebrating 150 years in the church business sometime before 2006. I also recall historical note in a New Deal spun history that said Catholics in small towns typically don't respond to historical surveys, which strikes me a patronizing, but accurate.The references to the Swearingen's is gratuitous, as Al Swearingen is my favorite TV Character since Col. Klink (well, maybe Donnie Most as Ralph Malph).
Monday, January 21, 2008
Wapella.com Email inbox literally been flooded with remeberances of TV Character actor extra-ordinaire Allan Melvin.
Whether you recall Melvin from Sgt. Bilko with Phil Silvers, or some guest spots on Andy Griffith, or his long time recurring role as Sam the Butcher on The Brady Bunch, you have to admire Allan Melvin for his versatility and dedication to his craft.
My personal favorite role for Melvin was as Barney Hefner on Archie Bunker's place. Hefner was variously Archie's business partner, best friend, worst enemy, and even a robber trying to break into Archie's bar.
Five decades in the business working with everyone from Jim Nabors in Gomer Pyle, to Popeye (with Melvin as Blutto), Allan Melvin could do it all.
May He Rest in Peace.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Wapella, IL Tornado, Jun 1902
In Dewitt County
The storm in Wapella was severe. Trees were broken in every part of the city. The roof to the old Illinois Central freight office was blown off, as were the cupolas to the school house and opera house. Plate glass of the Wapella bank was blown in. CHARLES HUNT’s new barn was blown down and one side of the JAMES M. GREEN grain office was blown in. FORBES LEGGITT’s cattle barn, two miles north of Wapella, was unroofed, also unroofed kitchen and dining room of W.H. THORPE’s residence. Also CHARLES SCOTT’s home west of town.The Daily Review, Decatur, IL 12 Jun 1902
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Bobby Fischer, the man that made Chess popular, All-American, and ultimately as bizarre as ever has died at the young age of 64. Some Fischer facts
Some Fischer facts
- Born: March 9, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois
- Died: January 17, 2008 in Reykjavik, Iceland
- Learned the rules of chess at age 6!: 1949
- First recorded tournament game: July 1955
- International Grandmaster title: 1958
- U.S. Champion eight times in eight attempts!: 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966
- Winner of: every tournament and match in which he participated from December, 1962 through World Championship match 1972 with the exceptions of Capablanca Memorial, 1965, (2nd place - ½ point behind Smyslov), and Piatigorsky Cup, 1966, (2nd place - ½ point behind Spassky).
- Bobby Fischer's tournament and match results: 415 wins, 248 draws and 85 losses out of 748 games played from 1955 through 1992 for a performance average of .721 or 72.1%
- Fischer's highest achieved rating: 2785 ELO.
- Inspired Rick Imig's Chess Tourney's at WHS
Friday, January 18, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
However the most consistent drubbings I (and many other Wildcats) have experienced were at the fast hands of Clinton Maroon, Martina Underwood. Martina played as much
basketball in Wapella as any native, and had one of the best shots ever seen in Wapella history, as well as adept ball handling skills.
Martina Underwood-Toohill (after her nuptials to WHS's own Raymond "Cherokee" Toohill) deservedly has been named to the Clinton High School Wall of Fame. She was a three sport athlete and the Clinton High School Player of the Year in 1990 and '91. Also among her many athletic achievments were top ten in the state of Illinois in basketball points in 1991; set three school records; and went on to earn All-American honors at Parkland College in 1992 and 1993.
Wapella can now claim Martina as resident, and with her Underwood surname, and Toohill husband she is more than an honorary Wildcat. Congrats to Martina on her honors!
As most who read and/or peruse this board can attest, Wapella High
School was no doubt one of the finer institutions of higher learning in
the Midwest, if not the country. Legendary educators walked the hallowed
halls, and passed along knowledge with fervor and aplomb. In the early
90's for example, Hall of Fame teachers like Ric Imig, David Bowman,
Mitchi Tucker, Jerry Peroutka mixed with future Hall inductees like Alan
Thompsen and William Hutchinson, all under the watchful eye of William Robert
But today we tip our hats to Wapella's less decorated, lesser known
gurus - the substitute teachers, the student teachers, and those that
only spent a short time at WHS. For example, as far as student teachers
are concerned, our very own DIT, who stepped in to fill Jerry Peroutka's
shoes (no doubt bought at Gerry and Al's) tops the fan favorite poll,
along with such luminaries as Tony Tennerelli (sp?) who stepped in for
Dave Bowman's biology, and then the almighty Mr. Murphy (first name
anyone?) who stepped in for Mathematics.
The list of substitutes who put in time at WHS is near endless. Another
fan fave being our own Kansas Cat, who filled in large gaps for Mitchi
Teachers who provided short tenures at Wapella were also numerous,
personal faves being Zelda Thorp, Mary Harweger (sp?) and Teresa
Nietske(sp?) and these are but a few from my era. What about you? Any
shout-outs to Wapella's lesser-known harbingers of knowledge?
And a quiz...What WHS student teacher later went on to marry a Clinton Graduate with a renowned Wapella name, her family being one of Wapella's oldest, having multiple generations of WHS and country school grads?
Update: Quiz Answer
The WHS Student teacher? Mr. Bruce McCominsky who taught English at WHS and later went on to marry Clinton Maroon and Purdue Boilermaker, Cindy Ryan, daughter of WHS '52 Jerry Ryan. Bruce and Cindy are both now English Professors in Alabama.
Monday, January 14, 2008
The Illinois State Redbirds are for real (13-3 overall, 5-0 MVC), winning 8 in a row for the first time since 1991-2. Is it Doug Collins Court? Redbird Arena? The Ghosts of Horton Fieldhouse and Reynard Malaine? One can't be sure of the magic formula, but it sure looks like Redbirds are chalking up w's with teamwork and sharp play, reminiscent of the Gene Smithson era.
Go Redbirds! What great Redbirds have you seen at Horton? Redbird Arena? Piddling around Normal?
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Yes, we are going all Olson all the time again..at least for today.
Here is a Pantagraph story about former Wildcat star Kurt Olson, who also coached at University High School.
The Wapella flag is flying high for Kurt Olson.
Read this when (belatedly) trying to correct spelling for Abner Phares:
People spent a bit more time writing obituaries in 1894, and it was time well spent.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Found this book on Amazon
From the appendix...a listing of great railroad innovators in passenger cars
Charles A. Seley (1856-1939) drafted the basic specifications for the railway post office car. Their aim was to set minimum strength standards that would safeguard railway mail clerks, but the specifications were eventually adopted by the railroad industry for all passenger cars. Seley was born in Wapella, Illinois, and entered railway service as a draftsman in 1876. By 1899 he was a mechanical engineer with Norfolk and Western. He was elected president of the Western Railroad Club in 1907. In later years he went into the supply trade.
(This is about the time when sitting around a tavern...a bit more experience Wildcat can chime in with "Seley? You know him, he was Ab Ferris' great uncle (or something of that nature). He used to live on Hilbo Longbrit's farm. He ate 6 baked potatoes on a dare one time. He was a good draftsman, but it took him 43 years to get his Engineering Certification. Haven't seen him in a while, where is he now?")
Another great railroader in the best tradition of Hog City. Three cheers for Charles Seley!
Monday, January 7, 2008
The Village Flag flies twice as high today, in honor of two of Wapella's finest each born January 7, albeit a few years apart. None other than our own EEP, tireless reporter and observer of the Wapella beat, and former WHS GAA basketball star, Teresa Toohill Carroll both celebrate another year as the Pride of the Wildcats today.
Happy Birthday Wildcats...but a quiz....what curious family thread connects Teresa Toohill to EEP? You have to make a trip outside of Wapella to connect this one, but it may be worth the journey.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Buck and Max enjoy the company of those HEE HAW hilarious brothers Jon & Jim Hager, The Hager Twins. Buck introduces them to one of America’s most popular shotgun sports, Sporting Clays. Tips and tactics and some song and dance are also featured"
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Continuing on Parkyarkarkus.....One of the comic techniques disposed of in our politically correct times is the heavily accented immigrant trying to fit into American Culture. In general, these were pretty gentle comedies, and even clever in come cases. Here's Fordham Grad, Pat Harrington (Dwayne Schneider the building superintendent), who has a few good jokes to tell as "Guido Panzini", who sounds quite a bit like Fr. Guido Sarduci. Take note, Baron Sasha Cohen as Borat lifted a joke from this brilliant Pat Harrington sketch in his recent movie.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
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- Ruling the Roost with King George II
- Election Season: Be sure to Vote Early and Often
- Fishing legend comes to Bloomington
- Help me out here scrutinizing an old history of Wa...
- RIP Allan Melvin
- Windy in 1902
- RIP Bobby Fischer
- Wapella.com Mourns the Passing of Helen Thomas
- Three Cheers for a Great Maroon
- Continuation of the Hat Tippings
- Here Come the Redbirds
- Hail to the Goose!
- Flag Flies for Kurt Olson
- Here is how to write an Obit
- 1856: A Wapella Inventor Born
- Wapella.com Mourns the Passing of Jessie Legget
- Two Wapella Greats Celebrated
- Put out more Hats, Time for Tips
- One Alert Reader in Jayhawk Country
- Forgotten Comedy Types
- Parkyarkarkus in front of the tube: Here come the ...
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