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

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Long Lost Belt Found

Back when newspapers were important to society, the Clinton Register published this on August 4, 1899. I am guessing that the sawyer is related to the great Wapella man "Sawmill" Johnny Schmidt.

It Had Lain in Water Thirteen Years and Was Remarkably Well Preserved.—Dan Schmidt the Owner.

Big, good-natured Dan SCHMIDT, who lives twelve miles northwest of Clinton, and a belt he lost years ago, are attracting considerable attention in that part of the county. The cause is as follows:

A belt that was lost thirteen years ago last February lay hid beneath the rolling waters of Long Point and, like America it finally was discovered, but not by Christopher Columbus, but by John HUME, of Wapella, the pioneer fisherman who is always ready to exchange good fishing stories in the dead of winter or heat of summer. The belt belonged to Dan Schmidt, of Long Point, Wapella township, and thirteen years ago was used in sawing wood for John W. HOUGHAM, a neighbor, and Wm. TUCKET, a man who was working for Jacob PARLIER at the time, was helping saw wood, and the creek being very high at the time and all hands having to cross a foot log, Mr. Tucket having hold of the belt went to toss it across the water, but it never reached the other side and no trace of it was found until last Sunday. While John Hume was fishing he saw something in the water which looked like a couple of old tin pans and asked Vet BURTON what that was, and Mr. Burton got a stick and pulled it out of the water, mud and sand saying "That's Dan Schmidt's belt that was thrown in the creek a good many years ago." The belt was a new leather belt soaked full of castor oil and when found looked as good as ever except for somewhat colored. It took a strong pull to even brake [sic] one little piece of the lace that it was fastened together with. Dan has got the belt home again after so long a time and is going to oil it up and keep it show to the belt users of this county how well it has been preserved when being in the creek thirteen years.

The belt was a 4-inch one, 36 feet long, standard quality of leather belting. The belt was bought of P. C. SUMMERS, of this place, several years before it was lost for $10, and as Mr. Summers is dead, we expect Dan will keep the belt to remember Mr. Summers by.

Another article same day


Seward Nelson Post G. A. R. held an ice cream social at the residence of comrade P. B. HERRINGTON, in Long Point, Saturday afternoon, recitations and songs by the Post, were enjoyed until Truman MASON and Joseph SCOGGIN were reported sick and all rendered their assistance. All they could say was "Home." An ambulance wagon was procured from Stull SWEARINGEN's blacksmith shop and the tired, sick heroes were safely guarded to their homes, where medical aid was summoned.

I am guessing that there was something more to the story than the Register let on.

Massive Garage Sales Spark Arbitrage Opportunitites

Reporting directly from Hog City Garage Sales today, the bargains are trading fast. I have hatched a scheme with the assistance of several local financiers to buy low priced items at discount garage sales and resell the items at higher prices at my own garage sale, only to be thwarted by a man who looks like Alf who was aggregating all the items from all the garage sales to sell at his own shop. I was down $35 at the time that the Alien Life Form overtook me. He mentioned that he was down over $400 but was sure that business would pick up as his monopoly was established. In the meanwhile, here The Jam smashing it up with "In The City", perhaps an ode to the thousand bargains trading in Hog City today.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Harvey Korman, Comic Genius, RIP

6ft 4in tall, in his stocking feet, as tall as John Wayne or Dan Marino (or Fidel Castro), and certainly taller than his comic partner Tim Conway, Harvey Korman still had more comedy inch for inch than any TV funnyman of the last 60 years. Doing a drag act, song and dance, ethnic schtick, a perfect spill take, or just playing it straight, Harvey Korman made the Carol Burnett show funny, and added some full bodied humor to such rolls as Heddy Lamar in Blazing Saddles.

Born in Chicago, Korman was in show business for nearly 65 years. Harvey Korman, may you rest in peace.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Salute

Here's a shot from Ace of Wapella Photographers, George Spray of the Dallas Fort Worth Veteran's Cemetery. Sometime during your Holiday cookout, baseball game, stockcar race, dogfight, it's worth remembering those that served this country before us, and those who continue to serve today.

Proudly waving the Wapella Flag today for Memorial Day 2008.

Friday, May 23, 2008

And for the Sunny Afternoon before the Holday Weekend

Here are the Kinks with the oft covered little played original "She's Got Everything". The video is not real professional, but plenty pleasant.

Two-Points for identifying the more famous cover version of this infectious rocker.

Some Pleasant Folk for Friday Morning

Kicking off a long holiday weekend, listening to WLS 890 Larry Lujack and Fred Winston spinning the hits, and breezing away to the sweet sounds of Peter Paul and Mary on the Jack Benny Show singing Bobby Dylan's "Blowin in the Wind". More Rock later!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Two Wapella Men Honored

Congratulations go out to 2 of Wapella's finest Irishmen on some rather impressive accomplishments.

Fr. Patrick Henehan will reach his 10 year anniversary as the Pastor of St. Patricks Parish on May 23. Through his 10 years, Fr. Patrick has been the Chaplain at Central Catholic High School in Bloomington, in addition to his service in Wapella. A very active Priest, Fr. Patrick has devoted himself to Parish activities, education, and the fast paced lifestyle of Hog City.

Also congratulated, our own frequent commenter, "Hoosier Gato", who has been named a (full, no qualifiers) Professor in the Dept. of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering at Notre Dame University. Professor Gato is in his 20th year at Notre Dame, corresponding to a 20 year drought in Notre Dame National Championship football, as we will not give him credit for 1988, when he was still with the Illini.

A round of applause for two of Wapella's finest! Photo suggested by EEP who notes that Henehan is a derivative of Heenan (as in Bobby the Brain pictured here), and Black Jack Lanza kind of looks like the Hoosier Gato with a phony mustache and cowboy outfit.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Quick tip of the Cardinal Hat to Stan the Man

Add it up: .331 Average and 3630 Hits, there is no one better St. Louis Cardinal than Stan Musial. The St. Louis Cardinals dedicated Stan Musial Drive on Sunday, renaming the street in front of Busch Stadium in honor of the franchise's greatest player.

Tribune Story Here

How about it Hog City? Is there room for a Musial Lane? How about it Cub Fans...Paul Reuschel Road? George Mitterwald Boulevard? "Tarzan" Joe Wallis Parkway?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thumb Your Nose, It's 1968

Continuing with the 40 years ago theme, there was some really strange music coming along at that time. Pink Floyd had moved from the nearly tuneful "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" to the dirgelike "A Saucerful of Secrets". The Small Faces left their magical R&B of Shake and Sha-la-la-lee, to the losing their minds "Ogdens Nut Gone Flake". Worst of all the Beatles led the way in 1967 with the overwrought "Sgt. Pepper's" Album, with the dreamy but dreary "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".

What to do with all this sad soup? Well John Fred and the Playboy Band mocked the rockers (and rocked the mockers, I suppose), with a Lousiana Swamp-Popper called "Judy in Disguise" recorded at the famed Robin Hood Studio's in Tyler Texas. Here they are in all their Mockydelia Garb, taking Rock and Roll back from the English with the thoroughly American #1 hit.

Click Here to open up YouTube Video of John Fred and His Playboy Band doing Judy in Disguise

Thursday, May 15, 2008

40 Years Ago Today: Wapella Tornado May 15, 1968

It seems like only yesterday, I was watching cartoons around 5PM on a Wednesday, laughing and scratching...well wait, that was actually yesterday...but pretty much the same thing was happening 40 years ago (though the Flintstones were on TV then rather than Arthur now, both good very shows in my opinion, with Arthur being snarkier, but the Flinstones having more memorable characters), except 40 years ago a tornado warning came on, advising DeWitt County to take cover.

If I recall, and I can't tell whether my parents said this so many times or I actually remember it, my sister and older brother were watching cartoons with me (40 years ago, not yesterday), when my brother took off like a civil defense worker to get us to the basement. My mother, in the kitchen with my 1 yr old brother, forcefully objected to the basement idea, as Grandpa lived with us then and could not easily get downstairs. Grandpa smoked cigars with an alligator clip which made an eerie red glow while the sky turned very black outside.

Mom gathered my brothers and sister under the kitchen table. My baby brother really stunk up the house during the storm itself, providing a break in the action of the tornado (he can still do that 40 years later), and we waited the storm out. Grandpa was not noticeably concerned about the weather whatsoever, but was getting revved up for the Cardinals' baseball season.

We had some minor damage to our roof, a bit of a flood, and some windows blown out. My uncle's (which belonged to my other grandfathers before him) house across the street was ruined, and much of the town was crushed, with a few people being killed and others left temporarily homeless.

The Village came back stronger, if not exactly prettier, than ever. I always assumed the defiantly reckless attitude of Hog City was an after effect of the tornado, but as I got older I realized that the Village of Wapella can and could always pretty much defy any force of nature or man (or logic for that matter), before or after the May 15 epic. and the Board of Wapella Historians has celebrated the defiance of the tornado by unanimously naming the Building of the Dunk Tank the #1 Event in Wapella History.

Please tell us what was going on 40 years ago. How did you make it through the tornado?

Photo Courtesy of George Spray. Thanks George!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 Mourns the Passing of Nancy May

Nancy H. May, 83, Clinton, died at 4:30 a.m. Monday (May 12, 2008) at BroMenn Regional Medical Center, Normal.

Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with the Rev. Leah Pogemiller and J. Kent Hickerson officiating. Burial will be in Oak Park Cemetery, Clinton. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Clinton United Methodist Church or DeWitt County Friendship Center.

She was born Feb. 8, 1925, in Gifford, the daughter of the Rev. Guy and Leta Reeter Longenbaugh. She married Merle C. "Bud" May on Aug. 18, 1945, in Clinton. He passed away Sept. 4, 2003.

She is survived by her children, Vicki (Terry) Howarth, Defiance, Ohio; Peggy (Frank) Lamar, Wapella; Scotty (Lori) May, Wapella; and Kenny May, Clinton; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren; one sister, Dorothy Hickman, DeWitt; and three brothers, Paul Longenbaugh, Oceanside, Calif.; Loyd Longenbaugh, Urbana; and Eugene (Jimmie) Longenbaugh, Fort Worth, Texas.

She was preceded in death by her parents; one son, Jim; one grandson, Kevin; one brother, Carl Longenbaugh; and one sister, Wilma Rich.

She was a member of Clinton United Methodist Church.

She was the first woman rural letter carrier in Clinton, retiring after 13 years of service.

The family would like to thank the staff at Liberty Village and Hawthorne Inn for their excellent care. extends its condolences to the May family.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Wapella ReUnites

All former students and faculty of Wapella Schools are invited to help the class of 1948 mark their 60th class reunion on Saturday, June 21, in Wapella, at the School Park.  Potluck. Afternoon with a blue grass jamboree in the Park that evening. Mark your calendars now. Pass the word around please.

Since the Park is dry, lets have a Reunion, instead of a Riunite' (on ice, that's nice).

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Double the Congratulations to the Mollet Family

Wapella's own Mike Mollet (WHS '87) and his wife Joy, along with children Basil, Livvy and Harper, welcomed new arrival Lucy Veronica Mollet on April 24th (Lou please correct me if I am wrong on that one). Weighing in at 7lbs 11oz and 20inches in length, currently Lucy is somewhat happily traveling to Winona Minnesota to celebrate another big even in the Mollet household.

Mr. Eldridge McClatchey, longtime member of the extended Mollet family, is graduating today from St. Mary's College in Winona with a Bachelors Degree.

Congrats Mike and Joy on the Baby, and congrats to Eldridge on your educational achievements!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Later on Friday with Slade

In pretty much any Rock vexicolgy; Slade rocked. Be it Hard Rock, Pop, Metal, BubbleGum, Glam, or an old fashioned Tavern Stomper like this one...Run Runaway by is Rock and Roll, and if you don't buy it, here's Joey Ramone

"I spent most of the early 70s listening to Slade Alive thinking to myself, "Wow - this is what I want to do. I want to make that kind of intensity for myself. A couple of years later I was at CBGB's doing my best Noddy Holder." - Joey Ramone (The Ramones)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

RIP Eddy Arnold

Country Music legend Eddy Arnold has died in Nashville at age 89. The premier singer of Country love songs, Eddy Arnold recorded more #1 singles than any other country artist. Eddy's gentlemanly ways, and his business success inspired Carl Perkins to write this ditty celebrating Eddy as a (Henderson) Tennessee cultural phenomena (along with the Atomic Bomb, a close second to Mr. Arnold in terms of influence)

Now there are folks who like to brag about where they came from
But when they start that stuff I let 'em be
But it makes me feel like I wanna brag some
To know that I come from the state of Tennessee

Let's give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it up in Nashville everyday
Let's give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it in that old Hillbilly way

Mister Red Foley came from Kentucky
Now, Ernest Tubb down in Texas, don't you see
But if all you folks out there can remember
Mister Eddy Arnold came from Tennessee

Let's give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it up in Nashville everyday
Let's give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it in that old hillbilly way

They make bombs they say, that can blow up our world, dear
Well a country boy like me, I will agree
But if all you folks out there can remember
They made the first atomic bomb in Tennessee

Let's give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it up in Nashville everyday
Let's give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it in that old hillbilly way

Let's give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it up in Nashville everyday
Let's give old Tennessee credit for music
As they play it in that old hillbilly way

Eddy Arnold was the author of the one of the most unheeded three bits of advice in the music industry, ""Get a good lawyer, a good accountant and be on time." Over the years, he invested wisely, especially in real estate in the Nashville area, and was regarded as one of the wealthiest men in country music, even for a man who was once managed by Col. Tom Parker.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 Mourns the Passing of John Stone

John E. Stone Sr. of Pomona, Kan., passed away Sunday (May 4,

John was born Sept. 8, 1917, in Wapella, the son of William and Ella Stone.
He was the youngest of 14 children. He graduated from Wapella High School
in 1936. He served in the-;United States Army and Navy during World War II.
Learning the vocation as an aviation machinist he later owned and operated
his own machine tool business and practiced his trade throughout the Kansas,
Missouri and Arkansas region. He was preceded in death by his wife,
Kathryn, of 42 years, and a daughter, Marsha. He is survived by sons,
William Franklin of Gardnerville, Nev., and John Jr. of Overland Park, Kan.

John loved kids and young people and recently had donated his entire stock
of wood-working equipment to the Pomona Kansas High School Shop Program.

A good Dad, a good provider, John will be missed by family, friends, and
colleagues alike.

John will rest in peace next to his wife Kathryn at Chapel Hill Cemetery, Kansas
City, Kan.

Monday, May 5, 2008

RIP Jim Hager

Jim Hager, one of the fan-favorite Hager Twins, of Hee-Haw and country music fame, has died at age 66. Hager, a Park Ridge Illinois, Maine East Graduate joined Hee-Haw in 1969 and between Jim and his brother Jon, received more fan mail than any other show performer.

Jim Hager's career, well documented by included guitar playing, comedy, vocals, more comedy, drumming, teen heart-throbbery, a dash of politics, outdoor sports and clayshooting, and a general good nature that made his brand of entertainment so popular in Hog City.

"When you know someone as long as I knew him, you get to know the soul of the man," said LuLu Roman, a longtime Hee Haw cast member who has known the brothers for nearly 30 years. "And he was a good soul that will be dearly, dearly missed."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Late in the 20th Century

Out in sleepy Wheaton today, haunting cemetery's, spying on American Cleaning and Restoration etc...nearly forgot about the 20th Century phenom T-Rex. This is the connection between Def Leopard and the Archies, and the amazing thing was that it sold, with this hit reaching #3 in the UK Charts in 1973, and being a arena stomper here in the US for every third Metal band that completed the circuit. Here's Marc Bolan leading T-Rex through "20th Century Boy"

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