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

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Historical Heyworth Now On-Line

Our readers often comment, is there anything even remotely useful about It seems to be one of the least valuable sources of information on the entire Internet. I'll try to take some credit here, but now and then I can't help but push some great find on the loyal Wildcats readers.

Here is a history of Heyworth, digitally reproduced by the University of Illinois for some interesting reading:

In text

In book form (large file)

There are some real gems here

Why was Heyworth brought into existence? The founding of
Heyworth was one of the multitude of foundations in America re-
sulting from that ardent desire to seek new homes in the broad and fertile lands of the West. In the early part of the Seventeenth Century, the English and French started explorations in America. Unlike the English, the French moved rapidly westward, following the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes.

In 1671, a Frenchman.....

..whenever I read a history of Heyworth starting in the 17th century, I know there will be action, adventure, and more than a little romance. Good show all around Hornets and U of I!

Speaking of our good neighbor to the north, please alert your friends, the press, and the state militia that the Donovan family reunion will be held in Heyworth American Legion Hall this Saturday at 12 Noon. Hosted by Eddie "Slats" Donovan and his lovely wife Linda this one is sure to draw big crowd with plenty of excitement for adults and kids alike.

Anyone who has ever met one of the extended Donovan family (about 1/3 of the residents of Wapella are somehow related to Donovans) is invited. Those who have not met a Donovan are also invite to try one on for size and style.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 Mourns the Passing of Waneta Springman

Longtime Wapella resident, Waneta Springman, age 78, of St. Elmo, Ill. died Saturday, July 26, 2008 at Regional Hospital Terra Haute, Ind.

Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Elmo, Ill. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Kessel Funeral Home, St. Elmo, Ill. Burial will be held at St. Bonventure Cemetery rural St. Elmo, Ill. Memorials may be made in Waneta’s name to: St. Elmo Food Pantry C/O Fayette County Bank 320 North Main Street St. Elmo, Ill. 62458.

Waneta was born on May 9, 1930 in Piatt County the daughter of Elmer and Olive (Tish) Larimore. She married Frank Springman on Feb. 3, 1949 in Springfield, Ill.

She was employed as a beautician at Spurgeon’s Beauty Shop in Clinton and had a beauty shop in her home, she retired in 1990.

She was a member and sacristan at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, active in the St. Mary’s Council of Catholic Women and devoted countless hours tending to the church with her husband Frank.

She is survived by: husband, Frank; daughter, Jacinta (Ron) Gricher of Kansas City, Mo.; two sons, Michael (Joni) Springman, of St. Elmo and Ron (Susie) Springman, of Clinton; three brothers, Thurm Larimore of Millmine, Paul Larimore of Sullivan, Ill. and Dean (Dorothy) Larimore of Kennewick, Wa.; three sisters, Linda (Bob) Wagner of Taylorville, Ill., Kay (Danny) Norman of White Heath, Ill. and Sandra (Charlie) Bartison of Vandalia, Mo.; six grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters Marie Goldsbury and Violet Buoys and two brothers, Floyd Larimore and Wayne Fair.

Online condolences may be made to

Waneta was an active member of St. Patrick's Parish in Wapella for many years, a fine hairdresser, and a pleasant and patient person who hosted literally hundreds of Wapella athletic contests in her yard. Our condolences to Frank (A New York Mets Fan), Jacinta, Ronnie (WHS '78) and Michael.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Afternoon Poetry

Shifting the bill a bit here, how about some Russian Poetry for this cool summer Friday?

Here's acclaimed Russian Poet Alexander Pushkin, who also worked as an agricultural surveyor, waxing on about a locust infestation in Odessa, Ukraine:

The locusts flew flew
Then they alighted
Crept along, devouring all
And once again, flew away

Per the Odessa history I am reading Pushkin's observations were accurate, if not especially profound. Pushkin neglected to write verse about the Hessian Fly, The Hungarian Beetle, the marmot, the jerboa, snakes, spiders and tarantulas, which also infected the region.

So relax, and enjoy some Russian Poetry to take with you this afternoon.

For a bonus point, name a WHS grad who has traveled to Odessa (there are probably more than 1).

Update: Here is a photo of a four-toed jerboa for those of you who thought I was making that infestation up.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Your Assistance Please

Please Click Here to Help

All of our regular readers know that has been a great supporter of the great dogs in Wapella history. Who can forget Sooner, King, Roscoe, Petey and the many other animals who have been such great companions over the years?

So, we were lucky enough to be given the chance to assist with another great dog, only this one is the type can help out a boy with deep Wapella roots who is in a bit of a challenge.

Shelby (nee Powers WHS '93), Steve, and Chris Svendsen are raising funds to obtain a guide dog for their son (and brother) Sean Svendsen, a boy who needs the assistance of a guide dog to help him integrate with his classmates, provide stability, and, most importantly provide safety, security, and freedom.

The family has established a website, and it would be most appropriate and welcome if our loyal readers can help out here. They need to raise a bit of funds, and are holding a fundraiser or two, and ponying up is just a click away.

Here is much more information

As our contributor BEP has suggested, we could all empty our "ain't boxes" to assist here, and toss in a few more grammatical errors to top things off. Please generously support Sean Svendsen and his efforts to obtain a guide dog.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wapella Welcomes a new Wildcat congratulates Brant "BJ" Obermeyer and former Wildcat Mindy (Burris) Obermeyer, on the birth of their second son, Sean William.

Born at 10:17pm on July 17th, he weighed in at 8lbs, 3ozs and is 19.5 inches long. Welcome Sean!

BJ is a Clinton native, but has held dual citizenship in Wapella since the late 80's. Son of Jim and Linda Obermeyer, and Grandson of famed Clinton seamstress Mrs. Wolfe. Mindy (Class of 93) is the daughter of Wapella graduate and Wildcat Linda Burris and is granddaughter of the legendary Wildcat tandem of Betty and William "Bob" "Twister" Burris.

Congrats BJ, Mindy and Sam, as well as to all the Obermeyer and Burris clans!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Thirty Five Years and Out

Later on Friday...missed this one yesterday, but for the weekend, how about a tribute to the late great Warren Zevon, suggested by someone who was in JW Hospital 35 years ago for his own birth, our own IRBW. Happy Birthday!

Friday, July 18, 2008 Mourns the Passing of Dorothy Warner

Dorothy Warner, the former Mrs. John Warner, a longtime resdient of DeWitt County and lifelong supporter of the area has passed at age 93. Her obituary and remarkable life story is reprinted below.

GOVERNOR'S ISLAND, GILFORD, N.H. - Dorothy DuQuoin Warner, 93, of Governor's Island, Gilford, N.H., formerly of Clinton, passed away peacefully at 8:30 a.m. Monday, July 14, 2008, at the Taylor Community in Laconia, N.H.

The daughter of Andrew E. and Kathryn Smoot DuQuoin, she was born in Petersburg, May 11, 1915. Dorothy had one brother, John Smoot DuQuoin, born Dec. 31, 1906; he died in Bethesda, Md. in 1960. Dorothy's ancestors were among the earliest settlers of Petersburg, arriving from Virginia in the 1830s. They were friends and associates of Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas and other prominent men of the day.

Dorothy graduated from high school in Kansas City, Mo., in 1932 and attended Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1936. Additionally, she studied French as an undergraduate and remained fluent in the language for most of her life. In about 1940, Dorothy married Joseph B. Hartranft and the couple resided in Washington, D.C. during the war years. Joe Hartranft was among the principal founders of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), an aviation society that represents the interests of pilots worldwide. Among Dorothy's friends are Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lindbergh, General and Mrs. James Doolittle and aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky. In 1945 Dorothy and Joe Hartranft were divorced.

During the war years, Dorothy was employed as head laboratory technician at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. She was very proud of her work in medicine and maintained an active interest in medical science throughout her lifetime.

In 1947, Dorothy married John Warner III, of Clinton, and returned to the Midwest. Mr. Warner was employed as president of the John Warner Bank and the couple resided in Clinton for many years. In 1967 they purchased a home on Governor's Island, Gilford, N.H. Dorothy made it her own residence after the couple divorced in the mid-1970s. With the decline of health of John Warner, III, Dorothy returned to Clinton, in 1983 to join the board of directors of the John Warner Bank. In 1984, after the death of her former husband, she was appointed chairwoman, a position she held for five years. Dorothy took a keen interest in the success of the John Warner Bank and it became a vital part of her life. She took up regular daily business hours, completed banking courses offered by the American Bankers Association and was among the members of the Illinois Bankers Association to meet with the Senate Finance Committee in Washington, D.C. She very competently guided the bank through a major expansion and modernization. Dorothy diversified the composition of the board of directors, encouraged the promotion of women into management positions, interviewed prospective employees, helped in the development of new products and services and generally enhanced the bank's atmosphere of warm, courteous and knowledgeable professionalism. Dorothy tirelessly promoted the John Warner Bank in the community. An ardent supporter of the arts and a passionate believer in education, Dorothy established and managed the Fine Arts Center of Clinton in the 1960s. The Fine Arts Center offered instruction in dance, voice, music, creative writing, sculpture and painting and served as the cultural centerpiece of the community of Clinton throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Dorothy and John Warner became personally acquainted with the renowned artist Andrew Wyeth and his wife Betsy, purchased an example of his work and, in 1966, became very involved in a major Andrew Wyeth exhibition as it toured museums and galleries across the nation.

From the 1970s through the early 1990s, Dorothy served as a trustee for Lindenwood University where, in addition to board service, she participated in long range campus planning and facility remodeling. She volunteered at the New Hampshire Humane Society and supported it for many years. In later years she became a passionate enthusiast for the New Hampshire Music Festival. Dorothy provided significant support to the Festival and quietly came to the aid of individual musicians as well.

Dorothy was enthusiastic about travel throughout her life. From childhood she traveled frequently in the United States. She visited the former Soviet Union and China shortly after the countries opened their doors to western tourism. Dorothy made numerous trips to Europe and made a particular point of sea passage on the Queen Elizabeth II and flight on the Concorde. She visited much of the Orient and Middle East.

Dorothy was an active member of PEO chapters in both Illinois and New Hampshire. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church in Clinton and regularly attended the Congregational Church in Laconia.

Dorothy is survived by one daughter, Kathryn Warner Miller; son-in-law, James Miller; seven grandchildren; Jonah Hanowitz, Lucas Hanowitz, Hien Miller, Chienn Miller, Kanika Miller, Effie Miller, Jesse Miller, all of Meredith and one son, John Warner IV, of Melvin Village.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, at Calvert Funeral Home in Clinton. Interment will be at Memorial Park Cemetery in Clinton. Dorothy will be buried next to her former husband, John Warner, III.

Memorials may be made to Lindenwood University, Alumni and Development Office, 209 S. Kingshighway, St. Charles, MO 63301, or to New Hampshire Music Festival, 52 Symphony Lane, Center Harbor, NH 03226, or New Hampshire Humane Society c/o Marylee Gorman P.O. Box 572, Laconia, NH 03246.

Calvert Funeral Home in Clinton is in charge of the arrangements.

Condolences from your friends and customers from Wapella to the Warner Family.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Larry Storch for Governor studiously avoids internet comedy that intentionally tries to be funny. But here is an exception. In tribue to Corporal Randolph Agarn, the Chicago SunTimes has doctored up a photo of Governor Blagojevich in western attire.

I don't know for sure that the Sun-Times meant this to be Cpl. Agarn, but the similarity is striking.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wapella Man Enjoys Chicken, Beer, Baseball, Ice Cream

It isn't everyday that gets to play matchmaker to some frequent commenters wanting to get together and enjoy some chicken and beer, but we gladly put together a great team last night for a surprise meeting in Darien, Illinois.

Our own JMK up from Wapella and visiting Naperville for some high level Emergency Services training found himself with a two hour gap in his already stressed schedule, with a serious need for chicken and beer. Checking the rolodex, I noticed that BBD was only a few minutes away from him, and happened to have a refrigerator full of poultry and an 8-pack 7oz baby Pabst Blue Ribbons, which after a few phone calls, and some rather delicate negotiaions were put to good use.

Good to have JMK up here learning how to keep Hog City safe, DuPage County style. JMK also whittled off some valuable tips to the son of BBD at a baseball game, some honed directly from Dave "Pepper" Bowman, former Wildcat Baseball Coach.

Always glad to play matchmaker to travellers from Wapella, and will try to wind down discussion of Fiats per EEP suggestion.

Monday, July 14, 2008

How to win a Pulitzer Prize: Contact: Vic Riddle

It must be sweeps week for the Chicago Tribune, because they have featured Wapella's own Vic Riddle for the last two days commenting with his characteristic common sense about farming and economics. Says Vic

"You're going to see full production from U.S. agriculture," the 60-year-old Riddle said. "These high grain prices will hurry things up."

then again

in the absence of a breakthrough, watch for farmers around the world to keep doing what they've done forever: produce as much as they can. "That's what we'll continue to do," said Riddle. "It's what we always do."

Then Vic grabs for the brass ring

If Riddle had his way, he would dismantle export bans, price controls and import restrictions, and reach international agreements on food safety, pollution, sustainability and a host of related matters.

Getting my vote for taking his benevolent Hog City Regime nationwide.

Yesterday's Trib
Today's Trib

Go Coach Riddle! (Hugh Grant mysteriously shows up in the Tribune guess is Donna was watching Music and Lyrics while the Trib reporter scrambled for material)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Twice the Happy Birthday to Wapella Teacher

This from the Pantagraph:

A relief ace indeed: Amid all the stories of drugs, greed and unappreciative egomaniacs playing in Major League Baseball comes this:

Nancy Beveridge is a Heyworth woman and eternally devoted Chicago Cubs fan who also turned 75 the other day.

She celebrated the three-quarters-of-an-entire-century level by indulging in a favorite pursuit — going to Wrigley Field for a game — where in advance she sent a note to a favorite player, relief pitcher Kerry Wood, telling him her story and how this would be the year she turns 75. She also wondered if, amid all of his busy-ness, he could possibly sign a ball for her as an especially special 75th gift.

She ended the note by noting where she would be sitting on game day and, knowing he probably gets 12,000 such requests, forgot about it.

That is, until midway through the game, when a boy suddenly appeared and handed her a sack.

Inside was a ball, with a hand-scrawled message: "Nancy — Hope you have a wonderful 75th birthday."

It was signed: "Kerry Wood."

And a Happy Birthday from all your former students (I spent two years in Mrs. Beveridge's Class, and oddly enough wasn't held back either time), and the entire team at

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tuning Up The Bikini Machine

"The Wild Weird World of Dr. Goldfoot, Starring: Vincent Price" - it's a musical ! Believe it or not, these are The Supremes singing the theme from "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine" in a 1965 spy spoof.

Forget about your Austin Powers, this one has Vincent Price, one of the biggest stars ever to come out of St. Louis. Nothing like a bikini machine for some summertime fun in Hog City.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Show Your Support for Omar Sharif

It is quite rare that ventures into the treacherous world of celebrity and politics, preferring more upright swindle of Joker Poker and Cherry Master over the pariahs of media stardom. However, it is possible to cross the line, especially when it comes to the Grand Master of Hollywood, Mr. Omar Shariff.

The notoriously test bridge champion smacked a valet in Hollywood over a 20 Euro tip gone wrong (excruciating details in the Trib). The valet then sued Mr. Sharif for 2 years to gain a near $500,000 judgment. (with Sharif racking up $130K in legal bills)

It seems to me that world is against Omar Sharif right now, and Omar is fighting against making the payment. So what better time for the contrarian capital of the cornbelt to come out for a bad natured bridge master? How about it Hog City? This journal is now officially on record as a supporter of Omar Sharif. Will you join us?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 Mourns the Passing of Darlene Harpenau

Darlene Morris Schachtele Harpenau has died at age 82 in Clinton, Illinois. Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with James McMillion officiating. Burial will be in Sugar Grove Cemetery, Wapella. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Darlene was the daughter of Albert and Agnes Bray Morris, with brothers Wayne and Loren Morris and a sister, Coryla Riddle now of Normal. Darlene was married to WWII hero John Schachtele in 1944, till his passing in 1988. John and Darlene have one daughter, Carolyn Williams of Wapella, and three granchildren: Bill, Rhonda, and Raquel, all of whom are Wildcats five great-grandchildren. Darlene was great friends with her sister-in-law Donna Morris, wife of the late Loren Morris.

In 1990 Darlene married Henry T. "Hank" Harpenau (a Clinton addressed member of St. Patrick's, Wapella), holding one of the finest celebrations in the history of Waynesville, Illinois after the ceremony. Darlene is also survived by her stepchildren with Henry Harpenau, Tom Harpenau, San Francisco, Calif; Pamela Fortune, Bloomington; Julie Burger, Chicago; Mary Habarth, Deland, Fla; and Michelle Byars, Worthington, Ohio, and five stepgrandchildren.

Darlene was a pleasant and witty lady, greatly contributing with her husband John to the charm and benevolence of Wapella during her 64 year tenure in the village. She will be greatly missed by her family, neighbors and friends.

Darlene was a member of The Wapella Christian Church. Memorials may be made to the Wapella Christian Church or DeWitt County Cancer Fund.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday USA!

Getting an early birthday card in to the United States of America, before putting on some of my old LP's and listening to Redd Foxx Live and Dirty Volume 5, like I do every Independence Day.

I found this one next to my Redd Foxx collection, by the then hairy Hoosier Johny Cougar. Here's is a classic tribute to the classic rock of the 1960's with Seymour Indiana's John Mellencamp.

Seymour the crossroads of the N/S Jeffersonville, Madison and Indianapolis Railroad and the E/W Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, is also the home to a famous pro wrestler of the 1970's and 80's.

Pro Wrestling, Rock and Roll, and Fireworks all from Indiana for the 4th of July.

For 2 points, who is the Pro Wrestler from Seymour? Clue: He was the onetime wrestling partner of Pistol Pez Whatley.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bizzare Consequence of Smoking Ordinance

If you have been following the news, you may have noticed that Nicholas Sheley (a Sterling Illinois native) was arrested in Granite City, Illinois after killing a reported 8 people, which is a tragedy.

The arrest occurred when Sheley stepped outside Bindy's Bar in Granite City to have a smoke. It is amazing to me that someone who is apparently a cold-blooded murderer is also the same person who follows the cold-hearted smoking ordinances in Illinois. Sheley has been described as "disturbed"

Bindy's is described as

5 Star Rating: Highly Recommended

06/06/2002 Posted by sasejess

Bindy's crowd is 21-50, nicer than any other Granite City bar- Great appetizers-try the appetizer sampler-cute bartenders & darts.

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