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

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Raw Feed: Stories in Development for

In response to the observation that is becoming increasingly irrelevant and untimely, we have reached new depths in lameness with the following stories, all with a tenuous connection to Wapella and to factualness in general.

* Zabriske Pointe by Michael Antonioni maybe the only film about a previous name of the Village of Wapella directed by an Oscar Winner. The movie looks like a period piece from 1970 and features a soundtrack from Pink Floyd, incidentally also the only soundtrack that Floyd did in homage to a previous name of the Village of Wapella.

* The Mattoon Mafia is one short after Brad Childress got the boot from the Vikings. Childress, EIU '78 was one of three Eastern Illinois University alums who are head coaches in the NFL, along with the Saints Sean Payton and Redskins Mike Shanahan.

* One of the few Sherlock Holmes stories set in Clinton, Illinois featured a mad medical group (pre-Myers and Veirs) terrorizing the Clinton Square titled the Surgeons of Spurgeons.

* Wapella is a whale of a place to get a Christmas tree. Here are two of the leading agri-merchants in Wapella marking their X in X-Mas, and one that is not doing so well.

Don's Tree Farm, Wapella, 935-6367, Don Filkin owner, U.S. 51 2 miles north of Wapella to Carl Springs Road, turn west and drive ¾ mile; open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 21; tours available weekdays; trees 3 to 8 feet; Scotch, Austrian and white pine and Fraser fir; $19.99 to $34.99; shaken and netted, no charge; $19.99 for stand system, drilling free; customer cuts, assistance available; wreaths, grave decorations, swags, crafts, gift shop. Free cider and animal crackers.
Christmas Trees at Hedrick Farms, Wapella, 935-3400; U.S. 51 north to Waynesville blacktop turn left, 4½ miles to Farmers Road, turn right, 1½ miles at T-road turn right; noon to dark Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to dark Saturday, noon to dark Sunday through Dec. 24; white and Scotch pine, balsam $30-$45, Douglas fir, up to 10 feet, $25; call ahead on wreaths.

Cut Your Own Cut Rate Christmas Tree Farm, Wilson Township, Wapella If you were here, you would already know where the place was at. Low prices, crummy trees, and questionable property rights are a big draw in the Holiday season for Cut-Your-Own. Many of the trees are not fit for indoor use and are generally regarded as brush. Unstaffed

* Ron Santo (1940-2010) was a likable guy. He had a restaurant in Libertyville that wasn't all that good. I don't think he paid much attention to it, just licensed his name out. Finger used to have a Ron Santo jersey that he claimed was owned by Santo. Oddly enou
gh Santo used to have a Jeff Finger jersey that he claimed was owned by Jeff. Hall of Fame or not, Santo was a fierce competitor and solid player, loved by fans and feared by the opposition. Jeff Finger is just feared by fans and tolerated, not particularly loved, by the opposition.


Ron Santo brings to mind a classic story from Wapella Great, Richard Cundiff. Richard was travelling with the Cubs in Montreal one time many years ago staying at the same hotel as the players. Many of the players went to a watering hole at the hotel for a private reception after a game one evening. Santo did not want to go, so offered his pass to the reception to our man Cundiff.

Cundiff sat up at the bar, with a badge on identifying him as Ron Santo. He was holding court with many players and reporters about the Cubs and baseball in general. One of the reporters said (something like) *So tell me Ronny, what do you think of Tim Foli?* Before Richard could reply, a player interrupted with "That's not Ron Santo, don't you recognize Jack Buck?"Richard's long term lookalike play-by-play man for the St. Louis Cardinals.

UPDATE 2 It's Pearl Harbor Day. Dr. Herman Meltzer, from Clinton survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor. You can buy Dr. Meltzer's book of poetry, Poems Written in Various Slap-Happy Moods here.

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