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

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Press Shuts Out Redbirds; Redbirds Shut Out Opponents

No Respect

What do Central Illinois NCAA Basketball Powerhouses Illinois State and Illinois have to do to get a ranking in the Polls? The ISU Redbirds are 12-0, healthy and at the top of the MVC in total victories. The Illini are 13-1, getting bumped by a ranked Clemson team, and knocking off the mighty Purdue Boilermakers (#9 AP #11 Coaches).

Long traditions of wining basketball are being ignored here. Mr. AP stop this nonsense and rank both the Illini and the Redbirds.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two More Wildcats Beat 2008 Tax Deadline!

Congrats go out to Corey Holland And Jamie (Haycraft) Holland for the 12/14 birth of TWINS:
Alexander Michael, 5lbs and Audrey Lou, 5lbs, 8oz

Odds at Bellagio are that Corey has Alexander roughing houses in by next week, while Audrey takes her rightful position at the boot-sizing table at Circle H.

Congrats Corey and Jamie!

Wapella Welcomes a New Wildcat

Luke Patrick Buraglio 6 pounds 11 ounces born this morning at 6:27. Mom Rebecca and baby doing great; Papa Nick is sweating it out; Uncle Raymond is hanging tough. Will Baby go by the name LP Buraglio?

Congrats Nick, Rebecca and all of the Buraglio and Toohill families.

Monday, December 29, 2008 Mourns the Passing of Roland Shumaker mourns the passing of Roland Shumaker. Roland, a true gentleman farmer, was a well liked and respected member of the Wapella community for 70 years. A civic leader, excellent farmer, and good neighbor, Roland Shumaker will be greatly missed throughout Wilson Township, Wapella, and all of DeWitt and McLean Counties.

Roland Glenn Schumaker, 70, Heyworth, died at 2:28 a.m. Thursday (Dec. 18, 2008) at BroMenn Regional Medical Center, Normal.

His funeral was at 1 p.m. Monday December 21 at the Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with Curt Flora officiating. Burial will be in Oak Park Cemetery, Clinton, with military honors. Visitation was from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to the education fund for Skye Ann Schumaker.

Roland was born March 31, 1938, at Heyworth, son of Roy J. and Evelyn Glenn Schumaker. He married Rachael Hixenbaugh on Nov. 28, 1997, at Heyworth.

Surviving are his wife, Rachael Schumaker, Heyworth; his mother, Evelyn Schumaker, Heyworth; three daughters, Skye Ann Schumaker, at home; Sherri (Jim) Sparror, WHS '80, Lincoln; and Polly (Brian) Daughan, Wilmington, Ohio; one son, Roland Schumaker II, WHS '84, Lexington; and seven grandchildren, Taylor, Austin, Tyler, Trever, Tanner, Alex and Camron.

He was preceded in death by his father and one sister.

He was a 20-year member of the DeWitt County Board, serving as chairman for many years. He was a professional livestock photographer and was a farmer and raised livestock.

All flags Half-Mast please for US Army Veteran, Roland Shumaker.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ahoy Maties! Tribute to "Salty Sam"

The Chicago Tribune has a holiday tribute to George "Salty Sam" Baselton, the much beloved co-host of the Captain Jinks Show on WEEK Channel 25. Captain Jinks (Stan Lonergan) and Salty Sam were two of the very greats to host children's TV. Here is a website dedicated to the show.

At least two generations of Peoria children whiled away the dead hours after school watching "The Captain Jinks Show," which aired from the 1950s to the 1970s. But few heard the sad end that befell one of the original hosts—Captain Jinks sidekick Salty Sam—until a far south suburban man began researching his own family's history. Gus Baseleon of Manhattan, Ill., discovered last year that his cousin George, the faux-mustachioed, black-capped man who played Salty Sam on the nautical-themed series, had been buried in an unmarked grave. "He's an icon in this area — it's really a shame," said Pat Lewis, 58, general manager of Springdale Cemetery in Peoria, where Baseleon was buried in 1985. The two men decided to try drumming up public interest to pay for a headstone. Their efforts were covered by Peoria's WEEK-TV, which originally aired the show and took the original set out of mothballs for a fundraiser, and a Peoria Journal-Star columnist. So far, about $6,000 has been raised, Baseleon said, and the headstone is being built. The memorial, scheduled to be unveiled on Memorial Day, will also honor Capt. Jinks (played by Stanley Lonergan), whose cremated remains were scattered in the Illinois River after his 1989 death, Lewis said. People "were coming out of the woodwork [to help]," said Baseleon, who grew up in Chicago. "I never knew so many people loved the show."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Muswell Hill

Here's Ray Davies and his Kinks sounding quite a bit like Rockford's Cheap Trick (or is it Cheap Trick that sounds like the Kinks?) in 1976 with their Christmas Satire "Father Christmas". Video is a bit out there, but still a holiday classic.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kennedy Center Honors George Jones, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend

After a 4 year campaign has succeeded in its quest to have 3 entertainment greats honored by the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. George (defying the moniker No-Show) Jones, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey were honored for their extraordinary genius and tenacity, the 2008 Honorees have redefined the way we see, hear and feel the performing arts. We will forever be thankful for the great gifts they have shared with us," said Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman.

Per the Kennedy Center

"With his unique voice and extraordinary career endurance, singer George Jones has been instrumental in making country music a vital force in American life. As the heart and soul of the seminal band The Who, songwriters and singers Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey transformed the sights and sounds of rock and roll."

Past honorees, including Clint Eastwood, Elton John and Sidney Poitier, made nominations for the awards, along with members of the Kennedy Center's national artists committee, including Glenn Close and Reba McEntire.

Great Choices and a round of applause from Hog City for the 3 music greats and the other inductees.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Capsule Marooned In County Seat School

Maroons and Wildcats alike are thrilled to hear that a time capsule has been unearthed at the excavation site of the former Clinton Jr. High School (which is the former Clinton High School). The Pantagraph has the opening details, but my guess is our readers know a lot more about time capsules than any newspaper. Wasn't there a time capsule planted at WHS? If I recall our shop class assisted by donating a poster of Farrah Fawcett to be placed in the capsule. No word on whether the poster made it, or was hijacked during delivery.

With the demolition of the former junior high school in Clinton, officials found an unexpected link to the past: a time capsule dated 1912.

Principal John Pine said crews discovered the capsule Dec. 4. It is stored in a trophy case near the entrance of the new junior high school.
“It’s a copper box and it’s about a foot long and six inches or so wide,” Superintendent Jeff Holmes said. “We are very excited about it and very intrigued as to what might be in it, you goon.”

A label provides the date and the name of Metz-Bowles Co. Clinton genealogist Carole Wylder said Herman Metz and Edward Bowles ran a sheet metal business at 219 E. Main St., building furnaces and later selling electrical appliances from 1910 to 1930. Before starting the business, Metz was a railroad worker and tinsmith. Bowles worked as a machinist for the Illinois Central Railroad. “Other than that, we don’t know much at this time,” Pine said. “We’re going to have a big event sometime in January with a bunch of goons where we will open the time capsule and see what’s inside.”

Wylder is among those anxious for the ceremony.
“Goon me; I can’t imagine finding that and not opening it up on the spot,” she said. “If I had found that, I would have been too curious to know what’s inside and probably would have opened it up right then.” Holmes said special care will have to be taken to open the container.

“The best way to open it is with a can opener,” Holmes said. “But we have to be careful to preserve the materials inside.”
Wylder believes there could be more than one time capsule at the site since additions were added to the school on at least three occasions. “I think we are going to find some old newspapers, memos from the time and things of that nature in this one,” she said. “For a genealogist to be able to participate in something like this is very special, you goon.”

A tip of the hat to the AWM for dredging up this big story.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From Boston to Bragg

Like Good Will Hunting (well, not really) has a resident who's Harvard bound.

Haley Westfall, daughter of Holly Westfall and Joe Morris, a Sophomore at Clinton High School, will join a select group of students representing their schools, communities, and country as People to People student Leaders. Haley has been selected into the People to People Leadership Summit at Harvard University, Boston, MA next July 12th - 18th. Students accepted into a People program must meet rigorous academic and leadership requirements. Haley was nominated and accepted for the honor based on outstanding scholastic merit, civic involvement, and leadership potential. The People to People Leadership Program was started by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.

Three cheers for Haley - here's to changing the world!
Speaking of changing the world (and sure to be unpopular on here's double the Billy Bragg, not wanting to change the world nor pining for a new England; only wanting a girl like you:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lincoln in the Lobby: A Historical Perspective

This from my pal Tom Roeser, Dean of Chicago Journalists about Abe Lincoln as Lobbyist working the Illinois Central in Central Illinois :

"I take second to no one in condemning Blago but I must say I was rather troubled when Patrick Fitzgerald said that Lincoln must be turning over in his grave. Undeniably, Lincoln was the second greatest president…and more than that-a genius-which the first greatest, Washington surely wasn’t, But turning over in his grave?

Are we talking about the same Lincoln, the railroad lobbyist, who as state rep led his Whig party to appropriate $12 million…then a huge sum…for subsidies for railroad building and where, in the old capitol, he drew a map for a railroad from Galena in the extreme northwestern part of the state and a road to run north of St. Louis, three roads to radiate and then a road to run from Quincy through Springfield and another from Warsaw to Peoria…another from Pekin to Bloomington? I think we are. It led to a huge financial debacle with no projects being completed and all of the money either wasted or stolen…or paid to railroad lawyers of which Lincoln was the prime example.

Yes we are, that same Lincoln who became the nation’s premier railroad lawyer (read: “Lincoln and the Railroads” by John W. Starr)…the same Lincoln who was continuously one of the crack attorneys for the Illinois Central from its organization in 1849 until he became president…who was such a corporate insider that he traveled the Midwest in a private rail car with a free pass…who successfully defended the road against McLean county which wanted to tax the road’s property. He won and sent the railroad a bill for $5,000. That sum is roughly equal to more than $200,000 today, the largest sum ever paid at that time to any Midwest lawyer for a single case in the 1850s. Lincoln presented his staggering bill to the president of the road, George B. McClellan by name, the vice president of Illinois Central-yes the same McClellan who would work for Lincoln as the Union’s top general of the Grand Army of the Potomac, whom Lincoln replaced twice and who ran against Lincoln as a Democrat in 1864.

The IC board didn’t want to pay it so Lincoln and McClellan hatched a plan to get him the fee. Lincoln then sued IC for the money but meanwhile McClellan worked inside the company to get them to lay down for it so when Lincoln showed up in court, no lawyers from IC were there, so he got paid by default. Lincoln became the most successful railroad lawyer of his time…representing not just the IC but the Chicago & Alton, the Ohio & Mississippi and the Chicago & Rock Island. Nothing wrong with that nor with the fact that the New York Central offered him its general counsel’s job at a stratospheric salary…$10,000 per annum…then approaching a million a year-which he turned down because he would have to move to New York and he had political plans here.

Nothing wrong with that either. Nor by the standards of the time with the trip he took free on the railroad to Council Bluffs, Iowa where he purchased some property from his fellow railroad attorney Norm Judd who had acquired the tracts from the Chicago & Rock Island. Why did he do so when Council Bluffs was a town of 1,500 with little future? Because Lincoln knew there would be a transcontinental railroad sometime and that Council Bluffs would figure in the future as being a good starting point for the railroad. How did he know that coming from Springfield? Because the renowned railroad engineer (one who designed routes), Grenville Dodge, told him so.

And thus it came to pass that when he became president he proposed emergency legislation to create just that self-same transcontinental railroad and that he personally picked Council Bluffs, Iowa as the eastern terminus. And he named Dodge as chief engineer for the UP.

Nothing wrong with this stuff by the rubric of the mid-19th century. But he was not just a genius and humanitarian. He was more than that. He was one hell of a lobbyist, lawyer and manipulator. Of course he never sold a senate seat but he damn sure took care of his friends who took care of him.

He’s probably disturbed a lot about Rod but not enough to turn over in his grave. At least not yet. Of course there’s more to come out about Rod and so maybe the Great Emancipator is getting ready to make his move."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wapella Native Honored with St. Isidore Award

WHS Grad Jerry Ryan was honored with the St. Isidore Award by Bishop Jenky in Peoria on Sunday November 23. Jerry and Mary Ann Ryan were cited for "living out their faith in the rural community in an exemplary and responsible manner", indeed an apt description of a top Wildcat.

Why St. Isidore? From his biography:

"Born to very poor parents near Madrid, about the year 1070. He was in the service of the wealthy Madrid landowner Juan de Vargas on a farm in the vicinity of Madrid. Juan de Vargas would later make him bailiff of his entire estate of Lower Caramanca.

Every morning before going to work, Isidore was accustomed to hearing a Mass at one of the churches in Madrid. One day his fellow-laborers complained to their master that Isidore was always late for work in the morning. Upon investigation, so runs the legend, the master found Isidore at prayer while an angel was doing the ploughing for him.

On another occasion, his master saw an angel ploughing on either side of him, so that Isidore's work was equal to that of three of his fellow-labourers"

Not a bad resume for a medieval Saint, but could get you fired today. Congratulations Jerry and Mary Anne Ryan for keeping the spirit of St. Isidore with us.

Monday, December 8, 2008

RIP Paul Benedict, Jefferson's Mr. Bentley

Paul Benedict, who gained fame as the quirky English neighbor of the family in the TV sitcom "The Jeffersons," but remained faithful to the stage throughout his long career, died Dec. 1 on Martha's Vineyard. He was 70. The cause of death was not known at press time.

Mr. Benedict was not English; he was born Sept. 17, 1938, in Silver City, NM. But with his long jaw, toothy smile and tweedy accent, he convinced millions of viewers of the "The Jeffersons" that he was more British than Jeeves. His character, Harry Bentley, was one of several oddball neighbors who frequently shattered the peace of the sitcom's upwardly mobile African-American family, led by the irascible George Jefferson. Bentley would sometimes ask the diminutive George to walk on his back to relieve muscle tension.

He began his acting career in the 1960s in Boston, where he grew up, at the Theater Company of Boston, alongside future film stars like Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino. He was a member from 1963 to 1968 before moving to New York. Pacino remembered his old colleague when he revived Eugene O'Neill's one-act Hughie on Broadway in 1996. Mr. Benedict played the only other character in the play, a hotel clerk, who must listen to the forlorn gambler Hughie as he rambles on for the better part of an hour.

Mr. Benedict's final Broadway appearance was as Mayor Shinn in the 2000 revival of The Music Man. He made his Broadway debut (well, sort of) in 1968's Leda Had a Little Swan, a flop directed by Andre Gregory that never officially opened. He didn't get back until Terrence McNally's Bad Habits, in 1974.

In the 1990s, he directed the short-lived Broadway production of Frank D. Gilroy's Any Given Day, which starred Sada Thompson, and acted in a revival of Molnar's The Play's the Thing at the Roundabout Theatre Company.

At Circle in the Square, he acted in Little Murders in 1969 and The White House Murder Case in 1970. In 2007, in his final stage performance, Mr. Benedict performed Hirst in Harold Pinter's No Man's Land at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

His connection to playwright McNally continued past Bad Habits. He appeared in It's Only a Play at Manhattan Theatre Club Off-Broadway. He also directed the original production of Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune and a 1990 revival of Bad Habits, both for MTC. He also directed Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney's The Cathy and Mo Show, which won an Obie Award.

His film career began in the 1960s. He appeared in the cult flicks "Cold Turkey" and "They Might Be Giants," and had roles in Sydney Pollack's "Jeremiah Johnson," Michael Ritchie's "Smile," and Billy Wilder's "The Front Page." Later on, he made appearances in the Christopher Guest "mocumentaries" "Spinal Tap," "A Mighty Wind" and "Waiting for Guffman." But his best-known role was in "The Goodbye Girl," where he played a pompous stage director who makes the life of the actor portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss miserable by insisting he play Richard III as a flamboyant gay man.

As a young man, Paul Benedict suffered from acromegaly, a pituitary disorder that affects the extremities and face as a young man, which accounted for his larger-than-normal nose and lower jaw.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Take me Home: Quiz Continues

I spent an hour last night trying to find a good answer to the below quiz, and it is still a real puzzler. Down in southeastern Illinois by Lawrenceville and Old Shawneetown, there are some reasonably sized cities along small roads, but these small roads are actually state highways.

As it stands the best answer is Loami from Reynoldz21, at population 804, but the quiz continues its devious spell on the residents of Wapella, to the ear-pleasing tune of John Denver, singing "Country Roads".

Monday, December 1, 2008

Get out Your TI-30; A Mildly Interesting Quiz

Here's a quiz for all you good people, and you folks from Wapella too.

What is the largest municipality in Illinois that is not located on a State or Federal Highway (or adjacent to a Federal Interstate Highway)? To be located on a highway, the municipality must be
within 2 miles of the road.

For example, Wapella is located on US 51, so it is disqualified. Mt. Auburn is about 6 miles south of US 36, so it counts. At 515 residents, I'll start with Mt. Auburn as the leader.

What is the largest municipality in Illinois not located on a Highway? My guess would be something along a railroad, but have at it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Francis Greene "Come on Down"

You're the next contestant on

What? Is that a bird whistle I hear? Well set your VCR for 12/12/08 at 10AM CST, because Francis Gisimo Greene will be hard gauging the soft markets on the Price is Right with Drew Carey and Barker's Beauties on the Friday show.

Francis' agent reports other shows interested in the Hog City native, including Dancing with Stars, A co-host position on a new version of Card Sharks (replacing the late Bert Convy) and a reprisal of his previous role as Joan Collins first husband on Dynasty.

Here's regular contributor Sempleman telling the tale of Francis' performance in a Pantagraph lead item:

In California to visit his mother, Francis Greene and his wife, Trudy, got tickets in hopes of catching a taping of the classic game show, “The Price Is Right.” “I just wanted to get on TV,” said Greene.

After an early arrival for an Oct. 13 taping at CBS Television City in Los Angeles and a little bit of luck, Greene got his wish and a lot more as he was asked by show announcer Rich Fields to “Come on down!” and be a contestant on the show, now in its 37th season.

“When they announced my name, Trudy pointed at me and said, ‘That’s you!’” Greene said. “I think I tripped on the way to Contestant’s Row.”

Holding tickets to a taping does not guarantee that you’ll be part of the studio audience because more tickets are issued than there is capacity in the studio, so people in line are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Greene said that while he wanted to get there early, his sister woke him up at 2:30 a.m. because her watch was still on Illinois time. The Greenes decided to go ahead to the studio, where they found several people already in line.

Eventually, studio personnel began taking groups of 15 and asking each person their name, where they were from and what they did for a living.

“They choose the contestants on the basis of that 10- or 15-second interview,” explained Greene.

Greene said he began to get nervous after a lady in line behind him said she saw someone writing his name down.

“She said ‘Francis, you’re going down!’” Greene said. “I didn’t want to be disappointed, but I started to think what I would do if I was chosen as a contestant.”

Greene’s $925 bid on a treadmill was “closest to the actual retail price without going over,” earning him an on-stage appearance with host Drew Carey and a chance to play “Switcheroo,” in which two items are shown with prices and the contestant has to decide whether to keep them as they are or switch them.

Viewers can catch the rest of Greene’s appearance when the episode airs Dec. 12. WMBD 31 in Peoria broadcasts “The Price Is Right” at 10 a.m.

Greene said Carey was a gracious host.

“He is really funny,” said Greene. “When you get into the studio and they start playing the music, you can really feel the excitement.”

Insert signature bird whistle here

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Helmets, No Pads, It's the Turkey Bowl In Wapella

A faithful reader has forwarded a message to, inviting all Wapella Athletes to compete in a Turkey Bowl Football Derby in Mary Powers front yard around 9AM Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) morning.

Reader BBD promises celebrities including the Wickenhauser Brothers, Ralph "Crash" Cooper, and legendary Lefty Earl Nelson will appear.

Come on Finger's, Mollett's, Priest's, Springman, Deeters, Toohill's, Thomas', Schanafelt's, Ryan's and all other Wildcats, if you are up to the challenge. Win big prizes, annoy your friends, amuse your enemies, all the right stuff to make this Thanksgiving start with a short trip to the emergency room.

Update: Wapella Wins in a shootout, 49-42. MVP Jay "Jaybird" Wickenhauser WHS '89

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 Mourns the Passing of Jim Bryan

Former Wapella High School Basketball Coach has passed away at the age of 67.

Coach Bryan's funeral will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with J. Kent Hickerson and the Rev. Andrew Maxwell officiating. Burial will be at Oak Park Cemetery, Clinton. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. Memorial gifts may be made to Waynesville United Methodist Church, Clinton Country Club or Clinton Elks Lodge.

He was born Oct. 3, 1941, in Vera, a son of Harold Max Bryan and Elsie I. Williams. He married Ulanda Ruger in August 1962 in Flora. He later married Janet Buck on Dec. 30, 2003, in Memphis, Tenn.

He is survived by his wife, Janet Bryan, Clinton; his mother, Elsie Covey, Effingham; two daughters, Kelly (Mike) Ginger and Stephanie (Jeff) Barger, both of Clinton; four grandchildren, Corey and Haley Ginger and Braxton and Breanna Barger; two stepchildren, Randy Craig, Atlanta; and Kristy (Bill) Reynolds, Mount Pulaski; three stepgrandchildren, May, Katy, and Bethany Reynolds; a brother, Bill Bryan, Humble, Texas; and two sisters, Jill (Bill) McDonald, Evansville, Ind.; and Jan Bryan, Springfield.

He was preceded in death by his father.

He was a Country Companies agent for 40 years and was a graduate of Illinois State University.

He was a member of Clinton Country Club, Clinton Elks Lodge, Eagles Lodge, DeWitt County Farm Bureau, and the ISU Alumni Association.

By a unanimous vote of the Board of Wapella Historians, Coach Jim Bryan was voted an honorary Wapella Wildcat. The Wapella Flag flies at Half-Mast today for Jim Bryan.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mars Needed Guitars; Delivers

More big name guitarists are showing up on than any other Central Illinois website, and for no apparent reason, except for the love of Rock and Roll. You can have your Hendrix, your Clapton and your Jeff Beck, but for my money the greatest guitarist of all time is Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys. Here he has at it with "Barbara Ann", and yes that is Brian Wilson standing up playing the Bass, his instrument on the early recordings.

As an added bonus, here's The Who with Pete Townshend a close second on world's greatest guitarist (and dancer) with their warm-up version of "Barbara Ann", with Keith Moon (looking every one of his 31 years) singing lead.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

RIP Mitch Mitchell with PS/ What to do When Your Neck is on Fire

No, not the guy from the sing-along albums (That is Mitch Miller and he is very much alive at age 97), but Mitch Mitchell the English drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience has died at age 61. Mitchell rocked with the Pretty Things and Georgie Fame before connecting with Jimi Hendrix in 1966 in "a sleazy little club" playing Chuck Berry.

Mitchell performed with Hendrix and Redding at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, the U.S. debut of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He also was member of a later version of the band that performed the closing set of the Woodstock Festival in August 1969.

Mitchell was the last surviving member of Hendrix' trio, with bassist Noel Redding passing away in 2003. Here's the Jimi Hendrix Experience with their rocking version of Sgt. Pepper's (with George Harrison and Paul McCartney watching out for their ears in the audience)


Does anyone notice anything a bit out of place in this video of Eric Clapton demonstrating guitar functionality? It was probably not out of place when the video was recorded, but looks like a relic now. Clapton also mysteriously grows a mustache during the interview.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From Wapella to the Louvre: Tony Dow Wows the Art World

Wapella Favorite actor Tony Dow now has a sculpture at the world famous Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Way to Go Tony! Can you get some Wapella art in their?

From the LA Times

It was a chance meeting last fall on the set of the KTLA Morning News that has led to one of the day's oddest art news items -- namely that Tony Dow, best known as the actor who portrayed the Beaver's big brother, Wally, on the 1950s family TV series "Leave It to Beaver," will soon have one of his abstract sculptures on display at the Louvre.

Yes, that Louvre, the one in "The Da Vinci Code." But the sculpture isn't going to be permanently installed next to the Mona Lisa or anything: It will be part of the annual Societe National des Beaux-Arts exhibition, held at the Carrousel du Louvre, an exhibition hall within the Louvre.

Still, this is not like renting the place out for a wedding: Two groups of French artists joined forces to inaugurate the exhibition back in 1862, with an eye toward helping new artists gain recognition; writer Theophile Gautier served as its first chairman and painter Aime Millet was deputy chairman. The committee included painters Eugene Delacroix, Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse and Puvis de Chavannes; among the exhibitors were Charles-Francois Daubigny and Edouard Manet.

In 1864, after the death of Delacroix, the society ceased to hold exhibitions until its revitalization in 1890.

But back to KTLA: Dow, 63, was a guest on the morning news program with Jerry Mathers, who played the Beav from 1957 to 1963. So was art gallerist Robert Berger, co-owner with Karen Lynne Asher of Karen Lynne Galleries, Inc., with locations in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Boca Raton, Fla. Berger was on hand to talk about the gallery''s participation in the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts exhibition at the famed Paris museum.

"The U.S. had never been represented in this show, and the Louvre invited us," says gallery director Jane Gahng of the international show, which will include artists representing Brazil, Canada, China, France, Korea, Spain, Turkey and the United States.

As Gahng tells it, Dow and Berger got to talking, and Berger discovered that, along with his Hollywood Tony_dow_sculpture_3career, Dow was an artist and had been sculpting and painting since his teen years. The gallery began representing Dow's work, and this year submitted it, along with that of about 30 other artists representated by Karen Lynne Galleries, as candidates for the same juried exhibition in 2008. The Louvre chose the work of 12 of those artists, including Dow.

Other Karen Lynne Gallery artists represented in the show -- with no known sitcom affiliations -- include sculptor Brian Berman, painter Steven Glucksburg and painter Jorge Lujan.

"Of course I'm really proud of 'Leave it to Beaver' and my directing career in television," Dow told AP news service. "Those are great accomplishments. I'm really proud of them, but this is interesting because I don't think they know anything about that."

The sculpture, "Unarmed Warrior,"is a bronze figure of a woman holding a shield. It will be on display at the Louvre Dec. 11-14.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11/11 Salute tips it's helmet today for all Veterans. 11/11 is World War 1 Armistice Day, now celebrated as Veterans Day.

As always we remember those who served.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday 7th Son

Frequent contributor 7th Son celebrates a pair today, a pair of 4's that is, turning 44. Give him a full armed wave if you see him walking his burro, practicing his lefty hook, or cooking up some goldenrod around town.

Here's #44, Chuck Foreman, an old rival of 7th son, getting it done in 1975.

Friday, November 7, 2008

When The Grungers Bought a Buddy Holly Album

Legend has it in 1989 Boston's atonal Pixies weren't getting much of anywhere with the Alternative Rock scene, so they chucked it for a song or two after buying a copy of Buddy Holly's Greatest Hits, and letting loose with the jangly "Here Comes Your Man" (now a part of the video game "Rock Band). Song made it to #3, and the Pixies had a surprise hit.

True to their anti-commercial roots, they generally did not play this in concert (ask Tim Mollet or Bill Williams who went to see them at Foellinger Auditorium in Champaign in 1990 to be sure), preferring the depressing dirges of Grunge Rock to the lure of a melody, but this one stands alone.

For two points, guitar fans, where did the Pixies pull the familiar (if a bit clipped off) opening chord? From another band mightily influenced by Buddy Holly.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Honorable David Taylor

Yes, we know it, tries to stay far and wide from the odorous sewer of politics, but when one of our regulars, and a great contributor to our Village Bugle wins a hotly contested race, it is time to Sound the Trumpets (or just the Second Cornet section of the WHS Marching band, if they are available).

Congratulations to David Taylor, one the most civic minded, pro-Wapella members of the Village. David promises to continue his championship of Wapella and its water supply as a new member of the DeWitt County Board.

Please wave your Wapella Flag proudly today for David Taylor.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Was Doug Collins at Risk?

From the AP

A rooster played chicken in the wrong town. That's the word from the downstate community of Benton, where police took a rooster into custody after it allegedly confronted a woman and her child. Police Chief Mike O'Neill said the rooster has been bothering people lately, trying to keep them from getting where they want to go.

O'Neill said officers had enough on Monday and took the rooster into custody after what he described as a brief scuffle.

Nobody was injured and the rooster was thrown in an enclosed area near the police department. There, it lived on chicken feed and water until police located the owner.
Chickens aren't allowed to live in Benton and the rooster was turned over to the owner only after he promised to find it a new home in the country.

Friday, October 31, 2008

How About Some Floyd for Halloween?

Nothing spookier than Pink Floyd. Here's the Band led by Syd Barret doing the psychedelic "See Emily Play" These guys could really dance.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Can Anyone Find a Zagnut?

Ever since Buck's Red Fox closed it has been nigh on impossible to find a Zagnut bar at the grocery or candy store. I recently needed one of the coconut/peanut butter concoctions to stock up on some sweets, but nothing, literally nothing in the Zagnut line at the Jewel.

Now if you recall, there was a shortage of "Old Coke" when Coca Cola changed recipes in the 1980's but Buck's held out, and still had Old Coke when it was selling at a premium elsewhere. Charitably, Buck Johnson sold it at list price, and will always be regarded for his goodwill in sweet sales.

But Zagnuts? Where to get them? Candy machine at the bus station? NAPA in Clinton? Gaslight Square?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 Mourns the Passing of Jim Hart

James E. Hart, 87, Wapella, died at 6:40 a.m. Monday (Oct. 27, 2008) at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with the Rev. Leah Pogemiller officiating. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, Clinton, with military rites at the gravesite. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Dr, John Warner Hospital Foundation or a charity of the donor's choice.

He was born April 13, 1921, in Morgan County, near Murrayville, son of William E. and Ivalou M. Gibson Hart Sr. He married Ruth Rimbey.

Surviving are his spouse, Ruth Hart, his wife of 66 years; two daughters, Norma (Jim) Sams and Brenda (Dale) Rueger, both of Clinton; daughter-in-law, Sherlyn Harrold, Victoria, Texas; eight grandchildren, Roger Sams, Janelle Thomas, Rhonda Matthews, Ron Rueger, Randy Rueger, Alisha Janek, Brandi Huber and Rachel Harrold; 12 great-grandchildren; one brother, William E. Hart Jr., Jacksonville; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Pauline Hart and Frances Brummett; and adopted son, Ned Harrold.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945. He was a graduate of Murrayville High School. He served with the Illinois State Police for 30 years, retiring in 1979. He was a member of Illinois Trooper Lodge 41.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, coffee with others, playing cards and being with his family.

Jim will be remembered throughout the Village as a lawman, great friend, neighbor, gardener, Cardinal Fan (Pre-1982) Cub fan (Post 1982), traveling companion and the #1 source for entertaining and enlightening conversation.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Half Masts All Around

One of Wapella's finest has passed. Jim Hart, a pillar of the Village, died this morning at age 87. He will be sadly missed by all. Full Obituary to follow.

Friday, October 24, 2008

And How is This Band Connected to Wapella?

Rising demand brings us Kaiser Cartel, a interesting sounding band from Brooklyn via Southern Indiana. Courtney Kaiser is the girl singer, and a good one at that. But per our loyal readers, there's more to it. She is the great niece of one of Wapella's finest, the only clue we have. So have at it Wildcats. How is Kaiser Cartel connected to Hog City?

Travelling this Weekend? Take Some Dudley Along

Six Days on the Road is a long time. So what better way to go than with Spencer Wisconsin's own David Darwin Pedruska, better known to you and I as Dave Dudley. His music is All-American, but you can still hear the polka coming from that cowboy outfit he is wearing. Here's one for the road, with the late great Dave Dudley.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

RIP Nick Weatherspoon

Nick Weatherspoon, the 10th-leading scorer in University of Illinois basketball history, was found dead Friday at his home near his hometown of Canton, Ohio, authorities said. He was 58.

Weatherspoon had been in declining health in recent years. He suffered from a degenerative disc disease of the lumbar and cervical spine. His right side was paralyzed for a time.

Death was believed to be of natural causes, authorities said.

When his career ended, Weatherspoon fought for insurance benefits and eventually lost an Ohio insurance business he started.

"It was mentally devastating," he said in a Tribune interview last year. "My mind still deals with that. I guess I'm still livin'. I can talk, but I can't get around too much. I'm in a bad situation."

Weatherspoon, a 6-foot-7-inch, 195-pound forward, was one of the first 30 former Illini to have their jerseys hung from the rafters of Assembly Hall in a ceremony in September.

Freshmen were not eligible in Weatherspoon's era, but in three seasons he scored 1,481 points and left Illinois as the school's all-time leading scorer. His career average of 20.9 points per game remains an Illinois record, and he contributed 11.4 rebounds per game.

In 1973, his senior year, he averaged 25.0 points per game, third highest in Illinois history.

Weatherspoon was a first-round pick of the Capital Bullets (now Washington Wizards) in 1973. In seven NBA seasons, he averaged 9.0 points and 4.9 rebounds. He also played for the SuperSonics, Clippers and Bulls (41 games in 1977-78).

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Apologies to Frank Beard

You probably heard it too, the rumor that Frank Beard, legendary drummer for ZZ Top had died. Well its not true, Frank had a few health issues but he is shaking his beard just like he has for nearly 40 years now. So naturally I assigned a few more properties to Frank and Z-boys from Houston than they actually owned, and was about to post a tribute to ZZ with a cool version of "They Call me the Breeze"

No such luck for Billy, Dusty and Frank, "The Breeze" is a Lynrd Skynrd cover of the country rock classic. Here's the Jacksonville Florida Southern Fried rocker performed on TV in the UK. Two points if you know who did the original version.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stop the Presses! Happy Birthday Ruth Hart

Another of Wapella's finest celebrates this week. The incomparable Ruth Hart lights 86 candles to light up the South Side of Wapella.

Congratulations Ruth, you are always a champion in Wapella!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to the Grand Marshal

2008 marks 86 years for Wapella's Finest, Bill Morris. The Grand Marshall, The Flag Commissioner, the Mayor, the titles and honors go to great lengths for this great gentleman.

86 Cheers for the Chairman of the Board. Yeah Wapella!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Vessel Losses and Casualties in Tremadog Bay and on St Patrick's Causeway

The Wreck of the Barque Wapella in January 1868 at Dyffryn, Merioneth

Struck the Causeway then wrecked near Llandwywe? (The following taken from a letter to the gwynedd Family History Society from Mr D.G.Roberts of Blaenau Ffestiniog)…….From the Reg. Burials Llandwywe Meirioneth……" On the night of 24th jan 1868, a barque, the WAPELL OF BATH, in America, having missed her course struck the causeway and came ashore about 12 o'clock at night........... She would have been nearly dry at 2 or 3o'clock but at 9 o'clock A.M., the crew 15 in number attempted to land in boats, but these were upset at once. Eleven in all were drowned and four were saved..............The vessel held out for a full week before she broke up. All might have been saved had they remained on board.........The ship came from New Orleans with cotton............. Isac Lincoln Orr, captain, drowned from the Wapella of Bath, America and found on the shore on the 5th Feb 1868. Age not known........The body of Captain Orr was disinterred and sent to America 25th Jan 1870"

Or stay off the sea-side of the Mersey, with a little help from the Mersey-canal-siders, Lancashire's own Stone Roses.

Video Version

Better Quality Audio Version

Monday, October 6, 2008

Open Up That Top 25 Again

Illinois 45 - Michigan 20

Michigan is lame, but Saturday was good enough to get a ranking don't you think?

Saturday, October 4, 2008 Mourns the Passing of Ed Sojka

Edward E. Sojka, age 56, of Wapella, passed away at his family residence in Wapella at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 24, 2008.

Graveside services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday at Long Point Cemetery, Wapella. Family will conduct services. Burial will follow. Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton is handling arrangements.

Edward E. was born in Clinton, Ill. on Sept. 6, 1952 a son of Edward John and Eva Mae Mearida Sojka. Survivors include: his mother, Eva Mea Sojka, of Wapella; one step-son, Steve Baker of Morton, Ill. and one granddaughter, Samantha Baker of Kansas City, Mo.

He was preceded in death by his father and one sister, Beverly Ann Geddes. Edward was a truck driver for 35 years. For many of those years he worked at Williams Nationalease Co. in Normal, Il. Earlier in his life he played the drums in a band. He was an avid video-game player.

Ed was a Wapella Wildcat and will be greatly missed in the Village. Mourns the Passing of Madge Adams

Verla Madge Adams, 89, of Marengo, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008 at Florence Nursing Home in Marengo.

She was born April 9, 1919 in Unionville, Mo. to Creston and May (Camp) Olinger.At age 7, she performed with her father on the Vaudeville stage as Cyclone Madge singing and dancing.In 1938 she married William Blaine Adams in Pollock, Mo. That same year, they moved to a large ranch near Pueblo, Colo. where her husband was a ranch manager. Madge received her teaching degree from Kirksville Teachers College in 1938. They later moved to Caruthersville, Mo. where Blaine was a farm manager for Doan’s Agriculture for two years.

They moved to Illinois where they lived at various farms in Central Illinois until returning to the original farm around 1980. Madge and Blaine Adams lived a mile north of Wapella on the west side of RT 51 for many years, where Blaine was recognized as a great gentleman and wrestling legend, having grappled at the college level for the Fighting Illini.

Madge was an elementary school teacher for a year, a short story author, an advertisement copywriter for 20 years at Biddle Company in Bloomington and eventually started Adams Advertising Services where she wrote local advertisements for many years. She was an avid bridge player, loved to travel and was active in the local community. She was a member of the Marengo Women’s Club and Marengo United Methodist Church.

She is survived by her son, William B. (Patricia) Adams Jr.; two grandsons, Scott J. (Lori) Adams of Marengo and Mark Jeffrey (Kathy Schnetz) Adams of Barrington; and three great grandchildren: William Blaine Adams, Katherine A. Adams and Elizabeth L. Adams.She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Blaine in 1987 and her sister Gloria Olinger Rew.

Visitation will be held at Calvert Funeral Home 201 S. Center St. Clinton, Ill. on Monday, Sept. 29, 2008 from 1 p.m. until the time of the memorial service at 2 p.m. Please omit flowers. Memorials in her name may be made to the M.O.R.E. Center P.O. Box 32 Marengo, IL 60152 or the Marengo United Methodist Church 119 E. Washington Street Marengo, Ill. 60152.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Springfield Rocks: Poison's Bret Michaels at Lenscrafters

Cubs on the Ropes. Can LA Knock them Out?

Have the Cubs given up? Or are they planning a rope-a-dope for the Dodgers? They looked a little worst than the Wapella Blues last night with each of the infielders making an error.

Some weepy Cub fans were interviewed on the radio this morning challenging Cub fans not to boo poor play. What are they supposed to do? Cheer on the bumblers?

Should the Cubs just pack it in?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Secret Weapon for the Cubs?

Do the Cubs have something up their sleeves? Jose Oquendo you ask? No, he will not do it. But the word on the street is that "Tarzan" Joe Wallis may be reactivated for the playoff series. The Cubs may need him to climb the walls a Wrigley to trump the Dodgers.

Is Wapella backing the Cherry Circle Athletic Club?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wapalooza Here this Weekend

It's Wapalooza time in Hog City again! Fill up on Apples and Pork in Clinton, and beat the goon-bus to Wapella to enjoy some Rock and Roll with your favorite froth at the Irish Circle.

Here's Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Page celebrating Wapalooza with some "Rock and Roll", prompting one commenter

"This is better than it has any right to be- we're all panty-wearing fruity cakes compared to the Killer. I love Zep and I love the Killer- the rest of ya will have to sort out your feelings- I'm cool."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Shout it from the Highest Peaks of Wapella: Welcome Audrey Toohill

Congratulations to Jerome and Tracey Toohill on the birth of their daughter Audrey Toohill. Need some details here, but one thing is for sure, the great grandmother Helen Audrey Toohill is well represented with the newest edition to clan Toohill.

Cheers all around, and a shot of Mt. Carantuohill, the Highest Peak in Ireland.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Get It Together with the Small Faces

Late Late Friday. Here's Steve Mariott and the Small Faces with a modern classic, "Get Yourself Together"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If a Tenor Pinches you in the Monkey House, Avoid the Baritone

Been reading a biography of Enrico Caruso, the Neapolitan Tenor who took the world by storm in the early days of recording, becoming something like the first pop-star, though singing operatic and classic pieces.

As with most pop-stars, Caruso had his share of issues traveling through the US, including getting caught in the San Francisco Earthquake leading Caruso to flee "Clutching an autographed photo of President Teddy Roosevelt, Caruso made an effort to get out of the city, first by boat and then by train, and vowed never to return to San Francisco; he kept his word" (sort of like vowing never to open a Tavern in Wapella again).

One incident is most striking about Caruso:

On November 16, 1906 Caruso was charged with an indecent act committed in the monkey house of New York's Central Park Zoo. He was said to have pinched the bottom of a woman described as "pretty and plump", causing outrage amongst New York high society. Caruso claimed a monkey pinched the lady's bottom. Caruso was eventually found guilty before appeal, and fined 10 dollars.

Where do you come down on this issue? Was Caruso set up? Was a monkey to blame?

Here is the Original King of the High C's doing Il fior che avevi a me tu dato

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Advertiser: Kellog's Rice Krispies

Had some this morning, still as good as they were in 1964. Snap! Crackle! Pop! with the then up and coming band borrowing a few Chuck Berry's to sweeten this commercial theme. For 0 points what is the name of the band playing the jingle?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Riddle Me This, Dear Reader! New Quiz

Here are three big names in 20th century Wapella.

1) Raymond "Buddy" Ryan
2) Carl Dean Thorp (II)
3) Scott Harold

What is the thread (more like a heavy cord) that forever connects these 3? Fringe Agriculturalists is not an acceptable answer.

Ryans, Thorps and Harolds are disqualified from entry into this lucrative quiz. Winner gets a picture of John Astin emailed to them.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Patronage Appreciated!

Nothing says Hog City like a sense of appreciation for everyday luxuries such as fresh food and dry goods. So Park Grocery in Wapella turns the dinner table a bit and appreciates its customers for their patronage in our newest advertisement from Wapella business.

Please continue to support Wapella enterprise.

Friday, September 5, 2008

If Not for George and Bob

Late today but still rocking, here's George Harrison and Bobby Dylan doing a minor chord version of "If Not For You" from the "Concert for Bangladesh", George's precursor to Live Aid. Here's to you George, the greatest Beatle!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

RIP Jerry Reed

Jerry Reed, the guitarist, singer and songwriter who played a mischievous, good old boy sidekick to Burt Reynolds in "Smokey and the Bandit" and other movies, died Sept. 1 at his home in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood. He had emphysema.

Mr. Reed's trademark Georgia baritone drawl and relaxed manner in film and television roles brought his ingratiating presence to a wide audience, notably as trucker Cledus "Snowman" Snow in "Smokey and the Bandit" (1977) and its two sequels, as well as Mama's Family, Scooby Doo and the sadistic football coach in Waterboy.

Reed was contacted and agreed to perform at Wapella's 150th celebration, only to be sidelined due to the massive hit performance by Wapella's own Jimmy Holland and his variety show. Many have speculated that the two could have performed together, if not for some stringent DeWitt County public performance laws, enacted to prevent a repeat of the Farmer City go-go dancing incidents of 1968.

Here's Jerry in a semi-autobiographical song Alabama Wildman and a video of two classics, Wabash Cannonball and his signature, "Guitar Man"

Well my daddy was a hard shelled Alabama preacher
My mama was a dedicated Sunday School teacher
My brother went a college and got a PhD
Daddy said the only dud in the family was me

He said boy you ain't never gonna amount to a thing
All you do is sit around with that silly looking guitar and sing
You hang around them juke joints most of your time
Making music like some wild man done lost his mind
Going sock it to me well what's that s'posed to mean
Boy you're just a wild man

Well that one day daddy told me boy I've had enough
Now you can pack up that guitar and you can just pack up your stuff
So I left home and organized myself a band
Called myself the Alabama Wild Man

Well I worked in every joint from east to the west
Never making no money nearly starved to death
A living on coffee and cold sardines
Sody crackers and pork and beans

But I finally went to Music City USA
Said I'm the Alabama Wild Man I'm here to stay
Took my guitar and showed 'em what I's talking about
So we made a little record and we put it out
With me going sock it to me honey uh huh hook it boy
Play that guitar git it git it

Well now I'm driving Cadillacs a city block long
And the Alabama Wild Man can do no wrong
Cause I'm selling them records I'm working them shows
And people love me everywhere I go

But a funny thing happened bout a week or so back
I worked a show in my hometown and the place was packed
I guess who was sittin' out on a front row seat
Was my daddy grinnin' up at me and pattin' his feet
Yellin' sock it to your daddy wild man
Hook it on hook it play that guitar show 'em son
Ha ha ha yeah that's my boy alright taught him everything he knows
Bought him his guitar sock it to me son hook it

Friday, August 29, 2008

Something for Your Labor Day Cookout

Long weekend with some Kosher Franks direct from Knebworth England 1979, here's Mr. Led Zeppelin and his band doing the cooking with a outbreak bit of Mad Cow spiked "Hot Dog".

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lincoln-Douglas in DeWitt County with a Celebrity Guest

Of course we all remember the Abe Lincoln quote "I do hope," he said at Clinton, Illinois, on October 14, 1859, "that as there is a just and righteous God in Heaven, our principles will and shall prevail sooner or later," presumably not referring to a Khoury League game at Waterworks park the only other site in town of such lofty and heated rhetoric. But another Civil War grandee was also in Clinton a few years earlier, in conjunction with a court case, along with a long time Lincoln opponent.

There was a case in Judge David Davis’ court (the old 8th Judicial Circuit) wherein the Illinois Central Railroad was sued by a farmer for damages ensuing from the construction of a right of way. Abraham Lincoln represented the Illinois Central. Stephen A. Douglas represented the farmer. The trial was postponed until the chief engineer of the Illinois Central, George B. McClellan, came down from Chicago to testify in the case (presumably for the Illinois Central).

General George McClellan went on to be a controversial but professional leader of the Army of the Potomac, and Democratic Candidate for President in 1864.

My question: Who was the Farmer, represented by Stephen Douglas?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 Welcomes New Advertiser: John Armstrong is proud to welcome agriculture advertisers to this page, including John Armstrong. John provides Corn Shelling and Hay Baling services throughout DeWitt County and Central Illinois.

Please patronize Wapella business.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

RIP Kevin Duckworth

Former EIU basketball star Kevin Duckworth has died at age 44 at a basketball camp in Oregon. Duckworth, a basketball great at Thorton Thornridge, Eastern Illinois and an two time NBA all star with the Portland Trail Blazers was a dominating 7ft 275pound center, who could shoot, rebound and put on heavy defensive pressure. Duckworth led EIU in its transition to becoming a Division 1 basketball program in the early 1980's.

He also played with the Washington Bullets, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers before ending his career in 1997.

RIP Kevin Duckworth

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thanks from Steve and Shelby

IT'S A DONE DEAL, thanks in no small part to Wapellicans and Sean should be receiving his dog in 9-12 months. The dog will surely make public appearances in the various tourist locations (elevator, church, etc.) around Wapella shortly after we get home from training. All said, the benefit raised over $11,000. WOW! Total donations have exceeded $17,000!!! Any money in excess of Sean's fundraising goals will go to help other children who are struggling to achieve their own goals.

THANK YOU ALL for what you have all done in Sean's behalf for 4 Paws For Ability and on the behalf of the other children who will benefit from your generosity.

Again - our thanks,
Steve and Shelby

Image courtesy of Dog the A&E TV Bounty Hunter

Friday, August 22, 2008

Glen's Back! New Glen Campbell Album Released

Just when you thought you'd heard it all, one of the greats of Country and Pop music is back with a new album "Meet Glen Campbell (Again)".

Glen sings some (not all the new anymore) newer songs from the likes of the Foo Fighters and the Replacements and plays the guitar like only Glen Campbell can.

Buy it here if you like

HT: HG for pulling this one out.

Here's Glen doing an mournful old favorite "Dreams of an everyday housewife" with a full fledged orchestra from 30 years ago.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Historical Funk

A question for our dedicated readers, derived from a recent trip to Galena. I seem to recall from an Illinois History class that Issac Funk, the pioneer businessman developing quite a bit of Central Illinois, made his original trade as a ferryman around the Galena area.

Did I get that right, or did he only do business around Heyworth/Wapella/Downs/Bloomington?

Also for 2 points, what trade were the Warners (of JW Bank fame) in before Banking?

Quiz Answer: The Warners sold construction material and supplies to the Illinois Central Railroad as it was being built through Central Illinos. If I recall, the specialty was berm (the hard pack that is under elevated track).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Advertiser: Houchin's Super Market

Houchin's Super Market takes the concept of a grocery store to an entirely new level. What other shop can sell you fresh killed beef, as well the latest in Television Receivers from RCA and Admiral?

Please patronize Houchin Super Market, located at Green's Hall in Wapella, IL on Main Street.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Congrats Sgt. Wheat!

A quick notice of congratulation to Sgt. John Earl Wheat on his Friday wedding to his lovely bride CJ. The two plan a reception in the Chicago area for later this fall.

Full Salute to John Wheat.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Press Release from L&M Enterprises

L&M Enterprises, one of the leading agricultural operations in DeWitt County in the 20th century, would like to congratulate Lawrence and Bernadine Toohill on 50 years of marriage. Bernadine nee North wed Lawrence Patrick Toohill resulting in 50 years of excitement, adventure and various trips to Wapella, Heyworth, and St. Louis.

A reception will be held today in Wapella, with all Toohills, villagers, and customers of L&M Enterprises welcomed. Residents of Wapella are notified to expect extra Toohills in the village and take appropriate measures to welcome them to Hog City

L&M Enterprises is a registered Illinois corporation. No portion of this message is a solicitation to sell securities or purchase livestock. The information is not warranted as to completeness or accuracy, nor does it serve as an official record of your invitation. Your official Lawrence and Bernadine invitation may be sent by alternate media, or there may be no invitation at all. L&M Enterprises does not warrant ancillary events unassociated with L&M. This has been a paid commercial announcement from L&M Enterprises.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Check Your Bets: Cards vs. Cub in the Summer Classic

Nothing better than taking an early Friday Afternoon out at the Ball Park with the greatest rivalry in sports history (excluding the Kickapoo conference, of course). Wrigley today 1:20 PM Looper vs. Lilly, see you there.

Here's John Fogerty with a nostalgic song from his comeback album Centerfield in 1985. Kind of odd to have a comeback when you are only 40, but he was 12 years out of the business at that time, closing CCR at age 28,

Ellen Holland 1928-2008: Saint, Titan and Wildcat

Ellen D. Holland, 80, of Clinton, died at 7:18 a.m. Wednesday (Aug. 6, 2008) at Manor Court, Clinton.

Her Mass Of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Wapella, with Rev. Fr. Patrick Henehan and Rev. Fr. Robert Hoffmann officiating. Burial will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Wapella. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with the Rosary at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Memorials may be made to the Diabetes Foundation or Alzheimer's Foundation.

She was born April 9, 1928, in Bloomington, the daughter of James A. and Josephine Carroll Ryan. She married William R. Holland on May 24, 1951, in Clinton. He passed away Feb. 2, 2002.

She is survived by two sons, Rick (Vicki) Holland and Jim (Shelley) Holland, both of Wapella; one daughter, Mary Westfall, Wapella; nine grandchildren, Holly Morris; Sean (Suzanna) Holland; Kelly (James) Murphy; Casey Holland; Reggie Westfall; Corey (Jaime) Holland; Stacey Portscheller (Mike); Kelsey Holland; and Megan Johnson (Andrew); seven great-grandchildren, Haley; Kaehl; Maci Kate; Hannah Faith; Maxwell; Clare; and Sofia; and one brother, James (Marilyn) Ryan, Mesa, Ariz.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

She was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Wapella.

She came to Wapella upon graduation from Illinois Wesleyan in 1950, to teach history, geography and later physical education. There she met her husband while selling tickets at a basketball game. While raising her family she continued teaching at Wapella both full and part-time retiring in 1970. Always a sports fan, she played in a women's softball league from 1960 to 1963 making lifelong friends. Later she stayed physically active with golf and mentally sharp playing bridge, again making lifelong friends.

She and her husband enjoyed their trips to Ireland, Curacao and Mexico as well as their weekend getaways with friends.

Her greatest joy in life however was her family. She always supported her grandchildren and great-grandchildren's school activities.

She possessed an incredible lust for life and anything chocolate. Her memory will be fondly kept by those who loved her.

Her family thanks the staff of Manor Court of Clinton for their compassion, patience and professionalism during her illness.

Ellen (along with her husband Bill) were great supporters of St. Patrick's Parish in Wapella, Wapella (and Holy Trinity) Schools, and the Wapella Community, developing Holland Brothers (with John Holland) into the leading plumbing and heating companies in Central Illinois, making plumbing to this day the major employer in town. A grand, gracious and very Irish lady, Ellen remained a key part of Wapella even after a move to Clinton in the 1970's. Ellen frequented school, parish and family events.

Our condolences to the Holland family on the loss of our friend Ellen. May she Rest in Peace.

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