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

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Panama 3: Torrijos, Carew, Toohill

When asked the other day to name the 3 biggest names in Panama, I could only come up with General Omar Torrijos, 2nd Baseman Rod Carew, but no third man. Then I received an email that none other than Pete Toohill (supposedly pictured here) is travelling or has travelled to Panama on a trade mission to retrieve some lost hogs that got away some 15 years ago.

Good luck Senor Toohill! Anyone else know Wapella residents with Panamanian connections? I have one big name from WW2.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wapella Native Goes to Tavern

In perhaps some of the least shocking editorial copy ever written, Wapella native Teresa Ryan Curi is potrayed in the Glen Elyn Sun Newspaper enjoying a cold drink and highly comic conversation in a local Pub, in a story about the Smoking Ban in Illinois.

Said Curi "I reminisce about the old days when most of my relatives and classmates could simultaneously smoke a cigarette and quaff a Strohs Pounder. But those days are behind us, now I just enjoy good times, good friends and a breezy tavern atomosphere"

Curi reports her dry-cleaning bills have been reduced 35% since the ban has been in place, but comically relates "Now I have a full set of Tavern Clothes that I can't use anymore because there is no place for them to soak up the smoke"

Thankfully Tavern Clothes never go out of style, so one day Teresa may be able to put them to good use.

Update: Here is a good but grainy image of one of most pleasant guys in Wapella, Bill Miller, if anyone is good at Photoshop.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Great Norm Crosby

No, not Bob Crosby, of Donkey Basketball fame, Norm Crosby, the co-host of the Jerry Lewis telethon and long time Vegas nightclub entertainer and Budweiser pitchman. Here is a bit of his schtick from a Laugh-In episode:

Judy Carne: And here's another draft card burner.

Norm Crosby: Whadduya mean draft card? This is my Diners Club Card!

Judy Carne: What does that have to do with Vietnam

Norm Crosby: How should I know? I never ate there!

Here's to you Norm, still going strong at age 80.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Xenians Octagons to the West

Unlike our fair Village, Atlanta, Illinois became a city in 1869, replacing the previous towns of New Castle and Xenia in naming Atlanta as an Illinois City.

While Atlanta (much like Wapella) has been hit with 10's of tornadoes, floods, a rare economic boom, and a common economic bust, well-built buildings do survive. Right off of old Route 66, in Atlanta, stands one of the most beautiful libraries in the State of Illinois.

The library (yes, it is Octagonal) was designed by the late Bloomington architect, Paul Moratz, and dedicated on March 28, 1908. The Bloomington Pantagraph celebrates the 100th anniversary here, in a testimony to civic pride and appreciation of fine buildings and their relationship to function in the community.

This from the Lincoln Courier:

Although several of Moratz’s buildings featured rounded portions, the Atlanta Library is his only known octagon-shaped library.

Many private residences were built in an octagon shape in the mid-19th century, inspired by eccentric writer and speaker Orson Squire Fowler.

Fowler’s promotion of the buildings mirrored the era’s fascination with modern technologies, efficiency and fitness. He explained that an octagon-shaped structure offered “one-fifth more room for its wall,” plus better air circulation and more light.”

Those features may also have swayed Moratz and his clients when they chose the footprint for Atlanta’s library.

The building was erected at a cost of $9,500 ($216,605 in 2007 dollars) by Joseph Reichel of El Paso.

The upper floor houses books. Over the past century, the collection has grown to 13,200 books, periodicals and audio-visual materials.

Last year, the library recorded 4,600 visits. Forty-eight percent of all check-outs were children’s materials.

My understanding is that the interior is superb, but I cannot find a photo. And if you think you can build this for $216,605 you are kidding yourself. The Octagonal Building Craze never really caught fire, but there is a website devote to Octagonal building here.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Where was Bobby Heenan?

Here are some guys have an good time.

The Baron Von Raschke, Buddy Wolf, Larry Heineimi, Al DeRusha, Larry Hennig, Ray Stevens, Nick Bockwinkle and Horst Hoffmann enjoying a series of cold beverages and hamming it up.

Ray Stevens looks a bit in the bag, Horst Hoffmann just getting going, The Baron, one cool customer.

From the private collection of Baron Von Raschke.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Late Night with Casualty Rolls

For those of you without infants, you are missing a real treat of waking up at 2AM to act as butler to the lord of the house. One of the more interesting side effects is that to get back to sleep, I read casualty rolls from WW1 and other such detailed by not indexed historical data.

Here is the September 3, 1918 New York Times, with a list of a staggering 810 casualties during WW1. Among the wounded, Private John A. Duncan, from Wapella, Il, Husband of Mrs. Carrie Dunacn.

Anyone recall John Duncan? I'll hazard a guess that he is an uncle to Ken, Ed, or Bill Duncan, but don't recall a John Duncan being mentioned by my father (who mentioned Ken, Ed and/or Bill in about every other paragraph).

Click on the image to expand it. Private Duncan is in the third column about 1/3 of the way down, under wounded severely Privates.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rock and Roll Quiz 2

Inspired by the comments on "The Who" in Peoria, here's a who that even Horton may not be able to hear. Chad and Jeremy were one of the few "Folk Rock" groups from the UK in the early days of Rock and Roll Import/Exports.

Yet, rather than coming up from the Liverpool-London-Hamburg minor leagues to invade the USA, Chad and Jeremy went straight from coffehouses to Hollywood, coming to the USA to appear in the Dick Van Dyke Show, the Patty Duke Show and Batman(as well as "A Summer Song" appearing in 1998's Wes Anderson classic "Rushmore").

While Chad Stuart was the son of a lumberyard man, Jeremy later let on to his connections in show business, via his lineage as an English Nobleman. Jeremy Clyde is the great great great grandson of one of the most famous Duke's (and Prime Minister's) in English History. Who is the famous Military Man and ancestor of Jeremy Clyde?

Answer to previous quiz
: The Rolling Stone's had a song in 1986 inspired by a Chicago White Sox slogan from approximately the same era (maybe 1984). The song stunk, and the Sox weren't much better. What Sox catchphrase caught up to Mick and Keith? Winning Ugly

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Who: A Suitable Case for Medication

Or perhaps they were overmedicated, but The Who, (Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwhistle, and Keith Moon) were in Peoria 40 years ago on March 10, 1968. Taking a break from the good times with Buck and Don, The Who were angry about something on stage and let it rip.

The Londonners played at the The Opera House, at Exposition Gardens, site of the Heart of Illinois Fair, with the Opera House described as

An old fashioned, turn of the century 6,600 square foot building featuring a large stage at the rear of the building. Ready for your event - concerts, shows, theater productions and small trade shows"

The Opera House is still there, despite The Who trying to beat it into submission, thought it does look the worse for wear. I think the bus in the video is I-74, but cannot really tell. Anyone at this show? At the Opera House for other shows (Ted Nugent, The Kinks and many others appeared there)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Going all Don Rich all the Time

At the risk of going all Buck and Don all the time (a risk I am willing to take, by the way), here are Don Rich and Buck Owens and the Buckaroos "Fooling Around" from about 1965. As one of our commenters has mentioned, Don is so happy he looks like he just got back from Decatur.

Or maybe is was just that great to play guitar with Buck Owens. Here you go..

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lest Anyone Forget, Today is February 14

Lest anyone forget, or Don't forget about Lester, er..I mean, WH Toohill, today is his birthday, most appropriately on St. Valentines Day. salutes the great one with a tribute to the movie Overboard.

Poorly filmed, ridiculous plot, haphazard dialogue, what could be better? This was one of the great cable movies most often watched by those of us up all night with infants, and our birthday boy in question, who most certainly enjoyed this movie. Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russel, and some guy that kind of looked like John Candy (Mike Hagerty, just looked it up), Roddy McDowell, Edward Herman, and a bunch of smart aleck kids, and some generally mis-timed laughter (if I remember correctly) from the Bowles Street audience all make for a great mix in this 1987 comedy.

The goal in this movie was to make a lunatic mini-golf course, while maintaining a fictional presence to fool a amensiod Goldie Hawn. This one could have been written in a long afternoon at the Tap, but it was still funny. Anyone for a remake?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You know, it does kind of look like him

Continuing the casting call in Hog City, in the movie "Live from Baghdad", the character Tom Murphy was based on CNN anchor Jim Clancy, who is related to about 45% of the town of Wapella (via the Burns, Toohills, Roesch's etc).

Apparently per internet sources, Clancy refused to let his character appear in the fictionalized HBO interpretation of the First Gulf, so a composite was created as "Tom Murphy" to represent our Jim Clancy.

Taking a look at this picture, Michael Cudlitz, the actor who potrayed Murphy, does kind of look like he could be from Hog City. His haircut? Pure Jack Wickenhouser. The wart on his cheek? About 3/4 of the town has that one. Cheezy facial hair? Quite popular in Hog City, regardless of the high maintenance when your nose is draining.

I would like to hear more about Jim Clancy, and anyone so closely related to the great Johnny Roesch. Anyone out there have anything on Clancy? Roesch?

Update: Actual photo of Jim Clancy. His haircut still looks like DeWitt County to me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hit wrong button

I hit the wrong button (was sending to if you must know).

The comments were so fantastically absurd I kept them.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Roadhouse without Patrick Swayze

This from the Pantagraph

50 years ago

Feb. 4, 1958: Fire destroyed Sarg’s Roadhouse, a tavern along US 51 on the north side of Wapella. No one was hurt, but loss is set at $20,000. The blaze calls to mind a fire that leveled the Roadside Tavern on the south edge of Wapella on March 6, 1954.

Any of our loyal readers have more details on Sarg's Roadhouse? I think it was near where Haycrafts Auction House is now, but don't really know much about the place. Sounds like a fine establishment, welcoming to visitors, good for dancing, typical Wapella style, but it would be great to hear more about Sarg's Roadhouse.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Congrats to Dave Kinsella

Dave Kinsella, great friend to Hog City, and goodwill ambassador and service station owner from Lexington Illinois is the new father of Molly Ann Kinsella. Congrats to Dave and Ruth Ann Kinsella!

Rock and Roll Quiz

Been storing these quiz gems up for a while (since I got Sirius Satellite Radio to be exact), sure to twist your noggin, but keep you rocking while you search for answers...

1) In one version of The Beach Boys "Be True to Your School" there is a Big Ten team's fight song played as a solo behind the singers. Which team and what fight song?

2) The Rolling Stone's had a song in 1986 inspired by a Chicago White Sox slogan from approximately the same era (maybe 1984). The song stunk, and the Sox weren't much better. What Sox catchphrase caught up to Mick and Keith?

3) Led Zeppelin loved the hard rock, but they were also firmly rooted in 1950's Rock and Roll from years of session work and barbanding. What Richie Valens rocker (which I just heard this morning) did Zep cover under a new name (but approximately the same music and lyrics)?

Keep rocking!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What's a Toohill Have to do with the Price of Oysters?

Wapella's Fire Department is holding their 50th Annual Chili and Oyster Supper, February 16th at the Community Center. Possibly their last, as the price of oyster's are ridiculous. The fire department will do something else in the future, pancake and sausage, pork chop, etc.

Thanks to all that have assisted in fundraising for the Fire Department!

Monday, February 4, 2008 Mourns the Passing of Wilmer Legget

Wilmer Leggett has died at age 81 in his Clinton, Illinois home. Leggett, a Wapella native and friend and relative to many in the Village, was born April 3, 1926, in Wapella, the son of Floyd and Laura Blanche Pryor Leggett. He was an Army veteran, serving in the 176th Signal Corps. He was affiliated with First Christian Church, Clinton, and a member of Clinton Athletic Boosters Club and Clinton Exchange Club. He retired from Illinois Central Telephone and GTE after 32 years of service.

Leggett's wife Mildred preceeded him in passing. He is survived by his sons Ricky and Dennis and his grandchildren.

All Flags 1/2 mast please for US Army Veteran of WWII, Wilmer Leggett.

RIP Earl Butz

The legendary Agricultural Secretary Earl Butz has died at age 98. Butz, who was the defining leader of the 1970's Green Revolution was know for his plainspoken, some might say outspoken, statements to the press, though his agricultural leadership was unmatched during his career.

Secretary Butz was a professor at Purdue University (his office was directly below my office at the Krannert Building) where he did not very much like basketballs being bounced on the floor above his head. Upon hearing the the dribbler (myself) was next door neighbor to his colleague Richard Bell (WHS '52) all was forgiven, and Secretary Butz was very polite to your moderator from then on out.

Secretary Butz was also the uncle of Boilermaker Cardinal and Redskin Dave Butz, who also had some interaction with many Wildcats (via State Farm if I recall).

RIP Earl Butz, the man who championed planting fencerow to fencerow.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Shot of Buck Please

Here is a good shot of the late Buck Owens and his Red, White and Blue Telecaster.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Happy Birthday from Buck and Don

The Kansas Cat and his sister (Clinton, Iowa Cat?) co-celebrate birthday's today. I suggest you recognize and salute KC in abstentia if you stop in any Wapella establishments.

Here's a great song from Buck Owens and Don Rich to start your birthday off right.

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