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

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009 Mourns the Passing of Raymond Gee

Raymond Gee, who grew up as Raymond "Rick" Brown, the son of Larry Brown, in Wapella has tragically died in Beason Illinois. As I recall my classmate and double desk partner in grade school, Ricky Brown, was a good natured, friendly and helpful Wildcat, who enjoyed a good laugh with the other members of the Class of 82. Always giving 110% in PE and Noontime Sports, Ricky was well liked for his Wildcat spirit and humor.

I did not keep contact with Ricky's after Wapella Junior High, but Ricky's obituary tells a fitting story:
RIP Rick Brown.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Get Marooned...Go Apple...Go Pork..

Tired of the fast paced lifestyle in Wapella? This weekend, enjoy the simple life in Clinton, Illinois, the seat of DeWitt County, the site of the annual Apple and Pork Festival.

Read More Here about the happening at the CH Moore Estate

Here is the Apple and Pork Facebook Page

Sounds like great fun. Can we get a full report from the Rover?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 Mourns the Passing of Lynette Whitted

Elizabeth "Lynette" Whitted, 68, of LeRoy, passed away at 9:40 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 19, 2009) at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.

Her funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, LeRoy, with Father Patrick Henehan officiating. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery, LeRoy. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home. A rosary service will be at 3:30 p.m. today at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Illinois Spina Bifida Association.

Lynette was born Aug. 1, 1941, at Decatur, a daughter of Harry G. and Evelyn Dash Morgan. She married Ben Whitted on June 20, 1958, in Clinton.

Surviving is her husband, Ben Whitted, LeRoy; mother, Evelyn Morgan, Normal; two sons, Andy WHS 77 (Etta WHS 77) Whitted, Clinton, and Gene WHS 79 (Mary WHS 79) Whitted, Wapella; daughter, Stephanie (Kyle) Bazzell, Mooresville, N.C.; seven grandchildren, Nathan (Natalie) Whitted; Brandon (Brie) Whitted; Jordan (Courtney) Whitted; Brittnay Whitted (Jeremy Haag); Neil (Breanna Douglas) Whitted; Ross Whitted; and Chase Bazzell; one great-granddaughter, Celia Whitted; one brother, H. Glen (Bonnie) Morgan, Collinsville; and two sisters, Marilyn Pennypacker, Hopedale, and Rachel (Bud) Blickensderfer, Bowling Green, Ohio.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Whitted; father, Harry G. Morgan; and brother, Ronald Morgan.

Lynette was the office manager for Dr. Greg Randolph and Associates, Bloomington. She was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Wapella, and a member of the LeRoy Country Club.

She was an avid NASCAR fan.

Lynette was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and will be deeply missed by all. Ben and Lynette were longtime residents of Wapella.

please fill in the WHS dates for the grandchildren if you have them

Monday, September 21, 2009 Mourns the Passing of Lynette Whitted

It is with great sorrow that we report the news that Lynette Whitted has been killed in a motorcycle accident. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home in LeRoy. Lynette Whitted, wife of Ben Whitted, was a long time resident of Wapella, and a outstanding member of the community.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Decatur: The New Hollywood

If you're like me, (and who isn't these days) , nothing makes you want to see a movie like a familiar setting. That's why I chose to line up for any movie shot in Decatur, Illinois, including The Informant starring Matt Damon. Damon plays Mark Whitacre, an executive at Archer Daniels Midland, caught up in a string of Federal Investigations, strategic leaks, and alleged corporate scandal.

Whitacre was a piece of work, and spent a significant amount of time in Mowequa. The movie made by the director of Oceans 11, promises to be amusing as well as informative.

A few questions...

1) Any locals appearing as extras in the show?
2) Will the austere Decatur Club, habitat of ADM Execs be revealed?
3) What other movie stars have portrayed Central Illinois characters?
4) What other movies have been filmed in Decatur?

Monday, September 14, 2009

RIP Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze, the acclaimed dancer and actor has died at age 57, after a heroic battle with pancreatic cancer. Swayze, best known in Wapella for his lead role in the 1984 movie Grandview USA, set in Pontiac, Illinois, was a multi-talented performer, suceeding in action movies like Red Dawn (another Wapella favorite), high energy musicals (which should be banned in Wapella) Dirty Dancing, and romantic tearjerkers (can't get enough of it) Ghost.

A likable, self-depreciating (despite being named People's Sexiest Man Alive) all-purpose star, Swayze was married his wife Lisa from 1975 till his recent death. RIP Patrick Swayze, a class act.

Here's Swayze cutting it up with Chris Farley, both great dancers. HT Jason Karr

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11/01 Wapella Remembers Those Who Fell

It was 8 years ago today that New York City, Washington DC and the United States in general came under a massive terrorist attack. It was a mess but the country has been relatively safe from terrorism since then, due to the hard work of our armed forces and law enforcement officials everywhere. Thanks for that.

So how about a moment of it....but how do you celebrate the USA better than with what is best about it? What is it that says down but not out? You guessed it, with some Rock and Roll from Jerry Lee Lewis, Keith Richards, and Gary Busey. These three have all had a few toasts in their day, and look to be having a good time playing Jerry Lee's "High School Confidential" Check out Gary Busey dance moves, he can really go.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Kind Word in the Pantagraph

Original Here HT BEP

Over the years, my wife and I have enjoyed attending various festivals and fairs throughout Central Illinois. As the weather cools and fall approaches, we look forward once again to visiting the upcoming Apple 'N Pork Festival in Clinton.

This year we're feeling a certain sadness because of the passing of Roland Schumaker late last winter. Roland was a true ambassador of good will and one we always hoped to see and visit with during the festival.

I'm sure the traditional ham, beans, and cornbread will be served again this year, but I, along with Roland's young daughter wonder, "Who will cook the hams?"

The Apple 'N Pork Festival will never be quite the same without Roland's special touch.

James VanHook


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Everyone to Heyworth at Once

Go Go Wildcats, March up 51; Over 136 or any method necessary to make it to the All-Wildcat Reunion at the Heyworth Legion Hall.

Come one, Come all, this is a big one. Everyone is invited. No ticket, no problem (or there might be a problem, but whatever, you can play Joker Poker in the Lounge and make a guest appearance after dinner)

It's Tonight in Heyworth where the Wildcats Roar

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Spam Attack. Fight Back with Stillman

Sorry team, suffered a massive spam attack associated with the Gmail outage. It is back now. Comments, minus about 100 Chinese Character spams are restored.

The only way to fight this? Posting videos from nephews of a Wapella residents, such as Mike Stillman singing about his former Governor, Rod Blagojevich. Not sure it will be effective, but worth a try.

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