Friday, October 31, 2014

Haunted Hotels for a Haunted Stay

From the October 19, 2014, Chicago Tribune by Jay Jones.

Even better than going to one of those made-up haunted houses that seem to be everywhere, why not actually go to sleep with the scaries in a real haunted hotel?

Here is a list of five supposedly haunted hotels.  But. like the Eagles said in that song about the one in California, "You can check in, but you can never check out."

1.  THE 1866 CRESCENT HOTEL & SPA (75 Prospect Avenue, Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  They bill themselves as "America's Most Haunted Hotel."  It was a Depression-era hospital for desperate cancer patients.

2.  THE OTESAGA OF COOPERSTOWN (60 Lake Street, Cooperstown, N.Y.) isn't far from the former home of Louis C. Jones, author of "Things That Go Bump in the Night."  At one time it was an all-girls school.

3.  THE QUEEN MARY (1126 Queen's Highway, Long Beach, Ca.).  The former ocean liner is now a floating hotel and attracts 1.5 million visitors a year.  Many, many eerie things, one of which is said to be from a young crewman in the engine room who was crushed to death in 1966 by the closing of a watertight door,

4.  17HUNDRED90 INN (307 E. President Street, Savannah, Georgia).  Resident ghost Anna is not mean, but mischievous.

5.  THE STANLEY HOTEL ( 333 Wonderview Avenue, Estes Park, Colorado).  Book a night in Room 217.  Former housekeeper Elizabeth Wilson haunts it.

And, actually, there is a real HOTEL CALIFORNIA in Santa Monica, California.

"We Are Just Prisoners Here of Our Own Disguise."  --DaCoot

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Stunts-- Part 2

4.  According to common myth, a stuntman died during the filming of the chariot-race scene from the 1959 movie "BEN HUR."  But that never happened.  Ironically, the director of that scene, Andrew Marton, may have fueled the rumors by denying them, saying sarcastically that 20 people and 100 horses had died filming it.  The studio's infirmary primarily was treating sunburns during its filming.

5.  EDWARD BERNAYS, a New York publicity agent and nephew of Sigmund Freud, marketed cigarettes to women as a way for equal rights and to stay slim with the slogan, "Reach for a cigarette instead of dessert."

For the 1929 Easter Parade along New York's Fifth Avenue, he orchestrated a stunt in which classy-looking women at designated locations joined the promenade and lit up cigarettes.  His product, Lucky Strike.

6.  The TOUR DE FRANCE bicycle race was started in 1903 as a publicity stunt to help save a struggling sports newspaper called L'Auto.

And then, there was the famous "Bunion Derby" along Route 66 in, I think, 1929 which did a lot to promote the new road.

7.  ALVIN "SHIPWRECK" KELLY is most often credited--or blamed?-- for popularizing the flagpole-sitting craze in the late 1920s.  In June 1927, he sat on top of a pole on a Newark, N.J., hotel for 12 and 1/2 days.  He returned to the ground to wild acclaim and much fame, and it clearly went to his head.

Seven years later, his wife had him forcibly removed from another pole and charged him with abandoning her and their seven children.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Stunts-- Part 1

From the October 26, 2014, Chicago Tribune by Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer, great researchers.

What with Nik Wallenda intending to walk across the Chicago River on a tightrope next weekend as a stunt, here are ten other stunts.

1.  The last major stunt in Chicago was perhaps DANIEL GOODWIN "SPIDER DAN" scaling the John Hancock Center on Nov. 11, 1981, and authorities didn't like it a bit.  They tried to stuo him, even with him being hundreds of feet off the ground.  Firefighters doused him with high pressure hoses and then tried to block his way with a window-washing scaffold and pike poles.

They even broke out windows and tried to pull him inside.

Finally Mayor Jane Byrne decided to allow him to finish his way to the top where he was promptly arrested.  Wallenda, of course, won't be arrested for his stunt.

Living in the Chicagoland area, this event was all over the news and most everyone was pulling for "Spider Dan" and not really happy that he was arrested.

2.  LINCOLN BEACHEY, one of the first great stunt pilots, was known for his "death dips," his loop-the-loop and his flights around the U.S. Capitol, under abridge at Niagara Falls and inside a building in San Francisco.

At a 1912 air show in Chicago, Beachey dressed as a woman and pretended to be an amateur pilot, flying wildly and buzzing cars on Michigan Avenue.

He came to his end in 1915, when he tried an extreme maneuver and his plane's wings fell off, plunging him into San Francisco Bay.  He was found drowned, still strapped into the pilot's seat.

3.  SNAPPLE'S attempt to clinch the world record for largest ice pop on the first day of summer in 2005 in New York's Union Square rapidly turned into a sticky mess when the 25-foot tall, 5-foot wide, 17 ton ice pop liquefied in the 80 degree heat and really mucked up everything.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pulled the Boat Out on Monday

This past Monday, we pulled the boat out of the water and took it over to the marina to be winterized and have the bottom cleaned.  It was a nice day with temps in the 70s and with the rest of the week expected to get quite a bit wetter and colder with temps in the upper 40s.

We were able to get out on the boat 45 times (we keep count).  We figure we need to get out at least 40 times a season to make all the money we spend on boating worth it.  This was one of the coldest, worst weather summers we remember in our thirty years of boating.

Some More of That Global _____ I Suppose.  Only It "Ain't" That Warm!!  --RoadDog

A Break from the Strike

I had already arranged to take the weekend of October 29-30, 1994, to Nashville, Tennessee, for the NIU-Vanderbilt football game, so after walking the line on Friday, Oct. 28th, I went to O'Hare Airport and took a plane to Nashville and stayed with my brother Bob.

Unfortunately, Northern gave Vandy a good game, but lost at the end.  Vandy fans kept coming up to us as we left the game saying that we should have won.  Afterwards, we went to Second Avenue and later saw a German oom-pah band, Oktoberfest, you know.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Round Lake Teacher Strike-- Part 10: Orange Fences All Over My School

As angry as I was at the school board and administration for bringing on this strike, those orange snow fences infuriated me the most.  I even made up a sign saying "Don't Fence Me Out" taking from the old Bing Crosby song "Don't Fence Me In."

The fence also caused me to buy the "Don't Tread on Me" flag.


"I had a long talk today with Lt. D.W. of the Round Lake Beach police force about the fences and their presence.  He said they had done long studies on strikes and decided the fences were good because they clearly showed where people could and couldn't go.

"The police need to be there in case mob psychology takes over.  he says the police recommended that the board take these steps."

It was an interesting talk, but the fences were not needed, nor was police presence needed.  We were teachers, not likely to go on a rampage of destruction and mayhem.  The fences were put there to make us look bad and I'm sure that is what the administration and school board had in mind.  Same with the police being there.  The strike, however, did make the police a lot of money in overtime which I understand the district had to pay.

We have been out on the line in Waukegan three times and never even seen a cop car drive by the picket lines, much less park their cars there with an officer inside it.  And, there are no FENCES!!   The few other strikes I've been at have been officerless and fenceless as well.

The Lincoln Memorial: Facts

**  Ground was broken for the memorial Feb. 12, 1914.

**  The Lincoln statue is in 28 pieces and weighs 340,000 pounds.

**  The original murals in the memorial faded badly and were restored in the 1990s.

**  Hollywood has featured the memorial in movies such as the "Transformers" films and"The Day the Earth Stood Still."


The Lincoln Memorial's Role in History

From the May 25, 2014, Chicago Tribune by William Hagerman.

"It would ne hard to visit the Lincoln Memorial and not be moved.  Few locations, in the nation's capital, or anywhere else, are as evocative."

The Memorial has been a backdrop for events in American history, especially to the blacks in America.  Songer Marian Anderson was banned fro  performing in Constitution Hall because she was black and instead sang at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939.  Of course, there was the  famous Dr. Martin Luther King speech in 1963.

Jay Sacher has a new book out called "Lincoln Memorial: The Story and Design of an American Monument," where he looks into its history.

He covers the big events as mentioned, but also obscure ones like the fight to get it built, the partnership between architect Henry Bacon and sculptor Daniel Chester French.

I wrote about Henry Bacon's father, Henry Bacon, Sr., who engineered "The Rocks" at Wilmington, N.C. as well as the Swash Defense Dam at the same place in my Running the Blockade blog.

--  Cooter

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Round Lake Teacher Strike 1994-- Part 9


"Walked back to Magee and took pictures of the fence and several of the trees which weer in brilliant autumn colors.  Walked the line until 9:30 when I went to the picket captain meeting and while there, Kora came in and said I should go to Ellis to take pictures of the Hispanic kids.

"Liz drove us there and I got good shots of them and the Ellis teachers.  We also went to Indian Hill which is very isolated and they were happy to see us.  We stayed there about twenty minutes and saw only three or four cars go by.

"They took me back to hq and I went back to the Magee line.  Some local pizza places delivered free pizza to the line at one but refused to let us know who was responsible.  That was a very nice thing to do.

"We had a big rally at Hart's Woods and I got it all on tape.  The Ellis teachers performed three songs that were very good thanks to the skills of D.F. and B.E..

Afterwards, we went to Costello's and stayed until 9.

Friday, October 24, 2014

12 Facts About Autumn-- Part 4: Pumpkins

9.  HALLOWEEN is a large part of autumn.  (After all, we have the Halloween stuff on store shelves since September.)

The concept of wearing masks and costumes hails from the ancient Celtic tradition.  The Celts believed ghosts roamed on Halloween, and people wore disguises to hide from the spirits.  (Not to win prize money.)

10.  You're bound to see PUMPKINS as part of autumn decor.  The pumpkin was first named by the Greeks.  They called this edible orange item "pepon," which means 'large melon."  We have six artificial pumpkins in our front-facing windows.  Looks EERIE!!

11.  EVERGREEN TREES will not lose their leaves like deciduous trees.  Their leaves, also called needles, are covered with a thick wax.  This wax protects the inner components of the needles, preventing them from freezing.  This goes for yews as well.

12.  Autumn also signals another COLORFUL SPECTACLE, the NORTHERN LIGHTS.  The aurora borealis tends to be very visible this time of the year because geomagnetic storms are about twice as likely to occur during the fall thanks to cool evening weather.

So, Now You Know About Fall.  --DaCoot

12 Facts About Autumn-- Part 3

Continued from October 16th.

6.  Fall is PEAK MIGRATION TIME  for many species of birds.  During autumn, birds will fly over to other areas as they seek more hospitable climates.

The Arctic tern journeys about 11,000 miles each way for its annual migration.  That is like going across the United States about there and a half times.

7.  Contrary to popular belief, SQUIRRELS who have spent the entire autumn collecting acorns and other foods do not hibernate for the winter.  Rather, they spend the majority of their time in nests they built to shelter them from harsh weather.

When squirrels do come out during the winter, they are usually tunneling under the snow to find the food they buried during the fall.

I have never seen more squirrels out collecting food as I have this fall.  They are everywhere.

8.  Several cultures have ancient TRADITIONS THAT COINCIDE WITH AUTUMN.  For example, the Chinese celebrate the Moon Festival to give thanks for a successful summer harvest.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Round Lake Teacher Strike 1994-- Part 8

DAY THREE, OCTOBER 19TH:  "Decided to bring in my camcorder today.  Went to the headquarters and picked up the stuff for Magee.  Out on the line by 6:30 and then walked over to the high school/administration area where we would have a speech by the IEA president.

"Again, the cops were in full force but at least without the paddy wagon.  We had speeches and songs and then the president spoke.  He told us the eyes of everyone were on us, not just Illinois, but the whole U.S..  he said he had never seen fences and cops at any teacher strike.

"We then had more songs then M.D., our leader (superintendent), drove up and behind the admin building with just a quick glance at the people she leads.  She looks very haggard."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Round Lake Teacher Strike 1994-- Part 7: Second Day: Really Walking the Line

October 18th:  "B.D., R.S. and I went to Costello's where they were having a teachers special for the duration of the strike with cheeseburger and fries for $2.25.  That is very nice of Frank and Sharon.

"Back at the line, B.D. and I got bored and took a walk down Hart Road to Sunset and down to the high school picket area.  Talked with them for awhile and then continued on to where they're finally starting to cut Sunset through.

"There, we ran into R.D., whom I've known for years.  He is now mayor of Round Lake Beach.  Talked with him a while and then continued to the first street and walked toward Cedar Lake past another high school picket line (they were watching two entrances, front and back).  The trees were beautiful.

"We walked by the  administration building and found it to be nothing like yesterday.  There were only two cop cars, a few teachers and a few students in the area.  Walked on back to the Magee picket line.  Left at 4 and came home."

"Watched TV and rested."

Round Lake Teacher Strike 1994-- Part 6: Day Two, October 18th

"Up at 5:15 a.. and drove in a light rain to the headquarters and arrived just as Jeanne was opening it.  Wished her a happy birthday (40th and what a way to celebrate it) and had a cup of coffee.  The one teacher who graduated from Palatine in 1970 was there, too.

"M.H. dropped by and we took the clipboard with check-in lists back to Magee.  Again, we had people reporting in late and leaving early.  I didn't go to the high school for the daily scab confrontation, but understand only the five from yesterday who originally crossed and the four green building (administration) secretaries.

"People were very impressed with my flag (Don't Tread on Me).  Again, we got much reaction from the cars, most positive.  There was a lot of honking (to show support).

"At 9:30, the other picket captains and I went to the headquarters.  So far, only the five who originally crossed yesterday have gone over to the other side so that is good news.  We still have several people who haven't shown up on the line.  We were very happy when A.W. finally showed up.  We had been  greatly worried that she would cross the line."

Bad News Scabs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Round Lake Teacher Strike 1994-- Part 5: "Don't Tread On Me"

Continuing with Day One, October 17, 1994.

"At 4, we had a rally at the pavilion at Hart's Woods.  This was a pep rally. R.B., B.D. and I sang our song and it was well received.

"Afterwards, I drove to Gurnee Mills and bought a "Don't Tread on Me" flag and ate at White Castle.

"Stopped at Costello's and was surprised to find only Liz, K.L. and one other teacher there.  I guess everyone was too worn out to do much more.

"I came home and watched TV."

I'll have to see if I can find the words to the song.

This Was One of the Hardest and Longest Days of My Life.

Round Lake School Teacher Strike 1994-- Part 4

'We finally got a (strike) headquarters (for the strike) today in the building where the first Round Lake Library was.  It is by A-1 Tire and by the library site when I was on the board.  We had originally had headquarters at Father Berger Hall at St. Joseph's, but they backed out on Friday.

"The rain finally stopped around ten or eleven.  Walking back and forth quickly became tedious.  SAt noon we had a picket captains meeting at hqand the place was still one of chaos.

"After the meeting, K.H. came by with food.  The picket captains (for Magee): M.H.,. S.K., M.K. and I drove to Burger King for their 99 cent Whoppers.  Came back and walked the line.  I continued to become more infuriated by the fence and along with B.D. composed a song 'Don't Fence Us Out' (based on the song 'Don't Fence Me In.'

Not Quite Finished With Day One.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Round Lake School Teacher Strike 1994-- Part 3

I was always upset that our school board and administration chose to treat the teachers as horrible people who were apt at any moment to destroy a building or do injury to anyone. This was obviously a planned move on their part and set the stage for a long strike.

Teachers do not go on a strike for no reason.

They should have realized that, but they chose to treat us like criminals from the get-go.  I never had any respect for our school board or administration, even after the strike was finally over.  I still don't.

OCTOBER 17, 1994

Back to my journal for the first day.

"Walked over to the administration building where I found 150-200 teachers marching around the block.  There were three TV mobiles there with their antennas extended up to three stories and reporters doing interviewing.  We only had five teachers cross the line.  I only knew two: R.K. and D.L...

"All five were met with jeering and even profanity.  (That day all five became enemies of  mine and all five took the concessions we got at the end of the strike, but had done everything they could to hurt us.)

"The assistant superintendent Ellen Z., came out and took a lot of flack.  Mary D. (our superintendent) should have come out to do that job but was nowhere to be found."

I Still Get Angry As I Type This.