Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jack the Ripper? Out Here in Northern Illinois? An Earlier Murder here.

From Wikipedia. //// The last entry about cemeteries mentioned a Boone County man being poisoned by a Dr. Cream, suspected of being the notorious Jack the Ripper. This is something I knew nothing at all about. I always figured it was strictly an English/London thing. //// But, there are those who thinks Jack the Ripper ended up in London by way of Canada and Illinois and went by the real name of Thomas Neil Cream. //// You can look it up for an interesting story. //// However, I'm interested in the death of the Boone County man whose gravestone accused Dr. Cream and his wife for his murder. //// On 14 July 1881, Daniel Stott died of strychaine poisoning at his home in Boone County, Illinois, after Dr. Cream supplied him with an alleged remedy for epilepsy. Cream was arrested along with Mrs. Julia A. Stott who had become Cream's mistress and procured the poison from Cream to kill her husband. //// She turned state's evidence to avoid jail. Cream was sentenced to life imprisonment at Joliet Prison, but was released in July 1891 and went to London where Jack the Ripper soon began his dirty work. //// At some point after Mr. Stott's death, unknown persons erected a gravestone oin his plot reading: "Daniel Stott Died June 12, 1881 Aged 61 Years, poisoned by his wife and Dr. Cream." //// Wonder what happened to Mrs. Stott? //// Now, That Is An Interesting Story. --Cooter

Lots of History in Those Cemeteries: Jack the Ripper in Illinois?

From the Dec. 10, 2008, Chicago Tribune "Cemeteries yield family history" by Jeff Long. //// Genealogist Craig Pfannkuche likes exploring cemeteries "and digging up arcane facts about the dead." //// "He feels nostalgic, he said, for the time when cemeteries were like parks, with people bringing a picnic lunch and having family get-togethers-- even if some of the relatives were 6 feet under. Those days lasted from the late 1800s until about 1950, he said." //// Victorians loved mourning but that all changed with all the death during World War II. //// A favorite of his to visit is McHenry County's Ridgefield Cemetery which opened in 1836, the second-oldest one in the county. There is one gravestone reading "David Hartman, Company B, 36th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. Killed at Franklin, Tenn. Nov. 30, 1864. Aged 25 years." That provides the groundwork for a lot of interesting further research. //// Then there is a real interesting one in the Garden Prairie, Illinois, cemetery reading, "Killed by his wife and Dr. Cream." There are some who believe that Neil Cream, born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1850 and who lived for awhile in Chicago, was Jack the Ripper. //// All Sorts of Interesting Stuff in Those Cemeteries. --DaCoot

The Mysterious 29: Did Frank Lloyd Wright Build Them?

From the July 6, 2008, Chicago Tribune by Blair Kamin, Tribune Critic. //// There are 29 houses in the Chicago suburbs whose architect may or may not have been Frank Lloyd Wright. There are one each in Glen Ellyn and Wilmette, two in Berwyn (as Svenghoolie would say) and 25 in River Forest (including 24 of the 26 houses in the 700 block of William Street). Imagine a F.L. Wright subdision. //// Problem is that there is little documentation. As such, the team exploring it looks for Wright's "artistic signature," like a meandering route to a front door. //// Of course, these homes could have been designed by Wright-influenced architects or even ones working for him. //// To Wright or Not To Wright. That Sure Would Be Neat to Find Out You Were Living In a Frank Lloyd Wright House. --Cooter

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dogs of the Titanic-- Part 2

The only dogs belonged to first-class passengers //// After the wreck, one family even got an insurance settlement on their two dgs who were lost. Will Carter of Philadelphia was on the Titanic with his wife and two children. He insured his wife's jewelry and a 1912 Renault automobile that he had bought in Paris for $5,000. (The movie's love scene took place in a replica of this car.) Daughter Lucy's King Charles Spaniel was insured for $100. Billy's airedale was insured for $200. Billy begged his father to take his dog, but Carter said it was too big and would be fine. It perished in the ship's kennel. //// Fifty-year-old Ann Elizabeth Isham had a Great Dane dog and visited it daily in the kennel. As the ship was being evacuated, she asked to take her dog but was told it was too large. She thenm refused to leave and got out of the lifeboat. //// Several days after the sinking, a woman's body clutching a large dog were spotted by the crew ofthe recovery ship Mackay Bennett. //// Two-known photos remain of the Titanic's dogs. ////

Dogs of the Titanic-- Part 1: Three Survived

From the April 9, 2012, Yahoo! Contributors Network "Dogs of Titanic: a Dozen Aboard, Three Survived" by Marie Anne St. John. //// J. Joseph Edgette, PhD, has spent 20 years researching the Titanic ship records and eyewitness accounts. So far, he has come up with twelve confirmed (and perhaps more) dogs aboard the ill-fated ship. Only three survived. //// Captain Smith's dog, Ben, was a huge Russian wolfhound given to the captain by Benjamin Guggenheim, had been on the ship the day before departure but was taken off, though. //// The three surviving dogs were all small: two pomeranians and a Pekingese. One, lady, a pomeranian was brought in Paris by Miss Margaret Hags and was wrapped in a blanket. The Rothschild's owner the other pomeranian. The Pekingese was named Sun Yat-Sen and owner by the Harpers of the New York publishing company Harper & Row. //// A Dog's Life.

Tourists destroying Titanic Wreck

From the April 14, 2012, Yahoo! News "Titanic discoverer says ship's wreckage site being destroyed by tourists; how he plans to save it" by Eric Pfeffer. //// Tobert Ballard: "They are loving te Titanic to death. They are landing on it, crushing the deck, knocked off the crow's nest and leaving all sorts of garbage." Litter Bugs? //// He urges "Visit, but don't touch." //// On Monday he will host "Save the Titanic" on the National Geographic Channel where he will propose "robot sentries" to alert of trespassers. //// Well, Not Me. I Haven't Been to and Couldn't Afford to Go To It.

RMS Titanic

Fom the April 13, 2012, Wall St. Journal. //// The Titanic went to Cherbourg, France, after leaving Southampton in England. It made its final port of call at Cobh, Ireland. Initial distress calls were picked up at Cape Race, Newfoundland. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch had a reporter on the SS Carpathian who got a scoop of a lifetime. //// From the April 12, 2012, L.A. Times. //// Ancestry.com has thousands of records on the crew and passengers available. Passengers are available by name and ship class. This information is temporarily available for free (back in 2012). They also have the coroner's inquest on bodies recoveredand headstone images of the 121 victims buried in Halifax. //// Quite the Centennial Back in 2012.

U.S. Coast Guard Sinks Tsunami Ghost Ship in 2012

From April 6, 2012, International Business Times "Tsunami Ghost Ship: U.S. Coast Guard Sinks Japanese vessel Adrift Since Last Year." The 164-foot long ship had been adrift in the Pacific Ocean since the tsunami hit Japan back in March 2011. It was sunk in the Gulf of Alaska to keep it from being a hazard to other ships as it had entered major sea lanes. //// The main mass of floating debris from the tsunami is not expected to reach North America until March 2014. //// A New "Flying Ditchman?" --DaCoot

"A Christmas Story:" 30 Years Later-- Part 4

Of course, sevral years ago, TBS began showing the movie in a 24-hour marathon starting on Christmas Eve and going through Christmas. This has become "must-see" viewing for families across the country and me. I always try to watch it at least once straight through, then catch segments off and on. I do not get tired of it. //// This anniversary of the movie, its 30th, will be marked beyond Cleveland with stage versions from Boston to California, including here in Chicago. //// I'm not sure it is still there, but for many years, the first Indiana exit of I-80 at Hammond in Indiana going east from Illinois, had a whole recreation of it at the welcome center. This was taken from the windows of Macy's in New York City. //// "A new bronze statue of the 'triple dog dare' tongue-grabbing scene is now on display in time for the holidays in Hammond, Indiana, the hometown of Jean Shepherd, whose stories inspired the 1983 movie." He has a cameo in the movie telling Ralphie and Randy that the line starts back there when they mistakenly vut in. Of course, we all that famous scene. The statue was dedicated in October and has been popular ever since. //// However, beware. Nicki Mackowski of Hammond's tourist agency warns, "We're working on putting up signs as the cold weather gets here. You know 'Lick at your own risk' kind of thing." //// Not to mention the germs from Licking. --Cooter

Saturday, December 28, 2013

"A Christmas Story": 30 Years Later-- Part 3

The Horseshoe Casino Cleveland this year decorated for the season to highlight the movie with leglamps atop some of the slot machines. //// And, then, there is "A Christmas Story House" in Cleveland, the one which was used for exterior scenes and, evidenly interior as well. Visitors can duck under the sink where Randy hid when he thought "Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie" and run out the back door where Ralphie ran through fake snow to try out the best Christmas gift he ever got. Entrepreneur Brian Jones developed the house into an attraction. //// The snow seen in the movie was actually mostly firefighting foam that had to be used because of an unusual snowless stretch in Cleveland during filming. //// Jim Moralevitz, now 73, lives down the street from "A Christmas Story House" and got a cameo role delivering the crate containing the infamous leg lamp. Brian Jones gave him a leg lamp seven years ago and it's mounted in a 6-foot plexiglass box outside his home near the peak of his front roof. People sometimes mistake his house for "A Christmas Story House" and stop for a visit. He likes to boast that he has the most drive-bys. //// I'm Thinking That He Was Not the Head Delivery Guy Who Talked With the "Old Man." --Cooter

Friday, December 27, 2013

NIU Coulda' Woulda' Made School Football History Last Night

What had been the most outstanding year in Northern Illinois' football program certainly came crashing down in this month of December. //// First, we missed a chance to go to our second straight BCS Bowl game at the Fiesta Bowl, with out MAC Championship loss to Bowling Green, but last night, missed out on our first-ever 13-win season with the 21-14 loss to Utah State in the Poinsettia Bowl. //// Oh well, we'll have to "settle" for a 12-2 season. //// It sure has been a great four years with this class of seniors. //// Thanks, Guys. --Cooter

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"A Christmas Story" 30 Years Later-- Part 2: Got My Fix

Yesterday and Christmas Eve, I saw two complete shows and a whole bunch of segments. Thanks TBS for making this movie a holiday tradition for me. //// As you know, 9-year-old Ralphie really wanted that bb gun, despite the dire warnings of "You'll shoot your eye out!" Then, there was the gruff "Old Man", played by Darren McGavin, and his Indy 500 and "major award" leg lanp fixations. And that wonderful Mom who covered for him after the fight and his brother Randy getting his snow suit, not eating, Christmas present-mania and hiding under the sink when he thought his dad was going to kill Ralphie. //// There are just so many neat scenes in the movie, where could you begin? //// The article said that the house in Cleveland where the film family lived (qnd evidently used for many interior shots) is now a museum to the movie and Nov. 29th and 30th was going to highlight the film's 1983 release with appearances by original cast members and a bb gun range in the backyard (Just watch out for the icycles.) Would I have ever loved to have been there. //// "The movie wqasn't widely acclaimed when it debuted, with favorable reviews barely outnumbering bad mentions like the one that grumbled 'Bah, humbug' in the headline. But its quirky humor and love-in family message struck a chord with audiences." //// A few years ago, I was able to see it on the big movie screen in Woodstock, Illinois, in the theatre that had the scene in the movie "Groundhog Day." And, there was about half-and-half as far as audience was concerned in kids and "old kids" like me. I have never heard so much laughter at a movie. //// More to Come. --Cooter

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"A Christmas Story" 30 Years Later: Just Keeps Getting Better-- Part 1

From the Nov. 29, 2013, Wilmington (NC) Star-News ""Christmas Story" at 30: Now part of the family." AP. //// I don't know about you, but I've already watched one whole show straight through on TBS (last night at the Route 12 Bar in Fox Lake, Illinois, on their 70-inch HDTV. Wow!!!). Liz has had it on all day in the family room so I've seen bits and pieces of it. "Even after three decades, the triple-dog dare doesn't get old." //// "The film, 'A Christmas Story' opened 30 years ago to mixed reviews but has shown its staying power as a holiday family favorite. Cleveland, where parts of the movie were filmed and hard-luck Ralphie dreamed big, is celebrating the anniversary with iconic leg lamps, holiday store windows like the ones that drew Ralphie's wide-eyed stares, and stage and musical versions of 'A Christmas Story.'" //// Hey, What About Brother Randy's Nose at the Window? --DaCoot

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Christmas Songs-- Part 5

2. A VETERINARIAN SINGS "GRANDMA FOR RUN OVER BY A REINDEER." The song was written in 1978 by Randy Brooks as a joke. Since then, that "joke" has sold over 40 million copies. (I even have a battery-operated moose that sings it.) He asked the husband and wife team of Elmo and Patsy to perform it (the folks credited on the 45 cover). //// Patsy actually doesn't sing or play on the track as they got a divorce. Elmo is actually Elmo Shropshire, a veterinarian and graduate of Auburn University. I have to wonder if he's ever had a reindeer as a patient? //// 1. EVERYONE LOVES CHRISTMAS SONGS. "There are two types of people in the world, those who like Christmas songs and filthy liars." Some people are upset about all those radio stations who go all Christmas music before the holiday, but all who do see their ratings double. That means, somebody is listening. //// In 2011, 100 Clear Channel stations (the largest owner) went 24-hour Christmas music. But some stations are really pushing that start time. In 2013, a Syracuse station began its Christmas programming on October 5th. //// Hey, I Like Those Christmas Stations Every So Often. --Cooter

Ten Things you Might Not Know About Christmas Songs-- Part 4

4. "O COME, O COME, EMMANUEL" IS REALLY OLD. It gained popularity in the 18th century, but was penned in the 9th century and originally sung in Latin. //// THE FIRST CHRISTMAS SONG TO MENTION SANTA was "Up n a House Top" written by Benjamin Hanby in 1864 and mentioned St. Nick, better known today as Santa Claus. He drew his inspiration from Clement Clarke Moore's "A Visit From St. Nick." ////

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Christmas Songs-- Part 3

7. JEWISH MEN WROTE SOME OF THE CHRISTMAS CLASSICS. //// Johnny Marks wrote "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Holly Jolly Christmas." His brother-in-law wrote the original story of Rudolph. //// Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas. Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn wrote "Let It Snow." Mel Torme wrote "The Christmas Song." //// 6. "DOMINICK THE DONKEY" by Lou Monte was financed by the Mob in 1960. Monte received support from the Gambino crime family. //// 7. "DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR" was inspired by nuclear war. It was written in 1962 by the husband and wife team of Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne after the Cuban Missile Crisis as a prayer for peace. The line about a star "with a tail as big as a kite" referred to a missile. //// --Okay, Everyone Make Like a Donkey and Bray, Wise Guys. --DaCoot

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Christmas Songs-- Part 2

8. "JINGLE BELLS" WAS THE FIRST SONG PERFORMED IN SPACE. //// On Dec. 16, 1965, astronauts Wally Schirra Jr and Thomas P. Stafford were orbitting earth in Gemini 6 and approaching Gemini 7 for a historic space meeting. At one point, they were just a few feet away from each other. //// Afterwards, just before their re-entry to earth, they reported: "We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, probably a polar orbit... Looks like he might be going to re-ener soon... You just might let me pick up that thing... I see a command module and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit." //// Then, they produced a harmonica and bells which they had secretly stowed on board and played "Jingle Bells." The first song to be performed in space. The two had practiced it on earth and Mission Control had no idea they were going to do it. //// You can hear what they said at the site. Well, one way not to get coal in their stockings. //// Jingle Bells All Over Space. --Cooter

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Christmas Songs-- Part 1

From the Dec. 22, 2013, Listverse "10 Hidden Facts About Christmas Songs" by Jake Vigliotti. //// This was one great group of info, along with pictures and song videos of each thing listed. Well worth checking out the site. //// 10. TONY THE TIGER SANG "YOU'RE A MEAN ONE, MR. GRINCH." Boris Karloff narrated the Dr. Seuss story, but couldn't sing a lick. The services of one Thurl Ravenscroft were enlisted, but generally unknown because he was not credited. //// He voiced many characters on Walt Disney rides and shows, but his voice is best-known as that of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes' Tony the Tiger saying, "They're Grrrrrrreat!!" //// 9. JiNGLE BELLS STARTED OUT AS A THANKSGIVING SONG. //// Would That have Been great If the Grinch Said, "They're Grrrreat!" Would Have Brought Down the House, But Imagine It Might Have Been Copyright Infringement. --Cooter

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A "Twinkie" in Her Eye, Twinkies-- Part 3: The "Twinkie defense"

In the 1950s, Hostess, the owner, began cranking up advertising for it. Commercials were placed on the very popular "Howdy Doody" show. Highland Park, Illinois, native Steve Ettinger, who wrote the book "Twinkie, Deconstructed" and where most of this article's information derives, said one of his favorite commercials was where the Twinkie was called a "great nutritional snack cake with potential to grow on." //// Twinkies have played a big role in American pop culture all along. TV's Archie Bunker got very upset with his wife, Edith, when she forgot to pack one in his lunch. The "Twinkie Defense" was coined in 1978 when an attorney for a suspect in a double murder in San Francisco claimed his client's junk food consumption was partly to blame. //// I remember Twinkies selling out at all area stores shortly after Hostess announced they were going out of business. //// A Twinkie By Any Other Name. --DaCoot

A "Twinkie" in Her Eye-- Twinkies-- Part 2: Two to Three Day Shelf Life

The really tasty new cakes were originally made with milk and eggs and only had a shelf life of two or three days. //// Postwar (WWII) America was pushing for greater consumer convenience and had a huge chemical surplus left over from that war. Scientists began finding new chemical uses, including something called polysorbate 60. This petroleum-based egg yolk substitute included a toxic gas used to thicken paint and rocket fuel. It also became a Twinkie ingredient. //// Later Twinkies included artificial butter flavor, high-fructose corn syrup, calcium sulfate and sodium stearoyl lactylate, eventually 40 ingredients. (Suddenly, I no-longer crave one.) //// Maybe, I Don't Want One Anymore. --Cooter

Friday, December 20, 2013

A "Twinkie" in Her Eye-- Twinkies-- Part 1: Who Invented Them?

rom the Nov. 18, 2012, Chicago Tribune "Expiration date for Twinkie?" by Joseph Ruzich and Ted Gregory. //// Of course, this article came out when the country was facing the loss of Twinkies, but, they're back now. //// The Twinkie was born on April 6, 1930, in Illinois, at the Continental Baking Company in River Forest. Plant manager James Dewar came up with the recipe in his quest to create a two-for-a-nickle snack, reportedly coming up with the name after passing a billboard for Twinkle Toe Shoes. Dewar was looking for a way to use shortcake pans that had been used seasonably for a strawberry shortcake knock-off called Little Shortbread Fingers. //// Dewar said it was "the best darn-tootin' idea I ever had." //// He related that he ate at least three Twinkies with a glass of milk every night before he went to bed. //// Good Calories? --Cooter

A Brief History of Summer Vacation-- Part 3: A Short Timeline

SUMMER'S HEATED DEBATE: //// 1837 HORACE MANN becomes Massachusetts' first secretary of education. //// 1842: SCHOOL TERMS, which include summers, exceed 240 days in some cities. Urban calendars shrink as rural ones increase. //// 1906: The first official study documents the "SUMMER SETBACK." The long summer break causes a negative effect on learning. //// 2007 At an average 180 days, the U.S. public school calendar is dwarfed by those in South Korea and Japan where students attend class for 220 and 243 days a year, respectively. //// What's My Name? --DaCoot

A Brief History of Summer Vacation-- Part 2: Adjusting Calendars

Urban students before the Civil War endured as many as 48 weeks of school a year withjust one break per quarter. Education was not, however, compulsory and attendance was often sparse. In Detroit, in 1843, only 30% of enrolled students attended year-round. //// In the 1840s, educational reformers like Horace Mann moved to merge the urban and rural claendars out of concern that rural schooling lagged. Then current medical theory held that overstimulating yound minds could lead to nervous disorders or insanity. //// Summer emerged as the obvious choice for a break. It offered teachers a needed break, meshed with the rural calendar and alleviated physician concerns that students packed into sweltering classrooms would be prone to spread disease. //// The modern U.S. school year, which averages 180 days, has its critics as well. Some say the long summer break is responsible for low math scores and graduation rates. //// Like my wall plaque in Margaritaville says, "Three good reasons to be a teacher: June, July and August. //// Can't Please Everyone. --Cooter

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Brief History of Summer Vacation-- Part 1

From the June 30, 2008, Time Magazine by Alex Altman. //// I wish they'd put this page back in the amgazine. //// As we prepare for yet another bout of winter storms here in the Midwest. //// "This month, millions of American kids flee the tyranny of the classroom bell for lifeguard stands, grandparents' homes and sleepaway camps. But, summer vacation has not always been a birthright of U.S. school children." //// Before the Civil War, U.S. schools operated on one of two calendars, neither of which included a summer vacation. //// Rural schools had a winter and summer term so kids would be free to help with spring planting and fall harvesting. //// And, I Remember When Summer Vacation Lasted Forever (As Did the School Year). -- Cooter

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Titanic Victims 'Dead Calm'

From the April 13, 2012, New York Post by Maureen Callahan. //// On April 12, 2012, the centennial Titanic cruise docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia, so passengers could visit Fairview Cemetery where 121 victims are buried. //// One of the graves at the cemetery was that of John Law Hume, the first violinist on the ill-fated ship who had a pregnant fiancee. As the ship began to sink, he said, "We're gonna just play a few tunes to keep peoples' spirits up." He died playing "Nearer My God to Thee." //// Another one was that of Alma Paulson, 29-years old, from Sweden with her four children, ages 2, 4, 6 and 8 and on her way to America to meet her husband. //// The Centennial Cruise had lunch at Halifax's Five Fishermen Restaurant, formerly the city mortuary where the recovered dead from the Titanic were taken. The survivors went to New York City. //// One complaint on the cruise was the absence of Titanic-themed souvenirs (Titanic coal, however, can still be bought.) A blue Titanic hat with coal in it can be bought for $20. //// Then the people on the cruise went to Halifax's Maritime Museum of the Atlantic which has a permanent exhibition of Titanic artifacts. Some of their items are a deck chair, pair of child's shoes, and pieces of a life jacket that may have belonged to New York millionaire John Jacob Astor. //// Reliving the Event.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Back Brace May Have Cost JFK His Life

From the Nov. 18, 2013, Yahoo! News "Doctor: Back Brace may have cost JFK his life" by Jay Hart. //// President Kennedy was plagued by severe back pains much of his life and had to take shots and pills for it. It was so bad, he couldn't put his left sock and show without help. //// When the president arrived at Dallas' Parkland Hospital that day, Dr. Kenneth Saylor, then 27 and a resident, was the doctor on duty. Kennedy was still breathing in a "sort of agonal, labored, close-to-your-last sort of breath." //// He was wearinga corset-like brace which Saylor believes cost the president his life. //// "The first shot that hit him went through the soft tissue of the back of his shoulder and exited through his trachea. That same bullet went through John Connally's chest, through his right hand and into his thigh and knocked him completely down in the car." Connally immediately slumped over and the Zapruder film shows Kennedy didn't. He remained upright and the second shot struck him in the head, the fatal blow. Kennedy had remained upright because of the brace. If he too had slumped over, perhaps the second shot wouldn't have hit him. //// Makes Sense to Me.

Deaths: Willis Ware, Early Computer Pioneer

WILLIS WARE, 93, AP. //// Died November 22, 2013. Helped build early computers in the1940s 1nd 1950s for Rand Corporation. He was on the Princeton team that built the IAS machine, one of the world's first electronic computers in the late 1940s. Joined Rand in 1952 and helped build the Johnniac Computer. Without him, I might not be sitting here typing away right now. ///// Thanks Mr. Ware.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

JFK's Dallas Limo

ABC World News. //// That limo "remains one of the most powerful symbols of his final hours. The 1961 4-door Lincoln Continental is now at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. //// It had no armor that day but was refurbished and remained in the presidential auto fleet until the 1970s. //// It had a removable roof and bubble top, but it had been removed that day in Dallas after the rain cleared as President Kennedy didn't like it. Standing White House orders were to remove the top anytime the weather permitted. However, it wasn't bullet-proof. //// Nowm there is near-silence when people see it. Everyone's images of that day include this car. People can't help to think, "What if the car was moving faster?" "What if the top had been on?" //// The car had been flown out from D.C. on a cargo plane accompanying the president's plane. (I know as I asked one of the people at the Air Force Museum this past Nov. 22nd if the limo had been ferried by JFK's Air Force One, which is at the museum, the other iconic image of the assassination). I didn't think a 747's cargo bay was big enough to hold a limo like that. //// After the assassination, the limo was brought back to Washington where the Secret Service and FBI intensely studied every square inch of it. It was then refurbished with titanium armor and a permanent top. //// It was code-named X-100 and is painted a midnight blue. //// Clint Hill, the First Lady's Secret Service Agent that day, will revisit the limo and will be at the car November 22nd. (Was he the one that climbed up on the trunk when Jackie Kennedy appeared to be crawling out of the car?) //// A Real Piece of History.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

21 Great McDonald's Meals You Can't Get in the U.S.-- Part 5

17. McALOO TIKI-- India. Fried potato and pea patty in a bun. //// 18. SAMURAI BURGER-- Asian markets. Either chicken or beef patty coated in terriyahi sauce with mayonaise and lettuce. Popular sides are Seaweed shaker fries and Jasmine green tea //// 19. McSPICY PANEER--India. Fried curd cheese patty topped with tandoori sauce, red cabbage and lettuce served on a sesame roll. //// 20. GAZPACHO SOUP-- Spain. Classic summer soup served chilled with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, celery, lemon juice and hot sauce. //// 21. POUTINE-- Canada. (OK, I'll stop snickering now.) Drizzled gravy and cheese curds on french fries. Based on a traditional Canadian dish. (Sounds a bit like a Central Illinois Horseshoe sandwich.) //// Not Your Same Old, Same Old McDonald's. --RoadDog

21 Great McDonald's Meals You Can't Get in the U.S.-- Oart 4

13. ROSTI BREKKI WRAP-- Australia and New Zealand. Bacon, fried egg, slice of cheese and potato rosti (similar to hash browns). Served on a flour tortilla with bbq sauce. //// 14. McLOBSTER-- Canada. 100% Atlantic lobster meat, diced celery, lettuce and a light salad dressing, served on a soft roll. (I had seen these in Maine once, but didn't buy one as I figured they muct have them back home in Illinois. Sadly, they didn't.) //// 15. BACON POTATO PIE-- Japan. Chunks of potato and bacon served in the same deep-fried shell as McDonald's apple pies. //// 16. KIWI BURGER-- New Zealand (of course). No kiwi fruit or meat, though. (I think the kiwi whatever it is, is protected.) A four ounce beef patty, griddle egg, beetroot, tomato, lettuce cheese, onion, mustard and keychup. (I had one of these in New Zealand and it was one of the best burgers I ever ate.) //// I'd Sure Like to Have me Another One of Those Kiwi Burgers, But Will Settle for a McRib. --Cooter

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

21 Great McDonald's Meals You Can't Get in the U.S.-- Part 3

Next time you're overseas, don't stay away from McDonald's figuring you can just eat their food at home. Foreign McDonald's feature an array of things you can't get here and a whole lot of the ones I'm writing about are definitely something I would try. //// 9. MATCHA McFLURRY-- Singapore and Japan. Green tea powder for a green color and topped with heaps of Oreo bits. //// 10.. SNACK AL PARMIGIANO-- Italy. Instead of a side of fries, it is an individually wrapped bar of Parmesan cheese. //// 11. CHEESE KATSU BURGER-- Japan. Melted cheese inside of fried pork cutlets with sliced cabbage and sweet and sour sauce served on a sesame seed bun. //// 12. BABUR AYAM McD-- Malaysia. Breakfast treat porridge, chicken strips, spring onions, sliced ginger, fried shallots and dice cjillies. //// Making Me Hungry. --Cooter

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

21 Great McDonald's Meals You Can't Get in the U.S.-- Part 2

4. BACON ROLLS-- U.K.-- "Breakfast of Choice" for bacon-lovers. From British farms and served on a roll with ketchup or brown sauce. //// BLACK AND WHITE HAMBURGER COMBOS-- China. Black Burger roll topped with white sesame seeds with black pepper sauce and chopped onions. The white burger topped with black sesame seeds. Like McRibs, availability comes and goes. //// 6. TARO PIE-- Japan and Asia. Chunks of taro root covered in sweet purple sauce inside a flaky pie crust. Taro tastes like potatoes, only stronger. //// MCARABIA-- In Arab countries and Pakistan. Two grilled chicken patties with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and garlic sauce inside a pita. //// I'd Try Any of These. --Cooter

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lost Beneath the Ice: The HMS Investigator

From the Nov. 18, 2013, CTV Canada AM "Lost Beneath the Ice: Book sheds new light on the HMS Investigator." //// The 122 ton HMS Investigator left Britain in January 1850 on a mission to rescue an earlier expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The Investigator never returned and its wreck was discovered by Parks Canada archaeologists in 2010 in Mercy Bay. //// The ship had become hopelessly stuck in the ice before finalkly being abandoned in 1853 after the crew had survived remaining on board for two years. The ship is credited with finding the elusive Northwest Passage, so sought by earlier explorers. //// Never Heard of It. --DaCoot

James River Bridge Once World's Longest Bridge

From the November 18, 2013, Hampton Roads (Va.) Daily Press "When it opened on Nov. 17, 1928, the James River Bridge ranked as the world's largest" by Mark St. John Erickson. //// Mr. Ericcson writes a lot about history. His articles on the War of 1812 in the Hampton Roads/Norfolk area of Virginia provide very interesting reading. //// Eighty-five years ago this week, the five-mile long James River Bridge became the first fixed-link facility across Hampton Roads and an important part of the national north-south Atlantic Coast Highway or Ocean Highway. //// Some 30,000 attended the formal dedication November 17 and a two-mile long "Monster Parade" pyrotechnic recreation of the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack was part of the ceremony. The giant lift span was activated by President Calvin Coolidge by electrical connection from the White House. //// It cost $7 million and included bridges over the nansemond River and Chuckatuck Creek. //// All that remains of the bridge today is a fishing bridge on the Newport News side of the James River. //// Grand Old Bridge. --Cooter

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pearl Harbor 72 Years Later

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which plunged us into World War II. I have always been fascinated with Pearl Harbor. //// Today, each of my seven blogs will have the name of one American (all from Michigan's Upper Peninsula) who died that day. Each one had parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends that loved him. //// JOSEPH BARAYA, Channing, Michigan. USS Arizona. //// Never Forgetting.

The World Lost a Great One This Week: Nelson Mandela

I was sad to hear that this man died this past week. He is one of those rare politicians, especially in Africa, who put his people and country above himself at all times. He was a man who stood up for his convictions regardless of repercussions and even had to spend some 27 years in prison for opposing arpartheid in his native South Africa. //// Just to show what kind of man he was, I heard one journalist talking about him shortly after he was released from prison and having a top level meeting with his group at a hotel when a maid came into the room. He stopped what he was saying and stood up because that is what you do when a lady comes into the room. He was a gentleman as well. //// I admired him early on, but especially after reading a long article about him in Time Magazine a few years ago. //// The passing of a great one.

A Christmas Wreath for the Christmas Tree Ship

From the November 25, 2013, Channel 3000 "Coast Guard to lay wreath near sunken Christmas tree ship." //// The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinac is loaded with 1220 Christmas trees and then will cruise from its home port of Cheboygan to Chicago and have a ceremony today, December 7th, at Navy Pier to mark the 101st anniversary of the sinking of the Christmas Tree Ship, the Rouse Simmons, which sank in a storm on November 23, 1812. //// The wreath will be placed in the water near the shipwreck near Two Rivers and Kewaunee, Wisconsin. //// For more on the ship, click on the Christmas Tree Ship label. //// A Chicago Tradition. --Cooter

Remembering Columbia House Record Club

Back in the 70s and again in the 80s to 90s, I belonged to the Columbia House Record Club so I could get a lot of albums for the cheapest price possible. //// You'd join with at least 13 albums for free, just postage and handling, and then would have to agree to buy seven or more albums in the next 2-3 years at regular price (and, of course, always that pesky p&h, I really hated that). I also belonged to BMG Record Club. //// I wrote about this in one of today's posts to my Down Da Road Blog. //// But, Don't Forget That Reply Card. --DaCoot

21 Great McDonald's Meals You Can't Get in the U.S.-- Part 1

From the Nov. 18, 2013, Yahoo! Finance "21 Awesome McDonald's Dishes You Can't Get in America" from Business Insider by Hayley Peterson. //// When I travel overseas, I do go to McDonald's, but you'd never catch me ordering a Big Mac or Quarterpounder. I'm checking out other items they have. In Hawaii, you can get pineapple and Vegemite. In New Zealand, I had one of the best burgers ever, called a Kiwi Burger. //// 1. EBI BURGER-- Japan, Singapore and other Asian countries. A whole shrimp embedded in a crispy patty with lettuce and spicy sauce. // 2. SHAKA SHAKA CHICKEN-- Singapore. deep-fried chicken patty served in a paper sleeve with packet of spice. // CROCK BRIE-- Italy. Deep-fried triangles of oozing brie cheese. //// The article has pictures of all these items. //// More Good Stuff to Come. --Cooter

Friday, December 6, 2013

The World War I Donkey

From the April 2012 Mail Online "The donkey born in a First World War trench which became a mascot for British troops." //// ** Jimmy "The Sergeant" donkey was born at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. //// ** Wounded by shellfire three times in two years on the frontlines. //// ** Taught to raise a hoof in salute by the soldiers who raised him. //// ** After the war, he raised thousands of pounds for the RSPCA. //// ** Was weaned on cans of condensed milk. //// ** Carried equipment and soldiers. //// The Long-Eared, Braying Soldier. --DaCoot

Ten More Major Breakthroughs of Humanity

From the March 30, 2012, Listverse: 10. Anaesthesia (1842) // 9. Penicillin (1928) // 8. Green Revolution (1940s to late 1980s) // 7. Steam engine (1750) // 6. Fossil Fuels (5,000 years ago) //// 5. Automobile (1885) // 4. Airplanes (1903) // 3. Telecommunication (1839) // Genetic Modification (1973) // 1. Computers (1936) //// Making Life Better, One Invention At a Time? --Cooter

Thursday, December 5, 2013

On JFK's Air Force One Fifty Years Later

I was already going to be driving to North Carolina for Thanksgiving anyway and passing by Dayton, Ohio. I had just found out that the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB had the original JFK Air Force One. I figured that would be a great way to commemorate the event by visiting it and hopefully either seeing it or, even better, going on board. //// I met my buddy Denny at the museum and we were one of the last ones to get seats on the bus out to what they call the Presidential Hangar which has planes used by FDR, Truman and, of course, JFK's Air Force One. //// When we got to the hangar, everyone rushed AF1, so Denny and I took a walk around the research and development planes until the line went away at JFK's plane. Not only did we see the outside of the plane, but we also got to go on it. I went through twice, first taking video of it from my VHS-C camcorder and then a second time to take still pictures. //// We saw where the LBJ swearing in took place in that famous photo with Jackie Kennedy standing next to him and also saw the seats that were cut away to allow JFK's casket to be flown back to D.C.. Most caskets would have been relegated to the cargo hold but that wouldn't do for a presidential one. //// Sadly, though, plexi-glass lined the hallway and it was difficult to take pictures, but,I WAS THERE WHERE ALL THOSE EVENTS TOOK PLACE FIFTY YEARS AGO TO THE DAY. One man in the group was an expert on all things dealing with the assassination and he said that we weer on the plane at the same time JFK would have been on it when he took the short flight from Fort Worth to Dallas back on November 22, 1963. //// That Close to History!!

What Our Rock Stars Would Look Like Today Had They Lived

From the Nov. 20, 2013, Mail Online (UK) "What if they had lived to fade away? Rock and roll legends who died young imagined in old age with help of photo technology." My wife sent me this and was it ever interesting to see what what these guys and gals would probably look today had they lived: Jim Morrison, Bob Marley, Mama Cass, Curt Cobain, Bobby Darrin, Karen Carpenter, John Lennon, Keith Moon, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and Dennis Wilson. //// Check It Out. --Cooter

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Not Much Posting the Last Two Weeks

I just got back froma two-week trip to North Carolina for a family Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the laptop did not work so I am a fair amount of postings behind. -- DaCoot

10 Major Breakthroughs of Humanity

From the March 24, 2012, Listverse. //// Again, text and pictures at the site. //// 10. Logical Thought-- millions of years ago // 9. Stone Tools-- 2.6 million years ago // 8. Fire-- one million years ago // 7. Domestication-- 10,000 years ago // 6. Wheeel-- 6,000 years ago //// 5. Mathematics-- 20,000 (How about history?) 4. Metalworking-- 10,000 // 3. Paper-- 100 BC // 2. Printing Press-- 1440 // Vaccination-- 1724. //// Another list. I Don't Remember. --Cooter

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rev-vin' Up for Drive-In Movies-- Part 1

From the July/August 2013 DAR American Spirit Magazine by Jamie Roberts. //// Yes, we have a drive-in theater near us in Spring Grove, Illinois, but open only during the summer and fall and the first show not starting until 9 or 9:30 and that's too late for these old bones. //// Richard M. Hollinshead opened the first drive-in movie theater in Camden, New Jersey in the summer of 1933. He figured to marry two American loves-- automobiles and movies. //// His first effort essentially was just a 1928 Kodak projector showing a picture on a bedsheet nailed to two trees. He then experimented with projection techniques, sound amplification and ramps for cars until he figured he'd had enough to go full-scale. //// He drew a huge crowd for the grand opening of his Park-in Theater on June 6, 1933, charging 25 cents per car and 25 cents per person to see the British comedy "Wife Beware." //// It took off and by the mid-1960s, there were more than 4,000 in the country. //// Too Late for Me. --Cooter

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Recollections on JFK's Assassination

I'll be on the road this Friday, November 22nd, and not sure if I'll have internet access. I do hope to be at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, northeast of Dayton, Ohio, where I hope to see and go in to Kennedy's Air Force One, which was very much a part of that day. //// But, back to my memories of the day and days afterwards. I was a seventh grader in Mrs. Banie's social studies class when the principal came in and told us. Some of the girls started crying, but I just sat there, along with most of the boys, with no expression. Mrs. Banie talked about it some then went on with our lesson. I know we were quite excited when we were told there would be no school for some of next week (I think three days). //// Once home, all you saw on our five TV stations was news about the assassination. I was kind of disappointed that nothing else was on. But, watched a lot of it. //// The only thing that really got me was the funeral procession and those muffled drums and that cadence they beat out. Even today, when I hear it, I tear up.

Thirty Years After "The Day After"

Looking back into my journal from 1983, I see that Sunday, November 20th was the showing of the much talked about "The Day After" on TV. There was a lot of hype and how people would be affected by it. We were even told at school that it was to be policy not to discuss orhave anything to do with it before it was shown. //// Here is what I wrote: "I watched 'The Day After' the movie about nuclear holocaust. I did not find it nearly as shocking as the psychiatrists and psychologists would have us believe." -- Cooter

"I Could Stay Here Forever:" JFK Picked His Final Resting Place

From Yahoo! News. //// A half-century ago "grief and hope were made tangible in the glow of a flame" lighted by Jackie Kennedy in her final official act as Firts Lady. The Eternal Flame was her idea. //// Section 45 is on a steep hillside leading up to Robert E. Lee's Arlington House and not the spot you'd necessarily think would be right for a president to be buried. But, just eight months before the sad event in Dallas, President Kennedy visited Arlington National Cemetery, one of his favorite spots, and taking in the view from the house said, "I could stay here forever." His wife remembered his words and decided to have him buried there so he can belong to the people. //// Just 24-hours before the burial, Jackie Kennedy decided she wanted an eternal flame. Most didn't even know what she was talking about at the time, but making one was turned over to Army Col. Clayton Lyle and Lt. Col. Bernard Carroll, who decided to model it after a Hawaiian tiki torch. To light it, they had a piece of wire with a big wad of cloth dipped in kerosene. It worked on the day of the funeral and burial on November 25th. //// Those assigned to stand by the grave also had to always have a book of matches on them as the wind often extinguished the flame as did a nun once while blessing it with too much Holy Water. //// Huge crowds attended the burial ceremony that day. //// The Flame underwent its first major renovation just a few years ago and still operates on the same principle. I always thought they had put in a gas pipe to the grave. ////

There Sure Is a Lot of Stuff Out About the JFK Assassination Anniversary

There are plenty of those special $10-$12 magazines in the racks at stores (I bought one) and plenty of articles in the papers about different aspects...and rightfully so. This was my generation's Pearl Harbor and later generations 9-11. //// I wish that my teachers back then had made us write a report about how it affected us. The last five years I taught, my seventh graders had to write a report about them, their families and 9-11. And, I taught seventh graders every year for 33 years and I was in seventh grade when it happened. I even had my kids that day, write about it in class as we listened to the radio. It is so important to write these things down, especially while it is happening or as soon as possible afterwards. ///// Fifty Years Ago, That's Half a Century. Has It Been That Long.

Follow Up on Jennie Truncale, a Rosie the Riveter

Back on Nov. 8, 2013, I wrote about this woman turning 105 in my World War II blog, Tattooed On Your Soul, and that she worked at the Scuvill Manufacturing Company in Waterbury, Ct., during the war. I'd never heard of this company so some more research was in order. //// From the Women, Enterprise & Society Collection at Harvard University. //// This company produced brass objects like buttons, screws and tools in Waterbury, Ct., from 1802-1956. Its payroll records from 1862-1916 indicate that about half of the workers were women. //// From Wikipedia. //// Waterbury is known by the nickname "Brass City," and is 77 miles northeast of New York City. During World War II, some 10,000 worked at Scuvill Manufacturing which was sold to Century Brass in 1956. //// Just a Follow Up. --Cooter

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ten Facts You Didn't Know About the JFK Assassination-- Part 4

3. Were there really "MYSTERIOUS DEATHS?" The rumor went around that many witnesses died under mysterious circumstances. Perhaps there was a secret "hit squad" silencing people. However, many died long after their ceremony, most of heart disease which is the #1 killer anyway. //// 2. There was no "FOURTH SHOT" from the grassy knoll. The Warren Commission ruled that there were only three shots. Several years later, the House Select Committee on Assassination indicated a possible fourth shot coming from the knoll, but 12 acoustic experts have ruled that out. And, the "fourth shot," if it happened at all, came a minute after Oswald's shots and by then the motorcade was well on its way to the hospital. //// 1. The REAL KILLER of JFK, depends on the decade. In the 1960s, it was the Soviets. In the 1970s it was the CIA and in the 80s, The Mob. It would seem that JFK's killer is whomever we are the most afraid of at the time.

Ten Facts You Don't Know About JFK's Assassination-- Part 3

5. KENNEDY'S FAMILY chose to keep secrets as well. They kept his hospital and autopsy records under wraps which gave the perception that the family had something to hide. //// 4. The government isn't keeping very many JFK secrets and won't keep any at all for much longer. Oliver Stone's "JFK" film did lead to declassification of 97% of the documents. The other 3% will be declassified in 2017 unless the then-serving president decides to continue them under wraps. //// A Really Sad Time.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ten Facts That You Don't Know About JFK's Assassination-- Part 2

8. OLIVER STONE'S "JFK" mixed fact and fiction. //// 7. There was no 'MAGIC BULLET." This idea holds that a single bullet changed direction twice in JFK's body then hit Texas Governor John Connally and emerged pristine. It couldn't have happened and a bullet was flat on one side. //// 6. The U.S. ERRED in keeping its investigation secret. It was held behind closed doors which is a major problem of all the speculation.

Ten Facts You Didn't Know About the JFK Assassination-- Part 1

From the Nov. 10, 2013, Yahoo! News by Jay Busbee. The 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination is this Friday, November 22nd. Jay Busbee interviewed author Brad Meltzer for this list: 10. The WINDOW from which Kennedy was shot in the Texas Book Depository Building went missing six years later. Gen. D. Harold Byrd, owner of the building had it removed, framed and hung in his mansion. Another story has it that Aubry Mayhew, who later owned the building, said Byrd had removed the wrong window. He removed the correct window and did the same thing. Both windows ended up for sale on e-Bay, but Mayhew's is the real one. //// 9. PLENTY OF SHOOTERS HAVE RECREATED OSWALD'S SHOTS. At the time of the shooting, it was believed that no other shooters could fire off three shots from that type of rifle in less than 6.75 seconds. But, according to the Warren Commission, one shooter fired off three shots in 4.6 seconds and eleven averaged three shots in 5.6 seconds. Plus, military marksmen are trained to hit targets at between 200-500 yards away. Oswald's first shot was at 59 yards and the last at 89 yards.

American Artifacts

From the Nov. 10, 2013, Parade Magazine. //// The Smithsonian has a new book "History of America in 101 Objects" which looks to give fresh facts about our national treasures. Here are four of them: //// 1. LOUIS ARMSTRONG called his trumpet by his own nickname: "Satchmo." In case you're wondering, "Satchmo" is shortened from "Satchel Mouth." //// 2. Black and red stitches on the baseball signed by BABE RUTH means that the ball was used in the National League. 3. Restoring the flag that inspired "THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER" cost the Smithsonian a whopping $58 million. Money well-worth spending. //// 4. The HOPE DIAMOND was once rumored to carry a curse. Find out why at www.parade.com/diamond. //// I May Have to Get a Copy of This Book. --Cooter

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ten Things You Might Not Know About the Irish-- Part 3

This is from a want ad, possibly in the Chicago Tribune (the article didn't say, but State Street is a famous Chicago street, you know, as Frank said, "State Street that great street." "WANTED-- A GOOD GIRL TO COOK, WASH, and iron in a family of two. No Irish need apply. at No. 463 State-st." No Irish Need Apply signs were frequent back in the 1800s, especially with all the Irish coming over to the U.S. because of teh Irish Potato Famine. It kind of reminds me of some of the problems today with all the Mexicans coming to the country. --DaCoot

Ten Things You Might Not Know About the Irish-- Part 2

3. in 1845, 1 in 50 Bostonians were IRISH-BORN. Ten years later, 1 in 5 were. //// 4. friends of a young Dublin musician named PAUL HEWSON started calling him Steinvic von Huyseman, then, just Huyseman, then Houseman. Later they named him after a hearing-aid store, Bonovox of O'Connell Street. Bona Vox is Latin for "good voice." Ultimately, he went with just BONO. He fronted a band called Feedback, then The Hype and finally U2. The rest, as they say, is history. //// --Celebrating St. Palladius Day. --Cooter

A Big Piece of the JFK Assassination: Air Force One

From the November 10, 2013, Chicago Tribune "JFK's plane at museum" With a photo of the plane and people coming out of it so evidently you can go inside which makes it even better. "As we approach the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, solemn observances obviously will be many in Washington and Dallas, where he was shot. But for those looking for a relic integral to that day in Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963, visit the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, six miles northeast of Dayton, Ohio. //// There in the museum gallery is the Air Force One that carried Kennedy to Dallas that day, then carried his body back to Washington that night. //// It's also where Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson took the oath of office in the presence of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, her clothes still stained with her husband's blood. //// More at www.nationalmuseum.af.mil." That oath of office is a very famous photograph. This is also where the Final Toast of the Doolittle Raiders took place last Saturday. //// I am thinking of visiting the museum this coming Friday which not only is November 22nd, but also occurs on the same day of the week as the assassination fifty years ago. It will be a connection with that long-ago event.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ten Things You Might Not Know About the Irish-- Part 1

From the March 17, 2013, Chicago Tribune by Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer, two really great researchers. How do they come up with all this good stuff? According to the paper's date, it was St. Patrick's Day, even though St. Patrick was not Irish and he did not banish snales from Ireland. In fact, some of St. Patrick's exploits actually belong to Palladius, a Christian leader who preceded St. Patrick. "But let's celebrate anyway by sharing these 10 malarkey-free facts." //// 1. In 1901, Chicago's top cop was FRANCIS O'NEILL who was arguably the world's pre-eminent expert on Irish folk music, collecting and preserving thousands of pieces of music, many of which would have been lost foever. //// 2. While the origins of NOTRE DAME's nickname are lost in history, the name Fighting Irish was first used regularly around the turn of the last century. According to one account, university officials finally gave it their blessing in 1927 figuring it was better than other names used for the teams: Ramblers, Rovers and Nomads. The name Nomads came from the school traveling far and wide to find opponents. //// Better Than Celebrating St. Palladius Day. --DaCoot

As We Lose Chicago's Dominick's Stores: A History

From the October 13, 2013, Chicago Tribune. //// By the end of next month, the very last Dominick's grocery store will close in the Chicagoland area. Always sad to lose something that has been around that long, even if I rarely went to one. //// HISTORY //// Dpminick's started in 1925 as a small corner market on Chicago's West Side by Italian immigrant Dominick DiMatteo, and his store eventually grew into Chicago's second-largest grocery chain behind Jewel. Between these two chains, they eventually chased other national chains, like Kroger, out by the 1970s and 1980s. //// After a succession of owners, California-based Safeway bought Dominick's for $1.2 billion in 1998 and Dominick's became part of the nation's second-largest grovery chain. //// In the first nine months of this year, Dominick's l;ost $13.7 million and has been losing market share for years to Wal-Mart, Costco and specialty markets until the store accounted for just 9% of local grocery dollars. //// Sorry to See It Go. --Cooter

The Assassination of JFK-- Part 8: Fifty Things

41. Jackie Kennedy requested an eternal flame be put by the grave. //// 42. Although she would remarry, today she is buried next to the president. //// 43. Two of the Kennedy's children, an infant son and daughter, are also buried with their parents. //// 44. The funeral day, Nov. 25, was also John Jr.'s third birthday. //// 45. Caroline would turn 6 two days later. //// 46. A taxi cab driver reported that the funeral crowds were oddly quiet: "...you could hear a pin drop." //// 47. An Irish military guard paid its respects at graveside, following commands shouted in Gaelic. //// 48. After the funeral, Jackie Kennedy met privately with three heads of state: Charles de Gaulle of France, Eamon de Valera of Ireland and Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. //// 49. Near midnight that night, Jackie and Bobby Kennedy paid an unplanned visit to Kennedy's grave. //// The first two letters that Lyndon Johnson wrote as president were to Caroline and John Jr. //// Of all that happened that week, the funeral procession is what got to me the most. i still can't hear muffled drums without tearing up. //// It Was Quite a Time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Assassination of JFK-- Part 7: Fifty Things

35. The New York Times reported that JFK's 98-year-old grandmother, Mary Josephine Fitzgerald, was not told of the assassination. //// 36. In Washington, dignataries from more than 100 countries arrived for Kennedy's funeral. At the time, it was the largest-ever gathering of its kind on American soil. //// 37. An unexpected 250,000 people paid their respects to the former president as he lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. //// 38. Tens of thousands were turned away, some having waited throughout a near-freezing night in a line that stretched for more than two miles. //// 39. Jackie Kennedy modeled her husband's funeral ceremony after that of Abraham Lincoln. //// 40. With help from Bobby Kennedy and Robert McNamara, Jackie chose the burial site at Arlington National Cemetery. ////

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Assassination of JFK-- Part 6: Fifty Things

28. Dallas businessman Abraham Zapruder caught the assassination on his 8 mm home movie camera. //// 29. His secretary had urged him to go home and get it for the presidential parade. //// 30.Zader's film was later bought by Life Magazine for $150,000. //// 31. Oswald's murder by Jack Ruby on Nov. 24 was the first homicide caught on live television. //// 32. A police detective at the shooting called out, "Jack, you son of a bitch!" //// 33. When wrestled to the ground by police, Ruby cried out, "I'm Jack Ruby, you all know me!" //// 34. Oswald died at the same hospital as Kennedy, two days and seven minutes after the president. ////

The Assassination of JFK-- Part 5

22. Attorney General and presidential brother Robert F. Kennedy met Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base upon its return. //// 23. The Texas School Book Dpository's sixth floor, where assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had positioned himself for the shooting, is today a museum dedicated to JFK's assassination. //// 24. Oswald was a self-described Marxist. //// 25. He had tried to defect to the Soviet Union in 1959. //// 26. At the time, assassination of a president was not a federal offense; Oswald would have been tried in Texas. //// 27. The murder weapon was a 6.5 mm Italian carbine rifle that Oswald had bought for $19.95. ////

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Assassination of JFK-- Part 4

15. Kennedy's body was also on Air Force One while it was flying back to Washington, DC, and LBJ was being sworn in as the new president. //// 16. Judge Sarah Hufghes wept as she administered the oath of office. //// 17. Jackie Kennedy refused to take off her pink Chanel suit, stained with her husband's blood. She told Lady Bird Johnson, "I want them to see what they have done to Jack." //// 18. Jackie did, however, remove her wedding ring and put it on her husband's finger to be buried with him. //// 19. Later, she had an aide retrieve it. //// 20. Jackie's suit has never been cleaned and lies in the National Archives. //// 21. It will not be seen in public until at least 2013, according to Kennedy family wishes. //// More to Come.

The Assassination of JFK-- Part 3

Almost everytime I go by the old, soon-to-be-gone magazine rack at most any store, I see more and more of those great little history magazines on JFK, his life, presidency and assassination sprouting in profusion. //// I broke down today and bought one at Wal-Mart. His assassination was essentially the Pearl Harbor of my generation, something everyone old enough to remember knows exactly what they were doing on November 22, 1963. I'll write about my memories on that date. ////

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day 2013: Armistice With Germany

From Wikipedia. //// Also known as Armistice of Compiegne after location where it was signed. Went into effect at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918. Victory for Allies and total defeat for Germany, even though they never surrendered. //// Included cessation of hostilities, withdrawal of German troops to their own borders, promise of reparations, disposition of German warships and submarines and other conditions. //// Largely written by Allied Supreme Commander Ferdinand Foch of France. It ended the actual fighting but the war not officially over until six months later, when, after much negotiation, the Paris Peace Conference concluded with the Treaty of Versailles.

The Assassination of JFK-- Part 2

8. Texas Governor John Connally Jr. received multiple gunshot wounds. //// 9. A priest administered the last rites to the first Roman Catholic U.S. president. //// 10. This was the fourth presidential assassination in a nation that was less than 200 years old. //// 11. It was the first since the Secret Service began protecting presidents. //// 12. The Service scuffled with Dallas police for control of the president's casket. //// 13. Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office aboard Air Force One. //// 14. He became president 99 minutes after Kennedy's death. //// I have to wonder if Johnson had gone along with the trip or flew to Dallas to be sworn in? //// Fifty Years Ago.

The Assassination of JFK-- Part 1

From the November 2013 AARP Bulletin "Power of 50" by Betsy Towner. //// Fifty things you may or may nor have known about the assassination. Of course, Friday Nov. 22nd will mark the 50th anniversary of the event. //// 1. On November 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy laid a Veterans Day wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. //// 2. He would be buried at the cemetery exactly two weeks later. //// 3. Jackie Kennedy rarely traveled with her husband on political trips but decided to fly with him to Texas on Nov. 21. //// 4. On Nov. 22, the Kennedys were celebrated at a breakfast at Fort Worth. //// 5. Their presidential open-top limousine had been flown in fron D.C. for the trip. //// 6. A 14-year-old boy reported watching JFK's face go blank at around 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 12. //// 7. The boy also said he heard Jackie Kennedy shout, "God, oh God, No." //// Many More to Come.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

238 Years Ago USMC Founded in 1775

That's a lot of years. That's a lot of honor and glory. Thanks, Marines. --Cooter

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Final Standings of the APFA for the 1921 Season

From Wikipedia. //// Chicago Staleys 9-1-1; Buffalo All-Americans 9-1-2; Akron Pros 8-3-1; Canton Bulldogs 5-2-3; Rock Island Independents 4-2-1; //// Evansville Crimson Giants 3-2-0; Green Bay Packers 3-2-1; Dayton Triangles 4-4-1; //// Racine Cardinals 3-3-2; Rochester Jeffersons 2-3-0; Cleveland Indians 3-5-0; //// Washington Senators 1-2-0; Cincinnati Celts 1-3-0; Hammond Pros 1-3-1; Minneapolis Marines 1-3-0; //// Detroit Tigers 1-5-1; Columbus Panhandles 1-8-0; Tonawanda Kardex 0-1-0; Muncie Flyers 0-2-0; Louisville Brecks 0-2-0 and New Yory Brickley Giants 0-2-0. //// Thought This Would Be of Interest to You NFL Nuts. --DaCoot

The 1921 APFA Season (That Would Be NFL)

From Wikipedia. //// While doing research on the Evansville Crimson Giants who belonged to the APFA (American Professional Football Association), the forerunner of the NFL, I got interested in the 1921 season. //// The season lasted from 9-25-21 to 12-18-21 and the Chamipons were this little old team called the Chicago Staleys led by George Halas. And, we all know what team this group became. //// The league's headquarters was moved to Columbus, Ohio,. and it was decided that the rules of play would be the same as college football. //// A number of teams, however, had financial difficulties. The number of teams was increased to 21, but four didn't even finish the season: Brickley's New York Giants, the Cincinnati Celts, Tonawanda Kardex and Washington Senators. The Muncie Flyers and Cleveland Tigers (who changed their name to Indians) folded after the season. //// Other new teams were the Evansville Crimson Giants, Green Bay Packers, Minneapolis Marines and Louisville Brecks. The Detroit Heralds folded midseason and were absorbed by the Buffalo All-Americans. //// The Staleys moved from Decatur to Chicago and beat the Buffalo All-Americans for the league championship. They were renamed Da Bears after the season and were led by wide receiver George Halas. //// Da Bears, Even Back Then. --Cooter

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pirate Blackbeard's Cannons

From the Oct. 31, 2013, Straits Times "Archaeologists find booty from pirate Blackbeard's ship." //// Five large cannons were brought up from the wreck of Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge (QAR) off the North Carolina coast this past week. Four of them weighed between 900 and 1,3000 kg. The largest is believed to have been made in Sweden. //// They also hope to recover two large secretions in the wreck which are believed to hold cannonballs, barrel hoops and other items. //// The QAR was discovered in 1996 and was intentionally run aground in 1718. Blackbeard was killed in battle later that year. //// Captain Jack Would be So Proud. --DaCoot

The NFL's Evansville Crimson Giants-- Part 2

Continued from Nov. 4th. //// In 1921, the same businessmen decided to form their own team. They got two Ex-Collegians to form the new team and established the American Football Association and named the team the Crimson Giants. Eventually the Ex-Collegians and Crimson Giants merged. //// On August 27, 1921, they got an American Professional Football Association (forerunner of the NFL, renamed NFL in 1922) franchise. In 1921, the team won five of their first season games. They defeated the Louisville Brecks, then the Muncie Flyers and then lost to the Hammond Pros. //// Biggest problems for the team were money and scheduling. In early November, the team traveled to play the Green Bay Packers at Hagenmeister Park and lost 43-6. They had two other games, one in Chicago against the Decatur Staleys and one against the Cincinnati Celts that was cancelled because of weather. //// The year resulted in a big financial loss. //// The Crimson Giants played only three games in 1922 and lost all three to the Toledo Maroons, Rock island Independents and Louisville Brecks. That was the end of the team. //// Early NFL. --Cooter

Why Dana Barron Wasn't the Daughter on "European Vacation"

It was a surprise when the second "Vacation" movie was made and the original son and daughter weren't in it. Dana Barron, who played the original, was not in the follow up because Anthony Michael Hall was working on the film "Weird Science." The producers decided to go with two new kids. Too bad. The new ones weren't as good. Maybe the "European Vacation" would have done better with the original kids. //// Of interest, Dana Barron said she got motion sickness on the rollercoaster in the first movie and that she had been up to be the sister of Matthew Broderick on "Ferris Buuehler's Day Off" but hadn't gotten the role. //// It's a Movie Thing. --DaCoot

Top Ten Greatest Pixar Films

From the March 19, 2011, Listverse. //// I really enjoy animated films and this company can really make good ones. I've seen a lot of them, either at the theater or on TV: 10. A Bug's Life // 9. Monsters Inc // 8. Up // 7. The Incredibles // 6. Toy Story 3 //// 5. Wall-E // 4. Ratatouille // 3. Toy Story 2 // 2. Finding Nemo // and, #1. Toy Story. //// I must admit I was REALLY surprised that Cars was not on the list. The creator of it said the movie was too "bland and predictable." I would have rated in #1. //// Oh Well. Good Movies, Anyway. --Cooter

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Peeps-- Part 3

5. THE JUST BORN COMPANY NOT JUST ABOUT PEEPS: They also make some of my favorites like Mike and Ike and Hot Tomales and boast that they are the number one cinnamon-flavored candy-maker in the world. //// 6. JUST BORN OWNERS DO NOT, HOWEVER, CELEBRATE EASTER: Even though Peeps are much a part of Easter, Sam Born and his descendants are Jewish. //// 7. YOU CAN GET PEEPS YEAR-ROUND: Now you can also get them at Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day. BONUS: Here are some great company slogans: ""A Great Candy Isn't Made...It's Just Born." and "Peeps...Always In Season."

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Peeps-- Part 2

2. FOUNDER SAM BORN WAS A CANDY INNOVATOR: Sam Born is credited with creating a machine that put sticks into hard candy (lollipops) and creating "jimmies" which are chocolate sprinkles used on ice cream. He named them after a factory worker of his named Jimmy. He also changed chocolate's makeup so it could last through a summer without melting. (M&Ms?) //// 3. PEEPS HAVE A BOBLICAL HOMETOWN: The company moved from Brooklyn to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1932 at the height of the Great Depression. They took over a vacant building which is still there, though expanded to 100,000 square feet. //// 4. ORIGINAL PEEPS TOOK 27 HOURS TO MAKE: In 1972, Sam Born's son, Bob, discovered Amish women making marshmallow peeps by hand using pastry tubes, but the process took 27 hours. Innovative like his father, Bob Born created a machine which could make them in six minutes. Peeps used to even have little wings onthem, but that was discontinued in the late 50s. //// So, the Little Guys Used to Be Able to Fly? --DaCoot

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Peeps-- Part 1

From the March 28, 2013, Fox Business by Gabrielle Karol. //// And, I saw Walgreens had Halloween peeps and no doubt will have some out for Christmas now that those items are being stocked (well, since September). I wrote about their 60th anniversary back on Oct. 30th. //// MEET THE COMPANY BEHIND PEEPS: The company is Just Born (the founder' name was Sam Born)and sell one billion a year. Some 30% of them are bought for reasons other than eating. Peep fights? (Personally, I don't like them.) //// 1. IT'S FAMILY-OWNED AND OPERATED: They opened shop in 1923 in Brooklyn where they sold chocolate and fudge. It was built up by brothers-in-law Irv and Jack Shaffer and is now run by cousins and co-CEOs Ross Born and David Shaffer, the 3rd generation. //// They're Everywhere! They're Everywhere!! --Cooter

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wilmington's Robert Taylor Homes-- Part 3

From the Wilmington (NC) Housing Authority Site. //// The Robert R. Taylor Senior Homes are located today at 1308 N. 5th Street and are for seniors 55 and older. It is an apartment building and consists of 96 one-and-two bedroom units from 716 to 980 square feet. It is located less than one mile north of downtown Wilmington and has income restrictions to live there. //// The Wilmington Housing Authority also has the New Brooklyn Homes at Taylor Estates located by the senior homes at 1205 N. 5th Street. This consists of 48 two-to-four bedroom units from 1021-1498 square feet. These are also low income. //// I was unable to find out if any of these housing projects are the original one from before World War II, but imagine they are either original or on the site of those. //// The New Brooklyn Homes built in the 1930s had 241 units back then before the name was hanged to the Robert R. Taylor Homes after the death of Robert Robinson Taylor in 1942. //// --Cooter

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wilmington's Robert Taylor Housing-- Part 2: Robert Robinson Taylor

From Wikipedia. //// Robert Robinson Taylor (1868-1942) was the first accredited black architect in the United States. He was born June 8, 1868, in Wilmington, North Carolina, and enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the first black in 1888. //// As an architect, he designed most of the pre-1932 buildings at Alabama's Tuskegee University and was the second in charge of the institution behind its founder Booker T. Washington. The two men modeled Tuskegee on MIT. //// The 241 units of the New Brooklyn Houses, built in Wilmington in 1938 for blacks, were renamed for him, probably after his death in 1942. //// Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes were named after his son, Robert Rachon Taylor (1899-1957) who, like his father, was an architect, and a graduate of the University of Illinois in Champagne and early housing activist in Chicago. //// His great granddaughter Valerie Jarrett is a senior advisor to President Obama. Dr. Taylor is buried along with his wife, Nellie Chesnutt Taylor at Wilmington, NC's Pine Forest Cemetery. //// A Very Important Family. --DaCoot

Wilmington's Robert Taylor Housing-- Part 1

Back on October 8th, in my Tattooed On Your Soul World War II blog, I wrote about the Robert Taylor housing units being built in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1938. The housing was built for blacks during that segregated period and in anticipation of a critical World War II housing shortage as workers and militarty personnel swarmed into the city. //// The name Robert Taylor made me think of Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes which were built for low-income people originally and eventually became most all blacks and developed a myriad of problems. I saw them many times as I drove to Comiskey Park to watch the White Sox play. I thought it to be quite a coincidence that two housing projects were built with the same name, so had to do some research. //// It turned out to be quite interesting and introdiced me to two significant men. //// Two Robert Taylor Homes? --Cooter

Monday, November 4, 2013

The NFL's Evansville Crimson Giants-- Part 1

From Wikipedia. //// As I said in my posts last week, I had never heard of an NFL team called the Evansville Crimson Giants. I found out about them when writing about Evansville, Indiana's Bosse Field, where the Crimson Giants played. //// The city's first significant semi-pro football team was the Evansville Ex-Collegians which began play in 1920. They were all local players who got paid based on gate receipts on a game-by-game basis. There was no real management and the players themselves were in charge of scheduling and all finances. //// In 1920, a group of local businessmen tried to purchas ethe team but that fell through. //// After two initial wins over modest opponents, the Ex-Collegians began bragging about their playing a game against the most-celebrated football team in America, the Canton (Ohio) Bulldogs on Christmas Day 1920. Chances of that happening, however, were slim and it turned out to be more of a marketing scheme. Attendance increased and the Ex-Collegians finished the 1920 year with a 7-1 record. //// Go You Crimson Giants!! --DaCoot

Evansville's Bosse Field-- Part 2

Ten teams have played at Evansville, Indiana's Bosse Field. From 1921 to 1922, it was used as the home of Evansville Crimson Giants of the NFL (I will write about them later this week, I'd never heard of them.) //// Baseball Hall of Famers Hank Greenberg, Chuck Klein, Ed Roush and Warren Spahn played there as well as the wonderful Bob Uecker. I saw the Chicago White Sox had their AA team, the Evansville White Sox, of the Southern league there from 1966-1968. //// From the Evansville Otters site: //// Original construction costs: $10,000 for 10 acres on the southeast corner of Garvin Park; $50,000 for materials and labor and $5000 for city fees. It was built as a school board project (the first municipally-owned athletic facility in the U.S.). //// Seating capacity is 7,180. A crowd of 8,082 was on hand for opening day 1915. Bcak then, box seats were 75 cents, grandstand 50 cents and bleachers 25 cents. //// Dimensions are 315 feet down the left and right field lines and 415 to center. In 1931, the first night game was played at the field and 1971 was when beer sales were allowed. //// A Beer and a Ball Game. Sounds Like An Idea. --Cooter

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hunt for Emelia Earhart's Plane Back On

Renewed attempt to begin in 2014 and will center on the Pacific island of Nikumarora, even though there have already been several expeditions there. //// Amelia Earhart, her navigator Fred Noonan and the plane disappeared in 1937. They were last seen a Lae, New Guinea. It is thought that they did not die in a crash or drown. //// The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery plans a 30-day, $3 million expedition to the island where they think the plane crash landed off the reef and then slipped down a plunging cliff into deep water. //// That would really be something if they find the plane. //// Perhaps a Piece of "Found" History. --Cooter

Evansville's Bosse Field-- Part 1

From Wikipedia. //// In the last post I mentioned Bosse Field in Evansville, Indiana, as being the baseball diamond used in the film "A League of Their Own" about women's professional baseball during World War II. I'd never heard of it, even though I've been through Evansille many times. I guess I'll have to check it out the next time through. //// It was built in 1915 and is the third oldest ball field in the United States (Fenway Park in 1912 and Wrigley Field in 1914, with centennial next year). Since 1995, it has been the home of the Evansville Otters of the Independent Frontier League. //// It was named for Evansville Mayor Benjamin Bosse who served 1914-1922. "A League of Their Own" was filmed there in 1991. Of interest, the movie "Hoosiers" also used an athletic facility in Indiana at Knightsville for the high school games. ///// Nveer Heard of It. --DaCoot

Roseanne's House-- Part 3: Produver and "A League of Their Own"

From NancyCarol.squid.com. //// "Roseanne"'s creator and producer Matt Williams, is a native of Evansville. //// Evansville also has the third oldest ballfield in the United States (behind Boston's Fenway Park #1 and Chicago's Wrigley Field). //// The game scenes of "A League of Their Own" were all filmed there and it served as the homefield of the Racine Belles. Something else from the screen to see in Evansville. --Cooter

Friday, November 1, 2013

Roseanne's House-- Part 2

Continued from Oct. 25th. //// From the Bons Bons & Martini Blog. Roseanne's hangout, the Lobo Lounge, is a pizza restaurant and one source says it is called the Talk of the Town Pizza in Evansville. They visited, but the place didn't open until 4 PM and they didn't go inside as they were early and a bit afraid of the neighborhood. //// The Sentimental Journey Blog says that supposedly one of the show's producers was from Evansville, Indiana. //// "Roseanne's" fictional Lanford, Illinois, is belived to have been located about where Dekalb, Illinois, (Home of Northern Illinois University) is. I always thought it was somewhere in Chicago's far south suburbs, perhaps by US-30. //// Sister Jackie's driving school was located in Elgin, Illinois. There is a 3rd and Delaware sign in Evansville. //// And, I Sure Loved the Halloween Episodes. --Cooter

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Deaths: "Newhart" and "Simpsons"-- Marcia Wallace

MARCIA WALLACE (1942-2013) Died October 25th. She played the wise-cracking receptionist at Bob Newhart's office on "The Bob Newhart Show" and Bart Simpson's 4th-grade teacher Edna Crabappel. //// I used to have to stay home every Saturday night until all those great CBS shows were over back in my much-younger days. I didn't watch "The Simpsons" for a long time because of Bart Simpson. These are two of my all-time favorite TV shows. I'll sure miss her.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Deaths: Saved Geico-- John Byrne

JOHN BYRNE, 80, executive who in the late 1970s brought Geico back from the brink of bankruptcy, a legendary turnaround that led Warren Buffett to call him the Babe Ruth of Insurance when he invested in the company. //// Without this guy, there would be none of those great Geico commercials. I love that Geico Gecko, especially when he does the regionl commercials like the ones for Chicago. And then, there's that "What day is it?" camel. //// Whoever does the Geico commercials-- just brilliant. //// Love the Gecko and Camel. --Cooter

Happy 60th Anniversary to Peeps

From the March 25, 2013, Time Magazine Milestones. "The 60th anniversary of Peeps, the spongy marshmallow chicks that have become synonymous with Easter in the U.S.; they were born in 1953, when Russian immigrant Sam Born bought the Rodda Candy Co. of Lancaster, Pa." //// Peeps are now made for Halloween, Christmas and St. Valentine's Day. //// Yellow chicks are the original color ones and this is where they get the name, as baby chicks go "peep." The company is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and also make Mike and Ikes and Hot Tamales. (I didn't know that.) I personally do not like Peeps at all. //// Candy for a Candy Time Tomorrow. --DaCoot

Female Cubs Exec Changed the Ballgame-- Part 3: Bill Veeck, Family-Centered Games and Waivers

During the 1930s, Miss Donahue, she never married, worked side-by-side with William Veeck's son, Bill. "She fed him this idea that baseball wasn't just about the men in the ballpark, that a ballpark should also have a family atmosphere." Bill Veeck took that to heart in all of his future baseball undertakings. //// She also became an expert on waivers. //// A Groundbreaking Woman. --Cooter

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Female Cubs Exec Changed the Ballgame-- Part 2: Season Tickets and Da Bears

Margaret "Midge" Donahue was hired by Cubs owner William Veeck (Bill veeck's father) in 1919 when he responded to a job wanted ad she had placed in the Sunday Tribune. She initially turned down the offer to be a stenographer because she wanted to work in the Loop, but Veeck offered her much more than what she was earning at a laundry supply company. She tried to quit at the end of the first season, but he made her hours between 10 and 4, so she stayed. //// Donahue impressed Veeck that he started giving her more responsibility, especially in the ticket office. In 1926, he hired her as corporate secretary. That promotion made national news. //// In 1929, she began selling season tickets which practice has become a major source of income all across sports. //// She even was in on the begiining of the NFL by working for George Halas when he moved the Bears from Decatur to Wrigley Field in 1921 and then continued on Sunday afternoons into the 1930s. -- DaCoot

Female Cubs Exec Changed the Ballgame-- Part 1

From the July 22, 2013, Chicago Tribune "Focus" by John Owens. //// A person I'd never heard of before this. Margaret Manning of far northwest suburb Huntley has a "Golden Pass." It is fifty years old, signed by long-ago heads of Major League Baseball and offers free access to any game in any stadium in the National and American leagues. It is for her aunt Margaret "Midge" Donahue's "long and meritorius" service with the Chicago Cubs. //// She is recognized as "a groundbreaking baseball executive" and her fame will grow with 3014's 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field. //// She worked for the team from 1919 to 1958 and was the first female front-office executive in Major league Baseball who was not an owner. She was an innovator who introduced the concept of season tickets in 1929, selling tickets at off-site locations and offering reduced ticket prices for children under the age of 12. //// Quite a Woman. --Cooter

Monday, October 28, 2013

New England Coastal Lighthouses-- Part 3

NEW LONDON HARBOR: "New London Harbor is Connecticut's oldest and tallest lighthouse. Originally established in 1761, the tower was financed by a lottery held by the Connecticut colonial legislature. The present lighthouse, built in 1801, was the one of America's earliest ones with a flashing beacon." //// BOSTON HARBOR: Boston Harbor Light, North America's first true light station, was established in 1716. The lighthouse was the last in the United States to be automated-- in 1998-- and is the only remaining American lighthouse with a resident keeper employed by the federal government. It was designated a National Historical landmark in 1964." //// So, There You Have All Five New Lighthouse Stamps. --Cooter

New England Coastal Lighthouses-- Part 2

PORTSMOUTH HARBOR: "The first navigational aid in New Hampshire was created in 1771, in the state's only deep-water port, Portsmouth Harbor. The present lighthouse, a 48-foot tower of bolted cast-iron plates built in 1878, was constructed inside its predecessor, a wooden tower that had succumbed to deterioration." //// POINT JUDITH: "Originally established in 1810 to guard a partucularly dangerous part of the Atlantic coast of Rhode Island. Point Judith's current lighthouse was built in 1857. In 2000, the lighthouse underwent a renovation using brownstone quarried from the same area as the 1857 tower." //// Punch Yer Lights Out. --DaCoot

New England Coastal Lighthouses-- Part 1

From the back of the U.S. Postal stamp sheet, US Postal Service. //// "Solitary and mysterious, lighthouses have fascinated people for centuries. Celebrating the eternal appeal og these historic becaons, the U.S. Postal Service continues the popular series of lighthouse stamps. Sought after by collectors and beloved by the public, this latest issuance in the series celebrates New England Coastal Lighthouses." //// PORTLAND HEAD: //// "Maine's oldest lighthouse, Portland Head has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1873. The lighthouse tower, constructed in 1791, and the Victorian keepers' house, now the home of a museum, are among the most beautiful-- and most frequently photographed-- stations in the United States." //// Keeping the Light On. --Cooter

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lighthouse Stamps Out-- Part 3: Sally Snowman and the Lights

Sally Snowman was hired as the Boston Light lighthouse keeper in 2003 after volunteering there and co-authoring Boston Light: A Historical Perspective. Her job includes cleaning and maintenance and "light housekeeping" as she likes to joke. She wears attire like the first keepers would have worn after the Revolutionary War. //// She says lighthouses stand for hope, "For those immigrants who came into Boston, seeing Boston Light was the hope of a new beginning. And when people have survived shipwrecks in Boston Harbor are asked about what kept them going-- what helped them keep the faith-- many said it was this lighthouse. //// Jeff Gales of the U.S. Lighthouse Society says the stamps will help raise interest in these storied pieces of American architecture. "Eash lighthouse had their own light pattern," a pattern of light movements which would distinguish one lighthouse from another." There was a book that identified these light patterns in these days before GPS. Lighthouses also often were painted with different patterns which made them distinguishable in daylisht. //// We'll Leave the Light On. --Cooter

Friday, October 25, 2013

"Roseanne's" House-- Part 1

From Roadside America. //// I had to look this up as I like to see TV/movie filming sites when I am familiar with the shows. Neighbors call it the "Roseanne House" at 619 South Runnymede Avenue in Evansville, Indiana. It is between Lincoln Avenue and Bellmeade Avenue. //// The show ran from 1988-1997. //// The show's TV hangout at the Lobo is also in the area at the corner of Edgar and Louisiana streets. //// Built in 1925, it hasn't changed much since the show. It has 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and is just under 2000 square feet and was used in establishing shots. As I wrote yesterday, it was recently for sale for $129,000. //// Like I said, Next Time Through. --Cooter

Roseanne's 25th Anniversary-- Part 4: Becky 1 and Becky 2

*** Actress LECY GORANSON played "Becky 1" left the show at the end of season 4 to attend Vassar full time and returned for Season 8. SARAH CHALKE played "Becky 2" in the interim. //// *** The end credit video was a tradition. //// *** Season 9 was horrible and a bomb. Definitely a show that should have ended a year earlier. //// ***Finished Season 1 as the #2 show behind Cosby. Remained in Top Twenty every year until that 9th season. //// ***The "infamous" chicken shirt, considered the dumbest tee shirt in the world, was worn by almost every cast member during the show's run. (I don't remember it.) --Until the Final Season, This Was Must-Watch TV for Me. --DaCoot

Lighthouse Stamps Out-- Part 2

The series will also commemorate the Portland Head lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, maine; the Portsmouth Harbor lighthouse in New Castle, N.H.; the Point Judith lighthouse in Narragansett, R.I.; and the New London Harbor lighthouse in New London, Ct. //// BOSTON LIGHT //// Boston Light, on Little Brewster Island, is the only lighthouse in the United States that still has a keeper. That would be Sally Snowman, even though the lighhouse was fully automated. A 1989 congressional mandate (I hate congressional mandates) said there must be someone on site because of its historical importance. (built in 1716, it is the oldest lighthouse in the country). In 1719, Boston Light became the first North American lighthouse to install a cannon to signal ships in the fog. It was occupied by royal forces in the Revolutionary War and burned several times. //// More to Come. --Cooter

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lighthouse Stamps Out-- Part 1: Boston Light

From the July 12, 2013, USA Today "Massachusetts: Stamps shine a light on an American icon" by Molly Vorwerck. //// "Lighthouse are icons of a bygone American seascape. Now the U.S. Postal Service hopes to capitalize on their appeal with its sixth series in a collection of stamps commemorating some of America's most historic lighthouses." //// The 46-cent "forever" stamps were released July 12th and showcase five New England lighthouses. (I have my sheet already. Something else I don't need to collect.) //// The Boston Harbor lighthouse, known as the Boston Light, was built in 1716 and is the oldest one in the country and the only one still run by a keeper. Sally Snowman does the job, even though it is fully automated. //// More to Come. --DaCoot

Roseanne's 25th Anniversary-- Part 3: Where Was the House?

Some more stuff about the show. //// ***MATT ROTH played Jackie's younger boyfriend Fisher. They fell in love with each other in real life and got married in 1993. //// ***Pre-"Titanic" LEONARDO DiCAPRIO played Darlene's home-ec classmate in one episode. //// ***The house that was used for exterior shots of the Connor home in fictional Langford, Illinois, was actually in Evansville, Indiana, and earlier this year was for sale for $129,000. On TV it was at the corner of 3rd and Delaware. (I could have afforded that. You know, own a piece of history, maybe turn it into a museum like "A Christmas Story." I drive through Evansville on occasion and would like to see it, but couldn't find the address.) //// I'd Like to See That House. --Cooter

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Roseanne's 25th Anniversary-- Part 2

Some more interesting stuff: //// **** CHUCK LORRE, creator of "Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men" was on the writing staff. //// *** Roseanne was often at war with her writers and producers. //// *** The TV Roseanne gave birth to their youngest son Jerry on the Season 8 Halloween special and the real one also gave birth to son Buck. //// *** MICHAEL FISHMAN wasn't the original D.J.. SAM BARONE played D.J. in the pilot but couldn't get along with SARA GILBERT. Hollywood writers went on strike after the pilot was shot and when it came time to start production, BARONE had grown so much they were afraid he'd be taller than his older sisters. //// *** MACAULAY CULKIN of "Home Alone" was considered to play the part of D.J. //// *** "Big Bang Theory" star JOHNNY GALECKI was Darlene's boyfriend David Healy. SARA GILBERT, Darlene, also was on Season 1 of "Big Bang Theory." //// Loved Those Halloween Specials. --Cooter

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Like Boo!: Scariest Movies of the Past 50 Years-- Part 3

Final entry. //// THE THING (1982) Science fiction set in Antarctica (like that would not be horror enough) The "thing" becomes exact replicas of the researchers working there and panic ensues. (I liked the remake better than the original. Because of government furloughs, NIU not going to Antarctica now. Perhaps a good thing?) //// CARRIE (1976) Stephen King's first published novel became the film that forever gave prom queens a bad name. (And lends creedance to the old saying about "payback" being a _____. I wonder why this did not become a John Travolta dance craze starter?) //// THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) Oscar-winning performance of the world's most memorable cannibal. (The world's most interesting man? Smooth and depravity at the same gulp. Like they said about Bluto in "Animal House, "Just keep your hands and feet away from his mouth.") //// HALLOWEEN (1978) A killer escapes from a psychiatric hospital and stalks his targets with those chilling piano notes playing. (Another reason for teens to abstain from sex. Have sex and Michael gets ya'. If not the scariest movie, it sure was the most hurtful one. I was sitting next to friend Wendy when we saw it and the first time Michael came out she really clobbered my right leg. ) THE RING (2002) Watching eerie images on a videotape means death in seven days. //// Not Sitting Next to Wendy at Horror Movies Anymore. --Cooter

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Roseanne's" 25th Anniversary-- Part 1

From the Oct. 18, 2013, Yahoo! TV "Happy 25th Anniversary 'Roseanne': 25 Things You Didn't Know About the Classic Sitcom" by Kimberly Potts. //// The show made its debut on ABC on October 18, 1988 about a struggling working-class family and was a hit right off the bat, but never won an Emmy. People, and especially me, liked their Halloween shows. The article went into more detail and had photos and film clips, but I am just doing the ones of interest to me: //// **** Oscar and Emmy Award winner SHELLY WINTERS played Roseanne's grandmother, Na Na Mary in ten episodes. // **** Series co-creator MATT WILLIAMS famously feuded with Roseanne. // **** It was one of GEORGE CLOONEY's pre-"ER" roles as Booker, Roseanne's boss at Wellman Plastic. //// More to Come. --DaCoot

Death of Jerry G. Bishop (Svengoolie) and Cleveland/Philadelphia's KYW Radio

I wrote about Jerry G. Boshop's death September 15, 2013, in my Down Da Road Blog because of his connection with WCFL-AM 1000 in Chicago, one of the big two rock stations most all teens listened to growing up in the 60s and 70s. However, he also had a TV career for even more years than radio and created that horror show host Svengoolie. //// He could make even the corniest scary movie even cornier. //// One of the radio stations he worked at was KYW in Cleveland and that sent me out on another quest. What, a station east of the Mississippi beginning with the letter "K"? //// I wrote about these back on October 18th in that blog. //// --Cooter

Friday, October 18, 2013

Like BOO!!!: Scariest Movies of the Last 50 Years-- Part 2

Just in time for Halloween. Continued from Oct. 14th. //// THE EXORCIST (1973)--A priest battles an unrelenting demon for the soul of a child in a Catholic-sanctioned exorcism. (Not as scary as they said it was, but still creepy.) //// JAWS (1975)-- The classic man-versus-nature drama, complimented by the most tension-filled movie score ever. (Loved the line, "We need a bigger boat." You were safe until you heard those strings.) //// ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968)-- A pregnant woman slowly descends into nightmares as she wonders about the true origins of her baby. (Gives new meaning to "Baby Daddy" and "Who's Your Daddy.") //// POLTERGEIST (1982)-- "They're here!" What a five-year-old sees that the others can't is what will keep you up at night. (We just saw it again yesterday. One hungry dog doesn't protect his family. When that skull came out of the closet...well, that stil skeered me. One other person said that was why her kids were scared of clowns.") And, I Still Have Five More to Go. --Cooter

Eating With History

From American Profile "10 of America's Oldest Eateries" by Marti Attoun. These taverns, inns and restaurants have been serving great food for at least 150 years. I am listing them here, but will have more detail in my RoadDog's RoadLog Blog. //// OLD '76 HOUSE-- Tappan, NY-- 1686 // KING GEORGE II INN-- Bristol, Pa. 1681 // THE PIRATES' HOUSE-- Savannah, Ga. 1734 // OLD TALBOTT TAVERN-- Bardstown, Ky. 1779 // THE GOLDEN LAMB-- Lebanon, Ohio 1803 // THE LOG INN--Warrenton, Ind. 1825 // UNION OYSTER HOUSE-- Boston, Mass. 1826 // ANTOINE'S RESTAURANT-- New Orleans, La. 1840 // TADICH GRILL-- San Francisco, Cal. 1849 // HAYS HOUSE-- Council Grove, Kan. 1857. //// And, Several Are Over 150 Years. --DaCoot

The Walking Dead-- Part 3: De-extincions In the Pipeline

These arether animal species scientists think they could bring back besides the wooly mammoths. //// GASTRIC BROODING FROG-- Native to Australia; went extinct in the 1980s. // PASSENGER PIGEON-- Once numbered in the billions; went extinct in 1914. // THYLACINE-- Also known as the Tasmanian tiger; went extinct in the 1930s. // PYRENEAN IBEX-- Found in spain and Portugal; went extinct in 2000. //// Sounds Like Juraissic Park If You Ask Me. --Cooter

Deaths: Original Svengoolie-- Nintendo Guy-- Mister Moose

1. JERRY G. BISHOP, 77 --Died Sept. 15th. Former radio and TV host best known as the original Svengoolie. Nothing like watching a hokey horror movie with the Sven's even more hokey comments and sight gags. //// HIROSHI YAMAUCHI, 85. Died Sept. 19th. Ran Nintendo for 53 years and transformed the company into the world's biggest maker of video games. We've sure come a long way from Pong even if I don't play video games, I'm impressed. Well, I was sort of hooked on a video game called Slither back in the early 80s. //// COSMO ALLEGRETTI, 86. Died July 26th Puppeteer who gave life to "Captain Kangaroo's" Grandfather Clock, Running Bear, Bunny Rabbit and Mister Moose. I was a big fan of the Captain and especially like Bunny Rabbit and Mister Moose.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Walking Dead: Bringing 'Em Back-- A How To

OK, here's how to bring 'em back: //// 1. FIND A CELL-- The real hard part, finding an intact cell from an extinct species // 2. PICK A HOST-- The nucleus of the extict animal cell is transferred into a host cell which should be from a similar species (as in using an elephant to host a wooly mammoth). // 3. MULTIPLY-- Scientists prompt the new cell to begin dividing until it becomes a viable embryo. // INCUBATE-- The embryo is transferred into an egg or womb of a host animal to hopefully develop into a now de-extinct animal. //// See, Told Ya' It Was Easy. --Cooter

The Walking Dead (No, Not the TV Series)-- Part 1

From the April 15, 2013, Time Magazine "Science: The Walking Dead" by Bryan Walsh. //// And this is about scientists being able to revive long-extinct species. How's that for a "Juraissic Park"? The article says that each year an estimated 10,000 to 100,000 animal species die off. But scientists are getting near to the ability to bring 'em back. //// And, that would mean DNA. In January, Australian scientists reported they had developed embryos of the extinct gastric brooding frog. //// But, should we bring 'em back? Just because we can doesn't mean we should. Hey, they died off for a reason. //// Want to know how to do it? Read the next post. //// Gone, But Not Forgotten. --DaCoot

The World's Most Visited Art Museum (Go Ahead, Guess)

From Time Magazine. //// And, I've been to two of the three listed, thanks to Mom and her family trips. Annual attendance. #1. LOUVRE-- Paris-- 9.7 million // #2. METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART-- New York City-- 6.1 million // #3. BRITISH MUSEUM-- London-- 5.5 million //// I've been to the Louvre and British Museum. //// I Have S-O- Much Culture. --Cooter

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Deaths: Shot Famous JFK, Jr. Photo

STAN STEARNS, 76. Died March 2, 2012. UPI Photographer who on Nov. 25, 1963, was standing outside Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC, squeezed into a roped-off area with 70 other photographers. //// The flag-draped casket on a horse-drawn caisson bearing the body of President John F. Kennedy was coming by. He saw Jacqueline Kennedy lean down and whisper something to her son, who was turning three that day. John, Jr. stepped forward and saluted his father. All this happened in less than five seconds. Mr. Stearns caught the moment while all the other photographers missed it, focussing on the coffin or Mrs. Kennedy. //// The others walked with the procession, but Mr. Stearns hurried back to his office where his angry boss demanded to know why he was with the procession. He replied that he had the picture of the day. He did. //// Mr. Stearns was born May 11, 1935, in Annapolis, Md.. He didn't get rich off the picture, but did once win $25 for it in a picture contest. He always said, "The picture told the whole damn story." It Sure Did.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Getting My Fright On

Of course, I'm planning on seeing the "Carrie" remake movie in the next couple weeks. They still haven't learned not to "Mess" with her. //// Yesterday, I went to Wal-Mart in Dekalb, Illinois, (we were there for NIU Homecoming) and bought four scary movies (well, two were comedies with potentially scary monsters). I bought "Men in Black" and "Men in Black II" on the same DVD as well as "Poltergeist" and "Alien." //// When that huge skull popped out of that closet with mouth agape...wll, that "skeered" me a lot. Then, where was the alien? And, of course, its birth sequence. //// The Last Two Should Keep Me Awakie the Next Several Nights. --Cooter

Like, BOO!!!: Scariest Movies of the Last 50 Years-- Part 1

From the October 2013 AARP Bulletin by Carol Kaufmann. //// "It's the month of ghouls and goblins, but who needs a slasher film to produce a chill down the spine? In the last half-century, we've seen some movies that terrify us, not with whiz-bang special effects but by playing to out worst nightmares." Maybe one of these has given you nightmares: ////THE HAUNTING (1963) Paranormal experts investigate-- and stay in the ultimate haunted house. //// THE CHANGELING (1980)-- A grief-stricken composer retreats to an old country estate to be alone-- only to learn he's anything but. //// THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979) Is an allegedly true story, a family moves into a nice suburban house and discovers that the previous family hasn't left...exactly. (OK, the red eyes peering into the upstairs window got me.) //// THE SHINING (1980) A timid wife, a psychic son and a father who is slowly going mad-- all locked away in a remore hotel during winter... What could go wrong? (Is it possible for someone to be more deranged than Jack Nicholson?) //// Like, BOO!!! --DaCoot

Baseball's Gotten Mighty Expensive

From the October 2013 AARP Bulletin "A Boomer's History of the World Series //// "October brings the 109th World Series. The fall classic has seen lots of changes since the Boomer Generation dawned in 1946, when the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox (could it happen again, they're both still in) and 2012, when the San Francisco Giants swept the Detroit Tigers. Here are a few:" //// (1946 first, 2012 second) //// WORLD SERIES TICKETS $1.20-$6.25-- $110 to $1,040 //// HOT DOG AND A BEER: 50 cents--- $10.25 //// PROGRAM: 25 cents--- $15 /// WINNING PLAYER'S BONUS: $3,742.34--- $377,002.64 /// RING: $100--- $10,000 (est.) //// Hey, I Could Have Afforded the 1946 World Series, But Wasn't Alive. --Cooter

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Preparing for the World War I Centennial

From the March 9, 2012, Silver Coins Today "WWI Centennial Silver Dollar Commemorative Coins proposed" by Rhonda Key. //// Also, the House of Representatives in Congress introduced a bill calling for up to 350,000 coins to be issued in 2017 and the "World War I American Centennial Commemorative Coin Act H.R. 4107," sponsored by Representative Doug Lambora. The U.S. declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. The war had actually been going on since 1914. --Cooter

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Battle of Cape Santa Maria-- Part 2

The Spanish fleet had four frigates loaded with the payment treasure. They were attacked by four British ships. Upon sighting each other, the fleets got into line of battle. Within ten minutes of the start of the battle, the magazine of the Mercedes blew up, destroying the vessel and killing all but 40 of its crew. //// A short time later, two other Spanish ships surrendered and another was captured trying to get away. //// Spain declared war on Britain December 14, 1804. //// The Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes mounted 36 guns. //// I imagine the Mercedes could be considered a war grave as I am sure there are remains aboard it. //// --DaCoot