Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chicagoland "Blues Brothers" Filming Locations-- Part 1

By Kevin Forsyth.

One of my favorite movies of all times was the 1979 "Blues Brothers" with John Belushi, Dan Achroyd and all that great music.

Some of the sites where scenes were filmed have changed drastically since 1979 and others are now gone forever.

WAUCONDA:The state police pileup was at US-12 and Il-176.  The beachfront concert announcement was at Phil's Beach on Bang's Lake at 336 Main Street (old US-12)

BUFFALO GROVE:  This is where the cop car flew into the truck on the northbound on-ramp to Illinois Highway 53 at Dundee Road.

DES PLAINES:  TheDes Paines Oasis Howard Johnson's on the Northwest Tollway, I-90, west of Mt. Prospect Road.


Monday, September 29, 2014

10 Iconic 60s and 70s Wall Posters

From the August 7, 2012, Listverse.

I have always been a big fan of wall posters and still have several up in the garage and basement.  None of these.  Check it out at Listverse for pictures and text on each.

10.  Marijuana
9. Ecology
8.  The fist  (Clenched fist for Black Power)

7.  Smiley Face  (I hated it then and still hate it now.  YUCK!!)
6.  Peace sign
5.  The Thing  (fist with middle finger extended)
4.  Keep on Truckin'  (Robert crumb's long strider, my favorite of this list.)

3.  "War Is not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things."
2.  Black Light posters  (remember these)
1.  Flaming Love black light poster.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Divers Find Wreck of Legendary Pirate Treasure Ship Port-as-Prince

From the September 9, 2012, Telegraph.

The wreck that was found off Foa Island and  is thought to be the Port-au-Prince, a pirate ship sunk by local islanders with a hull full of loot taken from British vessels.  It was discovered by local diver Tevita Moaba.

Tonga, a local chief, seized the ship and the crew was mostly killed.  They salvaged iron, which was considered of more value in Tonga at the time.  The gold, silver and copper were left in the wreck.

The French-built vessel arrived on November 9, 1806.

Wonder If the treasure Is Still There.  --Cooter

Friday, September 26, 2014

10 Misconceptions About the British Monarchy-- Part 2

5.  DRIVING ILLEGALLY WITHOUT A LICENSE--  During World War II, the then-princess Elizabeth joined the ATS, Auxiliary Territorial Service and learned how to repair cars and drive.  She has a license but never has to use it as she is driven everywhere.  She seldom, however, wears a seat belt.

4.  THE QUEEN RULES OVER US--  Since the Magna Carta in 1215, no king or queen has ruled over the United Kingdom or England.  They work with the government.

3.  THE QUEEN WEARS HER CROWN AT ALL TIMES--  She has only one crown and seldom wears it.

2.  "WE ARE NOT AMUSED"--  Queen Victoria set the trend for wearing white wedding dresses.  She most likely did not give that famous quote, probably one of her ladies-in-waiting.

1.  CHARLES ISN'T GOING TO BE KING--  Even though he's been preparing for it for 60 years.

Hey, Queen!  Click It or Ticket.  --Cooter

10 Misconceptions About the British Monarchy-- Part 1

From the August 13, 2012 Listverse.

10.  The QUEEN OF ENGLAND is actually queen of 16 countries.  Actually, she is the Queen of the United Kingdom.

9.  PRINCESS DIANA was a member of the Royal Family but was never a princess.

8.  PRINCE PHILIP IS NOT THE KING--  That would be Queen Elizabeth's husband, not her son.  The man does not adopt his wife's title.

7.  THE QUEEN DOES NOT PAY TAX--  She does, but at a lesser rate.



Lost Chicago: Gone, But Not Forgotten Services-- Part 2

Sinclair Gas (Where's Dino?  Loved that dinosaur statue.)

Kodak Photomarts

Hollywood Video

Illinois Bell

Gulf Gas  (No Knocks here)

Spectrum TV subscriptions

ONTV subscriptions

Standard Oil  (Always the most expensive)

Rusty Jones Rust Proofing  (Always felt so secure with him sitting on the hood of my car.)

Try Not to Hot That Little Ol' Store in the Parking Lot.  --Cooter

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lost Chicago: Gone, But Not Forgotten Services-- Part 1

From Craig's List.  These business are no longer in existence.

Chicago Daily News
Chicago American (newspaper)

Skrudland Photo Service (I spent a lot of money developing pictures at the one on US-12 in Palatine, Illinois.
Chicago & Northwestern Railway.  This served our Northwest Suburbs and Dad rode it every workday to his job with Quaker Oats in the Merchandise Mart.

Jubilee Gas for Less
Fort Dearborn in Chicago at the corner of Van Buren and LaSalle streets  (OK, not a business)
Continental Airlines


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lost Chicago: Gone But Not Forgotten-- Part 4

B-GINNINGS--  Schaumburg (1974-1981)

NORTH AVENUE OUTDOOR THEATRE--  River Grove (1949-1973)

RIVERVIEW PARK--  (1904-1967)  The Bobs Roller Coaster scared me really badly.

RANDHURST TWIN ICE ARENA-- Mt. Prospect  (1973-1978)

RANDHURST--  Mt. Prospect  This mall was THE PLACE to hand out for high schoolers back in the 1960s, including us.  (1960s to around 2009)

THE THIRSTY WHALE--  River Grove  (1971-1996)

SHOW BIZ PIZZA PLACE--  Multiple Chicagoland locations (1980-1998)

HAWTHORN MELLODY FARMS--  Libertyville (1937-1970)

OLD CHICAGO SHOPPING MALL & AMUSEMENT PARK--  Bolingbrook  (1975-1980)  The first Mall of America.

DISCOVERY ZONE--  Multiple Chicagoland locations.  (1990-1999)

NORTH AVENUE ROLLERWAY--  Melrose Park  (1945-1998)

Sure Miss Randhurst.  --DaCoot

Lost Chicago: Gone But Not Forgotten-- Part 3

THE AXLE ROLLER RINK--  3 Chicago locations  (1974-1985)

SPORTSMAN'S PARK--  Cicero 1929-2002)

THE MONTCLARE THEATRE-- Chicago (1929-1985)

AMLING'S HAUNTED HOUSE--  (1950-19??)  The original and still best.

FISHERMAN'S DUDE RANCH--  Des Plaines (1956-1997)


COMISKEY PARK--  (1910-1990)


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Summer 1984: A Good Time for Movies

From the July 6, 2014, Chicago Tribune."1984: Don't trust any summer film under 30" by Christopher Borrelli.

"'Ghostbusters,' 'Gremlins,' 'Temple of Doom' among the many cinematic anniversaries setting off a gusher of nostalgia."

Now that the summer of their 30th anniversary is officially over, I guess I can write about it.  Some even say that the simultaneous release of "Ghostbusters" and "Gremlins" on June 8, 1984, was "a cultural milestone."  Well, they are two of my favorites anyway.

"Indeed, if you were alive in Chicago in 1984, on Fourth of July weekend, the Cubs were looking promising (only to lose the National League pennant to San Diego), the Go-Gos and INXS were headlining a free concert at the Taste of Chicago, movie tickets were $3.30 and playing at the first-run theaters: 'Ghostbusters,' 'Gremlins,' 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."

Later movies included "The Natural" and John Hughes' directorial debut with "Sixteen Candles."  Still playing at the second-run theaters were "splash," "Romancing the Stone," "Footloose" and "This Is Spinal Tap."

By Labor Day, we had "Purple Rain," "Revenge of the Nerds."

Of course, some would say the year 1939 was the best for movies with"Gone With the Wind," Wizard of Oz," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "Stagecoach."

Yep, Summer of 1984 Was a Mighty Good Time.  --DaCoot

Lost Chicago: Gone But Not Forgotten-- Part 2

HARLEM OUTDOOR THEATRE--  Norridge (1946-1976)

POPLAR CREEK MUSIC THEATER--  Hoffman Estates (1980-1994)

MOTHER'S PINBALL--  Mt. Prospect

JENSEN TOBOGGAN SLIDES--   Norwood Park (19??-2008)

DISPENSA'S KIDDIE KINGDOM & CASTLE OF TOYS--  Oakbrook Terrace (1967-1984)


ADVENTURE LAND--  Addison (1961-1977)

Going Way Back.  --Cooter

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lost Chicago: Gone But Not Forgotten-- Part 1

From Craig's Lost Chicago site.

KIDDIELAND--  Melrose Park (1929-2009)
BELL'S APPLE ORCHARD--  Lake Zurich  (1939-1998)  (No fall complete without a trip there for apples.)  Now, there is a photo-enforced light located by its former location, one of many for Lake Zurich.)
MILL RUN PLAYHOUSE--  Niles (near Golf Mill mall) (1965-1984)

THE SPINDLE--  Berwyn (1989-2008)  (All those full-size cars on a huge spindle.)
OLSON MEMORIAL PARK--  Chicago (1935-1971)
53 DRIVE-IN--  Palatine  (1960-1986)  (Twin-screens, now the UPS site.)

HAYMAKERS--  Chicago Heights (19??-1984)
THE HUB ROLLER RINK--  3 Chicago locations (1950-1974)
SANTA'S VILLAGE--  Dundee  (1959-2006)  Has since reopened in reconfigured form.

--Memories--  Cooter

Lt.Col. William Carpenter Lambert, WWI Ace

From Find-A-Grave.

I came across the man's name while researching Woodland Cemetery in Ironton, Ohio, where Ella Blocksom Johnson is buried.  She is the person for whom the poem that became the famed Civil War song "Lorena" was written.  I have been writing about her and the song in my Civil War blog.  I also found the name of War of 1812 hero Ezra Dean who is also buried there and I have been writing about him in my War of 1812 blog.


World War I fighter ace with 22 officially-confirmed air combat victories, the second-highest scoring American fighter pilot, but his victory total is usually omitted from the list of American flying aces because he spent the entire war flying in Britain's famed No. 24 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps.

His total was second only to Edward Rickenbacker's 26.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

9/11: F-16 Pilot Heather Penney Ready to Do the Unthinkable-- Part 5


"They were true heroes.  Because of what they did, we didn't have to.  They averted further tragedy, confusion, and chaos and thwarted those who would do our nation harm.

"These were average, everyday Americans who gave their lives to save countless more.  Their selflessness reminds us that we are part of something greater than ourselves, that there are things in this world more important than ourselves."


"At first I was disgusted by the sensationalism and fearmongering that the media stoked in the wake of 9/11.  It utterly desecrated our nation's experience, and I wanted nothing to do with it.  But when I reflect back now, I think about the many moments of heroism and bravery from everyone whose lives intertwined with the events of that day.

"And I am proud and heartened to know that there truly is nothing unique about what Sass and I did.  All over the country, active duty and reservists responded on 9/11.  If I hadn't been there, another airman would have been, and just as honorably done their duty.  We were not the first and we are not the last."

Friday, September 19, 2014

9/11: F-16 Pilot Heather Penney Prepared to Do the Unthinkable-- Part 4


"Our duty was clear--to protect and defend.  I don't remember being told, 'Go take down that airliner.'  All I remember is knowing for sure that's what we had to do.  It wasn't until later in the day that we received 'free-fire' orders, meaning we could fire upon [anything] that we considered a threat."


"We couldn't find the plane, so we went back to D.C. to make sure it hadn't snuck around us.  Then we helped set up a protective cover over D.C..  We were airborne for about four and a half hours, landed, and took off again in aircraft configured with missiles.

"It was a long time before we learned that the passengers had taken control of the aircraft from the terrorists."

9/11: F-16 Pilot Heather Penney Prepared to Do the Unthinkable-- Part 3

Continued from September 11th.

She and Marc Sasseville took off and were prepared to stop the last plane, Flight 93) reported to be a threat to America.


"I was thinking this was the one thing in my life that I had to get right.  I had already given myself up, knowing what my duty was.


"Sass said, 'I'll take I'll take the cockpit'--  meaning he would ram the airliner.  I knew I'd take the tail.  If you take the tail off an airplane, it can't fly."  Their planes didn't have any missiles or high-explosive bullets at the time.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Munchkin Update

From the April 27-May 3, 2014, American Profile Magazine "Ask American Profile."

Paula Bennett of Clearwater, Florida,  asked, "How many Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz are surviving today?"

"Today, only one of the little people survives from the 1939 film classic.  Jerry Marin, 94, traveled from his hometown in Boston, Mass., to Culver City, Calif., to work at MGM in the movie as the famed "Lollipop Kid"  Munchkin who handed Dorothy the oversized sweet.

"'I am truly amazed that I'm the last one,' Maren says. 'My parents gave me good genes.'

"Of the 12 young female 'child munchkins' (children of average height) who filled in the crowd of Munchkin citizens in the scene, six survive."

Now, You Know.  --Cooter Munchkin

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

It's the "Tom and Jerry Show"

From the June 1-7, 2014, American Profile Magazine. "Ask American Profile."

They were kind of the original Simpson's "Itchy and Scratchy Show" only nowhere near as violent and bloody.

Johnny Griffith from Macon, Georgia, wanted to know how old Tom and Jerry were and the name of the bulldog that chased Tom.

Tom, the cat, and Jerry, the mouse are now 74, debuting in 1940 in theaters as shorts produced by the legendary animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.  They created 114 Tom and Jerry cartoons over the next 17 years and won seven Oscars.

They began airing on TV in 1965 and in 1975 Hanna-Barbera created a new batch of cartoons.

The bulldog's name is Spike, aka Killer, aka Butch, and he has a son named Tyke.

Cartoon Network recently debuted a new Tom and Jerry Show,

Thought I Taw a Puddy Cat.  --DaCoot

Let It Fly: Flag Day Always On June 14th

From the June 1-7, 2014, American Profile Magazine.

OK, we have a while to wait for it, but something top think about in nine months.  Probably the least commemorated and overlooked "special" day in the U.S..  Even I sometimes, well, quite often, forget about it.  But, with all this hoopla over the 200th anniversary of the flag's official song, the "Star-Spangled Banner" this is a good time to go with it.

I forget to put my U.S. flags up.

"No gifts are exchanged.  The post office stays open.  And few, if any get the day off work."

Flag Day is the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 (when the Continental Congress sanctioned a flag for the brand new United States).  President Woodrow Wilson officially established it as a day of observance.  It was sporadically observed until 1949 when President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14 of each year as National Flag Day when everyone is encouraged to proudly display the colors.

So, Remember Next June 14th.  --Cooter

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Star-Spangled Banner" Lore

From the June 1-7, 2014, American Profile Magazine "Old Glory" by Vicki Cox.

***  According to usflag.org., few historians really believe that Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross made the first U.S. flag.

***  America's current 50-star flag was designed in Lancaster, Ohio, in 1958 by 17-year-old Robert Heft for a high school class project.

***  Prior to a 1912 Executive Order, flag makers were free to shake up the arrangement of the stars and vary the proportions of the stripes.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Celebrating Old Glory on the 200th Birthday of Its Song-- Part 3: Iwo Jima and 9/11 Flags


"Featured in the 1945 Pulitzer Prize-winning photo, the iconic U.S. flag raised by the American soldiers (well, mostly Marines) during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, currently displayed at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, inspired the nation in the midst of global conflict and endures as a symbol of national resolve.

"'That photograph took off like wildfire in the psyche of the American people,' says Jennifer Jones, head of the armed forces division of the National Museum of American History.  'They needed to see we were turning the tide in the Pacific.'"


The U.S. flag raised by three New York City firemen over Ground Zero became a poignant symbol of America's unwavering spirit after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001--and contributed to a season of flag-waving in communities and neighborhoods across the nation.

"While the whereabouts of the Ground Zero flag now is unknown, numerous other 9/11-related flags remain, such as the 2-by-3-foot flag that workers found among the mountain of rubble from the collapsed World Trade Center.  Torn and badly burned, that flag was obtained by the National Museum of American History for its collection on the 9/11 attacks and has been included in several exhibits. 'We did not clean it,' Jones says.  'We wanted the debris to be part of the story.'"

O.K., Who Has the Original Ground Zero Flag?

Celebrating Old Glory on the 200 Birthday of Its Song-- Part 2: Fort Sumter and Lincoln Flags


"On April 12, 1861, a U.S. flag with 33 stars arranged in a diamond shape flew above Charleston Harbor's Fort Sumter while Confederate troops shelled the Union-held fort.

"The battle ignited the Civil War, and the surviving flag, now displayed at Fort Sumter National Monument remains a powerful relic of America's bloodiest conflict."


"This flag served a grisly, practical task on April 14, 1865, when President Abraham Lincoln lay dying in Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., after being shot in the head by assassin John Wilkes Booth.

"'Someone decided it wasn't appropriate for him to be lying on the bare floor so they crumbled up the large flag that had decorated the front of his his box and stuck it under his head,' says Lori Strelecki, 49, the curator of the Columns Museum for the Pike County Historical Society.

"Each year, some 3,000 visitors view the flag, which was donated to the PCHS in 1954 by the grandson of Ford Theater's stage manager."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Celebrating Old Glory on the 200th Anniversary of Its Song-- Part 1: The "Star-Spangled Banner"

From the June 1-7 American Profile Magazine "Old Glory: Celebrate the Stars and Stripes on Flag Day" by Vicki Cox.

"Over the years, several illustrious U.S. flags not only performed their duty but ultimately came to symbolize pivotal moments in American history."

Here are some of them and where you can find them:


"The 200-year-old flag that inspired the song dates back to the War of 1812, when the massive flag flew triumphantly atop Baltimore's Fort McHenry after U.S. soldiers withstood a 25-hour bombardment by British warships.

"The sight inspired lawyer/author/poet Francis Scott Key to pen the poem that eventually became our national anthem.

"Today, the weathered flag, larger than half a tennis court and viewed by millions each year, rests in a climate-controlled chamber in  in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

"'The flag is bigger than visitors expect,' says Jeff Brodie, 44, co-author of "The Star-Spangled Banner: The Making of an American Icon.'  "'It is very dramatic.'"


Friday, September 12, 2014

Top Ten Reasons We Should Revive the Dark Ages

From the February 14, 2012, Listverse.

Yep.  As bad as they were, there were some good aspects about them.  I'm just listing them, but what the author had to say about these was very interesting and enlightening.  Check it out on Listverse.

10.  Low taxes
9.  Great lifestyle
8.  Crime was punished

7.  No lobbyists
6.  Money was money
5.  Live long and prosper
4.  Beauty

3.  Knights and damsels
2.  Amazing food
1.  Plenty of work for everybody

And Low Taxes said the Guy Who Just Paid Half His property Tax Bill ($4,765)  --Cooter

Deaths: Lauren Bacall

LAUREN BACALL, 89, (1924-2014)

"Lauren Bacall, a bewitching actress whose husky voice and intense on-screen chemistry with husband Humphrey Bogart made her a defining movie star of the 1940s...died Tuesday."  She "was one of the last surviving major stars of the studio system which flourished from the silent movie era to the dawn of the television age."

She was seen as a model in Harper's Bazaar in 1943 by film director Howard Hawks who had her play "an insolent woman of mystery" in 1944's movie "To Have and Have Not," playing opposite Humphrey Bogart.

She was also noted for "The Look."  The Tribune ran a picture of her giving "The Look."  And she really had it, "Come On, But be VERY Careful."

She was a bit before my time, so I wasn't a fan, but knew about her.  One of the oldies TV stations ran a two-part "Rockford Files" episode where she played opposite James Garner.  Too bad she didn't appear on more episodes.  There was a chemistry there also.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9-11: F-16 Pilot Heather Penney Prepared to Do the Unthinkable-- Part 2

PARADE:  Tell us about the morning of 9/11.

PENNEY:  "We had a skeleton crew that Tuesday.  It was very quiet.  We were in the middle of a meeting when Dave "Chunks" Callaghan, who ran the operations desk, stuck his head in and told us, 'Somebody just flew into the World Trade Center.'  We looked outside; it was a crystal blue day.

"We wondered how anyone could mess up their instrument approach that badly.  It wasn't until he opened the door again and said a second plane had crashed into the second tower that we knew it was on purpose."

PARADE:  What happened next?

PENNEY:  "After the Pentagon was hit, the Secret Service called and ordered us to get airborne.  We had an idea there was another aircraft coming toward Washington.  Because we had just returned from a training mission in Nevada, there weren't any missiles or bombs or high-explosive bullets on the airplanes, and it was going to be a while before the weapons people could get the missiles built up.

"My commander, Col. Mark "Sass" Sassville, looked at me and said, "Lucky, you're with me."

There was another hijacked plane, Flight 93.  It is believed that it was headed for either the White House or Capitol.

9-11: F-16 Pilot Heather Penney Prepared to Do the Unthinkable-- Part 1

From the Sept. 7, 2014, Parade Magazine "American Stories: "Because of What They Did, We Didn't Have to" by Bill Hewitt.

"In September 2001, Lt. Heather "Lucky" Penney was a 26-year-old rookie with the 121st Fighter Squadron of the D.C. Air National guard, at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.  For the daughter of a combat pilot who'd served in Vietnam, it was a dream come true.

"But in one of the lesser-known stories of the 9-11 attacks, Penney found herself called upon that day to do something she had never anticipated: Stop a hijacked commercial airline with 40 passengers and crew onboard.

"Now a mother of two and an executive at Lockwood Martin, Maj. Penney, 39, spoke with Parade about here experience."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 Notable Traitors in History

From the June 19, 2012, Listverse.

10.  Mordechai Vanunu--  Israel
9.  Gaius Cassius Longinus--  Rome, Caesar assassination
8.  Judas Iscariot

7.  Ephialtes of Trachus--  Led Persian Armed Guards
6.  Guy Fawkes--  England
5.  Benedict Arnold
4.  Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger, Caesar assassination

3.  Wang Jingwei--  China
2.  Vidkun Quisling--  Norway, Nazi puppet government
1.  Mir Jafar--  India

And, I'd sure list the U.S. Army major who cold-bloodedly murdered and maimed all those soldiers at Fort hood several years ago and IS STILL ALIVE!!!  I'd put him at #1.  And, the worthless excuse still expects his "rights."  he should get the same rights as he gave his victims.

Why He Still Lives Is a Wonder to Me.  --Cooter

Some More on the HMS E-14-- Part 2

The E-14 had navigated twenty miles through minefields and enemy positions at the Dardanelles.  Lt. Cmdr. Geoffrey White found that his target, the Goeben, was not where he expected it to be and instead attacked a Turkish merchant ship.  One of his torpedoes exploded prematurely, forcing the E-14 to surface when it came under a tremendous fire from shore fortifications.

Knowing that he couldn't make it to open sea and escape, White headed to a nearby beach to save his crew, but the ship was so riddled it sank.  Only seven crew members escaped the doomed ship.

The wreck of the E-14 was discovered by marine expert Selcuc Kolay and film-making diver Savas Karakas who had spent three years trying to find the ship.

Some More on the HMS E-14-- Part 1

From the June 17, 2012, Mail (UK) Online "Sunken Treasure: First World War submarine whose two captains won the Victoria Cross is discovered off the Turkish coast 94 years after she went down" by Craig MacKenzie.

The British government wants the site preserved as a war grave for the sailors who went down with the ship.  Twenty-five lives were lost when the ship was hit by heavy shellfire.

It was found just 800 feet from the beach in 65-foot deep water, resting at a 45 degree angle with sand covering almost all of the 181-foot submarine.  At least one shell hole is visible near the bow.

It was sunk in January 1918 with the loss of 25 while on a mission to sink the flagship of the Ottoman Empire's Navy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Deaths: "Mr. Padre": Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn, 54,  -Died June 16, 2014.

One of my all-time favorite baseball players and a master hitter.  If anyone knew how to hit better than Tony Gwynn, it might have had to be Ted Williams.  And, he played his WHOLE career with the San Diego Padres, just about their only highlight in a lot of very poor years other than 1984 (when they beat the Cubs to get there) and 1998.

The only time he batted below .300 was the year he was called up, 1982, and even then, he batted .289.  He never batted below .309 in a full season and had a shot at .400 before the 1994 season ended with a players strike and he batted .394.

Gwynn had 3,141 hits, 18th highest in the majors and only struck out  434 times in 9,288 at bats.

He was a great one.

Thanks for the baseball, Tony.

Monday, September 8, 2014

SS Germanic

Back on June 18, 2012, I wrote about the remains of the British submarine E-14 being found off the Turkish coast back then.  It had two commanders who received the distinguished Victoria Cross during its operations in World War I.

This is a follow up[ on it.

The first captain won his VC when he slipped his ship through heavily guarded straits during the Gallipoli Campaign and over three weeks sank 2 Turkish (Ottoman) warships and a White Star cruise liner carrying 6,000 Turkish troops.

That White Star liner (same company as the Titanic) had been the SS Germanic and built by Harland & Wolff (same ones who built the Titanic) in 1875.  In 1893, it was sold to an American company and in 1910, bought by Turkey and given the name Gul Djemal.

During World War I it became an Ottoman troopship before being sunk by the E-14.  It was raised and continued carrying Turkish troops to the end of the war.

After the war, it was in the Ottoman-American Line and carried immigrants to America for a new life.  It stopped that in 1931 and became the Gulcemal, survived World War II and eventually became a floating hotel before being scrapped in 1950.

During its career, the ship survived three major mishaps, two world wars and is the second-longest serving ocean liner in history.


Titanic Survivor Eino Lindquist

The newspaper article in the previous post had no mention of what happened to Mr. Lindquist on that fateful night, but I figured there must have been a story there.

There was.  I'll write about it in this next week.

I also found out that Napa State Hospital was one for the insane.

I did a Find A Grave search of Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, California, where Mr. Lindquist is buried.  It listed four notables buried in it, not Mr. Lindquist, though.

Three of the others:

Lilburn Williams. (1796-1860) Governor of Missouri 1836-1840.  Member California state constitutional convention 1850

Henry Heisch (1872-1941) Medal of Honor recipient Boxer Rebellion.

Mary "Mammy" Pleasant (1812-1904)  Black abolitionist and Voodoo practitioner. One of the most feared and powerful figures of late 19th century San Francisco.

Some Interesting Stories Here.

Titanic Survivor Buried in Potter's Field in California: Eino Lindquist

From the June 9, 2012, Napa Valley (Ca) Register "Titanic survivor's grave site dedicated during Landmarks tour."

Eino Lindquist died of a stroke at Napa State Hospital in 1958 at age 66.  He is buried in a potter's field at Tulocay Cemetery with other Napa State Hospital patients who couldn't afford a marker.

His new marker reads "Eino Lindquist Titanic Sirvivor."

Eino Lindquist, a native of Finland, survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912 and is buried in the potter's field in an area of unmarked graves.  Lindquist, born in 1892, came to this country in search of a better future.

He was a steelworker in Pennsylvania and New York State and traveled across much of the United States.  He died in 1958 at age 66 while a patient at Napa State Hospital.

During the late 1950s, a number of patients from the hospital who couldn't afford marked graves were buried in this 100-by-100 foot square plot of land known as Block 176.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Albany Rural Cemetery Burials

I wrote about the two, or one, Titanic survivors buried here in the last post.  I looked up the cemetery and found that Gilbert M. Tucker had been on Lifeboat No. 7 which was only half-filled.

But, there were other no=table burials at the cemetery including the 21st President of the United States, Chester A. Arthur and his wife.  Also: John Van Buren, son of President Martin Van Buren, General Philip Schuyler of the Continental Army, delegate to the Continiental Congress and later U.S. senator from New York.

John Canfield Spencer was Secretary of War and Secretary of the Treasury under President John Tyler.

Also, there are quite a few Civil War officers and two Medal of Honor winners from the war.


Titanic Survivor Status in Questioned

From the June 8, 2012, Albany (NY) Times Union by Paul Grondahl.

Visitors to Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands have usually been told that two Titanic survivors are buried there.  But most likely, it is just one.

In February of 2012, information that Arthur Bright, who died in 1921 in Albany at age 49 was not, in fact, a British crew member.  Most likely the Arthur Bright who was a crew member was Arthur John Bright, who died in Southampton, England in 1955 at age 86.

Michael Hornak of Poughkeepsie researched it after the other Arthur Bright came to light in 2006.  Bright was the ship's quartermaster and testified before Congress, saying the front section of the ship went down a few minutes before the stern..

But, who is buried in the grave at Albany Rural Cemetery who came to Albany at age 50 and lived at 50 Dove Street in the Center Square neighborhood before dying of tuberculosis May 21, 1921?

Definitely Gilbert M. Tucker, an 1998 Albany Academy graduate who died in 1968 was a Titanic survivor and he is buried at the cemetery.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Eleven Most Endangered Places in 2012-- Part 3

8.  ELLIS ISLAND HOSPITAL COMPLEX:    Once the largest U.S. Public Health Service in the country.  It was the "Island of Tears" for immigrants turned back.

9.  HISTOPRIC POST OFFICE BUILDINGS:  Especially the one in Geneva, Illinois.  Some 4,400 across the country are slated for closure because of downsizing.  Like the great old railroad stations, these should always be saved and repurposed.

10.  JOE GRAZIER GYM: Philadelphia.  Where he trained for his fight versus Muhammed Ali.

11.  MALCOLM X-EVA LITTLE-COLLINS HOUSE in Boston.  Built 1874 and last-known surviving boyhood home of Malcolm X which has been sitting mostly-vacant for the last thirty years.


Eleven Most Endangered Places in 2012-- Part 2

5.  THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S ELKHORN RANCH:  Billings County, North Dakota.  Herded cattle and hunted there in the late 1800s where he developed an appreciation for American West conservation.

6.  VILLAGE OF ZOAR, OHIO:  Established 1817 and relocated by the Army Corps of Engineers for fear of levee break.

7.  BRIDGER OF YOSEMITE VALLEY:  Yosemite National Park, California.  Three bridges dating from 1928-1932 are under consideration of removal.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places for 2012

From the National Trust for Historic Preservation 2012 List.

1.  PRINCETON BATTLEFIELD:  New Jersey.  Washington's big Christmas victory site threatened by a housing development.

2.  SWEET AUBURN DISTRICT:  Atlanta, Ga.  Once the riches bkack district.

3.  TERMINAL ISLAND:  Port of Los Angeles, California.  A major shipbuilding center during both world wars and where Japanese-Americans were forcibly removed in 1942.  The buildings are neglected and in bad repair.

4.  TEXAS COURTHOUSES:  Some 234 of 244 historic ones are still being used.  They have inadequate funding and maintenance.

A County's Court House, Especially an Old One, is Something That Must Be Saved.  --DaCoot

Black Hawk Statue Rescue a Step Closer-- Part 2

Famed sculptor Lorado Taft and his team used concrete to build the statue which was dedicated in 1911.  Its real name is "Eternal Indian."  But everyone calls it Chief Black Hawk.

Bit, concrete does not last forever.  The old saying is that there are two types of concrete: that which is cracked and that which will be cracked.  Yep, just drive down any road.  Asphalt is like that also.

Experts assessed the statue damage last October and found it to be extensive.  In April, after out really harsh global warming winter, even more damage, cracks and broken chunks from the arms had tumbles to the ground.

Hopefully the statue will be stabilized for this upcoming winter and real work done next year.

The newspaper lauded the efforts of the Friends of the Black Hawk Statue organization for their efforts.

Save the Indian.  --Cooter

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Black Hawk Statue Rescue a Step Closer-- Part 1

From the September 2, 2014, Northwest (Ill.) Herald editorial.

"Momentum is building to begin repair work on the 103-year-old Black Hawk statue near Oregon in western Illinois."

The statue is a well-known tourist spot and quite majestic standing 50-foot-tall on the 129-foot bluff overlooking the Rock River at Lowden State Park.

A few weeks ago, the Illinois Department of Natural resources gave its ok to proposed renovation work and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency has already given its approval.

And, most of the money for the project has already been raised.  About $750,000 is available, though an additional $75,000-100,000 may be needed.Contractors still haven't been chosen.

And, It Isn't a Hockey Player.  --DaCoot

Top Ten Obscure Wars-- Part 2

5.  FIRST BARBARY WAR:  (1801-1805), U.S. versus Barbary States of Morocco, Algiers and Tunisia.

4.  INDIAN AND EUROPEAN FRONTS AMERICAN REVOLUTION:  (1778-1783)  France and Spain versus Britain.

3.  ALEUTIAN ISLANDS CAMPAIGN:  (1942-1943)  Alaska territory (U.S.) invaded by Japan.

2.  SOVIET-JAPANESE WAR:  (August 9-September 2, 1945), the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria.    

1.  ANGLO-ZANZIBAR WAR:  (August 27, 1896), lasted 38 minutes.  Zanzibar declared itself free of British rule.


Top Ten Obscure Wars-- Part 1

From the June 6, 2012, Listverse.

10.  NORTHERN CRUSADES:  (1147-1290), eliminated pagan groups in Scandinavia.

9.  WAR OF JENKINS' EAR:  (Probably one of the best war-names ever.  (1739-1748), Fought in the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia.  Part of the larger War of Austrian Succession.

8.  QUASI-WAR:  (1798-1800),  U.S. versus France.  The French were fighting the British and the U.S. was neutral, but still traded with the British, causing attacks on them by the French.

7.  THIRD PUNIC WAR:  (149 B.C.-146 B.C.), Rome versus Carthage.  Led to the final defeat of Carthage.

6.  SONDERBUND WAR:  (Nov. 3-29, 1847),   Switzerland Civil War.  Several catholic cantons broke away.


17th Century Shipwreck Found Off Swedish Coast in 2012

From the June 1, 2012, Free internet Press by Intellpuke.

Amateur divers found a Swedish Royal Navy vessel that sank off Stockholm in 1660 reportedly with a cargo of of gold and jewelry.  It is believed to be the Resande Man (meaning traveling man).

However, the cargo, which was being carried to Poland as a gift from the Swedish government, was not found.  The ship sank in the Baltic Sea in November 1660.

The ship was found on May 17, 2012.  The wreck is in poor shape and the divers are about 90% sure it is the Resande Man, but haven't found the ship's bell for proof.

The ship was 25 meters long and 7 meters wide, half the size of the Swedish warship Vasa, which infamously sank on its maiden voyage in 1628.

In August 2011, divers found the wreck of the Mars, flagship of King Erik XIV's fleet which sank in the Baltic Sea in 1564.

Always Great to Discover a Lost Wreck.  --Cooter

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Napalm Girl" Photo Turns 40

From the June 1, 2012, Yahoo! News, AP by Margie Mason.

The naked young girl running, screaming in agony is one of those significant photos in the history of the world.  U.S. dropped napalm had burned away her clothes and into her skin.  The photo shocked the world as much as the Vietnamese officer shooting the Viet Cong soldier in the head, execution-style.

It was taken by AP photographer Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut and graphically presented the horrors of the war.

The picture was taken June 8, 1972.  The girl, Kim Phuc survived and is now 49.

Montgomery Ward Preserves Chicago's Lakefront-- Part 3

Montgomery Ward was willing to allow the natural history museum that Marshall Field called for in his will, the Field Museum, but wanted it to be the only structure in his green park.  He was concerned that its construction would invite other buildings.  It did.  The Field Museum was shortly joined by the Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium.  It's all the Museum Campus today.  Then, Soldier Field was built nearby.

Something many don't know is that after World War II, city officials pitched Northerly Island for the headquarters of the newly formed United Nations..  New York City got the headquarters and Chicago got Meigs Airfield until the last Mayor Daley erased it.

Then came McCormick Place in 1960.  But, seven years later, it burned down, but was rebuilt.

But, still, Ward's idea is there as he won the battle.  It would have been all a playground for the rich (which he was), but he wanted a place for the poor as well.

Thank You Monkey Ward's.  --DaCoot

Montgomery Ward Preserves Chicago's Lakefront-- Part 2

Montgomery Ward was all up for aborting the Field Museum, but was willing to let the Art Institute remain east of Michigan Avenue.

Ward's interest in the lakefront began soon after he moved into the 22-story headquarters of his catalog business on Michigan Avenue.  The view from his office window overlooking the lake was downright ugly.  So, he filed a suit to have all the debris and shanties removed from what amounted to a huge trash dump.

The bottom layers of it dated to 1971, when rubble from the Great Chicago Fire was dumped into the lake.  At the time, the lake's shoreline was at about Michigan Avenue.

The Tribune strongly backed Montgomery Ward until it became apparent he also did not want any sort of building constructed in the new land.

The fight for a lakefront everyone could use was on.  


Monday, September 1, 2014

Big Ben Becomes Elizabeth Tower?

From the June 2, 2012, Yahoo! News-AFP "Report: Big Been to be renamed Elizabeth Tower."

Prime Minister David Cameron and 331 are campaigning to change the name Big Ben to Elizabeth Tower..  Big Ben is the name of the square tower at the end of the House of Parliament that was renamed for Queen Victoria at one time in honor of her Diamond Jubilee in 1897.  Of course, this would only be a temporary name.

The 316-foot structure is officially named the Clock Tower, but more commonly called "Big Ben" after the huge bell that "bongs" out the hours.

It is still known mostly as Big Ben.  (And I thought Big Ben was that Steeler football player.)

Britain had four straight days of royal celebration starting June 2, 2012 to honor Queen Elizabeth's 60th Diamond Jubilee, including a 1,000 boat river pageant on the James River.


In January, a commission met to discuss how they should manage the tilt  The tower is currently tilting 0.26 degrees to the northwest and has increased slightly since 2003.  However, one expert says that the tilt should not be a problem for another 10,000 years.

That Would be an Honor.  --DaCoot

World War I Veteran's Widow Dies

From the June 1, 2012, Saratogian

On May 27, one of the last widows of a World War I veteran died.  Grace H. Luciano, of Saratoga Springs, New York died.  She was preceded in death by her husband Michael Luciano, a Navy submarine veteran during World War I and a pharmacist during World War II.

War records are kept on veterans, but it is not known if Grace, 90, was the last surviving widow of a World War I veteran.

The last U.S. veteran of the war, Frank Buckles, died in 2011.

New York City's Jane Hotel: A Titanic Connection

From Wikipedia.

The Jane Hotel is a boutique hotel located in Greenwich Village with a main entrance on Jane Street, hence the name.

It was built in 1908 and originally was the American Seamen's Friend Society Sailors' Home and Institute.

It was used to house Titanic survivors during the American inquest on the sinking.

It was acquired by the YMCA in 1944 and used as a transient hotel and they it was several other hotels before becoming a boutique one.