Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Comparing Blackhawk and Lightning Fans-- Part 1

From the June 7, 2015, Chicago Tribune "The fans face off" by Phil Thompson.

A look at the upcoming Stanley Cub Championship games back then.


449--  Percent growth in the Hawks' fan base since 2007 (including us), the largest increase in any major American sports team during that time.  It has grown another 6% since last season.  Before 2007, the Blackhawks were essentially a forgotten team.

41--  Persent decline in the Lightning's following since their all-time high in 2004 when they won the Stanley Cup.

50--  Percent of adult Chicagoans who are Hawks fans, one of only three U.S. based NHL franchises with 50 percent or higher market penetration.  The other two are Pittsburgh and Buffalo.  Only the Bears, with 60 percent, have a larger following in Chicago.  (Even ahead of the Cubs.)

19--  Percent of Tampa Bay-area residents who are Lightning fans.  Their base ranks behind the rays and Buccaneers, both at 19 percent.

Maybe This Was the Reason the Lightning Front Office tried Si hard to Keep hawk Fans Away.  --Cooter

Monday, June 29, 2015

New, Chilling Video Clip of the Eastland Tragedy Found-- Part 2

Continued from June 19th.

Ot took days for professional divers to recover the bodies (844 of them).  Searching a sunked ship that is pitch-black, almost the size of a football field, four stories tall and on its side in the Chicago River is no easy task.  The first-known clips of footage was found this month by a University of Illinois graduate student.

Television reports of the find prompted Northern Illinois University (my old school) master's degree candidate Alex Revzan to search through a British online newsreel archive.    The videos were not indexed so it took Revzan 90 minutes to go through hundreds of clips before he found one among several clips about shipwrecks.

Ted Wachholz, executive director of the Eastland Disaster Historical Society  he believed that even more footage might be found.  He said that hundreds of photos have been donated to them, but nothing mad ethe disaster more real than this recently discovered videos.

And, next month Will mark the 100th Anniversary of the Eastland Tragedy.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

"Jaws" Turns 40-- Part 6: Spielberg Makes His Getaway

22.  Richard Dreyfus was not available to shoot the close-up of Hooper's face when he saw the shark coming at the cage so his stunt-double Frank Sparks had a Dreyfus-sized beard and was used instead.

23.  For the scene of the shark plunging to the bottom, Spielberg blended in the sound of a roaring dinosaur.

24.  Spielberg heard that the crew was going to throw him in the water at the end of the 5 1/2-month shoot.  He wore leather and suede clothing hoping that would stop them that last day.  Just to be safe, he slipped away to a ferry and headed quickly to a waiting car.  He leaned out the window and yelled, "I shall NOT return" as it pulled away.

25.  In order to secure a PG rating instead of R, Spielberg had to cit a few frames from the scene where the boater's leg was bitten off.

And, now it seems sharks are having their own salute to the movie's 40th anniversary off the coast of North Carolina.

Don't Go Into the Water.  --Cooter

Friday, June 26, 2015

"Jaws" Turns 40-- Part 5: "Here Lies the Body...."

17.  The naughty limerick Quint says before the Orca leaves to go after the shark: "Here lies the body of Mary Lee/died at the age of 107/For 15 years she kept her virginity/Not a bad record for this vicinity." was lifted from a tombstone Shaw had seen in Ireland.

18.  To pass time on the set, Spielberg and Dreyfus would sing songs by Stan Freberg.

19.  For the Orca, an old boat named the Warlock was secired.  Bit Spielberg felt it lacked character and replaced the entire wheelhouse.  Most crucially though, he added big windows on all sides so viewers would see ocean everywhere they looked-- a movie that highlighted just how isolated the three men were.

20.  The famous USS Indianapolis speech was filmed twice.  The first time Shaw was too drunk to tell it correctly.

21.  For Hooper's underwater cage scene Spielberg needed film of a real Great White.  The film he got was of one only 14-feet long, ten feet shorter than the movie one.  So he hired 4'9" stuntman Carl Rizzo and placed him a in a miniature cage.

The Ship the Navy Forgot.  --Cooter

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Jaws" Turns 40-- Part 4: "Hey Baby, I'm a Star!!"

12.  To record Susan Backalinic's screams (she was the first one the shark attacked), Spielberg stood above the actress with a bassinet full of water and poured it over he mouth as she yelled.

13.  Dreyfus became a star during the filming with his role in "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" which opened and he used this fame to try to pick up women during the filming.

14.  The 13-foot tiger shark reeled in was a real shark, caught in Florida, packed in ice and shipped to Martha's Vineyard where it sat on the dock for four days, making an awful stench.

In revenge, islanders left shark carcasses at the homes of the producers.

15.  To make the blood as distinctive as possible, Spielberg ordered that no other bright red objects could be filmed in the same scene.

16.  Three mechanical sharks, each weighing in at a ton and a half and costing about 150,000 apiece were used.They would sometimes sink and one had its hydraulics explode.  They also became discolored from exposure to the sea.

And, We're Not Finished Yet.  --CootShark

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Jaws" Turns 40-- Part 3: Marvin's Going Fishing

7.  Another Spielberg scene that was cut for the beginning of the movie was the harbor master sitting in a shack and watching the 1957 World War II movie "Don't Go Near the Water.  While he stares at the scene, you see the masts of the boats start to rocking and the shark's wake.  The shark eventually attacks him.

8.  Spielberg also wanted two characters from his 1974 comedy "The Sugarland Express" to be beachgoers.

9.  Jon Voight was originally approached to play Hooper, but he turned it down.  Also Timothy Bottoms and Jeff Bridges and then Richard Dreyfus were asked, but all turned it down as well.  But later Dreyfus approached Spielberg and asked it the part was still open.

10.  Spielberg wanted Lee Marvin to play Quint, but was turned down, supposedly because Marvin wanted to go "fishing for real."  Producers suggested Shaw be given the part who had just recently been in "The Sting."

11.  Actress Susan Backlinic played the doomed swimmer Chrissie Watkins in the opening scene.  She was supposed to recite "The Lord's Prayer" as she was being pulled against the buoy, but neither she nor any of the others on set could remember the words.

Then, There Was That Scary Music.  --Don'tGoNeartheWatererCooter

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"Jaws" Turns 40-- Part 2: No "Moby-Dick"

4.  Numerous story lines offered the movie by Peter Benchley were turned down.

5.  Steven Spielberg wrote his own draft.  He had Quint in an Amity movie theater, at the beginning of the movie,watching the 1956 movie "Moby-Dick."  He starts laughing loudly and people leave.  He is then all alone.

6.  Spielberg approached Gregory Peck, the star of "Moby-Dick" and also that movie's producer for permission to use the clip at the beginning of his movie but was turned down.  After "Jaws'" success, Peck's film was rereleased in 1975 with the tagline "Before the shark, there was the whale."

The Great White Whale.  --Cooter

Monday, June 22, 2015

Championship Droughts-- Part 4

MINNEAPOLIS-- (Timber Wolves, Twins, Vikings)  24 years.  The Vikings have been to two NFC Title games and the Timber Wolves were at the Western Conference Title finals in 2004.  The Twins were in the 1991 World Series.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--  (Capitals, Nationals, Redskins, Wizards)  The Redskins won in '82, '87 and '91.  The Capitals competed in the World Series in 1998.

HOUSTON--  (Astros, Rockets, Texans)  20 years.  The Rockets had back-to-back championships in the mid-1990s.  The only championship appearance since then were the Astros in 2005 (when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox)

ATLANTA--  (Braves, Falcons, Hawks)  20 years.  The Braves were a big tease in the 90s, routinely winning the NL East and N.L. title, but losing in the World Series other than 1995.  Falcons and Hawks have had just one championship appearance between them, the Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII.

Of course, as far as I am concerned, appearing in a championship game, even if you don't win, is pretty good.

Oh Well.  --DaCoot

Championship Drought-- Part 3

KANSAS CITY--  (Chiefs, Royals)  30 years.  Royals almost ended drought last year, losing in game 7 to San Francisco.  It was their first championship appearance since the 1985 World Series.

OAKLAND--  (A's, Raiders, Golden State Warriors).  This drought, of course, was snapped last week when the Warriors defeated the LeBron.  Before that it had been 26 years.  None of the Warriors were alive the last time when they last won in 1975.  The Raiders were in Los Angeles when they won their last Super Bowl in 1984.  The A's didn't have a parade with their last World Series championship in 1989, following the earthquake.

CINCINNATI--  (Bengals, Reds)  25 years  Last win was Reds in 1990 World Series when they swept the A's.

PHILADELPHIA--  (Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, 76ers)  Recently snapped (seven years ago), but 25 years before that.  The Eagles have been a big tease with 4 straight appearances in NFC Title games.  They were in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, but lost..  The last champion 76ers was 1983 and the Phillies won the World Series in 2008.

And, then There Are our Cubbies.  --Cooter

Saturday, June 20, 2015

"Jaws" Tuns 40-- Part 1: Steven's Lawyer's Name

From the 6-18-15 Yahoo! Movies "25 Deep-Dive Facts About 'Jaws,' the Wildest, Most waterlogged Movie Shoot of All Time" by Brian Raftery.

It was released to day, 40 years ago, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's successful 1974 book.  It starred Roy Schneider as Brody, Robert Shaw as Quint and Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper, who go out to battle the great white shark.  The mechanical sharks that had the part were all named Bruce, after Spielberg's lawyer.

Go to site for photos, video and more information.

1.  Peter Benchley originally considered dozens of names for his book like Leviathan Rising, Dreadful Silence, Dark White and Edge of Gloom before settling on Jaws.

2.   The producer spent $150,000 for the film rights to the book.

3.  The book sold 5.5 million copies by the time the movie premiered.

I never worry when I'm in the ocean unless I hear those ominous sounds.  Then I get out.

See What happens When You Go Swimming in the Nude.  --DaCoot

Championship Drought: Cities With 20 Years or More-- Part 2

And for a long time, Chicago could be counted in this list.  And, as I pointed out Thursday, we still would be if it were up to the Cubs and, until 2005, the White Sox.  Time for our baseball teams to get on board.

MILWAUKEE--   (Brewers, Bucks)  44 years.  OK, that Green Bay team is sometimes counted as Milwaukee and that would make a difference, but, Green Bay is 116 miles away.  Bu the way, the Bears passed on that Aaron guy for Jay.  The Bucks, with that Kareem guy won the NBA in 1971.  Milwaukee was last represented in a championship game when the Brewers lost to the Cardinals in the 1982 World Series.

NEW ORLEANS--  (Pelicans, Saints), 42 years.  Okay, recently snapped in 2010 by the Saints and that Drew guy who the Bears passed on for Jay.

SEATTLE--    (Mariners, Seahawks)  Okay, recently snapped by the Seahawks with that outstanding qb who the Bears took a bye on so they could keep Jay, but before that, it was 42 years.  The Supersonics, now Oklahoma City Thunder, won the NBA title in 1979 and came close to back-to-back Super Bowl wins except for that call near the end.  Still waiting for a World Series Appearance.

There Are Still More.  Waiting and Waiting.  --SoTiredCooter

Friday, June 19, 2015

New, Chilling Video Clip of Eastland Tragedy Found-- Part 1

From the Feb. 26, 2015, Chicago Tribune "New, more chilling video clip emerges of Eastland tragedy" by Meredith Rodriguez.

A new film clip of the 1915 SS Eastland disaster on the Chicago River in downtown Chicago has surfaced just weeks after the first-known footage emerged.  This one shows the grim fate of the 844 people who died in the capsizing.

The Eastland Historical Society on Wednesday announced the discovery of the footage, which shows victims' bodies being pulled out of the hull and from the river.  The Eastland had been ferrying thousands of Western Electric Co. employees to a company picnic in Michigan City, Indiana when it rolled over at its wharf.  This footage is much different from the first two clips released

This clip shows a young woman in a white dress being pulled from the hull.  Then it shows people being pulled out of the river.

The 65-second clip which can be seen at the Eastland Disaster Historical Society's site www.eastlanddisaster.org/mews shows how rescue efforts were performed.  Rescuers had to search through the dark interior of the ship underwater amid the debris, furniture, deck chairs and boxes.

This July Will mark the 100th Anniversary of the Tragedy.  --Cooter

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Championship Drought: Cities That Have Gone 20 Years or Longer

From Yahoo!  "Championship starved cities: 20 years or longer without a title."

Just imagine how bad Chicago would be if we only had the Cubs.  Last one in '07 and I'm not talking about 2007.  Go to 1907.

SAN DIEGO--  (Chargers, Padres)  52 years now.  The Chargers won the 1963 AFL Crown and the Padres twice went to the World Series with Tony Gwynn, but lost.  (In 1984 they advanced to the World Series by beating our Cubs.)  The Chargers were in one Super Bowl.

CLEVELAND---  (Browns, Cavaliers and Indians)  51 years now.  Browns won NFL Championship in '64.  And, even Mr. Wonderful, the James, couldn't get the Cavs the NBA Championship on Tuesday.

BUFFALO---  (Bills and Sabres)  50 years now.  Despite four straight Super Bowl appearances and 3 Stanley Cup Finals.  Last champion, the Bills winning the AFL Championship in 1965.

And, There Are More.  --Cooter

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How Chicago's Marquette Building Got Its Name

From the Jan. 15, 2013, Yahoo! News by Michelle Burton.

The Marquette Building in Chicago was designed by William Holabird, Martin Roche and Edward Renwith of Holabird & Roche architects and built by the George A. Fuller Company.  Completed in 1895, it joined other building built by George Fuller such as the Monadnock, Tribune Tower, Fair Building and Marshall Fields.

It is a work of art both inside and out.

Numerous efforts have been made, nonetheless, to tear it down.

in case you're wondering, it was named after French explorer, Father Jacques Marquette, a missionary, who along with Louis Jolliet, were the first Europeans to see what is today Chicago.

Today, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation owns it and there is a permanent display of the building's history in the lobby.

It is located at 140 S. Dearborn.

So, Now You Know.  --Cooter

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Still Distilling After All These Years-- Part 2: Laird & Co.

From Wikipedia.

Laird & Co. is located in the Scobeyville Section of Colt's Neck Township, New Jersey,and was founded by Robert Laird.  It is the oldest licensed distillery in the United States, receiving License No. 1 from the Treasury Department in 1780.

Robert Laird served in the Continental Army during the Revolution under George Washington.  before the war, Washington had written Laird asking him for the recipe of "cyder spirits."

Apples used in its famous Applejack come from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

Abraham Lincoln served Laird's Applejack at his tavern in New Salem, Illinois.  It cost 12 cents a half pint.  Lodging for the night was 12 1/2 cents and a meal was 25 cents.

AbeJack.  --DaJackCoot

Still Distilling After All These Years-- Part 1: Abe and George

From the Jan. 16, 2013, Yahoo! Finance "My Family Business, Oldest family distillery still making apple brandy served by Abraham Lincoln" by Tory Johnson.

Laird & Co. started in New Jersey 352 years ago (now 354) and is the 14th oldest family business in the United States with the ninth generation running it.

The fourth great grandfather was a Revolutionary War soldier under Washington and his uncle served Laird's Applejack in his home.  Abraham Lincoln served Laird's Applejack in his Springfield, Illinois, tavern (I didn't know Lincoln owned a tavern).  Laird's Applejack was on the bill of fare there in 1832.  (Perhaps in New Salem, Illinois).

It takes 100 pounds of apples to make one 750 ml of Applejack and they process over 3 million pounds a year.  It was shut down during Prohibition, but two years into it, received a license to continue distilling for the federal government.  That part of the government was mostly the military.

Drinkin' 'Jack, Spo-De-Do.  --CooterHic

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ten Historical Facts About Great America-- Part 2

6.  The Park has gone from zero to 16,458 feet of wooden roller coaster track with the addition of Goliath making it home to the most wooden roller coaster track of any theme park in the nation.

7.  Yankee Harbor has been the home of the only two roller coasters that launch riders in the Park's history, Tidal Wave and Vertical Velocity.

8.  Each ride in Hometown Square is an original ride from Marriott's Great America, the Park's original name.

9.  In 1976, the tallest roller coaster in the Park was the Turn of the Century (demon) at 104 feet.  Today the highest is Raging Bull at 202 feet.

10.  2015 will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Harbor, a massive 20-acre development to Great America.

No launching me.  --DaCoot

Ten Historical Facts About Great America in Illinois

1.  When great America opened in 1976, the park had 3 roller coasters.  Today it has 14.

2.  When the American Eagle opened in 1981, it was the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world.  That record is currently held by its neighboring roller coaster, Goliath.

3.  When the Turn of the Century was converted to the Demon in 1980, a custom soundtrack was made for the ride which can still be heard in the queue line.

4.  The East River Crawler used to be called the Lobster.  The name was changed to fit the theme of batman the Ride in 1992.

5.  At 100 feet, the Columbia Carousel (a double-decker) is the tallest carousel in the world.

More to Come.  --CooterNotGoOnCoasters

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Six Flags Great America in Illinois Turns 40

From the 2015 Summer Fun Guide.

This is our biggie amusement park located in Gurnee, Illinois, Lake County in the state's northeast corner across the stateline from Wisconsin.

Six Flags Great America is celebrating 40 seasons of thrills in 2015.  It opened on the nation's Bicentennial in 1976, at a cost of $50 million with classic American-themed territories.

Today, it is one of the largest theme parks iin the country.  Park president Hank salemi says: "In 2015 we plan to celebrate out park's history and how it has grown onto one of the premier amusement parks in the country.  From the American Eagle to Goliath, and Whizzer to X-Flight, the Skyline of Great America has grown impressively over the last four decades."

As part of the celebration, the Carousel Plaza and Hometown Square sections of the park are being refreshed.

Three original children's rides also will be brought back: Tots Livery Surrey Carriages, Red Baron Airplanes and Lady bugs.  (Maybe something I could ride and enjoy without being "skeered" out of my mind.

From just there roller coasters in 1976 to 14 today, Great America is now home to 80 rides, attractions and slides spread across 100 acres of land.

It is also home to the world's tallest, steepest and fastest wooden roller coaster--  Goliath.

No Thanks On That Last One or Any of the Other 13 Coasters.  --DaScaredCoot

24 Illinois Sites Listed on NRHP-- Part 4


Quite a few Lincoln Highway and Route 66 places.

Heimberger House, Springfield  (Route 66)
Glen Carbon School, Glen Carbon  (Route 66)
Marshall Site Petroglyphs, Chillicothe vicinity
Jacksonville Historic District, Jacksonville

Great Western Railroad Depot, Springfield  (Route 66)
Morrison Main Street Historic District,  Morrison  (On Lincoln Highway)
Lincoln branch of the Peoria Public L:ibrary, Peoria
Peoria Warehouse Historic District, Peoria

Kickapoo Building, Peoria
Broadview hotel, East St. Louis  (Route 66)
Downtown East St.Louis Historic District (Route 66)
Union Trust Bank Company Building, East St. Louis (Route 66)

West Belleview Historic District, Belleville  (Route 66)
Civilian Consaervation Corps camp, near Lerna
Martin House, Fulton (Lincoln Highway)

Saving Old Places, One At a Time.  --Cooter

Friday, June 12, 2015

24 Illinois Sites Listed on NRHP-- Part 3: Bungalows


OAK PARK VILLAGE HALL,  Oak Park:  played a big role in the town's struggle to halt white flight.  It inspired and sustained racial integration and demonstrated how to achieve a diverse mixture of white and black residents.

PORTAGE PARK BUNGALOW HISTORIC DISTRICT, Chicago:  District notable for its high percentage of intact brick bungalows and cohesive streetscapes.  This was one of the first areas in the neighborhood to be developed for single-family residences.  Most of the houses were built in te 1920s.  The bungalow homes are a major type of housing in Chicago.

JESSE L. STRAUSS ESTATE,  Glencoe:  An example of French Revival architecture.  The house and garage/apartment designed in 1921 and 1824 of David Adler, regarded as the region's foremost country house architect of the period.

POLISH NATIONAL ALLIANCE HEADQUARTERS,  Chicago:  Well-preserved example of an ethnic fraternal building and the important role it played in the social, economic, cultural and political development of Chicago's Polish community.  It served as the headquarters of the nation's largest Polish fraternal organization from 1938 until 1976.


24 Sites Added to NRHP in Illinois-- Part 2: WWII Housing


  WILLIAM AND HELEN COFFEEN HOUSE,  Hinsdale:  The house and coach house were designed by master architect George Maher in 1899 and represent a pivotal period in the evolution of his Prairie School design.


JOHN ROBERTSON JR. HOUSE, Barrington:  An example of classical revival architecture whose basic form is a foursquare with extensive classical detailing, including fluted Corinthian columns and Palladian windows.

CHRYSLER VILLAGE,  Chicago:  Exemplifies the partnership between private developers and the federal government to house war industries workers during World War II.  The area was named for the nearby Dodge-Chrysler plant which produced engines for the B-29 Superfortress bombers.

Old Houses.  --Cooter

Thursday, June 11, 2015

24 Sites Added to the NRHP in Illinois-- Part 1: Art Deco House

From the Feb. 27, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Their Place in History" by Duaa Eldeib.

14 buildings, 8 historic districts and 2 archaeological locations added to NRHP.

That would be the National Register of Historic Places.  These would be places worthy of preservation.

"From a village hall that represents a town's promise of racial integration to a railroad depot in Springfield thgat served as the backdrop for Abraham Lincoln's farewell address

Here are the new places:


DAVID HALL HOUSE, Lake Villa (This one is near me.)  Designed by Chicago architect Ralph Wesley Varney and is a melding of early 20th-centurry revival and art deco styles.  Art deco rarely used in residential architecture.

ELGIN DOWNTOWN HISTORIC DISTRICT--  This area served as the city's first major business center, from early shops of the 19th century to department and chain stores of the 20th century.  It was also the transportation and government heart of the city.  (In other words, the old downtown.)

Something Old.  --Cooter

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Our McHenry Vietnam War Deaths: Carter John Freund

Born July 27, 1946.  III Corps, Co. C, 3rd Infantry, Light Infantry Brigade.

Buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in McHenry, Illinois.

Our McHenry Vietnam War Deaths: Glenn Phillip Davis, III

From Find-A-Grave.

Son of Lois Beaubouef of McHenry and Robert G. Davis of Chicago, Illinois.  Enlisted in the USMC June 20, 1966.  Arrived Vietnam Dec. 20.  In Co. M, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division.

January 8, 1967, while on patrol during a fire fight was wounded and treated.  Returned to duty

Was at the 3rd Battalion Command Post on May 12, 1967, on Hill 37 in Dai Lee District when it was hit by a barrage of 82 mm mortar fire.  Killed from a multiple fragmentation wound.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Our McHenry Vietnam War Deaths: James Ambrose, KIA Vietnam

From Find-A-Grave.


James William Ambrose III,  Killed January 31, 1969.  Listed as being from Crystal Lake, Illinois.  Vietnam Wall: 33W, Row 023.

Army Pfc.  Remains recovered.

Died at Binh Duong, Vietnam.

Armor Reconnaissance Specialist.

E Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry.

Buried at Fort Sheridan Cemetery in section 9 R-B 222.

Born February 2, 1945.

Our McHenry Vietnam Deaths

Vietnam casualties on Find the Best site.

McHenry, Illinois.

GLENN PHILLIP DAVIS, Age 22.  Died May 13, 1868. Corporal USMC.  Vietnam Wall:  Panel 59E, Row 020.

JOHN EDWARD GRANATH, Age 20.  Died May 6, 1970, Corporal U.S. Army.  Vietnam Wall: Panel 11 W, Row 111.

CARTER JOHN FREUND, 23, died Feb. 28, 1969, Corporal U.S. Army.  Vietnam Wall: Panel 31 W Row 092.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Deaths in the Vietnam War from the Local Area

From Memorial Wall.


SSG Robert Edwin Miller III
PFC Charles Robert Sink
LCPL Paul Charles Sircher


CPL Glenn Phillip Davis
CPL Carter John Freund
CPL. John Edward Granath, Jr.

James Ambrose was listed as being from Crystal Lake, Illinois.


SP4 Roger Charles Anderson
SP4 Ralph Carpenter Jr.
SP4 James D. Van Hoosier
PFC David Bruce Arnold
WO Paul Edward Dolik
1st Lt. John Alexander Blanco, Jr.
WO Ross James Paterson

Owe a Debt of Gratitude.  Thanks.

McHenry Honors Its Vietnam Dead

From the Nov. 11, 2014, Northwest herald (McHeny County, Illinois) "City honors McHenry High School grads killed in Vietnam with memorial" by Jeff Engelhardt.

Richard Phannenstill, McHeny High Class of 1964, went off to war with three classmates who never came back.  Later, a member of the Class of 1967 was also killed.

Work on this memorial started 14 years ago.

Hundreds gathered in the miserable drizzle and cold to witness the dedication of the memorial.  I know, I was there.  O wouldn't have missed it.  This was my generation's war and I sure came close to going myself.

We honored:
John Granath, Jr., 20
Carter Freund, 22
Glenn Davis, 22
James Ambrose, 23

Members of their families unveiled the marker at Veterans Park.

Freedom Doesn't Come Cheap

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sevens: How Chicago Teams Have Fared Recently in Seven-Game series-- Part 2

CHICAGO CUBS:  October 15, 2013,:  One win from their first World Series berth since 1945, the Cubs fell to the Marlins 9-6 at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs took a 5-3 lead into the fifth, but Kerry Wood couldn't hold the lead.  (This was the year of the Bartman episode.)

CHICAGO WHITE SOX:  October 8, 1919:  Little-known fact:  The White Sox have never played in a decisive Game 7.  Their only game 7 occurred during the 1919 World Series against the Reds.  The Sox won 4-1 in Cincinnati to stay alive in the best-of-nine series, but lost Ga,e 8-- and the series--  a day later at Comiskey Park.

The Old Black Sox days.  --DaCoot

Sevens: How Chicago Teams Have Fared Recently in Seven-Game Series-- Part 1

From the May 31, 2015, Chicago Tribune "The List: Recent Game 7s in Chicago Sports."

Everyone was pretty happy around here when the Blackhawks beat the Cucks last Saturday, but it took a long and frightening seven games to do it.  If I don't see that Ryan Kesler name again, i sure will be happy.

Anyway, here are some recent Games &s:

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS:  June 1, 2014:  In the deciding game of the West finals, Alec Martinez's shot deflected off defenseman Nick Leddy and past Corey Crawford at 5:47 in overtime to give the Los Angeles Kings a 5-4 victory over the host Blackhawks.  The Kings went to the Stanley Cup and won it in seven games.

CHICAGO BULLS:  May 4, 2013:  Joakim Noah had 24 points and 14 rebounds, and Marco Belinelli scored 24 to give te visiting Bulls a clinching 99-93 victory over the Nets in their first round series.


Friday, June 5, 2015

10 Fascinating and Unexpected Origins of Words-- Part 2

As usual, go to the site for pictures and more information.

5.  BOYCOTT--  Named for Captain Charles Boycott, an English real estate agent in Ireland.  Means to voluntarily abstain.

4.  MESMERIZE--  Named for Franz Mesmer, German physician and astrologist who used hypnotism.

3.  HOOVER--  Named for William Henry Hoover of vacuum cleaner fame.

2.  SANDWICH--  John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.  You know what he did.

1.  SADISM/MASOCHISM--    Named for The Marquis de Sade and Leopold von Sacker Masock.


10 Fascinating and Unexpected Origins of Words-- Part 1

From the October 10, 2010, Listverse

10.  MICKEY--  Named after Mickey Fin, a criminal who operated saloons in Chicago around 1900.  .  Something added to a drink.

9.  SILHOUETTE--  Named after Etiene de Silhouette.    French finance minister who in 1759 instituted taxes on the rich.  Started using his name to show something empty inside.Number one song in Chicago 50 years ago in 1965.

8.  DRACONIAN--  Named after Draco, a Greek lawmaker famed for his unusually severe punishment.

7.  MENTOR--  Named after Mentor in Greek Mythology.  he was a teacher and a trusted counselor.

6.  DERRICK--  Named after Thomas Derrick who created a lifting device for hangmen in Elizabethan England.  he personally hanged 3,000 people.

Don't Mean to be So draconian.  --CooterMickey

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Low Water in 2012 Exposed History-- Part 2

Old boats and sunken steamboats from the 1800s are now visible.  In the 1800s a person could have seen hundreds of steamboats by St. Louis each day  people, supplies and goods used the rivers for transport.  The average life span of a steamboat was just five years.  Some 500-700 operated in the Mississippi and Missouri rivers alone.  besides obvious water perils, there was always the danger of boiler explosions, lightning and accidents.

The steamboat Montana sank near St. Charles, Missouri, and it was as large as a football field and extremely lavish, a favorite of the rich passengers.

It is illegal to take items from these uncovered ships as they are owned by the state.

Last year, a piece of the space shuttle Columbia was found in an east Texas lake because of the drought.

A 125-year-old wooden steamer has been found in Michigan.

The World War II minesweeper USS Inaugural  has also been seen resting on the exposed river bottom.  It was a museum ship that was sunk during the Great Flood of 1993.

Steamboating.  --  DaCoot

Low Water in 2012 Showed History-- Part 1

From the December 22, 2012, Yahoo! News/AP "Low-water rivers offering up a glimpse of history" by John Salter.

Lack of rain has caused the lowest levels of rivers in decades and resulted in problems for commerce, concern for water supplies and hydro power.But, the low waters also have uncovered objects long-hidden.  Old steamboats were visible in the Missouri River near St. Charles.  A World War II minesweeper is now visible near St. Louis.

A rock has become visible in the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri that contains an etching (possibly a map) that is believed to be up to 1,200 years old.  It once wasn't in the water but a new channel was made and it is exposed only in periods of extreme drought.  Officials aren't giving its exact location for fear of looting.

Low Water Can be Good.  --Cooter

Ten Things About Cheating-- Part 5: Cheating the Government and Marathons

9.  According to a 2012 Paw Research Center survey, 70% of respondents said they would be very upset at people who had CHEATED THE GOVERNMENT out of benefits they weren't entitled to, but just 45% said the same about people who had not paid all the income taxes they owed.

10.  MARATHONS seem to attract cheaters, and that includes last year's Chicago Marathon winner, Kenya's Rita Jeptoo, for use of a banned performance-enhancing substance.  But the champion marathon cheater of all time was Rosie Ruiz, whose apparent victory in Boston in 1980 was overturned when it became clear she had run hardly any of the race.

When asked why she didn't seem particularly tired at the finish, she remarked, "I got up with a lot of energy this morning."

I Don't have a Lot of Energy, But Not Dumb Enough to Run a Marathon.  --DaCoot

Ten Things About Cheating-- Part 4: Advantage Tools and Robert Kennedy

7.  About a century ago, many American companies that made legitimate playing cards and poker chips also sold a variety of "ADVANTAGE TOOLS"  devices to help cheaters.  These included "card pricks," "poker rings," "punches" or "peggers" to mark a card by creating a subtle indentation, as well as "holdout machines" that allowed cheaters to pull cards out of the deck and hold them until needed -- either up their sleeves or under the table.

Getting caught, of course, might prove to be somewhat unhealthy for the cheater.

8.  ROBERT KENNEDY, who would later become a senator and U.S. Attorney General admired for his support of civil rights and his crackdown on the mob, left his Rhode Island boarding school at age 16 after becoming involved in a cheating scandal.  His roommate and other witnesses said he passed around a stolen English exam, but it is not clear whether he left school on his own or was expelled.

Nothing Up My Sleeve.  --Cooter

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ten Things About Cheating-- Part 3: "Short Pencil" Lewis and Bobby Thompson

5.  CHEATING IN CHICAGO?  Who'd have figured?  A legendary figure in Chicago's history of political high jinks is Sidney "Short Pencil" Lewis, who was accused of erasing votes for Richard J. Dailey during the 1955 Democratic mayoral primary.  (This determines who will be the next Chicago mayor.)

According to author James Marriner, "short pencil" also referred to other unfair Sidney Lewis tactics like providing voters with a stubby pencil that made it difficult to mark their ballots, or putting the pencil on such a short string that they couldn't mark the whole ballot and instead were encouraged to vote straight ticket, for Democrats, of course.

6.  CHEATING IN BASEBALL.  When the New York Giants' Bobby Thompson hit his famous "shot heard 'round the world" homer off Brooklyn Dodgers' pitcher Ralph Branca in 1951, it might not have been the answer to a thousand prayers so much as careful planning, er, cheating.

The Giants used a telescope for most of the season to steal the opposing teams' pitching signs, a fact confirmed 50 years later by reporter Joshua Prager.  The elaborate scheme required the team running an electrical line to te dugout to quickly relay the info.

Bobby Thompson went to his grave denying that he knew a fastball was coming his way.

Ten Things About Cheaters-- Part 2: One-Armed Bandits and Crossbiting

3.  In the 1980s and 1990s, TOMMY GLENN CARMICHAEL feasted on slot machines.  His ingenious inventions--  the "kickstand," "monkey paw" and "light wand" -- cheated the one-armed bandits with ease.  At his peak, he played every day, crisscrossing the country and raking in thousands of dollars daily.

But, he dutifully paid his taxes, which is why, after he was caught and sentenced in 2001, he got time served and probation.

Well, at least someone beats them.  They've sure taken enough of my money.

4.  To 'CROSSBITE" is an old British term for cheating, especially pulling a fast one on someone who is trying to pull a fast one on you.

Remember, pay Your taxes.  --Cooter

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ten Things About Cheaters-- Part 1: Spanish Basketball and America's Youth

From the April 12, 2015, Chicago Tribune "10 things you might not know about Cheaters" by Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer, masters of discovery, diggers of books.

Tax time is sometimes cheating time in America.  Recently, Atlanta educators were convicted of test-rigging and then there was the U.S. Little League title thing.

Here are some other cheats:

1.  The SPANISH BASKETBALL  team in the 2000 Paralympics won the gold by fielding a team of supposedly mentally handicapped players.  They outscored opponents by an average of 36 points a game, but only two of its 12 players actually were mentally handicapped.

2.  YOUNG PEOPLE  are conflicted by cheating  A recent study showed that 99% of 23,000 respondents agreed that it was important to have good character.  93% were satisfied with their own character.  But more than half admitted to cheating on a test and nearly 3/4 said they had copied homework.

And get this, nearly 1/3 said they weren't completely honest about responding to the survey.

What?  Who Me?  --Cooter

Kansas City Closer to Being Home of U.S. World War I Memorial in 2012

From the Dec. 13, 2012, Yahoo! News/Reuters "House approves Kansas City for U.S. World War I memorial" by Kevin Murphy.

Kansas City, Missouri, is one step closer to being the official home of the national memorial of the country as well as official host of the war's centennial events to take place 2014-2018.  (The U.S. involvement in the war, however, was 1917-1918.

The House of representatives resolution passed.

Some felt that the World War I memorial should be on the National Mall in Washington, D.C..

Kansas City already has the National World War I Museum at the Liberty Memorial, a cylindrical tower on top of a hill dedicated in 1926.


10 Historic Trials That Shook the World

From Nov. 13, 2012, Listverse by Matt Hayes and Igor Itkin.

10.  Salem Witch Trials
9.  Alfred Dreyfus
8.  Martin Luther

7.  Charles I of England
6.  Galileo Galilei
5.  John Hus
4.  Giordano Bruno

3.  Joan of Arc
2.  Socrates
1.  Jesus

Go to site for pictures and information.

On trial AGAIN.  --Cooter

Monday, June 1, 2015

Surviving "Mad Men" Withdrawal-- Part 3


"Glassware moved away from color and patterns in the late '50s to mid '60s and became clear and more freeform in the late '60s," says the show's property master.  "All glassware was smaller.  Champagne coupes and pear shapes were still the norm.


"For men, the ties and lapels are getting wider," says costume designer Janie Bryant.  "For women, maxi dresses are getting popular."  Of course, there was those mini skirts earlier.

You can get wide tides for $20-78 at yournecktieshop.com or an Eliza J. print Chiffon maxi dress for $158 at Nordstrum.

I Still have Some Wide Toes.  I mean, Really, Really Wide.  --Cooter

Surviving "Mad Men" Withdrawal-- Part 2

Continued from May 21st entry.


"In season seven, everything about Megan Draper's California home epitomizes what the end of the '60s is about--graphic artwork and bright colors and prints," says Claudette Didul  You can get a Salvador Dali Melting Wall Clock for $17 at wayfair.com. and a Rya rug for $769 at secondshoutout.com.


"It's a huge compliment to say 'Mas Men' has sparked a trend in vintage office furniture."  The Olivetti typewriters was often used in the 1960s.  And, you can get your own for $495 at mytypewriter.com.

I just watched the final episode again.  I'm Going to Miss It.  --DaCoot

Deaths: Designed Famous Las Vegas Welcome Sign

From the April 22, 2015, Champaign (Ill) News

BETTY WILLIS, 91 Died April 19, 2015.

The womn who designed the famed neon sign that has welcomes millions to "Fabulous Las Vegas" since 1959 has died.  Her daughter described her as "a wonderful woman" and very proud of her design of the iconic sign but she never grew fond of how "fabulous" appeared, the single-word adjective not quite as flowing a script as she had envisioned.

Her often copied (I have several items at home with the sign on it) sits in the middle of a median on the town's Las Vegas Boulevard south of the Strip.

Ms. Willis put quite a bit of thought into the sign's design, including putting the letters for "welcome:" inside seven silver dollars, both a lucky number and the currency of choice at the casinos before chips.

That is a favorite Sign of Mine.