Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: How DeKalb Got the Normal School (NIU)

From the December 21, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"The following little bit of ancient history, appearing in this morning's Chicago Herald will be of interest to local people:  The information leaked out years ago that the state was looking for a site for a normal school (to train teachers) and had already considered several locations without a decision.

"DeKalb was one of the cities rumored to have a chance, but it was hinted that the land in question ran far too much to quagmire.  Still, DeKalb wasn't going to lose because of anything like that.

"The quagmire couldn't be removed on short notice, but it could be filled up and made to appear like a place that could be drained.  A fire engine was put to work and pumped enough water to create a small lake into which were propelled a couple of board and from them several citizens were hauling grocery store Yarmouth bloaters by hook and line when the state's agents came along."

A Yarmouth bloater is a type of herring.

They got their school.  Northern Illinois State Normal School opened in May of 1895.

The small lake is where today's East Lagoon is located and one of the most beautiful spots on campus.

I have also heard that DeKalbites dammed up the Kishwaukee River which is quite small and shallow most of the year and opened the dam just before the state people got there to make it appear that it was a mightier stream than it actually was.

Very Sneaky, You DeKalb.  --CootNIU

Friday, December 30, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: Water Flouridation Comes To Your Town

From the November 30, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"The DeKalb City Council last night held the first reading on a resolution calling for the flouridation of the city water system.

"The new resolution points out, more than 50 percent of the populations of this country now have the benefits of flouride in their water,  and such water treatment has resulted in proven beneficial effects, particularly for the teeth of children."

And, It Whitens Your Teeth?  --Cooteeth

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bubblers of Water

Just in case you are wondering what a bubbler, as mentioned in the last post, is.

A bubbler is a term used in the past to refer to what we now call drinking fountains.  This is a fountain meant for personal drinking from which a stream of water bubbles up from a small vertical nozzle.

Here's Water in Your Face.  --DaCoot

Looking Back to 1916: Old "Faceful"'s Last Days at DeKalb's Depot

From the November 30, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"From now on the North Western in DeKalb will receive the thanks of every one having occasion to want a drink of water at the depot.

"The present bubbler, while perhaps sanitary in every respect is one that will easily give one a shower bath instead of a cooling drink, and the officials of the road are now having a new fountain installed of the latest design that will be better in every respect.

"Many a passenger has endeavored to take a drink at the old bubbler and has received a veritable shower on account of the construction of the bubbler."

We used to have a "Bubbler" drinking fountain at my old school, John T. Magee in Round Lake, Illinois, that would do the same thing.  I put up a sign above it "Old Faceful."


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Names of Northern Illinois University Through the Years

From the NIU College of Education Facts and History.

1895--  Northern Illinois State Normal School

1921--  Northern Illinois State Teachers College

1955--  Northern Illinois State College

1957--  Northern Illinois University

Two other education dates of interest:

1915--  Fanny Ruth Patterson graduated, the first black student to graduate from the institution.  I wrote about her earlier this month.

July 1943--  The State of Illinois now required teachers to have a four-year degree.


Looking Back to 1966: "Stranger Danger"

From the December 7, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"The police department, the DeKalb Jaycees and the elementary school PTAs have done what they can to alert your children of the dangers which could happen to them, by showing the film "Stranger Danger" and by setting up "Helping Hands" at strategic locations."

Even back Then.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: Drinking His Life Away

From the December 7, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Martin Garrity, of Haish Avenue, who for the last two or three months has been an intermittent visitor at the police station Monday mornings for imbibing too freely, was hauled in again yesterday on the same charge and also another for cruelty treating his family.

"The matter has been brought to the attention of the authorities so many times in the past that they are losing all patience, as each and every time the offender promises to refrain from the stuff, but never does it.

"This time, however, the presiding judge handed him a fine of $25 and costs for drunkenness.

So, DeKalb Had Its Own Otis.  --CootDrunk

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: Wire Company Making Big Bucks

From the May 11, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Another of Sycamore's manufacturing industries is making a highly gratifying increase in business, and at a meeting held this week, the Nehring Insulated Wire & Cable Company voted to change the name to the Illinois Wire & Cable Company and to increase capital stock from $50,000 to $125,000."

No doubt, much of this increase was due to the United States preparing to enter the war.


Looking Back to 1916: Those Joing the Military Will Have Their Jobs Waiting for Them When They Return

From the July 26, 2016 MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"A communication was received today by the employees of the Chicago & Northwestern railroad yesterday from the head office stating that any man enlisting in the militia or regular army of the state or United States would be granted a leave of absence upon application to his foreman for same and that his position would be open for him when he returns."

Preparing for War.  --Cooter

Monday, December 26, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: It's a Milk Thing

From the May 11, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

"Milk produced by the DeKalb county farmers and sold to the Bowman Dairy Company netted a total of $71,123 in the first quarter of 1941."

Lots of Cows and Dairy Aire Out in DeKalb County, Illinois.  --Cooter

10 Fascinating Historical Origins of Everyday Idiom-- Part 1: "Running Amok"

From the April 6, 2016, Listverse.

I again, am just listing the words and telling a little bit about their origins.  For the complete breakdown, go to the Listverse site.

10.  SCAPEGOAT--  Comes from Hebrew tradition.

9.  WHITE ELEPHANT--  From Siam (Thailand)

8.  RUNNING AMOK--  Malay people

7.  GADZOOKS--  Christians

6.  ADD INSULT TO INJURY--  Aesop's Fables

Gadzooks, I Thought I Saw a White Elephant.  --Cooter

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: Davis Hall Dome Replaced at NIU

From the April 20, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

""Workmen replace the revolving dome on Northern Illinois University's astronomy tower which tops the ninth story of Davis Hall.  High winds last summer did some damage to the track on which the dome revolves.

"The new dome was installed by the contractor at no cost to the university."

I Took Many Classes at Ol' Davis Hall (my minor was Geography).  --DaCootgraphy

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: War Clouds and Kicked By the "Steel Mule"

From the April 6, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

**  "The National Board of the Daughters of the American revolution has decided to assist the Commission for Relief in Belgium, in organizing a 'Flag (Tag) Day' for the relief of war sufferers in occupied Belgium and northern Europe."

As the United States draws nearer to entering World War I.

**  "Wilbur Marshall was kicked by a 'steel mule,' in other words,, he was cranking a traction engine when it kicked back and he received a blow which dislocated his jaw and caused very painful bruises on Wednesday."

The Perils of Machinery.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: Dope Fiends Even Back Then?

From the April 27, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"The Kirkland White House Drug Store was broken into.  The thief took $5 change, 345 grams of morphine, 116 heroin tablets and eight veterinary cocaine tablets.

"The taking of the above drugs, and the fact that nothing else in the store aside from the cash was molested would indicate that the thief was a dope fiend."

This Is You Brain on Drugs.  --Cootdrug

Friday, December 23, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: Strange Lights in the Sky Over NIU

From the March 30, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"DeKalb police, county sheriff's department and NIU Security Police investigated reports of an unidentified flying object near campus at about 12:45 this morning..  About 15 residents of West Neptune's girl's dormitory viewed the light at about 12:45.

"It changed colors -- alternating between a reddish to a bluish color -- and remained for about an hour, one of the girls said.  It had no particular shape, yet appeared to be rotating."

So, What Were the Gals Actually Smoking or Imbibing?  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1966: The Great "Cone" Caper at NIU

From the March 30, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"Several rubber cones valued at $4.65 each were stolen from the site of the NIU Chariot Races Saturday morning.  DeKalb police set up a total of 28 cones to block off parking and traffic so the students could hold their annual Greek races, but only 21 were returned to the police department"

So, I Wonder If They Ever Got Those 7 Cones Back?  --Cooter

Shorpy Photos: Talking Machines: 1914

From the March 3, 2016, Shorpy site.

Richmond, California, 1914.  "Victor Talking Machine display, Hawley Piano Company, Macdonald Avenue."  With Nipper heading the list of the latest platters.

Early, early stereos.    There is an ad poster for Harry Lauder "Lauder Laughs and when you hear his Four New Victor records you will laugh with him.   12 in Purple Label.  Price $1.25.  Come in and laugh with Harry Lauder."

Another poster:  "New Victor Records "The Spring Maid.  Daydreams: Two Little Love Bees.  Sung by Christie Macdonald.  The Rabbit Story ? by Tom McNaugh ?.

Comment:  One of Lauder's biggest hits was in 1911 "Roamin' in the Gloamin." Price of records appears to be 75 cents to $1.25, which was a whole lot of money back then.

RCA did not come into existence until 1919 and bought Victor Talking Machines.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: Building An Electrical Building in Springfield, Illinois

From the March 30, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Winfield Divine, formerly of Sycamore, has been employed to take charge of a large contract, the erection of an electrical building in Springfield, Illinois, for William McAlpine, contractor, of Dixon, formerly of Sycamore who erected the DeKalb County court house."

An Electrifying Performance.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: A Tin Can Menace

From the March 30, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"Who would have thought that the tin can is a menace to public health?  The expert malaria investigators of the United States Public Health services have found, however, that discarded tin cans containing rain water are breeding places for the mosquito which is the sole agent for spreading malaria.

"A hole in the bottom of the empty can might have resulted in the saving of a human life.  Certainly it would have assistance in preventing debilitating illness.

"Empty tin cans have no business about the premises anyway, but if we must decorate our back yards, let's see to it that the can has a hole in the bottom."

After All, You've Already Opened One End.  I Always Like to "Decorate" My Back Yard With Empty Tin Cans (Or Is It Beer Bottles?). --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: Visiting His Mother

From March 30, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Roy McAllister, formerly of Kirkland, is visiting his mother, Mrs. A.L. Palmer, in Belvidere, after a service of five years in the United States navy, the last four of which was spent in China and adjacent waters."

I have to wonder if he was called back into service when the United States entered World War I?


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: Farm Gets Electricity!!

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The George Munch farm in Clare has been improved with electricity during the past week."

Hard to believe it was 1941 and there were still places in Illinois without electricity.

Way to Go, Mr. Munch!!  Hard to believe There Were Still Areas in the U.S. Without Electricity in 1941.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1941: All About Sycamore, Illinois, in 1941

From the March 2, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back.

"Sycamore is 840 feet above sea level and covers 1,000 acres, its assessed valuation is $3,090,228 and there are 12,000 volumes in the Sycamore Public Library.  Sycamore received its water from three wells pumping more than 11,700,000 gallons per month.

"There are 1,265 telephones in service, 14 lawyers, seven doctors, six dentists and two osteopaths.

I had to look up osteopaths.  They deal with drug-free, non-invasive medicine primarily aimed at treating the musculoskeletal framework of the body.

In Case You Were Wondering.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: War in Europe Helping American Industry

From the March 2, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Nearly every community in Northern Illinois in which manufacturing is carried on of almost any kind is enjoying a period of prosperity and the factories are running with increased forces and skilled workers are in great demand.

"The 'boom' in manufacturing is directly due to the demand for supplies that comes from the war zone, where the production is curtailed and the consumption is increased."


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fanny Patterson, Black Pathfinder-- Part 3: The Fanny Patterson Scholarship

The Fanny Patterson Scholarship at Northern Illinois University.
Applicant must be:

**  At least third year (minimum of 70 credit hours).

**  2.5 cumulative GPA.

**  Active in campus affairs (SA, NBC and Black Greek organizations)

**  Must submit a 500 word essay on the importance of obtaining a college degree.

**  Scholarship will be a minimum of $500.

Looking Back to 1916: A Schoolhouse Accident

From the March 2, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"On Friday of last week as Miss Ruth Gochenour was attending the stove in the county school of which she is a teacher, she suffered an accident that will cause her some inconvenience for some time.  She stooped to shake the grate and when opening the small door, the accumulation of gas in the fire pot exploded and her face was burned.

"She wore a sweater and this she pulled over her head and probably saved her from being terribly burned."

The Perils of Teaching Back Then.  --Cooter

Fanny Patterson: A Black Pathfinder-- Part 2

I had never heard of this woman so looked her up on the internet.

From the NIU Black Alumni Council "Fanny Patterson Scholarship Award.

Miss Fanny Patterson was born August 14, 1892 and graduated from Hinckley High School and, at the age of 21, entered NI State Normal School (former name of NIU back then) and took classes in arithmetic, reading, grammar, methods, and a state course.

Upon graduation in 1915, she was noted by then NIU President John Watson Cook as "an excellent girl, having good looks, good taste, extreme modesty of demeanor and a good mind."

She then went downstate and taught four years before dying of pulmonary tuberculosis on Feb. 17, 1920 at the young age of 28.

She was a brave, unique, an innovator at NIU.

Quite an Accomplished Woman.

Looking Back to 1916: Fannie Patterson, a Black Woman, Gets Teaching Job

From the March 6, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

Fannie Patterson of Hinckley has been engaged at a good salary to teach a two-room suburban school of colored children in Cairo, Illinois.  When Miss Patterson graduated from Hinckley high school a couple years or so ago she had the distinction of being the first colored graduate in the history of the institution."

Quite an accomplishment for a black woman back then.

I'll Do a Follow Up On Her.  She Had Quite the NIU Connection As Well.  --Cooter

Monday, December 19, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: The Wet and Dry in Sycamore Township

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"Sycamore Township is almost dry.  There is but one tavern left in the township but that is not to be confused with the moisture inside the city limits.  Sycamore Township had two taverns until a few weeks ago when one voluntarily closed.

"The Ace of  Clubs, a place operated under one title or another and by several different proprietors since repeal has closed its doors.  The place was located on Route 23 on the northern edge of Sycamore's city limits.

"Reuben Nelson continues to operate Coast Inn, a tavern located on Route 64 on the west edge of the township."

Wet in Sycamore, Mostly Dry in Sycamore Township.  Moisture Inside City Limits. --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: "Crazy Man" On the Loose in DeKalb County

From the September 21, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 years ago:

"Deputy Sheriff Otto Holcomb and Chief of Police Johnny Thompson of Sycamore captured a crazy man on Wednesday.  The ladies at the home of Louie Heiner in Pierce Township, about eight miles from Cortland, were frightened when a man wearing a red cap and strangely dressed and evidently crazy, called at the Heiner farmhouse.

"He offered to commit no violations, but appeared to be dangerous."

Profiling Even Back Then.  --Cooter

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: Big Lightning Strike in Sycamore

From the July 6, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"Downtown Sycamore gained a slight idea of how one of Hitler's bombs sounds Saturday evening shortly after 5:00 o'clock.  Lightning struck a tree in the southeast corner of the courtyard.  It is a question whether the bolt killed the tree or not."

The Battle of Britain was going on at the time.


Looking Back to 1916: Trouble Along the Mexican Border

From the July6, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

"Word has just been received here by the relatives of Peerley Terwilliger, an old DeKalb boy, who is doing duty on the Mexican border with a company from the New Mexico National Guard.  He is attached to the company from Artesia, a town located about forty miles south of Roswell, New Mexico.

"Since the guard of that state has been on the border, Terwilliger has been stationed at or near to Columbus, New Mexico, which was the seat of recent disturbances."

We weren't at war in Europe yet, but there was Pancho Villa in Mexico, who had crossed the border and attacked Columbus, New Mexico.'

There used to be a sporting goods store in DeKalb called Terwilliger's.  I wonder if this was his family, or perhaps even him.

Wonder If They Were Also Battling Aliens?  --Cooter

Looking back to 1916: Free Dental Work for Military Recruits

From the July 6, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Drs A.C. and J.A. Spickerman, the local dentists made an announcement this morning that shows their patriotism. They offer to take care, without expense, of the dental work of any recruit who fears that the condition of his teeth will make his acceptance for military service doubtful."

As the United States was gearing up for what would become World War I.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Ten Classic Men, Ten Classic Drinks-- Part 2: From Madeira to Jack

Benjamin Franklin:  Madeira--  a fortified wine from the Portuagal island of the same name.

Truman Capote:  Screwdrivers

Barack Obama:  Bud Light (also Red Stripe) and Blue Moon

Bono:  Jack Daniels

George Clooney:  Straight Tequila

One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1966: New Garbage Cans and Dial Tones

From the June 8, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

**  "Some 100 homes in DeKalb began their 60-day test of a new and sanitary disposal Westvaco Papercan bag, designed to replace two regular size garbage cans and speed up the collections in the city."

They definitely didn't collect garbage like they do today.

**  "No, it's not the sound of bees, mosquitoes, or double-winged bugs from outer space; it is the new dial tone and busy tone of the new electric telephone gear being installed by the DeKalb-Ogle telephone Company."

What, no ringtones?

I Want My Bad Moon Rising.  --Cooter

Friday, December 16, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: Zip Code and a Drive-In Church

From the June 8, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"Zip Code use is going to be stressed by the Post Office Department in a new program that has been announced by the postmaster.  A nationwide poll revealed that 96 per cent of the American public is aware of Zip Code, and steps are now being taken to make it easier and more convenient for the public to know the codes for mailing addresses."

Remember that song "Zip Code" by the Five Americans?

**  "The Drive-In Church of Paw Paw is planning a program of services similar to those that were highly successful in the past five years."

Drive-In church?


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Looking Back to 1941: Old Age Assistance Checks Arriving

From the March 2, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

"Old age assistance checks were mailed to 607 residents of DeKalb County in February, according to a report by the state welfare department.

"Pension checks sent to the county totaled $13,312."

Was this Social Security?

**  "Ralph Ranke, who recently went into the farm implement business with Edward McGirr, has disposed of his blacksmith shop, located on South First Street in DeKalb."

Fewer horses I reckon.


Looking Back to 1966: NIU Gets OK for More Buildings

From the February 24, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"The Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities today approved final plans for a $41 million classroom, office, and double lecture hall complex for Northern Illinois University campus and appointed a three-man committee to meet with a group of citizens who are protesting the board's decision to use the Montgomery Arboretum as the site for two buildings."

The 1960s were a time of huge growth for NIU.  The lecture halls in the complex that was approved eventually became Cole Hall, where the horrible murders took place on February 14, 2008.  Five students were killed and 17 wounded.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Looking Back to 1941 and 1966: Vaccinations , New Woolco and NIU Commencement

From the June 1, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"More than 150 rural and city grade school children gathered in the Central Grade School gymnasium to receive vaccinations from the hands of doctors as a preventative measure against small pox."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"The new Woolco Department Store opened at the Northland Plaza Shopping Center."  This was on the DeKalb-Sycamore Road, Il-23, near where the Wal Mart is today.  Woolco was the big box discount store of Woolworth's 5 & 10.

**  "NIU's 67th Commencement exercises were June 4 and set a new record of 1,820 graduates."  I arrived at NIU in 1969.


Looking Back to 1916: Lawlessness Even Back Then, What Is Good for the Goose

From the September 21, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1916, 100 years ago.

"Mr. Howland of Sycamore made complaint to police that boys entering his lot and chasing his geese.  He described them and 'the gang of young bandits have been committing as many acts of lawlessness during the past months, and they may be taken.'"

**  "DeKalb has a new patrol wagon "Public Safety' conveyance was delivered."

So, we had hooligans even back then.  Guess the new patrol wagon could be used to transport them to jail when caught.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Ten Classic Men, Ten Classic Drinks-- Part 1: From Mojitos to Boilermakers

From the February 11, 2016, Esquire.

Earnest Hemmingway:  Mojitos

U.S. Grant:  Old Crow bourbon

F. Scott Fitzgerald:  Gin Rickeys  (Invented by Col. Joe Rickey at a Washington, D.C. bar called Shoemaker's in 1883.

Oscar Wilde:  absinthe

Charles Burowski:  Boilermakers

Pour Me Another One.  --CootDrink

Friday, December 9, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: Cutting Ice at NIU's Lagoon

From the February 10, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Ice men are busy cutting ice on the Normal pond (probably Northern Illinois University's Lagoon) and the skating will be interfered with until this is over.  There has been a good skating surface for several days but the fact was not known by many there was little use made of the pond.

"If the weather turns cold again and freezes over where the ice has been taken out it will make for good skating."

Ice Harvesting was quite a big winter time industry in northern Illinois at the time.

What, No Smart Phones?  --Cooter

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Remembering Pearl Harbor 75 Years Later: Stan Van Hoose, USS Tennessee

From the November 22, 2016, Beloit (Wis.) Daily News "Remembering Pearl Harbor 75 Years Later" by Hillary Gavan.

Stan Van Hoose, 96, will be flying to Pearl Harbor for the commemoration.  He was on the USS Maryland which was moored next to the USS Oklahoma and remembers seeing it slowly roll over.  He also saw the Arizona blow up.

Will Not Forget.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: Nothing Runs Like a Deer, Shot in the Head

From the March 16, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

**  "A running deer from the herd of C.W. Marsh was cornered.  Arthur Self says, 'that if anyone can 'run like a deer," they are traveling at a fast clip, as he never knew an animal could run as fast as did that one on Saturday when it cleared their heads with one jump and proceeded west on Lincoln Highway."

**  "Joseph Ogden, former chief of police who was shot in the head a few years ago by a crazy man whom he had taken in charge, went to DeKalb Wednesday for the purpose of having an x-ray examination taken of his head."

Fast Deer and Crazy men Even Back Then.  --DaCoot

Looking Back to 1916: New Rails and Hired Hand

From the March 16, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

**  "The Chicago Great Western Railroad Company has bought 10,000 tons of rails to replace curve-worn rails between Chicago and Oelwein.  It will also include the rails through Sycamore.  (Oelwein is in Iowa.)

**  An ad:  "Am looking for my fourth married hired man this year.  He must be an expert in pitching straw and chopping wood and be able to do three men's work.  Prof. Fred Middletown."


Monday, December 5, 2016

Deaths: Cuba's Leader For a Real Long Time, Fidel Castro

Age 90.  "No other Third World leader prompted so much U.S. hostility for so long.  Castro brought the planet to the brink of nuclear war in 1962 and endured a crippling U.S. embargo and outlasted ten U.S. presidents."

Died Friday, November 25, 2016.

You almost had to admire the man to do that.  But, was I ever scared when at age 11, I thought my life was about to end.  I'll never forget that Cuban Missile Crisis.  I am glad we have finally reopened trade and relations with Cuba.  I've always believed that he wouldn't have turned to Communism had the U.S. not so opposed him back when he came to power.  And, that was primarily because of his nationalizing U.S. interests in the country.

Like Him or Not, he Was a Force to Be Reckoned With.

Looking Back to 1941: Records from the "World War Period"

From the November 2, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The DeKalb Chamber of Commerce is making an appeal for phonograph records which contain or other vocal recordings of songs which were 'hits' during the World War period.  Persons having such recordings and wish to loan them to the chamber for a few days should call Mr. Reynolds, phone 188.

"They are needed in connection with the All-American parade to be held Thursday night, the final night of the Fall Festival."

You've got to love the phone number.  The "World War period" referred to would be what we now call World War I.  But, there was another war going on and about to draw the U.S. into it.

What, No Downloading?  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: President Wilson Passes Through DeKalb

From the November 2, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back.'

1916, 100 Years Ago

"The special train bearing President Wilson and his party passed through DeKalb this morning on the way back from the western trip where the nation's executive spoke before a large historical society yesterday."


Looking Back to 1916: Memorial Day

From the June 1, 2016 MidWeek "Looking Back."

"Memorial Day exercises at Elmwood Cemetery in Sycamore will include flowers being placed on the soldiers' graves by members of the Sons of veterans.  A detail will also visit Mt. Carmel Cemetery and decoratye the graves of soldiers there.

"The people of DeKalb County generally are cordially invited to join with these various orders and the people of Sycamore in this tribute to the country's defenders and general patriotic demonstration."

I'm taking the Sons of Veterans here to refer to the Sons of Union Veterans as the United States had not yet entered World War I.


Looking Back to 1941: Something Fishy in DeKalb County

From the November 2, 2016, MidWeek, (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"About 58,000 small fish, including bass, crappies, blue gills, and perch were placed in the Kishwaukee (River) in the northern section of the county."

No doubt, these fish were hatched and raised at the Spring Grove, Illinois Fish Hatchery which supplied fish for the northern part of Illinois for many years.  It has been turned into a park by my town now.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: "Dekalb's Youthful Banditry" Borrow Stuff

From the February 24, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"DeKalb's youthful banditry pulled another one today.  The case today is not as serious as some of the others and has a funny side as well as a serious one.  Mr. Ulrich today reported to the police that a hand cart belonging to him was missing and asked the help of officers to find it.

"Inside half an hour an officer found it propelled by a couple of youngsters and filled with copper wire belonging to the telephone company.  The lads were apparently innocent of wrongdoing and said that they had just 'borrowed' the cart.  When asked by police they also said that they had 'borrowed' the wire as well."

Sure Kids. Can You Spell Juvenile Delinquent?  --Cooter

Deaths: America's 1970s Mom, Florence Henderson

"Brady Bunch" Mom, Florence Henderson Dies at 82.

Played Carol Brady, died November 24, 2016.  Born in Dale, Indiana, the youngest of ten children.  The Brady Bunch" ran for five seasons.  Reflected more the role of a 70s mom than did the Beaver's mom.

One of my favorite TV sitcoms back then.  Sort of had a crush on Marsha with that long straight hair.

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha

Friday, December 2, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: The Beginning of Kishwaukee Community College

From the September 21, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

  "The State Junior College Board in Springfield announce that approval has been granted on the petition and territory set out for the proposed Kishwaukee Community College.

"The road is open for the state board to call a public hearing which probably will be held in DeKalb County sometime in late October or November."


"Gone With the Wind" Actors Still Alive As of April 2016

From the IMDB.

As of April 2016, a total of 15 actors and actresses who were in the movie "Gone With the Wind" are still alive.  Only two were credited.

The best-known is Olivia de Havilland who played Melanie Hamilton.

Also credited was Mickey Kuhn who played Beau Wilkes.

Two others are Skip Houghton who also played an Ozmite and Winkie guard in "The Wizard of Oz," and Greg Giese who played the newborn Bonnie and newborn Beau.


Deaths: Gone With the Wind Actress Mary Anderson in 2014

Mary Anderson, 96.  Born April 3, 1918 Died April 3, 1918.

American actress appeared in 31 films from 1939-1965.  Best-known for her small uncredited role in "Gone With the Wind."

She auditioned for the role of Scarlett O'Hare, but got the role of Maybelle Merriweather.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Looking Back to 1966: First DeKalb Medicare Card

From the Feb. 10, 2016, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1966, 50 Years Ago.

"William B. Hoyt, DeKalb Township assessor, is the first person in the DeKalb area to receive a health Insurance Card showing he is entitled to the benefits under Medicare.

Now That I Am Under Medicare.  --Cooter

Titanic Victim Margaret Rice-- Part 6: Charles Hays

A third Spokane, Washington, Titanic victim was Charles Hays.  He was director of the Grand Trunk Railway which had employed Margaret's husband William Rice in Canada.

He and his family also lived in Spokane and he was in England tending to railroad business.  His wife, Clara, daughter and her husband were with him.

They booked first class passage on the Titanic.  Charles Hays died, but the rest of his family survived.  His body was recovered, identified and buried in Montreal.


Looking Back to 1941: The Wet and Dry Issue

From the February 10, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1941, 75 Years Ago.

"The wet and dry issue will again be voted upon in the coming township election, it was learned today.  A petition has been filed with Town Clerk Vere Goodyear requesting that the voters make known their choice.

"When Prohibition came to a close in DeKalb Township, like all other townships, permitted the sale of alcoholic liquors.  Four years ago the dry followers petitioned that the matter be voted upon, both in DeKalb and in the territory outside the city both within the confines of the township.

"DeKalb voted to permit the sale of liquor but the township outside the city voted to prohibit the sale."

To drink or Not to Drink.  --CootBeer

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Titanic Victim Margaret Rice-- Part 5: Three Others With Spokane, Washington Connections Also Died

The other three Spokane people who died when the Titanic sank all had connections to Margaret's husband, William Rice.

John Chapman worked at the Spokane Cemetery and when William died in 1910, he dug the grave.  He was engaged to Sara Elizabeth Lawry in England at the time and went back to England and married her.  They were on the Titanic returning to the United States with second class tickets.  Both died.

Only John's body was recovered and is buried in the same cemetery in Halifax as Margaret Rice.  His new wife was not found, but a pocket watch on John's body had stopped at 1:45 a.m..

The Titanic sank at 2:20 a.m. and it is believed that perhaps the young couple jumped into the water in an attempt to swim out to a partially full lifeboat.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Titanic Victim Margaret Rice-- Part 4: She Perished Along With Her Five Sons

From Hub Pages:  The Titanic Irish Mother Margaret Rice and Children Died When the Ship Sank.

Two boats, the PS "America" and PS "Ireland" took boarding passengers from Queenstown Pier out to the Titanic.

Boarded April 11, 1912:

Albert 10, George 8, Eric 7, Arthur 4 and Eugene 2 1/2.

In 1998, a memorial stone in Cobh (Queenstown in 1912) for the Titanic passengers who boarded there depicts Margaret Rice and her five sons.

On April 15, 2009, a monument was dedicated in Spokane Cemetery at Fairmount Memorial Gardens for Margaret and her sons as well as three other Spokane residents who died on the Titanic.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Titanic Victim Margaret Rice-- Part 3: Was Her Son Eugene the "Unknown Child" Buried in Halifax?

There was a second note written about Mrs. Rice's body.  It noted her hair was black and turning gray and had false upper teeth.

Shoes marked "Parsons Sons, Athlone."; medallion round neck marked B.V.M.; wore a wedding ring; locket and photo; one jet and one bead necklace.

She was id'd as Catholic by her rosary and Margaret Rice by a box of pills prescribed April 9, 1912.

She was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

There is speculation that her son Eugene may be the "Unknown Child" buried in Halifax.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Titanic Victim Margaret Rice-- Part 2: She and Family All Perished

After the col,lision with the iceberg, 3rd class passenger Bertha Mulvihill saw Margaret Rice in the 3rd Class Holding area with Eugene in her arm and the rest of her boys holding her skirt.  The entire family perished.

Margaret's body, #12, was recovered by the rescue ship Mackay-Bennett.

The words written:

"No. 12 --  Female --  est. Age 40 --  Hair dark.
Clothing:  Black velvet coat; jacket and skirt; blue cardigan; black apron; black boots and stockings.
Effects--  wedding ring; keeper, and another gold; locket and photo; one jet one bead Necklace; gold brooch in bag, 3 pounds in gold; 4 pounds in Irish notes' gold brooch; plain gold wag earrings; charm around neck; B.V.M.; false teeth in upper jaw; box pills.



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Titanic Victim Margaret Rice (nee Norton)-- Part 1: To Canada to U.S. and Back to Ireland

From the Encyclopedia Titanica.

Mrs. William Rice (Margartet Norton) was born in Westmeath, Ireland on 6 October 1872.

At age 19 she married William Rice in Ireland who became shipping clerk with the Grand Trunk Railway and they moved to Montreal after the birth of their first son, George Hugh, born 1902.    After their arrival in Canada, George died after choking on a dummy (pacifier).

In 1909, the couple moved from Montreal to Spokane, Washington where William worked for the Great Northern Railroad as a machinist.  Their youngest son Eugene was born in 1909.

In 1910, William was killed in a train accident and Margaret collected a substantial insurance settlement and returned to Ireland with her boys.

In 1912, she decided to return to Spokane.  She and her five sons, Albert, Eric and Arthur, booked passage on the Titanic and boarded at Queenstown with ticket number 382652, price 29 pounds, 2 shillings and 6 d.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Major Watson's American Revolution Service

This man was a veteran of both the American Revolution and the War of 1812 and was captured in both wars.  he is buried in the Hebron-Linn Cemetery in Hebron, Illinois, the only known American Revolution veteran buried in McHenry County, Illinois.

Despite his first name, major, he is listed as a private.  (Too bad he wasn't a major then he would have been Major Major Watson.)

He is listed as enlisting on March 11, 1777, and deserted September 7, 1777.  He joined again in March 5, 1778 and was taken prisoner at Fort Stanwix in July 1779 and never exchanged until the end of the war.

I doubt that his desertion is of the type we usually consider desertion.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Looking Back to 1915: Mrs Daw Gored By Cow in 1915

From the September 27, 2015, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1915.  "Mrs. William Daw was gored by a cow at home 7 miles southwest of Malta in Milan Township, Friday.  It may result in her death.

Things Weren't Always So Pleasant Out On the Farm.  --DaCoot

Looking Back at NIU Football, 1965: Glidden Field Reactivated

From the September 27, 2015, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1965.  "Ancient Glidden Field (where the NIU Art Building is now located), the scene of Northern Illinois University football since 1899 will be reactivated tomorrow when the Huskies open their schedule.  Placed in mothballs last fall, the 8,500-seat field will begin its 66th year of use, then before the campaign ends it will again be retired in favor of a new 22,500 seat stadium on West Campus."

The reason was because the new stadium was not yet completed.

Go Huskies!!  --CooterDog

Friday, November 18, 2016

Looking Back: DeKalb, Illinois in 1965

From the September 27, 2015, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."


**  The McAuley Residence for Girls at NIU officially opens Sunday.  It accommodates 53 girls and is named for Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland.

From NIU Housing site.

McAuley Residence Hall was located at 145 Fish Avenue and was originally St. Mary's Hospital in DeKalb.  It opened in 1967 (according to the site, here it was 1965) and closed in 1971.

It is currently for sale with asking price of $345,000.  According to realtors it was built in 1900 and has 24,000 square feet on approx. 2 acres and 20 parking spaces.  It was St. Mary's Hospital in the early 1900s and office space after that.

Property tax in 2012 was $3,813.

I Was Kind of Wondering Where It Was.  --Cooter

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Veterans Day Through the Ages-- Part 6: Resisting the Change

Veterans Day was moved from November 11 to the fourth Monday in October.  Many of the states, with support from veterans, refused to celebrate the holiday on any day other than the significant November 11th.  This pressure by the American public and veterans caused Congress to return Veterans Day to November 11, which was accomplished by 1978.

Throughout the nation Veterans are honored on this date and many of the services are mindful of including the time of that cessation of fighting in World War I, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

This is the time that the American Legion family and VFW in Fox Lake, Illinois, have their ceremony.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Veterans Day Through the Ages-- Part 5: Creation of the Three-Day Weekend

However, it was many years before those who had served and lived through World War I began to think of it other than Armistice Day.

Veterans were pleased with the celebration of Veterans Day as it continued to honor and recognize the importance of that date to World War I veterans and still included those who served in later wars.

Then the federal government interfered in 1968 with the creation of three-day  holidays for federal employees with the passage of the Uniform Holiday Bill.  The holidays affected were Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day.

Officials believed these three-day weekends would encourage tourism throughout the country.  However, this meant that these holidays would not always occur on the exact day as previously celebrated.

Veterans Day, Through the Ages-- Part 4: Name Changed to Veterans Day

The states, by actions of their legislatures had begun to make Armistice Day a state holiday already, but it took U.S. Congress until May 1938 to proclaim it as an official federal holiday.

It should be noted that there are no national holidays as the states retain the right to designate their own holidays.  The federal government can only designate holidays for federal employees and the District of Columbia.  Essentially, most states follow along with the federal designations.  That is why some states don't observe some national holidays.

As other wars came along, many if the veteran service organizations began lobbying to change Armistice Day to veterans Day to honor those who had fought in all wars, not just World War I.

They successfully achieved their goal in 1954 when Congress voted to change the name to veterans Day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Veterans Day: Through the Decades, Across the Wars-- Part 3: Honor Guard at the Tomb

Today, the Tomb of the Unknowns has an honor guard 24 hours a day, regardless of weather.  On veterans Day, the president or some other high-ranking government official places a wreath at the tomb to honor those who have served their country.

In 1926, Congress passed a resolution that states, "the recurring anniversary of November 11, 1918, should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations."

They further suggested the president make a proclamation calling for the observance of Armistice Day.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Veterans Day: Through the Decades, Across the Wars-- Part 2: Tomb of the Unknowns

On the first Armistice Day, November 11, 1919,  business was halted at 11 a.m., just as the war halted at 11 a.m..

In 1921, another significant event occurred on November 11.  On this date the remains of an unidentified American soldier, who had lost his life in World War I, was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.  On that same day, the remains of other soldiers who had lost their lives and couldn't be identified were laid to rest in their countries.

A French soldier was entombed at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and an English soldier's remains were buried at Westminster Abbey in London.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been maintained as a national monument (and a very fitting one), but it is now known as the Tomb of the Unknowns when remains of unidentified from other branches of service and wars were also entombed.

Veterans Day: Through the Decades, Across the Wars-- Part 1: Armistice Day

From the November 9, 2016, Hi-Liter by Sandra Landen Machaj.

It happens every year on November 11.  The nation celebrates Veterans Day.  Sadly, not all schools are out this day.  I understand that we have Memorial Day in May to honor those who have fallen and served, but I think another day of remembrance would definitely be in order.  As a teacher, I know that other teachers do not teach about the significance of these days.

Veterans Day was first known as Armistice Day, a day to commemorate the end of World War I or as it was originally known, the Great War.  A temporary cessation to the fighting agreed to begin on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 between the Allied and German forces.

This was not the official end of the war, as some believe.  That didn't take place until the Treaty of Versailles and not signed between Germany and the Allied nations until June 28, 1919.  At that signing, Allied interests were represented by British Prime Minister David Lloyd, French Premier George Clemenceau and U.S. President  Woodrow Wilson.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Area Lakes Were the Key to the Growth of Antioch, Illinois-- Part 1

From the 2016 Stateline by Sandra Landen-Machaj.

In the early 1800s, the Antioch area was the home of the Pottawatomi Indian tribe, a semi-nomadic group that moved throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin hunting and fishing.

The area had a rolling landscape and many glacial lakes and was rich in fish and wild fowl.  Life was good for them until the arrival of the white man.

The first recorded settlement in what was to become Antioch was a log cabin built along Sequoit Creek, a tributary of the Fox River.  It was on this spot that brothers Darius and Thomas Gage built their cabin shortly after the winter of 1837.

One of the first businesses was a sawmill.  One was built by Hiram Buttrick in 1839 to provide for the lumber needs of a growing community.


MLB in Chicago's Northwest Suburbs-- Part 4: The Chicago White Sox Come to Town

In the early 1900s, players in both McHenry and Johnsburg (McHenry County) while not making it to the majors, did play against a MLB team.

Well-known in the baseball world as both a player and a team owner, Charles Comiskey (it's still Comiskey Park to me) was just as well known in the Chain of Lakes area, as was his team, the Chicago White Sox.

Thanks to Comiskey, a game was arranged for the McHenry White Sox to play against the Chicago White Sox in McHenry.  Legend has it that the Chicago team arrived by train early in the morning of September 9, 1914, and were taken out to Pistakee Bay by boat.  The Chicago White Sox won the game 13-1  But there may have been various games played on different dates.

The McHenry White Sox were not the only local team to play the Chicago White Sox.  On October 2, 1929, 250 spectators gathered in the Johnsburg Ball Park and paid $1 each to watch the Sox play the McHenry County champions, Johnsburg.  The Sox won this one as well.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Lot Happened Today-- Part 2: Came the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and Opening of the Berlin Wall

1969--  Children's educational show "Sesame Street" made its debut on PBS.

1975--  The ore-hauling ship Edmund Fitzgerald and its crew of 29 vanished during a storm on Lake Erie.

1982--  The newly finished Vietnam Veterans Memorial was opened to its first visitors in Washington, D.C.

1989--  Workers began punching a hole in the Berlin Wall, a day after East Germany abolished its border restrictions.


A Lot Happened Today-- Part 1: USMC Birthday I Presume

Happening on November 10th:

1775--  The U.S. marines were organized under authority of the Continental Congress.

1871--  Journalist-explorer Henry Stanley found Scottish missionary David Livingston in Africa.

1919--  The American Legion held its first convention in Minneapolis.

1938--  Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" on her CBS radio program.

1941--  Winston Churchill delivered a speech in London in which he said, "I have not become the King's First Minister to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire."

1954--  The Iwo Jima Memorial, inspired by the famous Associated Press photograph of the Marines raising the U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi during World War II, was dedicated by President Dwight Eisenhower in Arlington, Virginia.  Marine birthday, you know.

And Some More.  --DaCoot

MLB in Chicago's Northwest Suburbs-- Part 3: Some Major League Ballplayers

Here are a few ballplayers from Lake and McHenry counties who made it to the majors:

CHUCK HILLER from Johnsburg had an outstanding career in the majors.  As a member of the 1962 New York Giants, he made history becoming the first National League player to hit a grand slam in the World Series.  This allowed the Giants to beat the Yankees 7-3 and win the World Series.

BILLY AND BOBBY KLAUS were professional ballplayers from Fox Lake.  Billy played in the major leagues from 1952 to 1963, playing for several teams in his 11-year career.

His brother Bobby had a much shorter major league career, playing for only two years, 1964 and 1965.

There are plaques honor these two at the Grant High School baseball field in Fox Lake.

ERIC ECKENSTAHLER was born in Waukegan but attended high school in Antioch.  After attending Illinois State University, he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and played 27 games for them in 2002 and 2003.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

MLB in Chicago's Northwest Suburbs-- Part 2: Local Teams Played for Community Pride

And, the game of baseball is still real popular.  Just look at what happened in Chicago last week when the Cubs won the 2016 World Series.

Baseball has been around since 1839 and is played by young and old alike.  The Major Leagues began with 8 teams in 1876 and now has 30 teams.  Since the 1800s, local teams have played for their communities.  While these players may dream of getting a spot on a major league roster, it is highly unlikely.

From the late 1800s, the local teams in Lake and McHenry counties in Illinois were very active and competed against each other.  Community pride was at stake.

Some players from local high schools did make it to the majors.  Some only lasted for a short time, others got to be well-known.

Tomorrow I Will Write About Some of Them Who Made It.  --Cooter

MLB in the Northwest Chicago Suburbs--Part 1: "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"

From the September 7, 2016, Hi-Liter "A brush with the big leagues."

"Take Me Out To the Ball Game" was written in 1906 and is sung at every major league and many minor league parks, usually during the 7th inning stretch.

It was written by Jack Norworth and Albert von Tilzer and is the third most-sung song in the United States after "Happy Birthday" and the Star-Spangled Banner."  And, for the 7th inning is is often sung by those with great voices and, especially at Wrigley Field, some of those vocals are hard to take.


October Anniversaries: Peanuts, Circus Circus and Legos

From the October AARP Bulletin.

OCTOBER 2, 1950--  The first "Peanuts" comic strip was published.  I am glad the Chicago Tribune continues to reprint them daily.  Gotta love that WWI Flying Ace and, if there was a Major League Baseball team that could have been Good Ol' Charlie Brown's, it would have had to have been the Chicago Cubs.

OCTOBER 18, 1968--  Circus Circus Casino resort opened in Las Vegas on The Strip.  Last I heard, it was still there, but probably not for much longer.  My favorite casino on the Strip is Slots of Fun back when they had the $1 Blackjack tables and 75 Cent bottles of Heinekin and Corona as well as the huge quarterpounder beef hot dogs.

OCTOBER 24, 1961--  The patent was approved for toy building blocks that became known as Legos.  I was ten, but never got into Legos.  They seem to be doing pretty well now.  But, I was pretty-well hooked on the Lincoln Logs and Erector Sets (and what was the one with the spindles and wooden round things?).

I Built Many a Great Fort With Those Logs.  --Cooter

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Comparing the 1945 and 2016 Wrigley Fields-- Part 4: Transportation

TRANSPORTATION IN 1945:  Streetcars ran along Clark Street and the elevated train ran along the current Red Line tracks.  the existing Addison station was in place before the ballpark opened in 1914.

In 1945, however, transit in Chicago was run by a number of agencies; the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) wasn't formed until 1947.

TRANSPORTATION IN 2016:  There's the Red Line, of course, and neighborhood parking has spawned a cottage industry with residents selling spots for hundreds of dollars.  Gone are the days when we would get off the expressway at Addison, stop at the White Castle then drive around the Wrigley neighborhood for awhile and find a parking spot in the street (for free) and walk a few blocks to the park.  That all ended with the coming of lights and neighborhood parking stickers.

I  think that the city should get a cut on the neighborhood parking.


Comparing the 1945 and 2016 Wrigley Fields-- Part 3: Statues and Rooftops

For more on the 2016 Wrigley Field, check out my RoadDog's RoadLog blog.

STATUES ]IN 1945:  There were no statues at Wrigley Field in 1945.

STATUES IN 2016:  There are now four statues around Wrigley:

Harry Caray, unveiled in 1999
Ernie Banks, 2008
Billy Williams, 2010
Ron Santo, 2011

ROOFTOPS IN 1945:  Photos from Wrigley Field's earliest years show fans atop the adjacent buildings, though not on the built-out and up structures that exist today.  Back when I was watching in the 1960s and 1970s you would sometimes see a few fans on those rooftops.

ROOFTOPS IN 2016:  Now, the Rooftops are a real big business.  A long-running conflict between the Cubs and the owners of the lucrative rooftop buildings has died down with the Ricketts family slowly purchasing many of the properties along Waveland and Sheffield.

"Let's Play Two."  --Cubter

Monday, November 7, 2016

Comparing the 1945 and 2016 Wrigley Fields-- Part 2: Concessions


By 1945, fans could enjoy Borden's ice cream for 10 cents.  Beer was first served at Wrigley in 1933 after the repeal of Prohibition.


Ballpark food features plenty of classic Chicago dogs ($7) as well as the occasional Polish sausages ($) and even 'smokies" ($7.75).

Beer vendors now carry Goose Island IPA, 312 Ale (named after the prefix for downtown Chicago telephone numbers) as well as Bud and Bud Light.  Harry would be so proud.  Obviously, beer today costs a bit more than in 1945.

Coming home from my first visit to Wrigley Field in April 1981, I wrote in my journal that I could no longer drink at Wrigley as they had RAISED the price of beer to $1.50.


Friday, November 4, 2016

Comparing the Ticket Cost 1945 and 2016

As you might guess, there is a huge difference in tickets between the 71 years.

In the 1945 World Series, an upper-deck seat cost $6 ($80.48 in today's dollars).

Lower grandstand seats went for $7.20 ($90.57 today).

Scalpers sought $50.


Standing-room only tickets to Game 3 Friday were going for $1,800 on Stubhub with many seats going for more than $15,000.

Needless to Say, We Weren't There.  --CooCheap

Wrigley Field in 1945-- Part 3: Pitcher's Mound Where Home Plate Was

FACADE:  The front of the ballpark featured terra cotta roofing, but the ironwork of the 1930s, considered the ballpark's Golden Age, was already gone in 1945.

FIELD:  The position of the field was shifted in the 1922 expansion, which added more seats to the grandstands.

The result;  The pitcher's mound was moved to the spot of the original home plate.

UPPER DECK:  The upper deck was completed before the 1928 season.


Wrigley Field in 1945-- Part 2: Original Lights Taken Out By World War II

The last time the Cubs were in a World Series Before this year.

OUTFIELD:  Under Bill Veeck, ivy was planted along the outfield walls in 1937.

CLUBHOUSES:  The old Cubs' tiny clubhouse was located under the left field mezzanine.

LIGHTS:  P.K. Wrigley assigned Bill Veeck to lookinto lighting options for Wrigley.  The team ordered parts in 1941 but Wrigley donated the steel to the World War II effort after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

MARQUEE:  The famous Wrigley Field marque was installed in 1934 and was originally green, and then was painted blue a couple years later.  Of course, it is now red.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wrigley Field in 1945-- Part 1: About That Scoreboard

From the October 28, 2016, Chicago Tribune "Wrigley Field's transformation."

As I continue recovering from the wee hours of the morning celebration in Margaritaville for the Cubs who won the World Series for the first time since 1908.  they are calling it the longest any professional sport franchise has ever gone between championships.

1945 was the last time a World Series game was played at Wrigley Field, 71 years ago.


TRIANGLE PROPERTY--  The triangle plot of land northwest of the ballpark contained a cluster of coal silos as tall as the upper deck in 1945.  They were demolished in 1961.

BLEACHERS--  Permanent bleachers were first built in 1937.

SCOREBOARD--  Wrigley's iconic center-field scoreboard was installed in 1937 when the park went through a major renovation.  It was originally brown, but was painted green in 1942.


Wilmington Historic Sites Weathering Hurricane Matthew

From the October 24, 2016, Wilmington (NC) Star-News " Cape Fear  historical landmarks weather the storm" by Hanna Dela Court.


Closed October 7, before Matthew struck and is still closed because much of the park is still under water.  However, the water has dropped about 3 1/2 feet over the last couple days.    Even so, about 2/3 remains flooded.

The park has six monuments and five are still under water.  Some of the lowest spots are believed to be under eight feet of water.

The park is expected to be closed for awhile.


Flooding was minimal and has been open normal hours since October 11.  It lost a few feet of waterfront.


Ex-Chicago Bear Matt Forte, the Highlights-- Part 2

BIGGEST GAME:  In 2011, Forte registered his only 200-yard game in his career.  Ran for 205 yards on 23 carries against the Carolina Panthers.  He had runs of 46, 40 and20.  He also ran for a 17-yard touchdown.

BEST SEASON:  Rushed for a career-best 1,339 yards in 2013.  he also had 74 catches for another 594 yards and scored 12 touchdowns.

LAST GAME:  On January 3, 2016, Forte ran for 76 yards.

RECORD RECAP:  Ranks second in bears history behind only Walter Payton in six major categories: rushing yards (8,602); 100-yard games(24); catches (487); receiving yards by a running back (4,116); yards from scrimmage (12,718) and scrimmage yards per game (106.0).

Forte's 45 rushing touchdowns rank fourth behind Payton (110), Neal Anderson (51) and Rick Casares (49).

He topped 1000 rushing yards a season five times and 1,500 total yards four times.

Quite an Offensive Weapon.  We Sure Miss Him.  --Cooter

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Ex-Chicago Bear Matt Forte, the Highlights-- Part 1

According to NFL stats, Matt Forte has run for 542 yards in eight games for the New York Jets this year.  Not too slouchy.

From the February 14, 2016, Chicago Tribune "Heck of a Run: Hard work secured Matt Forte's place in the history of great Bears running backs" by Don Wiederer.

In eight years with the Bears, Forte totaled 12,718 yards from scrimmage and scored 64 touchdowns.

THE BEGINNING:  Became a Bear April 26, 2008, drafted in the second round (number 44).  Joined Cedric Benson, Adrian Peterson and NIU great Garrett Wolfe in the backfield.

FIRST GAME:  23-carry, 123 yards.  Spoiled the first game for the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  Had a 50-yard-first-quarter touchdown.

LONGEST RUN:  A 68-yard touchdown run in a 23-6 win versus Carolina in 2010.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

All-Time Bears Running Backs-- Part 5: Suhey and Harper

9.  MATT SUHEY--  (1980-1989)  Walter Payton's blocking back, Suhey found time to place 10th on the team's all-time rushing list and eighth in receptions.

10.  ROLAND HARPER--  (1975-78, '80-82)  A 17th-round draft choice in 1975, Harper is eighth on the Bears' all-time rushing list.

He gained 992 yards in 1978 before a knee injury derailed his career.

I definitely remember these last two as being on the same team as Payton.


All-Time Bears Running Backs-- Part 4: Gallimore and Jones

7.  WILLIE GALLIMORE--  (1957-63)  Once featured in an NFL Films video of the top 10 elusive runners, Gallimore's career was tragically cut short when he and teammate Bo Farrington were killed in a one-car accident during training camp after the 1963 title season.

8.  THOMAS JONES--  (2004-06)  Jones became the team's sixth-leading rusher in only three seasons before the Bears decided Cedric Benson would be better.

Jones went on to have three 1,000-yard seasons for the Jets.

--No Cedricter

All-Time Bears Running Backs-- Part 3: Anderson and Casares

5.  NEAL ANDERSON--  (1986-93)  Anderson followed Payton and surpassed all previous Bear runners except Payton.

His 51 rushing touchdowns are second only to Payton's 110.

6.  RICK CASARES--  (1955-64)  Ranks fourth on the team's rushing list behind Payton, Forte and Anderson.  His 49 touchdowns are third behind Payton and Anderson.

Led the team in rushing six years in a row, had league-high 1,126 yards in 1956.


Monday, October 31, 2016

All-Time Bears Running Backs-- Part 2: Sayers and Nagurski

3.  GALE SAYERS--  (1965-71)  Sayers played only 68 games in his career limited by knee injuries in 1968 and 1970 but became the youngest Hall of Fame selection.

Sayers scored a rookie-record 22 touchdowns, including six in one game against the 49ers.

4.  BRONKO NAGURSKI--  ((1930-37, '43)  A fullback and defensive tackle, Nagurski left football for pro wrestling, but returned for the 1943 season and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the championship game.

He was a seven-time All-Pro.

Bronko Nagurski.  If That Is Not a Great Football Name, I Don't Know What Is.  --CootBronc

Friday, October 28, 2016

All-Time Bears Running Backs-- Part 1: Payton and Forte

1.  WALTER PAYTON (1975-1987)

Hailed as the "Greatest Bear" by Mike Ditka, Payton broke Jim Brown's all-time rushing record and finished a  13-year career with 16,726 yards, a mark later surpassed by Emmett Smith.

He owns 27 team records, Payton was also the best blocker among the NFL running backs.

2.  MATT FORTE (2008-2015)

Second to Payton in career rushing receptions and total yards.

Forte is the first Bear with at least 900 yards in each of his first seven seasons and missed by only two in his eighth.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Heck of a Run: Only 1 Was Better Than No. 22-- Part 1: Ranking the Top Ten Bears Running Backs

From the February 14, 2016, Chicago Tribune, by Don Pierson.

Matt Forte played eight seasons with the Chicago Bears and now plays with the New York Jets.

"There is no shortage of renowned running backs in Bears history, starting with Red Grange, who brought credibility to pro football with a 1925 national barnstorming tour.  His pro rushing career never matched his output at University of Illinois because of injury, and he became more valuable on defense.

In 1934 rookie Beattie Feathers became the first NFL runner to surpass 1,000 but ended up with only 1,846 in his short Bears career.

"In the 1940s, George McAfee, whom Grange called "the most dangerous threat in football," made the Hall of Fame as much on his punt returns and defense."

Wonder Who is the #1 Bear Rusher?  --Cooter

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Me and "The Min"

Over the years, as boaters on the Chain of Lakes (since 1985), we often visited the Mineola Bar in the lower level.  I especially enjoyed their fish fries on Fridays which had a great salad/soup bar as well.  Plus, they had a lot of great specials on drinks.

And, that view looking eastward across Fox Lake was something to behold.

They had a historical display of artifacts from the hotel as well as old menus (I always like to see what the prices were in the past).  You just had to appreciate the huge history of that place.

I even deejayed a couple parties on the second level when they had a banquet hall there as well as part of the veranda open.

Sadly, the building itself was largely neglected with but little done to redo it or anything like that.  Eventually the Village of Fox Lake, the mayor in particular, got into a fight with owner Pete Jakstas, or "Mineola Pete" as he is called, and the end result was the closing of the bar and restaurant with the idea of the place being unsafe.  That was several years ago and even without any repairs the place still stands.

I sure wish the village would work out some sort of a deal with Pete to reopen the bar/restaurant as we really miss the place and expect at anytime to have it destroyed.

That Will Be a Huge Loss of History and Beauty When That Happens.  --Cooter

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Chain of Lakes' Mineola Hotel-- Part 6: Just Standing There Now

The building in the 1960s, after all those years of use was also in need of repairs and updating to appeal to visitors.

The Jakstas family continued to operate a restaurant and bar in the building until 2012 when the Village of Fox Lake ordered it closed due to safety concerns.  The Landmarks Illinois Commission named it as one of the most endangered historic sites in the state in 2013.

Over the last few years, there have been several groups involved in trying to save the Mineola, or "Min" as regulars referred to it.  There are some who would like to see it leveled, and others like me, who would like to see it saved.

It still stands, but for how much longer, no one knows.

The Mineola is at 91 North Cora Street in Fox Lake, right on the western shore of Fox Lake.


Friday, October 21, 2016

The Chain of Lakes' Mineola Hotel-- Part 5: Jakstas Family Running It

The ad also reported that there were no mortgages or outstanding bills and that the property could receive liberal terms for the purchaser.

Peter and Emma Jakstas responded to Mrs. Howard's desire to sell the Mineola and in 1943 purchased the property and successfully ran the resort through through the years.

In 1953 a hotel guest started a fire on the third floor, but fortunately the fire was contained.

Recognizing the uniqueness of the building and its importance in the history of the area, the National registry of Historic Places added the Mineola to its registry in 1979.

The Jakstas family continued to run the business over the years, but in 1963, closed the hotel part of the building due to a decrease to summertime visitors.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Chain of Lakes' Mineola Hotel-- Part 4: Hotel For Sale

The Howard family ran the Mineola Hotel from 1891 to the early 1940s when Mrs. Howard put it up for sale.

She place an ad which read:

"For sale or Rent-- On acct of age, wish to sell or rent my 85 room hotel fully equipped & now operating.  13 cottages, 52 Acres of wooded grounds, 1000 feet of shoreline, all sandy beach.

Suitable for Resort, Club, Sanitarium, School or Convalescent Home.

Will sell all or part.

50 Miles NW of Chicago.

Mrs. E. Howard, Fox Lake, IL.  Phone Fox Lake 127W.

Little Old Resort Owner Me.  --Minooter

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Chain of Lakes' Mineola Hotel-- Part 3: All the Modern Amenities and Capone Too

Edson C. Howard purchased the building in 1891 and turned it into a hotel.  At a beginning price of $2 a day, visitors could enjoy hunting, fishing and the beauty of Fox Lake (not to mention the nearby lotus beds).

The hotel had all the modern amenities of the time including indoor plumbing and both hot and cold running water.

The draw to the Chain of Lakes included not only the beauty and water activities, but also easy access to gambling and alcohol.  It is often said that Al Capone and his gang spent time at the Mineola.  Whether he actually did is not known for sure.

The Mineola (or Min as regulars often referred to it) was run by the Howard family and continued to prosper even through the development of the automobile and Prohibition.  However, in the early 1940s, Mrs. Howard put the place up for sale.


The Chain of Lakes' Mineola Hotel-- Part 2: Beautiful Veranda for CBOT Members

The Mineola's land was purchased in the 1880s for the purpose of building a private hunting club for use by members of the Chicago Board of Trade.

It was built entirely of wood and contained 100 rooms and at the time was recognized as the largest wooden building in Illinois.  Its wide veranda is believed to have been designed by architects Alphonse Howe and Charles Caskey who also designed the famed Grande Hotel on Mackinac Island.

The building itself is a frame three-story structure, 225 feet in length with a square tower rising three stories above the entrance on the second level.    Hipped dormers ran the length of the roof on either side of the tower,

The veranda ran the length of the building and was one of the best spots as guests could sit and relax while enjoying drinks and the view.


Monday, October 17, 2016

The Chain of Lakes' Mineola Hotel-- Part 1: Built in 1884

From the September 28, 2016, Hi-Liter "Looking back at the Mineola" by Sandra Landen Machaj.

"Once the Grand Dame of Fox Lake it now sits deserted on those same shores.  Built in 1884, it has had a long journey from largest hotel on the Chain of Lakes, to a restaurant and bar and finally as an empty building in disrepair fighting to avoid demolition, a long journey since its glory days."

Tjhis pretty well sums up its history.

If you've ever seen a picture of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, this is essentially the Mineola, only smaller.  We never went to it as a hotel, but have had many fun times in the bar and restaurant over the years.  It was located on the lower level and is now all boarded up.  there was even a short time when they had banquets on the main level and, of course, there was that great veranda with that gorgeous view of the length of Fox Lake.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: Not a Fair Fight

From the August 24, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"A rather amusing feature connected with the arrest and return to Fond du Lac, of a man arrested on the charge of wife abandonment was seen by a good many around the DeKalb depot this morning.

"The man arrested was a small-sized young man, who would weigh about 125 pounds and who would not be able to resist arrest by a man of but a few pounds more weight than he.

"The officer who came down from the north after him was a man about six foot three inches in height and weighing about 325 pounds and apparently able to lick his weight in wild cats."

The Fight Was Over before It Began.  --DaCoot

Looking Back to 1916: Home Quarantined

From the August 24, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 years ago:  "The Otis Hinkston home in Shabbona Grove is quarantined on account of a case of scarlet fever having developed.

Dr. Moore of Shabbona is attending the case.

Something You Don't Hear Much These Days.  --Cooter

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Looking Back to 1916: A Problem With Horses

From the August 24, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"A little excitement was caused at the Sixth Street crossing of the Northwestern (Railroad) in DeKalb this morning about 9:00 o'clock when the horse that John Crego was driving  hitched to a top buggy became frightened as one of the traces came lose and dropped around his hind feet.

"The horse plunged and reared up and started to make a quick getaway but Mr. Crego was able to get it stopped and Officer Rowe who was at the depot, ran over to the horse and held him while the driver got out and quieted the animal.

The Problem With Horses.  --Cooter

Looking Back to 1916: Horses Losing Out to Automobiles

From the August 24, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

"The hitching posts and rails which have been located on the south side of Locust Street between First and Third streets for a good many years have been removed on account of the  paving which is going to be laid there making it undesirable to have rigs hitched along the street anymore.

"These same railings have been set on the north side of Girard Street between Fifth and Seventh streets and considerable hitching space is afforded at this new location."

Horses Losing Out.  DaAutoer

Looking Back to 1916: Price of Haircuts Goes to 35 Cents!!

From the August 24, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois) "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"Beginning with tomorrow morning the barbers of DeKalb will get 35 cents for every haircut.  This is according to the price agreed upon by the barbers of the city some short time ago.

There will be a falling off of their business for a couple weeks perhaps, but in time the men will become accustomed to the price and will pay it without objecting.

Prices Going Up (INFLATION) Even Back Then.  --HairyCooter

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Complete List of All-Time Greatest Cubs Team-- Part 14

These are the greatest all-time Cub players according to voters in the Chicago Tribune.

FIRST BASE--  Mark Grace

SECOND BASE--  Ryne Sandberg

SHORTSTOP--  Ernie Banks

THIRD BASE--  Ron Santo

RIGHT FIELD--  Andre Dawson

CENTER FIELD--  Hack Wilson

LEFT FIELD--  Billy Williams

CATCHER--  Gabby Hartnett

STARTING PITCHER--  Fergie Jenkins

RELIEF PITCHER--  Bruce Sutter

MANAGER--  Frank Chance

Pretty Good Line Up If You Ask Me.  --DaCubber

Greatest Cubs Team of All-Time-- Part 13 : Grace and Sandberg

From the September 11, 2016, Chicago Tribune.


Grave batted .308 and drove in 1,004 runs as a Cub.  In 1995, he led the National League in doubles with 51 and won his third of his four career Gold Gloves.

Grace batted .647 in the 1989 playoff series against the Giants with five extra-base hits and eight RBIs.  Known for his good eye, Grace had 946 walks versus 561 strikeouts with the Cubs.


Sandberg was the NL MVP for the division-winning Cubs team in 1984, batting .314 with 19 home runs. 84 RBIs and a major league-best 19 triples.

This 10-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove winner and Hall of Fame inductee also led the NL in home runs with 40 in 1990 and had back-to-back seasons with exactly 100 RBIs in 1990 and 1991.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time-- Part 21: The List

Perhaps with this team, it might have been the Sox in the American League Playoffs instead of you-know-who.

FIRST BASE:  Frank Thomas

SECOND BASE:  Nellie Fox

SHORTSTOP:  Luke Appling

THIRD BASE:  Robin Ventura

RIGHT FIELD:  Harold Baines


LEFT FIELD:  Ron Kittle

CATCHER:  Carlton Fisk



MANAGER:  Al Lopez

Great, Great Sox Names, All.  --Soxer

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time-- Part 20: Lopez


  The skipper of the 1959 AL champions, Lopez posted a career winning percentage of .564 over 11 seasons with the Sox.

Lopez had five seasons with 90 or more victories as manager of the Sox and his 840 career victories are the second-most in team history.

Well, That's the List.  --CootSox

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time-- Part 19: Lyons and Wilhelm


Over his 21 big league seasons, all with the Sox, Lyons recorded a franchise-best 260 wins and 356 complete games.

He led the AL in victories twice and won 20 or more games three times.  Lyons pitched 4,161 innings in a Sox uniform, the most in team history.  The Hall of Famer also had a career batting average of .233 (Really good for a pitcher).


  The Hall of Fame knuckleballer had his best seasons with the Sox.  In five of his six seasons on the South Side (the Cubs are the North Side due to the location of their ballpark), Wilhelm never posted an ERA higher than 1.99.

He had three seasons with 20 or more saves for the Sox, including a career high 27 in 1964.  His 0.93 WHIP is the best in team history.

Hoyt Me One.  --DaWilooter

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time-- Part 18: Kittle and Fisk


The AL Rookie of the Year as well as an All-Star in 1983 (that great year for the Sox, my second-most favorite Sox team of all-time).  Kittle hit  35 homers and drove in 100 runs for the division-winning White Sox that year.

He hit 32 homers in 1984 and 26 more in 1985.  Kittle's 140 homers in a Sox uniform rank 10th in team history.


A 24-year big leaguer, Fisk played 13 of those seasons for the White Sox.  He earned four All-Star berths with the Sox, and his 214 home runs for them are the fourth-most in team history.

Fisk's best offensive season in Chicago came in 1985, when the Hall of Famer hit 37 home runs, drove in 107 runs and stole 17 bases.

Both of these men were on the '83 Sox Western Division Champions.

Pitch to Fisk At Your Risk.  --CarlCooter

Monday, October 10, 2016

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time-- Part 17: Baines and Landis


A 22-year big leaguer, Baines played 14 season with the White Sox and was twice reacquired by the team after being traded in 1989.

A four-time All-Star with the Sox, Baines hit 20 or more home runs seven times.  His 221 home runs in a Sox uniform are the third-most in franchise history.

Still my all-time favorite Sox player.  It sure upset me the two times they traded him.


Landis won five consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1960 to 1964.  In 1963, he led AL center fielders with a .993 fielding percentage.

He reached double digits in home runs five times, including a career-best 22 in 1962, when he was named to the AL All-Star Team.


Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time-- Part 16: Appling and Ventura


He played 20 seasons, all with the Sox, recording a career average of .310 and driving in 1.116 runs.  Appling twice led the AL in batting, the first time in 1936 when he had a .388 average and a career-best 128 RBIs.

The Hall of Famer is the Sox's all-time leader in games played with 2,422 and has the team's highest career WAR (74.5).


A five-time Gold Glove winner with the Sox, Ventura also had five seasons in which he hit at least 20 homers.  he reached the 100-RBI mark with the Sox twice, with 100 in 1991 and 105 in 1996.

Ventura hit 174 home runs and batted .274 in a Sox uniform.  He became Sox manager in 2012.  Sadly, he resigned at the end of this season.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time-- Part 15: The Team: Thomas and Fox

From the September 11, 2016, Chicago Tribune "Greatest Baseball Team of All Time."

The Tribune readers picked Al Lopez as the all-time greatest White Sox skipper.


"The Big Hurt" hit 448 home runs in a White Sox uniform, the most in team history.  Thomas drove in 100 or more runs 10 times for the Sox, including a career-high of 143 in 2000.

He batted .320 or better five times, leading the league at .347 in 1997.  Thomas won back-to-back MVP awards in 1993-94 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.


The MVP of the 1959 American League champion Sox, Fox batted .306 that season and won the second of his three Gold Gloves.

In 14 seasons with the Sox, the Hall of Famer batted .291 and a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 3.4-to-1.  He led the league in plate appearances five times but never struck out more than 18 times in one season.


Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time, Managers-- Part 14: La Russa, Lopez and Manuel


La Russa led the Sox to 99 victories and a division title in 1983, at one point building a 20-game lead.

La Russa managed the Sox for parts of eight seasons and his 522 victories rank fourth in team history.


The skipper of the 1959 White Sox American league champions, Lopez posted a career winning percentage of .564 over eleven seasons with the Sox.

Lopez had five seasons with 90 or more victories as manager of the Sox and his 840 career victories are the second-most in team history.


In Manuel's six seasons as manager, the Sox won a divisional title and finished second four times.

He compiled a career winning percentage of .515 and his 500 victories place him fifth in franchise history.

This category was a hard one to choose a best all-time manager.  I liked Tony La Russa, and if you figure his championships with the Oakland As and St. Louis Cardinals, he would be best.  But as just for what anyone of these did with the White Sox, I'll have to go with Al Lopez.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time, Managers-- Part 13: Guillen and Lamont

The winner of best relief pitcher was Hoyt Wilhelm.


In eight seasons as White Sox manager, Guillen posted a winning percentage of .524 and won 678 games, third-most in team history.

Guillen's Sox won 99 games in 2005 and went 11-1 in post season en route to the Sox's first World Series Championship in 88 years.


  Lamont led the Sox to back-to-back division titles in 1993 and 1994.

In his four seasons as manager, the Sox never finished worse than third and he posted a winning percentage of .551.

I still say the Sox would have been in the World Series in '94 had it not been for the strike.  That was one great team.


Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time, Relief Pitchers-- Part 12

These names sure bring back memories in a lot of cases.  Some of the Sox listed, however, were before my time.

Continuing with relief pitchers


Jenks emerged as the closer late in the Sox 2005 championship run and had four saves in the post season, including two in the World Series.

he went on to become an All-Star in 2006 and 2007, when he saved 41 and 40 games.  Jenks' 173 saves are the second-most in Sox history.


The team's all-time saves leader with 201, Thigpen led the majors with a record 57 saves in 1990.  He also posted a 1.83 ERA that season and appeared in a league-high 77 games and was named an All-Star.

Thigpen saved 30 or more games in four consecutive seasons from 1988-1991.

But, his habit of putting baserunners on, and often three of them at a time, sure scared the bejeevers out of me.


The Hall of Fame knuckleballer had his best seasons with the Sox.  In five of his six seasons on the South Side, Wilhelm never posted an ERA higher than 1.99.

He had three seasons with twenty or more saves for the Sox, including a career high 27 in 1964.

Of the five, I would go with Hoyt Wilhelm as best relief pitcher.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time, Relief Pitchers-- Part 11: Fisher and Hernandez

The All-Time Greatest Starting Pitcher was Ted Lyons.


In 1965, Fisher led the AL in appearances and won 15 games out of the bullpen.

He also had the league's lowest WHIP at 0.97 and saved a career high 24 games that season, earning him a spot on the AL All-Star team.


In his seven seasons with the Sox, Hernandez posted 30 or more saves four times.  In 1996, he tied a career high with 38 saves, had a 1.91 ERA and was named an All-Star.

His 161 saves in a Sox uniform rank third in team history.


Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time-- Part 10, Starting Pitchers: Lyons, Sale and Wood


Over his 21 big-league seasons, all with the White Sox, Lyons recorded a franchise-best 260 wins and 356 complete games.

He led the AL in victories twice and won twenty or more games three times.  Lyons pitched 4,161 innings in a Sox uniform, the most in team history.


Sale converted to a starter in 2012 and went 17-8, earning his first of five All-Star berths.

In 2015, Sale led the AL with 274 strike outs, breaking a single-season Sox record.  Sale's career strikeout-to-walk ratio of over 4-1 is the best in franchise history.


After converting from a relief pitcher to a starter, Wood went 22-13 with a 1.91 ERA and a team-record pitcher's WAR of 11.7 for the Sox in 1971.  This was the first of four consecutive 20-win, 300-inning seasons for the left-handed knuckleballer.

I'd have to go with Ted Lyons for best starting pitcher.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time, Starting Pitchers-- Part 9: Buehrle and Pierce

The winner for all-time best catcher  was Carlton Fisk.  "Pitch to Fish At Your Risk."


Buehrle was the ace of the 2005 World series Champs, going 16-8 and 2-0 in the post season.  Buehrle threw 200 or more innings and reached double digits in victories in each of his eleven full seasons as a starter.

His 161 wins in a Sox uniform rank sixth on the team's all-time list.

And, I'll never forget getting caught out on our boat during a major storm on the Chain of Lakes when we had to remain at Chopper's to watch the end of his perfect game.


A seven-time All-Star, Pierce had back-to-back seasons with twenty victories in 1956 and 1957.  he led the American league in strike outs with 186 in 1953 and led the major leagues with a 1.97 ERA in 1955.

In his thirteen seasons with the Sox, Pierce won 186 games and threw 35 shutouts.

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time, Catchers-- Part 8: Lollar, Pierzynski and Schalk

By the way, the All-Time White Sox right fielder was Harold Baines, my all-time favorite Sox player.


A six-time AL All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner with the Sox, Lollar was the starting catcher on the 1959 pennant winners.  Lollar reached double digits in home runs six times in his ten seasons on the South Side, including 20 in 1958 and a career-high 22 in 1959.

His 1,241 games as catcher rank second in Sox franchise history.


One of the key players on the 2005 champions, Pierzynski played eight seasons on the South Side, batting .279 with 118 home runs.

He was named to the AL All-Star team in 2006, when he batted .295 with 16 homers.  Pierzynski batted .444 with two home runs in the three-game division series sweep over the Red Sox in 2005.


An ironman who played 17 seasons with the Sox, he led AL catchers in fielding percentage five times.  In 1916, he stole a career high 30 bases en route to a career total of 177.

Schalk played on two World Series teams, including the 1917 champs, and batted .304 in the 1919 series against the Cincinnati Reds (Black Sox).  His 1,723 games as catcher are the most in Sox history.

--A.J. DaCoot

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time, Catchers-- Part 7: Herrmann and Fisk

From the August 21, 2016, Chicago Tribune.

ED HERRMANN--  An All-Star in 1974, Herrmann reached double digits in home runs five years in a row, including a career high 19 in 1970 when he played in just 96 games.

In 1972, he threw out 50 percent of would-be base stealers, the best success rate in the American League.

CARLTON FISK--  A 24-year big leaguer, Fisk played 13 of them with the White Sox.  he earned four All-Star berths with the Sox, and his 214 home runs in a Sox uniform are the fourth-most in team history.

Fisk's best season in Chicago came in 1985, when the Hall of Famer hit 37 homers, drove in 107 runs and stole 17 beases.

One of that great 1983 Sox team members.  It was "Pitch to Fisk at Your Risk."


Friday, September 30, 2016

Wrestling Returned to Wilmington (N.C.) and Wrightsville Beach Has No Drownings in 1956

From the September 5, 2016, Wilmington (NC) Star-News "Looking Back" by Scott Nunn.

September 2, 1956--  Wrestling returned to the area for the first time since the beginning of the war.  Three hundred attended the "All Gal" card at Carolina Beach Town hall.  In January there was a night of wrestling in Thalian Hall in Wilmington.

**  September 9, 1956--  Wrightsville Beach got through the official summer season with no drownings.  They had 14 life guards on the beach.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time, Right Field-- Part 6: Hooper, Ordonez and Rivera

HARRY HOOPER--  The Hall of Famer played five seasons in Chicago, compiling a .302 average and reaching double digits in home runs three times.

Hooper hit .327 in 1921, his first season with the Sox and .328 in 1924.  He led AL right fielders in fielding percentage three times during his stint with the Sox.

MAGGLIO ORDONEZ--  A four-time All-Star with the Sox, Ordonez had four straight seasons from 1999-2002 with at least 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .300 average.

He just missed a fifth straight 20-100-.300 season in 2003, when he hit .317 with 29 homers and 99 RBIs.  In eight seasons on the South Side, Ordonez had 187 home runs, fifth most in team history, and batted .307.

JIM RIVERA--  A member of the 1959 AL champions, "Jungle Jim" played ten seasons on the South Side.  Known more for his defense and baserunning ability, Rivera reached double digits in home runs in five consecutive seasons from 1953-1957.

He stole 20 or more bases four times, including a major-league-leading 25 in 1955.

I was a big "Mags" fan as well, but definitely pick Harold Baines as best-ever right fielder.  Not only that, but he is also my All-Time favorite White Sox player at any position.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time-- Right Field, Part 5: Baines and Dye

From the August 14, 2016, Chicago Tribune.

HAROLD BAINES--  A 22-year big leaguer, Baines played 14 seasons with the White Sox and was twice reacquired by the team after being traded in 1989.

A four-time All-Star with the Sox, Baines hit 20 or more home runs seven times.  His 221 home runs in a Sox uniform are third-most in franchise history.

He is my all-time favorite White Sox player, so I know who I am going to pick for favorite right fielder.

JERMAINE DYE--  The MVP of the 2005 World Series, Dye had seven hits -- including a home run -- in the four-game sweep of the Astros.

In his five seasons with the Sox, Dye never hit fewer than 27 home runs.  In 2006, he earned an AL All-Star slot, batting .315 with 44 home runs and 120 RBIs.  His 165 homers with the Sox rank seventh in team history.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

White Sox in New York City on 9-11-- Part 4: Took the Bus Home

White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was sure the Grand Hyatt was "a potential target" so he told the Sox people to get the players out of the hotel.

Two buses took the White Sox from New York City to Chicago early Wednesday morning.

On September 18, baseball returned when the Yankees visited Comiskey Park where the Bronx Bombers got a royal welcome.

And, that is considering how much White Sox fans don't like the Yankees.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

White Sox In New York City on 9-11-- Part 3: "Literally a Ghost Town"

White Sox head athletic trainer Herm Schneider went for a walk that afternoon "in a dusty New York atmosphere with a haze in the air.  All of a sudden, nightfall came and New York looked like a ghost town-- literally a ghost town.  There were no people.  We all went out to dinner.  There happened to be a restaurant that was open.

"You could walk right down the middle of 42nd Street and there was not a car in sight.  It was very, very strange.  It was scary."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

White Sox in New York City on 9-11-- Part 2: What to Do?

Mark Buehrle in 2001, was just completing his first full-season in the Majors.  He and Paul Konerko are the only two Sox players currently with the team

The three games with the Yankees were canceled and replayed October 1-3.

Said Buehrle:  "Once I turned  the TV on and realized what was going on, all I remember is getting dressed and going down to the lobby.  Five or six guys were down there and we were trying to figure out if we were playing tonight, leaving, flying out or busing.  Shall we stay in our rooms?  We didn't know what to do."

Friday, September 16, 2016

White Sox in New York City on 9-11-- Part 1: Arrived in Wee Hours of the Morning

From the September 7, 2016, White  "White Sox recall road trip to New York 9/11" by Scott Merkin,

Ken Williams, the White Sox general manager, was with the Sox that day: "I can still smell the burning buildings.  If I close my eyes, i can still see the people jumping out of the World Trade Center that you saw more on local television than you did on national television.  I can still feel the emotions of that day."

The White Sox had arrived in New York City early that Tuesday morning after completing a four-game series against Cleveland the night before.

They were staying at the Grand Central Hyatt.

I Had Forgotten That My Sox Were In Town To Play the Yankees That Day.

Greatest White Sox Team of All Time-- Part 4: Center Field-- Landis, Lemon & Mostil

The last three nominated White Sox Center Fielders:

JIM LANDIS--  Landis won five consecutive Gold Gloves from 1960-1964.  In 1963, he led AL center fielders with a .993 fielding percentage.  He reached double digits in home runs five times, including a career-best 22 in 1962, when he was named an AL All-Star.

CHET LEMON--  In his six full seasons with the Sox, Lemon hit .300 or better three times.  In 1979, he led the AL in doubles with 44 and was named an All-Star for the second year in a row.

He led AL outfielders with 512 putouts in 1977.
JOHNNY MOSTIL--  Mostil played more games in center field (972) than any other player in franchise history.  In his ten seasons with the Sox, he batted .300 or better four times.

Mostil led the AL in stolen bases in successive seasons, swiping 43 in 1925 and 35 in 1926, when he batted .328 and finished second in the AL MVP voting.

I would vote for Johnny Mostil, although I remember Lance Johnson and Chet Lemon playing for the Sox.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Greatest White Sox Team of All Time-- Part 3: Center Field: Felsch and Johnson

The five nominated for best White Sox center fielder:

HAPPY FELSCH--  A member of the 1917 White Sox World Series Champions and the 1919 American league Champs, Felsch batted .293 in his six seasons with the Sox.  In 1917, he batted .308, drove in 102 runs and stole 26 bases.

In 1920, his final season,  he reached career highs with a .338 average, 14 homers and 115 RBIs.  Felsch also led AL center fielders in assists three times.

LANCE JOHNSON--  The left-handed-hitting leadoff man led the AL in triples for four seasons in a row from 1991-1994.  In his eight seasons with the Sox, Johnson batted .286 and stole 30 or more bases four times.

In 1995, he batted .306, led the AL with 186 hits and set a career high with ten home runs.


Oops, Missed Some of the All Time Greats

Sadly, I somehow missed the Tribune articles on the Cubs and White Sox all-time greats at the second base, third base, shortstop and left field positions.


Greatest White Sox Team of All-Time-- Part 2: First base-- Konerko, Thomas and Thome

PAUL KONERKO--  The leader of the 2005 World Series Champions, Konerko played 16 seasons for the Sox.  He hit 30 or more home runs seven times and finished his career with 432 in Sox uniform.

Konerko had six seasons with 100 or more RBIs.  In nineteen career postseason games, Konerko slugged seven homers, including a grand slam to win a game in the 2005 World Series.

Everybody loved "Paulie."

FRANK THOMAS--  "The Big Hurt" hit 448 home runs in Sox uniform.  He drove in 100 or more runs ten times, including a team high 143 in 2000.

Thomas batted .320 or better five times, leading the league at .347 in 1997.  He also won back-to-back MVP awards 1993-94 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

JIM THOME--  Thome hit 134 of his 612 career home runs in his four seasons with the Sox.  His best season with the Sox was his first, 2006, when he hit 42 home runs and drove in 109 runs.  His most memorable moment came in 2008, during the "Blackout Game" when his solo homer gave the Sox a 1-0 victory in a one-game playoff with the Twins.

Always one of my favorite Sox players.  I was so excited when they got him after winning the World series in 2005, figuring we'll be back.

I really liked the last three players nominated for best Sox first baseman, but will have to go with "The Big Hurt." He hit all those home runs in the era of Sammy Sosa but didn't use any power enhancing drugs.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Greatest Cubs Team Ever-- Part 12: Manager

The all-time greatest Cubs manager as voted on by Chicago Tribune readers:


Known as "The Peerless Leader," Chance had a winning percentage of .664, best in team history.  he won two World Series and four National League pennants as a player/manager, doubling as the team's first baseman for eight seasons.  In 1906, Chance's Cubs won a franchise-record 116 games.