Thursday, March 31, 2016

10 Towns That Capitalized on Their Name and Fame-- Part 2

5.  Halfway, Oregon--  Sold their name to an internet company.

4.  Hell, Michigan  Go to ____!!  Been there, done that.

3.  Aberdeen, Washington--  Grunge rockers Metal Church from there.  It is also the western terminus of US Highway 12.  (Eastern terminus id Detroit.)

2.  Hobbiton, New Zealand  A full-size set of "Lord of the Rings."

1.  Fu*~king, Australia  Their sign gets stolen a lot.

Beware the Orcs.  --DaDwarfter

10 Towns That Capitalized On Their Name and Fame-- Part 1

From the October 7, 2013, Listverse.

10.  Vulcan, Alberta, Canada.  Star Trek, Mr. Spock

9.  The Town With a Name Too Long for the Town in Britain.  The name starts with Lianfairpwhllgwyngyll... and then goes on longer than I care to type.

8.  Muff--   in County Donegal, Ireland

7.  Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland-- where "Game of Thrones" is filmed.

6.  Springfield, Vermont.  The Home of the Simpsons, well, maybe.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

TV Deaths: Al Molinari and Patty Duke

AL MOLINAR, 96.  Died October 30, 2015.

Best known as Al Delvecchio, owner of Arnold's on the TV series "Happy Days and Murray Greishier, the policeman on "The Odd Couple."  A favorite of mine.  Who could miss that nose?

PATTY DUKE, 69.  (December 14, 1946-March 29, 2016)

Played two roles in "The Patty Duke Show" 1963-1966.  Also won an Academy award for Best Supporting Actress in the movie "The Miracle Worker" about Helen Keller.  She had two top 40 hits in 1965 with "Don't Just Stand There", #8 and "Say Something Funny" #22.  As good of Girl Group sound as you can get.

I always pitied her poor "boyfriend" Richard who never knew what was going on.  We watched an episode of her show on one of those oldies TV stations just yesterday when she decided her biology teacher would have to be her husband.  A few hours later, we heard she was dead.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fox Lake Historical Society Meeting-- Part 3: Model Trains

Lionel Train headquarters is located in Concord, North Carolina, but all the items they make is made in China.

"N" and "Z" gauge trains are really small.  "Z" is about the size of your pinky.

Mr. Howe's most prized piece is his Yankee Zephry "S" gauge locomotive done in an art deco motif.

His daughters are always asking him when he is going to sell his train stuff.  he says to them, never.  he's taking it with him.  He plans to have train tracks laid out in his mausoleum and have his daughters come in once a month to run his trains.  After that, his executor will cut them a check.  (One way to get your family to visit your grave he says tongue-in-cheek.

Thomas the Engine has sparked some interest among kids in trains, but it is too bad they rarely if ever get a chance to ride one as he did while growing up.  he does wish that more kids would get involved with model railroading.

However, some city parks and amusement parks do have model trains you can ride on, like Goldsboro, North Carolina's Herman Park.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Fox Lake Historical Society Meeting-- Part 2: Model Trains, Quaker Oats?

American Flyer used "wide gauge."  Then there came an "HO Gauge."

During World War II, the government eliminated model trains and toys as materials were needed for the war effort.  No toys were made.  Lionel made compasses for destroyers, cruisers and battleships.

After the war came "S" Gauge.

Now model trains are high-electronics.  At one point Mr. Howe mention model car "trucks."  The question arose, what are train trucks.  Those are the wheel assembly of the cars.

The Marx Company sold their train-making operations to the Quaker Oats Company.  Marx also made toys, which was why Quaker bought it.

In 1967 Lionel bought American Flyer.

John Menard, of Menard's Home Improvement stores was a huge model train buff and would spent thousands of dollars at a hot on his hobby.


Fox Lake Historical Society Meeting March 19, 2016-- Part 1: Model Trains

Presentation by Phil Howe on Model Railroading.  he is president of the Lionel Operating Model Society which has 1900 members.

There have been trains around for almost 200 years.  Starting in the 1870s, there were model trains for kids brought over from Germany.  However, World War I proved a boom for U.S. model train makers since the ones from Germany could no longer be imported.

Electric model trains were made in Cincinnati in 1896. Joshua Lionel Cowen began making them in New York City.  He also invented flashlights and electric fans.  Two things that helped him with the model trains.

I wonder why he used his middle name instead of his last for his company's name.

He realized that merchants could sell more items if they had a model train running around display windows.

The Lionel Train Company headquartered in New Jersey.

The Ives Co. of Bridgeport, Connecticut had "O' Gauge.  Lionel had "standard gauge."


Friday, March 25, 2016

Fox Lake/Grant Township Historical Society Meeting March 19, 2016-- Part 1

March 19, 2016, meeting of the Fox Lake/Grant Township Historical Society in Fox Lake, Illinois.

Business before we had the talk on Model Trains.

I put in my dues for 2016.

Five postcards  of old Fox, Lake, Illinois were donated as well as some old photos.  The roof is leaking in the back.  The building is over 100 years old and was formerly the home of the Grant Township Road Department.  The replaced windows upstairs have done a lot toward keeping heating costs down this winter.So far we've had 424 likes on FaceBook.

The Cub Scouts visited with their dads.  The dads did not know anything about Fox Lake's ice industry back at the turn of last century.  The scouts were most interested in the train room and enjoyed the scavenger hunt for museum items.

We made $3,800 in 2015, not bad for an organization that depends upon dues for most of its money.  Sadly, part of it came from members who died and had their bequests to the society.  That put us to $425 in the black.

On June 16, 2016, the society will give a presentation at the Fox Lake Library on "The Early Years of Grant Township Little League Baseball: 1954-1963."


Sports Stars Lost in 2015-- Part 5: A Malone, Berra and a Lemon

MOSES MALONE--  Died September 13 at age 60.  The 6-foot-ten Malone jumped straight from high school to the pros and became a three-time MVP and all-time leader in offensive rebounds.  Said opposing coach Stan Albeck:  "Thou shalt not drive the lane against Moses."

YOGI BERRA--  Died September 22 at age 90.  Won three MVP awards and a record 10 World series with the New York Yankees.  he was beloved for his Yogi-isms such as "Always go to other people's funerals.  Otherwise, they won't come to yours."

MICHAEL WRIGHT--  Died November 10 at age 35.  Played as a freshman on the Farragut team that included Kevin Garnett and Ronnie Fields.  Played professionally overseas 2001 to 2015 after starring at Arizona.

MEADOWLARK LEMON--  Died Dec.December 27 at age 83.  "The Clown Prince" of the Harlem Globetrotters.  The man Wilt Chamberlain called "the most sensational, awesoe, incredible basketball player I've ever seen.

That Was One Really Funny and Talented Guy!!!m

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sports Stars Lost in 2015-- Part 3: Sox Pitcher Billy Pierce and Bears Center Mike Pyle

LENNY MERULLO--  Died May 30 at age 98.  The last man to play for the Cubs in a World Series.  The former shortstop played in three games of the 1945 World Series against the Detroit Tigers.  The poor Cubbies lost.

MIKE PYLE--  Died July 26 at age 76.  He was the captain and center of the Bears' 1963 NFL championship team.  His was calming influence on the offensive line over nine seasons.  He was also an All-State athlete in track and field, wrestling and football at New Trier High School and captain of Yale's undefeated football team in 1960.

BILLY PIERCE--  Died July 31 at age 88.  One of the most dominant left-handers in White Sox history.  A seven-time All-Star and three time starter of the game, he owns the White Sox career strike-out record with 1,786.  He finished third in Cy Young Award voting in 1962 and had his jersey number (19) retired and a statue at Comiskey Park.

JOAQUIN ANDUJAR-- died Sept. 8 at age 62.  Pitched in the majors for 13 years, winning 20 games for the Cardinals in 1984 and helping them win the World Series in 1982 (against my Milwaukee Brewers).

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sports Stars Lost in 2015-- Part 2: Doug Buffone

JACK HALEY--  Died March 16 at 51.  The NBA journeyman played in 63 games over two stints with the Chicago Bulls and is remembered most for being Dennis Rodman's sidekick and off-court protector during the 1995-1996 championship season.

LAUREN HILL--  Died April 10, at age 19.  became inspiring sports hero for her determination to play on the Mount St. Joseph women's basketball team despite an inoperable brain tumor.

DOUG BUFFONE--  Died April 20 at age 70.  Was known for his passion in 14 seasons playing linebacker for the Bears and his ventures as a popular sports radio personality.  Mike Ditka said, "Doug was a Bear."

CALVIN PEETE--  Died April 29 at age 71.  12-time winner on PGA Tour and one of the game's all-time straightest drivers.  He became the second black to compete in the Masters in 1980.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sports Stars Lost in 2015: Mr. Cub and Mr. Sox

From the Dec. 31, 2015, Chicago Tribune "2015 in Review: Unforgettable."

ERNIE BANKS--  Mr. Cubs.  Hall of Famer.  Died Jan. 23 at age 83.  Hit 512 home runs during 19-year career that included National league MVP in 1958 and '59.

STEVE MONTADOR--  Chicago Blackhawks defenseman on Feb. 15.

GORDIE GILLESPIE--  Illinois coaching, won 2,402 games at Lewis University and Joliet Catholic.  Died Feb. 28.

MINNIE MINOSO--  White Sox legend, known as "The Cuban Comet.  Died March 1 at age 90.  Chicago's first black major league player.  Played parts of 12 seasons for Sox, including a game in each of five decades.  Nine-time All-Star.  Mr. Sox.


10 of the Strangest Moments in the History of War-- Part 2: Tootsie Rolls Delivered as Ammunition

5.  A bathroom break causes a war.  The Marco Polo Bridge Incident July 7-9, 1937, in Beijing, China, vs. Japan.

4.  Tootsie Rolls delivered as ammunition at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, Korean War, Nov.-Dec. 1950.

3.  A blind king charges into battle on August 26, 1346.

2.  A soldier becomes a veteran of three armies.  Was in the Japanese, Soviet Union and German armies during WWII.

1.  British sink their own flagship, the HMS Victoria.  1893 collision with HMS Camperdown.


Monday, March 21, 2016

10 of the Strangest Moments in the History of War-- Part 1 Cavalry Captures Fleet

From the October 15, 2013, Listverse.

10.  French cavalry capture a Dutch fleet, January 1795.  Well, the ships were stuck in ice.

9.  Founder of Scientology fights naval battle with imaginary enemy, May 19, 1943.  Thought it was a Japanese submarine and attacked with PC-815, a sub-chaser.

8.  Two drunk soldiers start a battle to see who was tougher, 334 B.C.

7.  British get the Ottomans high, November 1917.

6.  Meteorite wins battle--  Rome.

Remember, go to the site to read more about these.


10 Obscure Films Immortalized For All the Wrong reasons-- Part 2

5.  The Message (1977)  Historic epic is part of terrorist demands.

4.  Zero Hour (1957)  rescued from obscurity after being parodied by "Airplane!"

3.  Red Scorpion (1989)  Only film by corrupt lobbyist Jack Abraoff.

2.  Zyzzyx Road  (2001)  This one only made $30 at the box office.  (Probably because no one could spell it.)

1.  The Swinging Cheerleaders (1974)  Key evidence in a wrongful conviction case.


Friday, March 18, 2016

10 Obscure Films Immortalized For All the Wrong Reasons--- Part 1: "Manhattan Melodrama"

From the October 11, 2013, Listverse.

10.  Clownhouse (1989)  Horror film made infamous by child molestation.

9.  The Other Side of Midnight (1977)  Its flop allowed "Star Wars" to become the huge hit that it did.

8.  Manhattan Melodrama (1934)  The film John Dillinger saw before he was gunned down.

7.  War Is Hell (1963)  The movie was showing where Lee Harvey Oswald was captured.

6.  Promises! Promises! (1963)  Helped get Hugh Heffner arrested.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Battle of Valcour Island

From Wikipedia.

Also called the Battle of Valcour Bay.

Fought October 11, 1776, on Lake Champlain.

American fleet under command of General Benedict Arnold mostly captured by British.

The United States had 15 ships and lost eleven.


10 Cultural Forces That Are Dead or Dying

From May 28, 2013, Listverse by Mike Floorwalker.

10.  Network News

9.  Anthology Series--  new story, different cast every week (Studio 66, Twilight Zone)

8.  Magazines

7.  Drive-In theaters

6.  Video stores

5.  Newspapers

4.  Catalogs

3.  Land telephone lines

2.  Physical media (vinyl records, cassettes, CDs)

1.  Television

Still here, But barely Hanging On.  --Cooter

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

10 Amazing But Overlooked Innovations By Walt Disney

From the May 31, 2013, Listverse by Ross Yaylaian..

10.  Switch-Back/Interactive Lines--  a new way to stand in line, instead of one really, really long one.

9.  Shopping Malls--  Main Street USA.  Disneyland is recognized as the world's first indoor shopping mall.

8.  Transportation=--  Monorails

7.  Merchandise

6.  Television--  used TV to promote the park (His TV show)

5.  Dark Rides--  fully enclosed attractions

4.  Family Theme parks

3.  Audio-Anmatronics--  great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

2.  Animation

1.  City of the Future

Walt Disney was a Leader.  --DaMickeyCoot

10 Terrifying Facts About Dog Breeding

From the June 1, 2013, Listverse by M.J. Alba.

10.  It's a slap in evolution's face.

9.  It takes away business from animal shelters

8.  Show dogs can't be spayed or neutered.

7.  Inbreeding leads to genetic disorder.

6.  Traits are selected for appearance, not functionality.

5.  Tail docking and ear cropping.

4.  Behavior is pretty much an afterthought.

3.  Seriously, judges don't care about behavior.

2.  Health is essentially a non-issue.

1.  Pure breeding is the racism of the animal kingdom.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Naval Technology in 1916-- Part 2: Submarines

6.  Submarine technology.  using breathing gear to escape a sunken sub.

7.  Cargo submarines.  German subs to sneak supplies through the Allied blockade.  Huge subs.

8.  German undersea cargo boat Deutschland, slipped through the British blockade and arrived at Baltimore July 1916.

9.  Anti-torpedo devices.  Whirling plates shot in front of a torpedo to protect cargo ships.

10.  Sea mines.


Naval Technology in 1916-- Part 1: Superdreadnaught USS Arizona Commissioned

From a 1916 Scientific American "Technology of Naval Warfare, 1916."  This is in the form of a slide show.

1.  Naval aviation.  A picture of a battleship carrying seaplanes.

2.  Catapult for aircraft on a battleship.

3.  Destruction of landmarks taken by Germany along the Belgium coast.  They destroyed anything that could be used by the Allies to navigate.  The picture showed a lighthouse being blown up.

4.  The USS Arizona, superdreadnaught, shown leaving Brooklyn Navy Yard after commissioning in 1916.  It was the U.S. navy's largest and most modern battleship.

5.  Submarine warfare.

Latest in 1916.  --Cooter

Monday, March 14, 2016

4000 Posts On This Blog

Quite a milestone.  Actually, this is the 4027th post.

I need to get a life, but enjoy it.

--4027 Too Many.  --DaCoot

17 Fast Food Menu Items That Were Sensational Failures-- Part 2: Remember the McDLT?

8.  McDONALD'S--  Big 'n Tasty.  To combat Burger King's Whopper.  Dropped after the arrival of Angus Burgers.

9.  McDONALD'S--  Arch Deluxe--  1996

10.  McDONALD'S--  McHot Dog  And now, Burger King's trying their hand at the dog.

11.  SONIC--  Pickle Os, 2004.  Fried pickle bites.

12.  McDONALD'S--  McLean deluxe, 1991.  91% fat free.  Tasted horrible as the fat was replaced with seaweed and water.

13.  McDONALD'S--  McDLT--  1980s.  Lettuce and tomato served separately to keep them crisp.

14.  FRIENDLY'S--  Grilled cheeseburger melt in 2010.

15.  BURGER KING--  Burger Buddies--  sliders

16.  TACO BELL--  Bell Beefie.  A sloppy joe with taco meat.

17.  McDONALD'S--  Super-Size.  A big hit for a decade until the 2004 Morgan Spurlock documentary "Super Size Me."

Seems like they're really picking on McDonald's.  I actually liked most of the items I tried.  

Eat Up!  --Cooter

Friday, March 11, 2016

17 Fast Food Menu Items That Were Sensational Failures-- Part 1: Good Old Hula Burgers

From the July 23, 2013, Yahoo! Finance, Business Insider.

1.  BURGER KING--  Enormous Omelet Sandwich

2.  McDONALD'S--  Hula Burger--  grated pineapple inside the meat.

3.  McDONALD'S--  Pizza and McPizza, both in the 1980s.

4.  McDONALD'S--  McSpaghetti

5.  JACK-IN-THE-BOX--  Frings--  combination onion rings and fries, 1970s

6.  McDONALD'S--  McAfrika--  beef, cheese, tomatoes on pita sandwich, 2002, while there was famine in Africa.

7.  PIZZA HUT--  Priazzo--  1980s, similar to a Chicago deep dish pizza but it took too long to prepare.

They may have failed, but a lot of them sure sounded good.

Eating My Way to Failure.  --DaCoot

Box Office Mojo's Top Movies of All Time (Adjusted for Inflation)-- Part 3

Name, studio, Box Office (adjusted for inflation), Box Office (dollars), release date.

11.  101 Dalmations--  Disney--  $938,490,000--  $184,925,486--  1937

12.  Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back--  Fox--  $845,335,300--  $290,475,067--  1980

13.  Ben-Hur--  MGM--  $843,780,000--  74,000,000--  1959

14.  Avatar--  Fox--  $837,367,900--  $760,507,625--  2009

15.  Star Wars: Return of the Jedi--  Fox--  $809,851,500--  $309,306,177--  1983

Top 15.  --Cooter

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Box Office Mojo's Top Movies of All Time (Adjusted for Inflation)-- Part 2

Name of movie, studio, Money made adjusted for inflation, Take in dollars and year of release

6.  The Ten Commandments--  Paramount--  $1,127,910,000--  $65,500,000--  1956

7.  Jaws--  Universal--  $1.102,758,600--  $260,000,000--  1975

8.  Doctor Zhivago--  MGM--  $952,258,800--  $111,721,910--  1965

9.  The Exorcist--  WB--  $952,258,800-- $232,906,145--  1973

10.  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs--  Disney--  $938,490,000--  $184,925,486--  1937

Don't Go In the Water.  --DaCoot

Box Office Mojo's Top Movies of All Time (Adjusted for Inflation)-- Part 1

Movie, studio, Box Office (adjusted for inflation) Box Office, Release Date:

1.  Gone With the Wind--  MGM--  $1,739,604, 200--  $198,676,459--  1939

2.  Star Wars: A New Hope--  Fox--  $1,533,609,700--  $460,988,007--  1977

3.  The Sound of Music--  Fox--  $1,226,196,400--  $158,671,368--  1965

4.  E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial--  Universal--  $1,221,365,800--  $435,110,554--  1982

5.  Titanic--  Paramount--  $1,166,435,200--  $658,672,302--  1997

Frankly, My Dear....  --CootET

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

"Force" Set to Dethrone "Avatar" Back in January of This Year.

From the Jan. 7, 2016, Chicago Tribune by Stephanie Merry.

At this date the movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was set to obliterate the domestic-reigning box-office champ "Avatar."

James Cameron's 3-D "Avatar" was released six years to the day before "Force."  It made more than $760 million in the U.S. during its run in 2009.  "The Force" had been out just three weeks and already was approaching 750 million.

However, "Avatar" is the biggest domestic moneymaker if you don't account for inflation.  If that is taken into account, and Box Office Mojo has, it would rank #14.  "The Force" will need an additional $100 million to overtake it (inflation adjusted).

Tomorrow I Will Post the Top 15, Inflation Adjusted.  --Cooter

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Team Examining Gulf Shipwreck Finds Two Others-- Part 3: USS Hatteras Found

Thousands of items have been recovered from the LaBelle and are receiving an unusual freeze-drying treatment at Texas A&M.  next year these artifacts will become the centerpiece of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.

Earlier this year 3-D Imaging-to-Map techniques discovered the wreck of the the 210-foot long USS Hatteras of water in the Gulf of Mexico.  It was sunk in 1863, 20 miles off Galveston by the CSS Alabama.  The Hatteras is 57 feet down and it is believed that storms in the last several years have shifted sands and brought it out.


Team Examining Gulf Shipwreck Find Two Others-- Part 2

The ships initially explored had six cannons and may have had two masts.  They were copper-clad, 84-feet long with a 26-foot beam.

The survey was done because in 2011, Shell Oil notified the Interior Department that they were going to drill in the area.


 In 1995, after a ten year search, archaeologists of the Texas Historic Commission found one of French explorer LaSalle's vessels in a coastal bay between Galveston and Corpus Christi.  The LaBelle sank in a storm in 1686.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Team Examining a Gulf Shipwreck Find Two Others-- Part 1

From the July 26, 2013, Yahoo! News, AP by Michael Graczyk.

Marine archaeologists in the Gulf of Mexico were exploring a ship in deep water and discovered two other sunken vessels believed to have gone down in the early 19th century.

Not much is known about them.  They were discovered 170 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, 4,363 feet deep (3/4 mile).  This is the deepest Gulf of mexico shipwrecks to systematically investigated by archaeologists.

In eight days, using remote control devices, they have recovered 60 artifacts.  Among them is china from Britain, ceramics from Mexico and a musket from Canada.

Two of the ships were carrying similar items and might have been privateers.  The third ship had hides and large bricks of tallow and may have been a prize ship seized by the privateers.

The three ships likely went down in the first two decades of the 1800s.


Ten Bizarre Things That Washed Up on Beaches

From the June 2, 2013, Listverse.

10.  Sports flyswatters
9.  Rubber Duckie
8.  Giant Lego Man  (8 feet tall, 100 pounds)

7.  Giant eyeball
6.  Bananas
5.  Dead birds
4.  Nike sneakers

3.  Severed feet
2.  Doritos
1.  Montauk Monster (2008 in New York)

--Not Me.  --DaCoot

Ten Famous Landmarks That Are Creepy Suicide Magnets

From the June 4, 2013, Listverse by Paula Poisui.

10.  London Underground
9.  Eiffel Tower
8.  Nusle Bridge--  Prague, Czech republic

7.  Becahy Head--  East Sussex, England
6.  Prince Edward Viaduct--  Toronto
5.  The Gap--  Australia
4.  Niagara Falls

3.  Golden Gate Bridge
2.  Nanjing Yangtze River bridge--  China
1.  Mount Mihara--  Japan


Friday, March 4, 2016

Honor Flights Extended to Korean War Veterans-- Part 4: A Special Fraternity

Tom Cafferty, 86, served as an Army medic in the 1st cavalry Division during the Korean War, said he is looking forward to seeing the names and statues in D.C. on the Honor Flight later this year.  During the war, he built roads and placed mines.

Lou Kueltzo, 81, filed his application in 2008 and is eager to meet his fellow veterans.  They are a part of a special fraternity.  "Us veterans like to talk about the good times more than the bad," he said.  "You know you'll be able to sit down and talk, and they know how you feel and why you feel the way you do."

For more information visit


Honor Flights Extended to Korean War Veterans-- Part 3: History of the War

In 1950, communist North Korea, supported and advised by the Soviet Union, invaded democratic South Korea.  The United Nations, using mostly U.S. troops, struck back.  The fighting ceased after much back and forth movement, three years later and a buffer area, the Demilitarized Zone, was created between the two countries.

For the U.S. military, it was the first integrated war where blacks and whites fought alongside each other and had the first widespread use of helicopters and jets.  It also had new frontline army hospitals known as Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals, or MASH units.  these saved countless lives and were featured in the famous TV show "M.A.S.H."


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Honor Flights Extended to Korean War Veterans-- Part 2: A Busy Day

Mary Pettinato, CEO and co-founder of Honor Flight Chicago, said Korean War veterans never received the welcome they deserved.  "We need to honor and recognize them before it's too late," she said.

There are an estimated 35,000 Korean War veterans living in the Chicago area and more than 1,200 have already signed up to go to D.C..

Flights open to Korean War veterans this year are April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, Aug. 10Sept. 7 and Oct. 5.  World War II veterans who have not yet gone will continue to be served.

Honor Flights involve an early morning flight from Midway Airport.  Honor Flight Chicago and a group of active-duty volunteers escort the veterans to the national monuments built in their honor.  They visit the World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War memorials as well as the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.  Hundreds show their appreciation throughout the day and there is a ceremony at the World War II memorial featuring bagpipers and a color guard.  Their return flight lands in Chicago by 8:30 p.m..

Quite a Busy But Deserved Day.  --Cooter

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Honor Flights Extended to Korean War Veterans-- Part 1

From the Jan. 28, 2016, Chicago Tribune by Matt McCall.

In 1952, Lou Kueltzo, was a 17-year-old high school graduate from Forest Park and joined the military.  By Christmas he was a Navy petty officer third class freezing on the deck of a destroyer off Korea.

Whenever a pilot would plunge into the water near his ship, the USS Hazelwood, he was part of a group who would race to his aid in a rescue boat.  Once after saving one pilot, he was asked what kind of ice cream they liked.  The next week, the Navy sent two 25-gallon steel tubs of strawberry and chocolate ice cream to the ship.  It was a huge hit with the sailors.

After eight months, the war ended with an armistice, and Kueltzo went home expecting a big welcome from the public, but he and the others were greeted with silence.  With all those deaths, he said it was like the war never happened.  At the end of World War II, it was all celebration, but not this time.  Said Mr. Kueltzo, now living in Aurora:  "There was nothing.  That's why it is called the forgotten war."

Honor Flight Chicago, the nonprofit that flies World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., for a free whrlwind daytrip to the national war memorials to honor their service, announced Wednesday that it would open 2016 flights to Korean War veterans in April.


Raising Chicago Out of the Mud-- Part 4: How to Raise a Building

But in Chicago's center it wouldn't do to leave buildings below the new ground level.  Not only single large buildings were raised, but often whole blocks

They would be raised by a large array of jack screws.  An Indiana visitor described this effort:  "All being ready, the superintendent takes his position at some central point, and by a signal, usually a shrill whistle, directs the movements of the men.  he continues his whistle long enough for every man to turn every screw one complete round of the thread.  Thus the building is raised at every point precisely at the same moment, and to the same extent."

In 1860 a whole block of buildings on Lake Street between Clark and LaSalle streets lifted 6 feet by the simultaneous movement of 6,000 screws.

The following year, the Tremont House, a six-story hotel at lake and Dearborn, was lifted six feet.  George Pullman, then in the building raising business, got the job by promising he could do it without disturbing a guest or breaking a pane of glass.  The huge hotel was occupied throughout the project.  It went off according to his word.

Quite the Accomplishment.  --DaCoot

Raising Chicago Out of the Mud-- Part 3: Raise the Streets

The Chicago Board of Sewerage Commissioners was created as a mandate to fix the problem nature had left with the city.  Storm sewers would be too low to properly drain, so it was decided to lay sewers on top of existing streets and then cover them with tons of fill and put in new streets on top of them..

Starting in 1855, the city elevation was raised about ten feet along the river and varying heights away from it.

Some homeowners brought their residences up to the new grade, others didn't..  This left some neighborhoods looking like an assemblage of huge children's building blocks.  You can still see blocks of homes not brought up to the new elevation in neighborhoods like South Chicago and Back of the Yards.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Raising Chicago Out of the Mud-- Part 2: No Bottom" and Cholera

On New Year's day, 1859, the Chicago Tribune reported:  "Within the past year from fifty to sixty brick stores, in blocks of two to five to seven in number, have been thus raised."

Critics in rival cities thought it was absurd to do this, saying this would bankrupt the city.  One particularly vehement one in Cincinnati said that he'd bet his whole fortune on Chicago not doubling its population for at least 50 years.

He would have lost as Chicago's population doubled in ten years.

"Previously, the city was infamous for streets that were less less thoroughfares than sinkholes."

Chicago's problem was that it had been built on low-lying land along the Chicago River.  Floods and rains produced quagmires.  Some of the mud holes would be marked "No Bottom."  Stranded carts buried up to their hubs in mud were common sights after rain.

This also made it almost impossible to separate drinking water from waste water.  Sewage contaminated the drinking water causing epidemics.  In 1854 alone, cholera caused 1424 deaths.


Raising Chicago Out of the Mud-- Part 1: One Turn of the Jack Screw at a Time

From the Nov. 15, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Chicago Flashback: Raising Chicago out of the mud" by Ron Grossman.

And, we're not talking about the city's infamous political mud.

And you can see evidence of Chicago's "Raising" along 24th Street in the Lower West Side where you see a hole the width of a front yard, 8 feet deep in some places.  residents reach what is now their front door, but used to be on the second level, by crossing a concrete slab that resembles a drawbridge.

These holes weren't dug, but are left over from Chicago's effort to raise itself out of the mud

Back in the early to mid 1800s, Chicago was known for its mud.  Lots and lots of mud during certain seasons and times.

This effort took decades and involved raising the grade level upwards of 14 feet and made Chicago the first American city with a comprehensive sewer system  Chicago's skyline grew by one  turn of numerous jack screws at a time.You could see five-and-six-story buildings being raised all the time, sometimes several at once.