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Emails for August 2003

Enjoyed editorial on "Fritzie" Knoll

Dave, just wanted to send a quick note to once again say "thanks" for all the time and effort you put into MinonkTalk. It's absolutely great, and I personally appreciate how you not only keep me connected to Minonk, but inform me of so many interesting things about others who once resided (or do reside today) in Minonk. Your personal connection and familiarity with Minonk's history makes for far more interesting reading than anything I could read in the local newspaper.

Hopefully you hear from many others about your fine work, but again, I just wanted to say "thanks."

P.S. Your current piece on "Fritzie" Knoll is fun reading. Did Ronald Reagan really visit Minonk on weekends with Wiggy Eihausen? Your own recollection of playing baseball as a kid hitting the ball against or over the barn triggered similar memories of my own playing ball on the farm only I used a machine shed!

Brian Folkerts

Editor's reply: The stories about Ronald Reagan visiting Minonk are true. When I was a young man my father told me about Reagan coming to Minonk on weekends.

Memories of grade school operettas

I met recently with Dave Gutherz, Larry and Lois Bearss, Bob and Joyce Schmitz. Subject of the operetta came up. Dave, Larry and I were all in the third grade at the time so that would be the 1945-46 school year. I think the third and fourth grades basically did the operettas in those years but were sometimes joined by members of the class ahead or behind as the cast needs necessitated. Carita Spires (Barth) was a major player in getting these things staged - she was the third grade teacher then. I don't remember the exact name of the operetta but it was something about the Tales of Mother Goose. I was Little Miss Muffett and someone last night (Larry?) remembered being Old King Cole.

The following year we all dressed up like flowers for something called Wedding of the Flowers. By the time I was in fifth grade, the operetta was I think something about a farmer - Old MacDonald or something. That operetta was notable because one of the leads - Jerry Schmidt - didn't feel well, performed anyway and then broke out in a rash - measles at the end of the evening and effectively exposed all of us.

Martha Eikenmeyer Owens

Thanks for making Johnson St. one-way again

I would like to thank the city council members for reviewing the one-way street issue. I appreciate that they were willing to look into it further! I am extremely happy that they decided to change the street back to one-way and I hope they can find a safe alternative for the alley issues being faced. I am also grateful that they acted quickly so the change would take place BEFORE school started again!

Christy Kline

Home from Iraq

Dennis Baker, 182nd. USAF is arriving back home today(August 14) at 2:30 in Peoria. He has been deployed to Iraq for the last 5 months.

Marion Kennel

Encounters with famous people

Reading your editorial prompted me to remember the celebrities I have run into in my travels. The first celebrity encounter I had was back in 1980. My mom and dad went to go see Marty Robbins in concert in Pontiac. Afterwards, they picked me up from my Aunt's house and we went out to eat. A few minutes after we arrived, Marty Robbins came in and had some pizza and a couple beers. In 1984, I ran into Kenny Rogers in the LaSalle-Peru mall. I was in a leather store buying some lotion for my jacket when he and a couple huge body guards entered. I think he was shopping for a belt. That same year, I met Jamie Lee Curtis in Pontiac while they were filming Grandview USA. During the Fall of 1986, I was in the Northern Illinois University Marching Band. To spice up one of our shows, we had a guest trumpet player that everyone got to meet, Maynard Ferguson. In 1988, I met Brad Hefton, world heavyweight kick boxing champion at that time in Rockford. I literally turned around in line at a Hardees in Rockford and ran into Dan Hampton, hall-of-fame defensive end for the Chicago Bears in 1989. Sometime around 1992 or 1993, I met Mark Hamil and Adrian Paul at a game convention in Milwaukee. Mark Hamil played Luke Skywalker in Star Wars and Adrian Paul played Duncan McLeod in the Highlander series. Around that same time, I attended a couple martial arts seminars, one with a two time olympic medalist in Tae Kwon Do, Juan Moreno, and another seminar with legendary kickboxer Bill Wallace. In 1995, I sat just a couple seats behind Mike Ditka on a flight to New Orleans. At that time, he was head coach of the New Orleans Saints. In 1996, I met Walter Payton at the football hall of fame in Canton, Ohio. Just a few weeks ago, I went to another game convention, this time in Indianapolis. They had several Star Wars actors there signing autographs and posing for pictures. Among them were Kenny Baker (who played R2-D2), David Prowse (who played Darth Vader), Ray Parks (who played Darth Maul), and Daniel Logan (who played Bobba Fett).

Eric Olson

City council member response on one-way street


I have read the articles on Johnson Street and agree with those who are opposed to two-way traffic. I voted no on the change because of the same concerns parents are now raising. However to say that the decision was "hasty" and not thought out is just not true. This issue was brought to the council one month ago. It was noted on your website and also in the local paper. I am not aware of anyone who voiced any concerns over the issue. The council also requested that the school be contacted prior to a vote. The council was told prior to the vote that the superintendent's office was contacted and that the school was not against the change.

I agree that the street should have remained one-way and I hope that the city can find a way to satisfy those neighbors and more important, make it safe for our children. However, I think it is important that our community get involved before issues are voted on. If you cannot attend the meetings watch the papers and this website for issues that my relate to you. I am sure this would not have passed if people would have reacted when this appeared on July 7, 2003 or if the school would have opposed such a change.

Russell Ruestman

One way street update

Hi Dave!
I would like to give an update on the one-way street in front of the Fieldcrest South issue! I have talked to several of the City of Minonk Council members....they are going to review this issue at the next council meeting...citizens with concerns...PLEASE CONTACT YOUR COUNCIL MEMBERS to let them know this is something you care about! The general opinion I have received so far is that this particular issue needs further review to ensure the safety of our children! Please, email or call and let them know you want it changed back to one way! Even if you are not a citizen of Minonk, let the council know you are concerned about your children who attend Fieldcrest South!!! I personally believe the council just didn't have all the information before they cast their votes.

Thank You!

Christy Kline

More concerns about changing one-way street

Dave, I agree with Christy Kline on the street changing in front of Fieldcrest South. Why did it happen? What was the reasoning? Has the people responsible for changing ever went to drop off children or pick up children before or after school, or watched the kids play on playground, watching them having to go and get the balls? Was the well being of children who attend Fieldcrest South taken into consideration? I am not a resident of Minonk now either but my child did attend Fieldcrest South, as do many kids. I just hope that NO child gets hurt because of this change. I really hope someone can answer these questions and hope that changing it back to one way is an option. I think the well being of the children that attend Fieldcrest South should be looked at.

Just another concerned parent.
Peggy Winters

Surprise birthday party

Mr. Uphoff;
My name is Janice Toler and my father, Tom Toler was born & raised in Minonk, IL. He reads "Minonk Talk" online almost daily. I would love to surprise him with a little blurb on your website about his recent 70th birthday party. We (his 6 children) had a huge surprise party for him on June 7th here in Orlando, Florida - attended by approximately 80 friends and family. Although none of the family from Illinois could attend his 70th, we did receive an awesome video tape from his sister's family (Phyllis, Melvin, Jim, Dave, Tom & Bill Reiter) and his brother Bill's family. We played the tape at his party and he was so surprised that we had gone to such extremes to include his Minonk family in the festivities.

Dad has so many friends and family still in Minonk and the surrounding area. I think they would enjoy reading a little update on him and hope it's not asking too much to put some little "blurb" on the website about the true surprise we pulled on him. I think it's the first time anyone can remember that he was actually "surprised" and had no idea what we had planned.

Janice Toler

Thanks for remembering

I would like to thank everyone that remembered me with cards, flowers, phone calls, and especially all the prayers since my surgery. Everything was much appreciated and I am recovering very well at home.

God Bless you
Barb Petri

Letter from another operetta measles victim

As a Post Script to "Measles Carrier in Operetta" -- at just about the end of the incubation period from that operetta, his older sister (age 15?) came down with those self-same measles and was very, very sick. Old Doc Morrison came out to the house to check on her, concluding that yes, she had the measles and then stated, "If you'd had these when you were supposed to (age 6 maybe?), you wouldn't be so sick"! -- end of visit. Hasn't "modern medicine" just gotten too new-fangled?

Betty Wheatley

Editor'a note: Sounds like the measles outbreak at the grade school operetta was Minonk's version of the Black Plague.

Measles carrier in operetta itches to respond

The members of the Martha Eikenmeyer Owens Think Tank are to be congratulated on great memories!

Yes, in an operetta directed by Miss Spires, I was the cantankerous Farmer McGregor and the Br'er Rabbit kept entering my bramble patch. But while I was busy chasing him out of my patch, I also was becoming "pre-measles itchy"! And yes, on Saturday morning after exposing the cast (and perhaps others), I was found to have the measles.

I do not recall the year or if other grade levels were involved, but Miss Spires was our third grade teacher. And I do recall that the many characters and their costumes were as real, imaginative and impressive as those that we were fortunate to see in the Lion King with my grandchildren last month in Chicago. Operettas and school plays later in high schools were formative experiences that have been valued.

My case of measles may have been an early but unintended influence on a small part of Minonk. Congratulations to all of the members of the "think tank"! Their "collective memories" were right on!

Gerry Schmidt

Grade school operetta recalled

Hi Dave;
Re the grade school operetta: Guessing it may have been 1945 or 1946: Mother Goose. Those in capes and band-box hats were the 2nd grade rhythm band if my memory serves me right. Since we all had makeup on and behaved our best, hard to identify people, including myself. Think I am the one w/braids, row 2, in front of the window of the shoe. I would have been in first grade - and always tallest in the class at that time. Think we first graders were the "children" of "the old woman who lived in the shoe." Also guessing 6th from left, front row, is Janice Eikenmeyer. I have some other guesses, but will get back to you. Fun to reminisce!

Carol Palmer Schmidt

Get a horse, Gov.

Dave...Looks like things haven't changed much since I left good old Minonk back in the 50's. I'm relating to your story on "truckers fees". It still seems that blood runs from down state to up state to Cook County and Chi town. From all aspects, this is really makes me laugh..geez, get a horse, Governor! Sure, all ya have to do is feed 'em some oats or whatever. They could pull the loads and keep the state running on original "horse power"

Of course, you may not get your merchandise and goods for several weeks, but the way it's going now, small time truckers will have a hard time staying afloat.

Oh wait! Just thought of something. The fee would probably would be reinstated anyway, to hire "horse manure" clean up crews..but, you could use that to put on the flowers the Governor's wife wants to plant. Best of luck, Illinois..you need to tell the Governor to stop "horsing around"!

Art Kettelhut

Memories of Bob Hope

Thanks John Baker, I enjoyed the tribute to Bob Hope in the cartoons you sent in. I never thought he and Bing were much when it came to acting, but as I think of it, the movies of those early days weren't exactly classics. Anyway, I wanted to mention that when I enlisted in the Navy and was at Great Lakes, Jack Benny came to the base and put on a show. A little later the whole base of sailors was lined up along the road outside the gates to salute Gen. MacArthur on his final route to forced retirement. The crowning event though, was when I was stationed in Guantanamo the winter of '51, Bob Hope and Jerry Cologna and Connie Langston and Bob's crew came to the base and entertained us. He made so many of those trips, and while the monolog was always the same, I'm sure every GI said thanks for caring about the lowly enlisted man enough to show up.

Albie Johnson

Comments on uncollected school fees

Dear Dave,

This is in response to the late fees that were discussed in the board minutes you just posted. I have taken advantage of the Fee Pay Agreement with Fieldcrest the past two years and it clearly states at the top on last years Agreement (I'm not sure of this years as I did pay the full fee at the time of registration) "FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS AGREEMENT WILL RESULT IN FILING WITH THE SMALL CLAIMS COURT". I realize that doing this would probably cost the district money that it doesn't have but if people know that the district is not going to follow through with their statement then of course they will not pay. Just thought I would share this little tidbit.

Lori Kapraun

Looking for Hodgson Drug Store memorabilia

Hi Dave--This is Deborah Huffman a.k.a. "Doc" Hodgson's gr-granddaughter http://www.minonktalk.com/hodgson.htm. I was emailing to say it's nice to see the pavilion progressing --I check the site regularly to see what's new! I also saw the notice re: the upcoming citywide garage sale in Sept. I just wanted to put the word out--if anyone has any old "Hodgson's Drugstore" stuff in their basement/attic, etc--I would be very happy to purchase it. Over the past few years I have found small items from the store on Ebay--and thought it wouldn't hurt to let folks know about my search via your site!

Thanks, Deborah

Email: dhuffman@nwlink.com

City council hasty in changing one-way street

I agree with all on the subject of changing this back to a two way street. When parents and buses are dropping off kids, it is a total zoo. And with parking on both sides of the street, (which there has to be for lack of parking), there is no way a car and a bus would fit passing on that street. Seems to me that one way traffic flows much easier. Why was the city council so hasty in making this decision? What is the benefit suppose to be out of doing this? I don't feel that they even researched this or asked anyone's thoughts on this. I think that safety of our kids needs to be the first and most important issue and not convenience. Something this big should have been discussed at more length, and I think it needs to be looked at again.

Kim Barth

More on one-way street change

I also agree with Peggy and Christy about making Johnson Street into a two way street again. There is no mention in your articles on council meetings whether or not parking will be permitted on the west side of the street during school hours. If parking is still going to be permitted there will only be one word to describe what will happen when parents are dropping their children off or picking them up and that is NIGHTMARE!! Even when they had the road as one way, with the parking on the east side of the street always full and the over flow parking on the west side, there was barely enough room to get a car through.

With the school boards proposed elimination of the cross town shuttle before and after school this will also just increase the amount of traffic flow around the school. My youngest son rode the shuttle home from school in the afternoon for the past two years and it was much less of a headache and I can tell you that on average between 20-30 children rode the bus over to the high school (and that isn't counting Wednesday when the children that go to St. Pat's CCD classes were on board).

I agree that during the summer and non school hours Johnson Street should be two way but during school hours...NO!! Eliminating the cross town shuttle should also be reconsidered by the school board, since they are into adding more fees and such, have they considered maybe charging a minimal fee to keep this shuttle running???

Lori Kapraun

Concerned about changing one-way street

Dear Dave,
I would like to express my concern over the City of Minonk changing the street in front of Fieldcrest South from a one-way street to a two-way street. I sometimes substitue as a teacher's aide at South and after school is a total zoo! When the buses come to pick up and drop off students....there is chaos! I cannot imagine how much worse that is going to be if it is made two-way! What could the City be thinking here? I do not live in the City of Minonk anymore but, did my entire life growing up. That street was always a one-way street since I was in grade-school. Why would you want to change it now? It will really confuse people! I am VERY concerned for the safety of our children. I know as a playground supervisor, it is hard enough to watch for cars when the students need to cross the street with them coming from just one direction....add another and the risk doubles! I would suggest that the people responsible for changing this take ONE day and go to the school and help with the supervision of the students before and after school...I truly believe this will change there perspective!

Thank you for letting me voice my opinion!

Christy Kline

Thanks for birthday cards

I would just like to thank everyone that sent my mother a birthday card !!She recieved over 80 cards and was very happy. She wondered how so many people knew it was her birthday!! Thanks to all!!!!!

Mary Lou Paris

Baptist Praise Band to be at Pop's

The Minonk Baptist Praise Band will be hosting a time of contemporary worship followed by fellowship on August 10, 6:00 pm, at Pop�s (formerly Doc�s) in Minonk.

Thank you,
Pastor Richard Olson,
First Baptist Church