April 24, 2014

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This column is very much TRIVIA PDF Print E-mail

The World Series was on most television sets last week but back in the 1920’s, before radio and television, there were many Illinois baseball fans with interest in the games. The larger cities would put a large “magnetic board” on the side of their brick building. The “board” represented a baseball field; a bat would swing and a steel ball would go to the appropriate spot on the board’s playing field. The board had markers representing the players who would be moved from base to base. A score board would keep up with the stats such as balls and strikes, score by innings and errors.
The men manipulating the magnetic board and a local resident with a loud voice would announce the game over loud speakers as the play-by-play of the game came to the newspaper by telegraph. There would be between three or four hundred people sitting on the curb or standing across the street watching the game, just seconds after it happened at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. The player boards were manufactured, and newspapers across the country made use of them.  In 1926, game seven between the Cardinals and the Yankees, drew such a large player board crowd that they spilled over onto Madison Street.
In a time when congress is putting an OK on another trillion dollar debt and gas is just short of $4 a gallon and a tub of movie popcorn is $6 or more, doesn’t it seem humorous that the postal service is going before Congress to discuss whether it can ask for three more cents for a stamp.
I think it is almost blackmail by tribal leaders wanting to change the name of the Washington Redskins. The Redskins have a proud 80-year-old history. The so-called Native Americans closed the realistic exhibit at Dickson Mounds and they were able to take Chief Illiniwek away from the University of Illinois. There was a recent meeting between the U. of I. officials and the organizers of the Honor the Chief Society. The Society filed an application with the U. S. Patent office to register the Chief Illiniwek symbol, arguing that the university no longer had the rights to it, because they weren’t using it. The university opposed the group’s application and is now agreeing that they can’t call anyone “Chief Illiniwek” or the “Next Chief Illiniwek” or use the Chief logo. They can use the phrase, “Honor the Chief” on merchandise and any sponsored events about the mascot’s history.
The technology continues to amaze me. I see where a Southern Illinois man has built his own electric car, and we were so proud to take a Model T apart and fix it. The latest car news is that a German inventor has now made a car that can fly. Push a button and the wings come out as does a front end propeller. It looks like it could  take off going down a wide parking lot but for safety it would need an airport to land.
Here it is November, and the colorful leaves have been very stubborn in coming out, maybe it will be pretty next week.
A local man had this note in the paper: He says, “did you ever notice in the wedding and engagement announcements, the woman’s name is always first, but in the list of divorces it is the man’s name first?”