July 28, 2014

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Trivia Too
Loss of limbs presents no handicap PDF Print E-mail

By Roy Roberts
Trivia Too
We made friends with Jane, a lady who moved into this retirement home because Bloomington was her home town and also to be close enough to one of her sons. Having had lunch with her several times and having conversations with her at other times, I found she had a most unusual and interesting story. Actually it was a inspirational story about her son, Randy.

 
Fireworks on TV not the same as in person PDF Print E-mail

By Roy Roberts
Trivia Too
This is an after-the-Fourth of July column. Friday, July 4th, Saturday, July 5th, Sunday, 6th wasn’t it nice to have a three-day holiday? It was the 238th birthday of our country and I noticed in an area paper that there were 32 towns here in central Illinois that were going to have fireworks on the Fourth. If that many had fireworks in one 50-mile radius just imagine the millions of dollars that were spent for the celebration in the towns all across the country.

 
A miscellaneous column of ‘Did you know?’ PDF Print E-mail

By Roy Roberts
Trivia Too
This is another trivia column, kind of a miscellaneous,“Did You Know: type.”
*** For example, did you know that Gov. Bill Haslem of Tennessee is promoting a program to let any high school graduate go to college free. They will be able to go to a community college for two years, which reminds me of Mexico where a college education is free, but only for the brightest students.
*** In two years all new cars will have a TV screen in front of the driver that will picture what is in back of the car when backing up. Too many children have been killed by cars backing into them.  When our children were young I recall a grandfather did just that.  Our garage on the farm at that time was an unusual double garage, only it was a long building where two cars could park one in front of the other. I quickly put doors at the other end so that grandmother, Christine or I could have a clear view when pulling out of the garage.

 
Outpouring of help reaffirms faith in people PDF Print E-mail

By Roy Roberts
Trivia Too
Our friends, Jim and Joi Weakley Walker, former Beardstown High School graduates, live in Channahon. They have three children, Kellen, Collin and Cassi.
Joy quit teaching to open a bakery, and she became a real professional at baking and decorating cakes, many hundreds of them. The real reason for the bakery was so it would be a place she could be close to her oldest son, Kellen.
Kellen, a cross country runner while in college, started having seizures. During the past 20 years they have made over a dozen trips to Mayo Clinic for surgeries. Each surgery helped a little and eventually Kellen married a charming lady, Michelle (we remember being at the wedding), and they have two beautiful children, Kennedy, 4 and Landon, 2.

 
If I knew then what I know now...I’d be head of tourism PDF Print E-mail

By Roy Roberts
Trivia Too
Beardstown, it is a great town, but if I knew then, what I know now, it would really be great. That is, if I had moved in with the settlers around 1830, or even a few years later. AND, like I say if I knew what I know now, I would be the chairman of the committee to save the beautiful Indian Mounds that were in Beardstown when it was founded by Thomas Beard.
If the mounds were there today, Beardstown would be one of the most popular tourist locations in the state, business would be good for everyone, it would be different.
The territory where Beardstown now stands was once the home of a mysterious and unknown race who left the mounds as the only evidence of their existence. A guess is that the mounds were built as much as 10,000 years ago by the first Indians who lived here. The largest mound was located about four blocks down West Main Street, it was a sepulchral mound, conical in form, eighty feet in height, (that is about the height of an eight story building) and about 500 feet in diameter at the base. It is thought that the mounds were built with clay brought from the bluffs at Bluffs Springs as it was similar to the soil in that location. Much different than sandy Beardstown. However, if it was thousands of years ago, and after many floods, it is possible that Beardstown wasn’t always the island as it was at times of floods during the 1700’s and 1800’s.

 
75th Alumni reunion celebrated in peace and quiet of Houston Library PDF Print E-mail

By Roy Roberts
Trivia Too
It was the 139th Annual Alumni Banquet, and it was very special for the class of 1939. I was one of 103 who graduated that year and as I told those attending the alumni, we were told by an older class, to go forth and multiply. That we did.
Right now we have the record of the most descendents. None of the 103 married a classmate so that gave us a head start as we soon had 304 children. Those 304 children gave us 902 grandchildren. From those grandchildren, we are proud of the 2,432 great-grandchildren and they are still coming. Christine and I have 10 now with four more expected before fall.

 
No exact date of Princess Theater closing PDF Print E-mail

By Roy Roberts
Trivia Too
Tell me more. When did the Princess Theater close? That was the question I received in a letter from Tom Lloyd, BHS class of 1963, who lives in a suburb of Washington D. C. He was referring to a recent column I had written about the history of the theater in Beardstown, and wondering if and when there will be another.
First, I will tell you about when I first met Tommy. It was the spring of 1954; he was about ten years old, and it was sign up day for Little League. My job was to register each of the boys.

 
Dinosaur tracks spotted by American geologist in North Chile Mountains PDF Print E-mail

Trivia Too
By Roy Roberts
“One fine day in 1956, I was riding a mule down the Canyon Chacarilla in Northern Chili. I was very tired, hungry and thirsty. We had been on a one-day trip up the canyon to get a first hand idea of the geologic structure and strata of the area that we would be mapping”.
That is what Bob Dingman wrote in his diary when he was an American Government Geologist who had been sent as an aide to Chile to work with the Chile Geologist. Bob Dingman and his wife, Genna are residents here at the Blair House Retirement Home, and he had given me a paper telling about his work.
He goes on telling that they were so interested in making notes of rock types, that it became too late to make it back to their base camp before dark and they had no desire to be riding their mules down those mountain trails in the dark of night. It was a difficult decision because they were not equipped to make a camp 13,000 feet above sea level. They had no tent, sleeping bags, and very little water for them and the mules. All they had to eat was some horse meat jerky, a few potatoes and some rock-hard bread. At 13,000 feet the potatoes never really got cooked, because water boils at 180 degrees at that altitude. It was not a good meal and with only their jacket and saddle blankets it was not a good night.

 
John Tyler’s purpose came late in life PDF Print E-mail

By Roy Roberts
Trivia Too
John Tyler was a guest at our home many times when he was a child. He has given over $80,000 to charity in the last ten years. John Tyler is a third cousin of our children, but to go back farther, his great-great-grandfather was John Looman who came to America from Holland when he was three years old. He grew up in Beardstown and fought three years with General Grant and General Sherman in the Civil War, being wounded at the start of the Battle of Atlanta. His grandfather was Carl Looman, who ran an appliance store across the street from the State Bank at State and Second Street. Both of those men would be proud of John Tyler, and pleased with the talent that he has accomplished under the most adverse conditions.

 
Will the movies ever come back to town? PDF Print E-mail

By Roy Roberts
Trivia Too
Karl Schewe was so good to Beardstown, and he donated much for his home town. After his donation to the Park District Community Center I approached him with another idea, saying it was a shame that people had to go out of town to see a movie. He agreed and had me go to a friend of his who was an architect in Canton.
That architect made a plan for a $300,000 theater/auditorium, speculating on getting the job if the building would be a reality.
The building would have been owned by the Park District and would be located about where the new Clinic is located now. There would be a large auditorium, much needed by the high school at that time. It could be used for band concerts, school drama and other events.

 
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