April 16, 2014
Local Columnists
‘Woodies’ provide entertainment on the pond

By Kay Brown
The Garden Gate
I wish you could have been here last week when the pond had 20 “woodies,” wood ducks floating around. I watched for a while and then went to the greenhouse to water.
When I got back I checked them out, and there were 10 males and four females still on the pond. Mallard ducks are pretty but I think woodies are prettier.

Will the movies ever come back to town?

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.

Success proves fleeting for the Duryea brothers

By Leigh Morris
Our Place in History
As Charles and Frank Duryea would learn, being first is no guarantee of future success.
Following the Duryea Motor Wagon’s 1895 Thanksgiving Day victory in America’s first auto race, the brothers established the Duryea Motor Wagon Co. in Springfield, Mass. Here they built what many believe to be America’s most significant automobile – the 1896 Duryea Runabout.
Not only was the Duryea Motor Wagon Co. the first firm to commercially manufacture and sell automobiles, but the Duryea Runabout was America’s first series produced automobile. In other words, the 13 Runabouts were identical in every respect, a concept that eventually would make it possible to build cars for the masses. Other vehicles of that time were singular examples.

Chatting with inanimate objects

By Freida Marie Crump
The Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
I walked in on my friend June this week. She didn’t answer the door but this is Coonridge…you just walk in. I thought I heard her voice in the back of the house so I assumed she had visitors, but when I walked into her den she was alone . . . talking. One woman sitting in a chair talking.
I knew that June was much into computers but hadn’t realized the poor gal never learned to type, so she had purchased a new speech-to-text system that promised to turn her spoken words into typed text. We’re old friends and I couldn’t help myself. I walked up behind the old gal and touched her ribs. June jumped and let out with an expletive that the computer spelled correctly. The system seemed to be working just fine.

Virginia Library hosts World Book Night 2014

By Susan Young
Virginia Happenings
Easter is on its way and the Virginia Memorial Library is hosting an Egg Decorating Party. Hop on over to the library on Saturday, April 12 to decorate eggs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Be sure to wear old clothes.
This Saturday, April 12 is Trivia Night at the Virginia United Methodist Church to raise funds for the Virginia Daycare. Dinner is $5 consisting of sloppy joes or hot dogs, chips and drink, and will be served at 5 p.m. with trivia starting at 6 p.m. Cost is $10 per person and 10 members per team. Contact Paula Hill for more information at 452-3050.

Rural schools must either change or decline

My name is Mark Lounsberry and I have served as a board of education member for 24 years and just left the PORTA board one year ago. I have watched the process of the referendum unfold and I am not surprised by the defeat of this proposition. It is not my intention to make derogatory statements about individuals involved but I do want to express my thoughts on what just occurred and where do we all go from here.

Auto pioneers born in nearby Canton

By Leigh Morris
Our Place in History
America’s auto industry was launched on Sept. 21, 1893, when the Duryea brothers’ one-cylinder gasoline engine-powered motorcar ran noisily through the streets of Springfield, Mass.
However, this story begins right here in Central Illinois. Charles Duryea was born up in Canton on Dec. 31, 1861. By the time his brother Frank was born on Oct. 8, 1869, the family had moved to Washburn, 55 miles to the northeast.
Then came another move, one that according to Charles proved to be most fortuitous. The family settled in Stark County, four or so miles east of Wyoming.

Games kept children occupied all day

By Kay Brown
The Garden Gate
When I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep, I start thinking about childhood happenings. The other night I thought about going to my aunt and uncle’s. They lived in Pittsfield, and when I was 10 I would go visit for week.
I met a girl that lived in the same block as my relatives, and was my age. She had two brothers, one older, one younger, and in a few years a baby sister. We did go to the city swimming pool once or twice a week, other wise we played boy games.
I was a “tomboy” so that was fine with me. They taught me to play marbles, you know, draw the circle in the dirt-toss your marbles out into the circle then everybody had what you called a shooter. It was a bigger marble and some of them were really pretty. I had a black leather bag that had a drawstring in the top, and a collection of marbles. When you shot the “shooter” you were supposed to knock a persons marble out of the circle and then it was yours. You had to be fairly good or you would end up “losing all your marbles.” Do you suppose that's where that saying comes from?

The Committee Of Ten says, 'thank you'

We wish to express our thanks to everyone in the A-C Central School District for the opportunity to engage with you in a conversation about how we might best improve educational opportunities for our children.
We are especially grateful to the many people who took the time to participate in the Committee of Ten public meetings and hearings. Your questions were excellent and spurred many good discussions. The public comments were helpful and contributed to the process. Also, thanks for your encouragement, which was gratifying.

Shoe drive nets 2,517 pairs of shoes

A huge thank you to everyone who helped spread the word and collected shoes for our 2014 Shoeman Water Projects Community Shoe Drive. Through combined efforts, 2,517 pairs of shoes were donated to SWP this year with 20,777 coming from the Jacksonville area since January 2010.