July 25, 2014

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Marching on the Fourth of July: then and now

By Freida Marie Crump
The Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
There’s nothing that shouts the Fourth of July like a parade so Herb and I plan to plant our lawn chairs on the nearest shady curb this week to take in the great American spectacle.
I’m one of the surviving veterans of high school marching bands and can well remember the days of polishing my trumpet on the night before the big parade, hoping for maximum reflection power from the next day’s sun. And speaking on behalf of the marching musicians of the world, I’d like to say that marching in formation on the Fourth is every bit as an athletic event as playing in that afternoon’s baseball game. Times have changed and fabrics have improved but in those steamy days your band uniform was made of pure 100% wool. The temperature on the hot asphalt may be over the century mark and you’re standing there covered with a dark-colored uniform that has been worn, altered, snipped and amended by generations of marching trumpet players long gone.

Charles E. Lippincott adopts Cass County

By Leigh Morris
Our Place in History
Once hailed as a Civil War hero and a rising political star, few today know the name Charles Ellet Lippincott, M.D. Ah yes, fame can be fleeting.
The son of a minister, Lippincott was born on Jan. 26, 1825, at Edwardsville, Ill. Lippincott was a bright, creative lad who at an early age developed an unquenchable thirst for education. He also displayed a puckish sense of humor, a quick temper and an exaggerated sense of honor. As an adult, he was described as a handsome man, clean shaven with a fair complexion. He was short in stature, stocky and quite strong.

Many hands make productive work on Rexroat Building

By Susan Carson
Virginia Happenings
Virginia's Square One, Inc. had a productive work day on Saturday exposing the brick walls inside the Rexroat Building. Thanks to everyone who came to help in spite of the heat and humidity!  The plan is to clean and seal the interior brick walls to keep that historic look about the new space. Then it is on to heating and air conditioning, plumbing and electrical work to prepare the space for use. There will be another work day scheduled at a later date this summer to finish the brick work. In the meantime, several fundraisers will be announced as the group continues to raise money to finish the Rexroat General Store and to begin reconstructing the Old Dime Store to create the new Virginia Community Center. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to Petefish, Skiles and Company Bank, P.O. Box 18, Virginia, Illinois 62691. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Produce is coming on strong and should be plentiful

By Kay Brown
Kate’s Garden Gate
We certainly have had some nice days. In past years it rained a lot on Friday, and didn’t make market day very pleasant. This year it’s rained a lot but seemed to miss Friday.
Business is not what it used to be. There are not as many customers and some of the ones that used to come haven’t been back. We still have a good variety. It has been hard to have something to sell each week, because of the rain and cooler temps, but not many of the same vendors we used to have. Maybe that has made a difference. I don’t really know what the answer is.


IRS is at it again

By Don Chipman
For the Star-Gazette
Once again the IRS, part of the Administration Branch of our government, finds itself embroiled in yet another controversy. This time it is over “lost” e-mails.
How is it just the e-mails from Ms. Lerner’s hard drive are missing? How is it six higher-ups who work in the IRS received the e-mails from Lerner have suddenly become “lost,” while other insensitive e-mails are still in folders or on hard drives?

Outpouring of help reaffirms faith in people

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.

Fact-finding mission leaves aliens bewildered

By Freida Marie Crump
Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
I’ll admit that this doesn’t happen often, but last week an alien spacecraft landed in the middle of the Coonridge Memorial Park. The tavern wasn’t open yet so there was no traffic to speak of and since I’d gotten most of my housework done I shuffled over to see if I could be of assistance. I’ve sat on plenty of church committees so I was used to deciphering strange tongues. Here’s the translation of our meeting as best I can recall:

A most curious little Illinois railroad

By Leigh Morris
Our Place in History
When electric interurban railway fever swept the country at the dawn of the 20th century it often would transform otherwise shrewd men into irrational and even giddy investors.
Such seems to have been the case with Charles V. Chandler of Macomb. A civil war hero, philanthropist, political leader and respected banker, Chandler was not the sort of man who would jump into a highly speculative venture. Then he caught interurban fever.
Chandler decided to build a 20-mile railroad from Macomb south through the small town of Industry to the settlement known as Littleton. Chartered on Oct. 26, 1901, the Macomb & Illinois Western Railway officially opened for business on Jan. 1, 1904.

Summer reading program is ‘Frolicking in the Forest’

By Susan Carson
Virginia Happenings
Don't forget that the Virginia Public Library's Summer Reading Program is underway. Each Wednesday afternoon from 2 to 3:30 p.m. they are hosting a good time full of reading, crafts, games, treats and prizes. The first week is June 18, "Frolicking in the Forest" and week 2, June 25 is Down on the Farm; Moo! Oink! Neigh! Let's Pin the Tail on the Donkey and have fun making sheep.

If I knew then what I know now...I’d be head of tourism

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.