Friday, June 30, 2006

Bob's Famous Chilli

Yvonne Beveridge sent in this prize-winning chilli recipe that Bob Beveridge got from his uncle, who was a regular at Mae and Ollie's Tavern in Springfield, where the recipe originated. The tavern closed a few years ago and the owners are now deceased (we think).

Yvonne writes that the recipe is "very close to the Steak and Shake Chilli-Mac Sauce...just heat a serving up, pour on cooked pasta, and add a little red beans and ketchup... cheddar, parmesan cheese and onions on top, and enjoy."

She also recommends taking Beano before eating and Tums after. Thanks, Bob and Yvonne, and Happy Fourth of July!

PS: to enlarge the recipe, just click on it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Jo Ankeny Lindamood recently visited Pat Flamm Crowner and her husband, David Crowner, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, site of Gettysburg National Military Park. They toured the famous battlefield sites, including Little Round Top (below) where the 20th Maine held the line and swept Confederate forces down the hill.

Jo writes, "I read about Gettysburg and watched Ken Burns' Civil War series but still did not get the proper feeling until I saw where the fighting took place. Standing on top of Little Round Top and looking down at the rocky slope into Devil's Den and imagining the carnage is incredible."

Gettysburg was a three-day battle, July 1-3, 1863, fought in wheat fields and peach orchards. Losses were heavy on both sides and neither claimed it as a victory. On November 19, 1863 Abraham Lincoln declared that those sacrifices created "a new birth of freedom" that made all American citizens equal. If you can't visit on the Fourth of July, here's a virtual tour.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Chilli Capital

I try to keep controversy out of these pages, but word has reached me that Texas is disputing a resolution of the Illinois state legislature in 1993 that declared Springfield the "Chilli Capital of the Civilized World."

Please note the spelling: chilli versus chili. Chili is an old Texas border dish, originating in the 1840s. Chilli is from Springfield, dating back to creation of the Den Chilli Parlor in 1909. Was the name misspelled or did the Den want to pay tribute to ILLinois?

You may read the history of chilli, and of today's chilli parlors, in this issue of the Illinois Times. At one time, Springfield had more than a dozen parlors selling the spicy bean-and-meat stew. Remember Allen's Cigar Store, near the Post Office? Or the Sugar Bowl, at State and South Grand? The Dew and the Den, who could tell them apart?

The Den survives today as Joe Roger's on 9th Street, near the Lincoln home. They still offer a Firebrand chili, and if you eat one bowl, your name goes up on a wall list. Last time I was there, I saw the names of two nuns from Ursuline Academy. Way to go, Sisters!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Taavo Saviste

More sad news: Taavo Saviste has died. A refugee from Estonia, he entered Butler Grade School in 1952-53. He was a natural athlete and ran track during his SHS years. The text of the obituary from the Journal-Register follows.

SPRINGFIELD - Taavo Saviste, 68, of Springfield died Saturday, June 10, 2006, at St. John's Hospice.

He was born April 8, 1938, in Tallinn, Estonia, the son of Oskar and Olga Kumpus Saviste. He married Nita Norris in 1962 in Springfield. A son, Brian Saviste, preceded him in death.

Mr. Saviste was a U.S. Army veteran, serving with the Special Forces as a Green Beret in Fort Bragg, N.C., and attained the rank of sergeant. He was self-employed for 35 years with a family business, Saviste and Son Builders. He was a member of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Survivors: wife, Nita; son, Robert (wife, Dorothy) Saviste of Cape Coral, Fla.; brother, Ahto (wife, Bobbie) Saviste of Springfield; sister, Ene Hamm of Fort Myers Beach, Fla.; and several nieces and nephews. Memorial services: 11 a.m. Saturday, Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Rev. Glen VankerKloot officiating. Vancil Memorial Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Dale Jeffers

Messages from Jim Herron and Judy Vicars Van Hagen report sad and belated news: our '58 classmate, Dale Jeffers, died on July 26, 2005. The last address we have for him was Winter Springs, Florida. Cause of death is presently unknown. Dale's brother, Lyle Jeffers, is currently in Springfield to attend a memorial service for Dale.

In the absence of an obituary, I compiled this outline of Dale's life from the notes he sent over the years for our Reunion booklets. In Springfield, he attended Harvard Park School. After SHS he attended Bradley University and then entered the Air Force. During his service in Germany, Japan and Korea, he earned credits from the University of Maryland and later completed a degree in industrial management at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

He married Christine Jeffers and they lived in Milwaukee, where he worked in management for Allis Chalmers. They had two sons, Mark and Paul. By 1988 they had moved to Bradenton, Florida, where Dale worked for Siemens Power Corporation. In 1993 Dale reported himself as single; Mark and Paul were then 21 and 18. In 1994 Siemens transferred Dale back to Milwaukee. He attended our 40th reunion in 1998. By 2003 he had returned to Winter Springs, Florida. The last e-mail I had from him was in 2004.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Orpheum Organ

A few entries ago, a question about the Orpheum organ came up and I said it was now in the SHS auditorium. Judy Vicars Van Hagen sent the following information:

The Barton Theater Organ was originally in the Orpheum Theater, used for silent movies and Vaudeville, and is now housed in the SHS auditorium.

It is presently played for public concerts by Mark
Gifford, a wonderful musician in Springfield who has an avid interest in the upkeep, repair, and restoration of this magnificent musical instrument. An Organ Organization raises money for maintaining the organ, supported by money earned at the concerts.

At our 45th Reunion Mark played an organ concert for us (see picture below), and he opened and closed the concert with the SHS Fight Song. Up until that time there had been no keyboard arrangement of the Fight Song, so Carolyn Baldwin Quinlan notated the song for Mark and he composed an arrangement for the keyboard that he played for us at the Reunion concert. It was exciting to hear it played that way!

An excellent story on the Orpheum theatre and its organ appears on the SHS web site. The story notes that the last person to play the organ in its Orpheum site was Wendell Kennedy, father of Alan Kennedy '58.

A little history: the Orpheum company built 45 theatres in 36 cities throughout the USA and Canada. They provided vaudeville and movies until the advent of cable television in the 1980s. Some towns have saved their Orpheums as public auditoriums. For a reminder of that opulent era, see the Orpheum at Galesburg, Illinois.

Mark Gifford at the restored Orpheum Organ,
SHS Auditorium (Barton Theatre)
Picture by J. V. V. Hagen