Thursday, March 30, 2006


If you're looking for a business opportunity in your retired years, the Maid-Rite corporation of Des Moines, Iowa, wants you.

The company website, full of early pictures of Maid-Rite stands in the Midwest, is now agressively promoting franchises in 18 states, including Arizona and Florida.

The "loose meat sandwich" celebrates its 80th birthday in 2006. Visit the site to see a menu or watch a TV commercial, and remember those days when we could eat anything, any time.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Rare Rainbow

Well, the Davids lost last night: both Bradley and Gonzaga are out of the NCAA tournament. The news about Iraq, bird flu, Arctic ice melt, and the national debt are all pretty bad.

We need some relief, and here it is: photos of a rare winter rainbow. Taken by Dan Bush of Albany, Missouri, they show a rainbow and sunset at Elam Bend Conservation Area near McFall, Missouri on February 2, 2006.

The pictures appear in large format and with informative notes by Mr. Bush at the Missouri Skies web site. The above shot he made with a fisheye lens and it shows the entire rainbow arc.

Next time I feel down about the state of the world, I'll take a look at the world near at hand.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Go Bradley

While supporters of the U of I may be heartbroken by their team's loss to Washington last week, Peoria still has a competitor in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Bradley University.

Founded in 1897 by Lydia Moss Bradley, in memory of her husband and six children, the school grew from an academy-college into a four-year university by 1946. It's now a top business school and home to over 6,000 students. Distinguished alumni include Jack Brickhouse, Chet Walker, Kirby Puckett, and our '58 classmates, Stan Thomas and Ron Wilson, plus Ron's wife, Rita.

Representing the Missouri Valley Conference, the Bradley Braves have made 8 appearances in the NCAA tournament: 1950, 1954, 1955, 1980, 1986, 1988, 1996, and 2006. In 1950 and 1954, they played in the Final Four. This year they beat Kansas and Pittsburgh to reach their first Sweet Sixteen round in 51 years. On Thursday, March 23, Bradley plays Memphis. I'll be watching to cheer them on, and I hope you will, too.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Green Beer Day

No offense--I'm part Irish, too.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tornado Again

This picture is from a large collection on the WMAY news site. You may also see a vivid map of the storm track through Springfield at the SJR site, which has all the breaking news. Here are more stories from our classmates:

Suzanne Lee Boyd lives near Washington Park, which she says has lost about a dozen large trees, including 2-3 over a century old. With her electricity out, conveniences like wireless phones and garage door openers became useless. She lit candles, listened to the radio a lot, and turned in around 7:30 each night until power returned. "I do believe God has us go through crises like this one from time to time to remind us to appreciate what we do have. Many people are still without power & homes."

Judi Dunkel Headrick writes that the storms came 23 miles east to her hometown of Illiopolis, and along the way, they ripped out a cattle farm or two. The last cell arrived at 4:30 am, a scary time to be trying to protect house, four dogs, and a cat. Her chimney cap blew off, so the wind and the rain came howling down, but otherwise no damage. She has friends in Springfeld who are still without power, though they have a generator to keep fridge and freezer going.

Janet Bailey Kerner reports that her subdivision had no damage at all, but "It was a very scary night. The dogs and I slept in the basement under a very heavy oak table until 3 a.m. By then they had downgraded the #3 cell to a very dangerous thunder and lightning storm with wind, but there was no twisting to the storm. That is when I finally went upstairs and went to bed."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tornado Stories

Several '58s who live in Springfield have sent me reports of tornado damage in their neighborhoods or around town. C. E. Welch says "Wabash, North Street, Isles Park, Bergen Park, & Dirksen Parkway between South Grand and Clear Lake really bad--no WTAX tower--"

Judy Vicars Van Hagen writes: "I was lucky enough to be spared any trouble with the first two tornados, and the third storm hit my neighborhood, but only with torrential rain and high straight line winds; no injuries and no damage. I spent a lot of time in the basement with a battery operated radio and my three little dogs while the storms came and went, two being tornados. Luckily, radio station WMAY stayed on the airwaves with an emergency generator all night long, keeping us updated with exactly what was going on and when each storm was coming and where it was headed. WTAX had lost its broadcasting ability with the first tornado and still isn't up and broadcasting as of Tuesday."

She also notes that some 400 electric poles are down, live wires are on the ground, and most stop lights are out. "Many, many businesses along Wabash were demolished. The Barrel Head is gone, Capitol Illini Veterinary Clinic suffered terrific destruction, the list goes on and on. Those streets are actually closed at this point. The businesses in Parkway Point were hit really hard and the motels in that area lost parts of their buildings."

Carolyn Baldwin Quinlan confirms that news with a story about her husband, Ed Quinlan: "Ed had a problem here at home with the heat while I was gone, and checked into the Fairfield Inn. He was dozing on the bed in his third floor room when the window blew in. He ran into the hall and down to one end, but it was blocked by debris, so he ran to the other end and had to almost crawl down the side of the building to get out. I drove by there today and the whole end of the motel is gone. Ed went back yesterday, and they let him get his stuff. He protested because he didn't get his Continental breakfast yesterday morning. Anyway, he is ok, still a bit shook up."

The SJR reports today that 1,548 homes are damaged. No deaths resulted from the storm. One sad note is that many thousands of century-old trees have been lost. The above picture, by Daniel Souther of Springfield, appears in "Storm reader pics gallery #2" at the SJR site. The WMAY site has also published more storm photos.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tornado Update

Meteorologists say the first Springfield tornado crossed Interstate 72 near milepost 92 about 8:20 p.m. The storm was on the ground for 5 1/2 miles over six minutes, entering the city near Cockrell Lane and Constitution Drive, tracking east-northeast. About 300 yards wide, the tornado damaged several businesses from Constitution to Veterans Parkway and Lindbergh Boulevard.

The track widened to four-tenths of a mile as it moved south of Wabash Avenue, between Veterans Parkway and Chatham Road. It widened further to just more than half a mile wide from the village of Jerome to Westchester Boulevard. It then weakened slightly, producing F1 (73 to 112 mph winds) damage as it turned to the northeast. The damage path remained nearly half a mile wide.

The tornado's width decreased to about one-quarter mile as it strengthened again and turned to the north-northeast near Iles Park and the area of Oak and Myrtle streets between Sixth and Ninth streets, blowing roofs off of homes and severely damaging garages and business. The first tornado dissipated just north of Ninth Street and South Grand Avenue, the weather service said.

A second twister then touched down about 8:25 p.m. a quarter-mile north of Bunn Park, tracking to the northeast and doing the worst of its damage in an area bounded by 15th Street and Cornell, South Grand and Pope avenues. Trees, roofs and vehicles were damaged along Old U.S. 54 from New Berlin to Springfield and for several miles to the south.

Once the brunt of the storm reached Springfield, it hit areas all along Wabash Avenue and the Wabash Trail bike path, which runs from Robbins Road to Park Street, damaging or destroying many businesses along its path and homes in the Westchester and Sherwood subdivisions, the village of Jerome and other areas along the way. For details and pictures, visit the SJR site.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Springfield Tornado

A devastating tornado hit Springfield on Sunday evening, ripping across the south side of town, especially Jerome, Parkway Pointe, and from midtown to the Dirksen Parkway. The storm then went northeast through Loami, New Berlin, Curran, and Riverton, leaving behind heavy damage.

Power lines are out, gas lines broken, and many business buildings are destroyed along Wabash Avenue and South MacArthur. Much damage occurred in the Westchester and Sherwood subdivisions. The downtown historic districts were spared.

The Journal Register has a lengthy story on the storm and also several galleries of photos. We are hoping that all members of '58 who live in Springfield are OK and would appreciate any notes they can send, either via e-mail or comments below.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Wayne Canfield

Wayne Canfield attended SHS in 1954-56. The following obituary appeared in the Journal-Register on March 11:

TAYLORVILLE - William Wayne Canfield, 65, of Taylorville died Thursday, March 9, 2006, at St. John's Hospital. He was born May 17, 1940, in Springfield, the son of Jack and Mardel Mathy Canfield. He married Ruth Dunkirk in 1993 in Springfield. A son, John Thomas "Tommy" Canfield Jr., preceded him in death. Mr. Canfield graduated from high school in 1958. He was a U.S. Navy veteran. He retired as a personnel officer for the secretary of state office and was supervisor of the workmen's compensation division. He was affiliated with St. Mary's Catholic Church in Taylorville. He was a member of VFW 4495. Survivors: wife, Ruth; son, Wayne Canfield Jr. of Pennsylvania; three daughters, Karen and Kelly Canfield and Kasey Slatkey; and four grandchildren. Services: 10 a.m. Monday, Sutton Memorial Home, Taylorville, the Rev. Alan Hunter officiating. Burial: Morrisonville Cemetery. A guest book is available here.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Navy Pier: The Other U of I

John Bryden '52 recently learned about this news blog from Bob Shewmaker '58, at a meeting of U of I alums in Washington, DC. After John read my entry on the U of I (see Jan 19, 2006), he sent this note:

"Your comment, '... In our day, only one U of I existed, the campus at Urbana-Champaign. Today the franchise has expanded considerably, to include Chicago and Springfield,' short-changes the other U of I of our day, Navy Pier Chicago, which filled lots of seats in Champaign for the Junior and Senior years." He included the above picture, taken in 1954, of two undergraduates on the balcony above the campus entrance.

John is so right, and I stand corrected. Navy Pier has a long history, beginning its life in 1916 as a municipal pier for freight and excursion steamers. During WW II, the Navy enlisted and trained sailors there, among them my Dad. The U of I used the Pier as a campus from 1946 to 1965. On Feb 3, 2006, alumni of the Pier marked the 60th anniversary of their school with a gathering at the old gym, now the Grand Ballroom.

Today the Pier has a new life as a place for exhibitions, festivals, shops, and museums. It's the top tourist attraction in Illinois, and plans are underway for a major expansion. Many thanks to John for the reminder. He was at Butler till 1949, graduated SHS in 1952, and the U of I in 1956. At one time we were neighbors, as his family lived on the corner of Leland and MacArthur (or West Grand, in the pre-WW II years).

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Kris Hockenyos Tipps

A story in today's Journal-Register reports that Kris Hockenyos Tipps, seen with her daughters, Cheryle Yates (left) and Amy Ritter (right), is retiring and closing Aquaria Limited after 35 years of operation. Located at 2025 So. MacArthur, Aquaria is one of the city's oldest pet shops, offering many varieties of fish, birds, turtles, and other critters to animal lovers throughout town.

Kris started Aquaria in 1970 in the basement of her home on South Glenwood Avenue. Later she had a second shop at MacArthur and Ash before moving to the present location. She's kept her door open despite ice storms, power outages, and shipments sent to those other Springfields in the USA.

Kris will only be semi-retired, for adjacent to Aquaria is her other business, Dolls Unlimited, which she will continue to run from home. If you need a present for a doll-lover, give Kris a call at her home phone, listed in our class directory. Congratulations to Kris on her newfound rest, peace, and quiet!