Wednesday, August 16, 2006

State Fairs

Once again, the Illinois State Fair has come to Springfield. Last August many '58s sent in their memories about this annual institution. The prevailing view was that we recall the Fair fondly and assume it will endure.

Today a story in the New York Times reports that Midwest state fairs are in deep financial trouble. They have lost money steadily, because city folk no longer care about farming (fairs began as agricultural expositions) and they can find more sophisticated entertainment at the flick of a switch.

What can we say? Folks no longer want a carnival ride, soft-ice cream, or a lemon shake-up? Before we all mutter about cultural decline, take a look at this other story in the Times: food competitions at fairs are thriving, but now the contests are over bagels, biscotti, and ostrich burgers.

If you plan to attend, here's some advice in the SJR on how to eat wisely, as befits our senior years. Your comments are welcome!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Leslie and Ann

Now here's a good-looking quartet, left to right: Bob and Leslie Sandlin, with Ann and Dick Hart. In '58 we knew the ladies as Leslie Heinicke and Ann Tobin. Leslie sent me the picture, taken at our 45th Reunion in 2003. She's looking forward to the 50th and sends thanks to our Reunion Committee for all their hard work.

Leslie and Ann both attended Butler Grade School, and their families were prominent in local business. Tobin Jewelers and Heinicke & Company greatly contributed to local employment and commerce. The Tobin company is still active, but sadly, Leslie reports that "the lawn mower factory building on South 8th Street (there since 1902) was a victim of the April tornado."

Leslie and Bob now live in Savannah, while Ann and Dick are in Springfield. Both are active in the Elijah Iles House Foundation and Dick is the current president of the Abraham Lincoln Association.