Saturday, July 02, 2005

Denny's Waitress A Hero!

I sent this email via the Denny's Corporate Website:

Dear President, and CEO, of Denny's,

Your waitress, Amber Deahn, is a hero! Can you think of any other word to describe her? Wow! She makes Denny's look soooooh good of a place to take the family.

I learned during an interview on CNN that Ms. Deahn has a fifteen month old baby. I just bet she could use a raise in pay!

Her quick thinking, and decisive action, shows she's just the type of employee any company would love to have working for them.

I recommend that you increase her salary, bring her into your Home Office, and possibly give her a chance to speak before your company. It would inspire your whole company!

In fact you could take this opportunity to emphasize that Denny's is a "Kid's Safe Place", and show how Denny's reaches out to the community.

Perhaps Ms. Deahn could play a role in that community outreach - as a speaker?

Just look at the following article (edited) taken from CNN! Simply incredible!


Several people who were inside the Denny's restaurant said they immediately recognized the girl, whose picture has been widely circulated in the media, and called authorities.

One witness said the young girl was relaxed, coloring and drinking a soda, before police arrived and detained the man.

Wolfinger said Coeur d'Alene police received a call from a waitress at the restaurant at about 2 a.m. The waitress, Amber Deahn, said she made every effort to keep the girl in the restaurant before police arrived.

"I made sure to make a large shake instead of a child's shake," Deahn said. "We wanted to make sure to take just long enough to where if it turned out to be nothing we could say, 'Hey our shake machine's running a little slow.' "

"We didn't want to cause any suspicion."

One of the cooks said he blocked the restaurant's back entrance in case the man tried to make a getaway.

Coeur d'Alene police detained Duncan at the restaurant until Kootenai County deputies arrived to arrest him.

Deahn said she comforted the girl who burst into tears after police took the man away.

"I would really hope that if my children, God forbid, ever went missing somebody would do the same," Deahn said.

End of CNN Article.

I'm posting a copy of this emailing to you on my weblog (blog). You may find it at:

Most sincerely,

Blessed Sacrament School's Class of 2005

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As an alumni of Blessed Sacrament School (K-8), I am pleased to post this link to the school's official website.

Here's also a link to the Parish's Website.

Blessed Sacrament is located at 748 W. Laurel, in Springfield, IL.

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Check these photos out on 2005's BSS graduates!

It's easy to see how the parochial school acts as an anchor which links the family to the Church. It's also apparent that the Church, and parochial school, links families to other families in the parish community. Harder to see, but perhaps most important, is the role that the Church plays in linking one generation to the one before it. The passing down of moral values, and ancient wisdom, is a task forbidden in the secular public school system. This mission remains the responsibility of the parent, the Church, and parochial school.

The continuity, and certainty, which the Church provides in this world of confusion is priceless. The effect such an institution has upon the family acts to bind the family together even in the worst of times.

While I don't always find myself in agreement with the dogmatism of the Church, I do believe that for the most part the Church has played a postive role in my life as a child, and now as a parent.

Ursuline Convent Auction

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Photo: Auction Sign

Last weekend I visited Ursuline Academy to attend the Convent's "Content's Auction". The campus includes a school, and convent which is located at 1400 North Fifth Street in Springfield, Illinois. Founded in 1857, the Catholic High School Academy's motto is " I will serve."

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Auction shopper walks away with a bit of Ursuline history

The number of women desiring a life of service to God through the sisterhood has fallen, as the role of women in society has changed. Dwindling numbers of sisters has meant consolidation, and closures of convents throughout the U.S.

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Ursuline's Statue of Saint Joseph

I spoke with one nearby resident who expressed concern for the fate of the neihborhood. Just to the South of Ursuline Academy is St. Joseph's elementary school, and to the North is Springfield College in Illinois. The presence of such fine institutions has played an important role in keeping the mood of the surrounding neihborhoods positive - despite the general decline of Springfield's North Side.

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Photo: Ursuline Music Conservatory

While it's true that the facility itself will certainly find use, the departure of the sisters is historic to the neighborhood, and to Springfield.

I have also included photographs of St. Joe's Elementary School, and Springfield College in Illinois.

Not to forget St. Joe's Elementary School to the South.

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Saint Joseph's West Entrance

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Saint Joseph's Gymnasium

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Saint Joseph's Statue of Saint Joseph

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A Modern Saint Joseph's - It looks like a nun's hat, doesn't it?

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Springfield College In Illinois

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Springfield College in Illinois' Ccornerstone

Friday, July 01, 2005

Gus Gordon Story

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Photo: WICS Gus Gordon Under The Weather

I posted a comment on blogfreespringfield, which I've reproduced here for my reader's amusement.

An old buddy of mine told me of a story in which he ended up seated next to Gus Gordon at the Muni.

For those of you reading this blog, and who don't know who Gus Gordon is, please surf to the website. He's the Chief Meteorologist for that television station - located in Springfield, Illinois.

Gus Gordon has also contributed his expertise in acting, and singing in various productions at The Springfield Municipal Opera. The Muni, as it's known locally has an outdoor amphitheatre.

On this occassion, Gus was a member of the audience - not on stage.

My buddy recalled that prior to driving out to the Muni, he had "checked out the sky", and "felt" that it might rain, and so he took an umbrella along with him.

He brought the umbrella out of his car, and ended up sitting next to Gus Gordon.

It promptly began to rain.

My friend popped open his umbrella, and noticed that Gus was getting soaked. Poor Gus it seems was unprepared for the sudden downpour.

Never one to pass up a good dig, my friend looked over at Gus, and said, "Well, I guess you didn't check out the forecast?".

Gus gave him a dreadful look.

An amusing "beat the weather person at their own game" story, which always comes to mind every time I see Gus giving the latest weather forecast.

More on Gus Gordon - WICS Weather Forcaster/Actor-Singer

Here's a link to a site which features Gus Gordon's reviews on Muni Opera Productions. Gus Gordon, actor, singer, meteorologist, television personality, and theater critic - truly a jack of all trades!

A Famous Down Under Gus Gordon Namesake

The Gus Gordon of WICS lives in Central Illinois. Yet, there is another famous Gus Gordon, perhaps a distant relative, living in Australia. The Australian Gus Gordon is a celebrated author, and illustrator of children's books. He looks like a pleasant enough fellow, and I suspect he may have been caught out in the rain without an unbrella once or twice himself - it's no big deal gus!

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Photo: Gus Gordon - Celebrated Children's Book Illustrator

If you're interested in finding more information about Gus Gordon author, and children's book illustrator click on this link.

The photographs of the two Gus Gordon were free-used for educational, and literary purposes only, and all rights to the photograph are retained with the copyright holder.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

St. Jerome & Skull

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Artist: Dürer, Albrecht, 1471–1528

Penny Lane in the 1970's

Visit the following site for more interesting articles on Springfield History:

Back in the 70's Penny Lane was located at the corner of Ash & Macarthur.

At Penny Lane Various products were sold to, how do I put this, were sold to, enhance, that's the word, to enhance the 70's experience. Penny Lane sold such items as cigarette papers for those just too cheap to go out and buy a pack down at the Thrifty's Drug Store (now an auto parts store located at the corner of Cherry and Macarthur). Also, at Penny Lane, could be found an interesting variety of beautifully handcrafted smoking pipes that were far more stylistic than the corn cobb variety dad used to smoke his apple scented tobacco - always a great stocking stuffer.

The real thrill for my buddies, and I, were the of pinball machines!

Enhanced pinball. It seemed very very interesting at the time. Communing with the pinball machine, was similar to becoming a cybernetic organism. One connected to the ball through the plate of glass sometimes through slight movements of one's wrist, other times by picking the machines up and dropping them down, sometimes by gentle nudges, other times by kicking into the machines.

The magic of taking a single quarter, and turning it into twenty games or more was overpowering.

Tilt, and the occassional threat of being kicked out for the evening were the only words we feared - or perhaps it was respect.

When on occassion we did get tossed out of Penny Lane it was just a quick walk over to the Bowling Alley off Macarthur & Outer Park - there we learned to control our passions, and not curse the machines, or nudge them with such intensity. Penny Lane was a fun place to hang out back then. I remember that one of my friends fell into dispair when he was banned from entering Penny Lane for several months after he broke their plate glass window.

Penny lane is in my ears and in my eyes.

David McCullough!

This story ripped from the headlines of the Illinois State Journal Register:

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough will be the first speaker in the new Jim Edgar Lecture Series, sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the University of Illinois at Springfield, McCullough is the author of "Truman," "John Adams," and many other books. He also was the narrator of "The Civil War" on public television and the voice in the movie "Seabiscuit."
The Jim Edgar Lecture Series will be an annual event. The inaugural lecture will take place Oct. 24. Ticket information will be available later.
Read more in Thursday's State Journal-Register.

Let me warn all my readers in advance, tickets will be sold out almost immediately after announcement of their sale.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bush's Spin of the War Speech.

Maybe I was just tired, but I fell asleep about ten minutes into Bush's Spin of the War Speech.

What was it all about?

Help me out, I fell asleep - is the war over, did we win?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Dave on Flag Burning!

Dave at The11thHour has been working overtime covering the Flag Burning Amendment "Controversy". In his latest post regarding this issue he brings up some interesting points.

If a group of flag burners held large placards of American Flags, or perhaps Crumpled Wall Paper that looked just like American Flags, and set them on fire - that wouldn't be a crime under the proposed amendment.

But wouldn't the next step be to make it a crime?

Imagine you'd have a group of flag burners, burning a flag in front of a courthouse, or police station - the mayor, or chief of police would look weak unless he/she ordered dozens of cops with mace, and clubs, to beat their way into the crowd, hoping that someone will resist so that they can justify the brutality.

They'd finally, after breaking many noses, fingers, and heads, of the protestors reach the burning flag - only to find that it was just a pretend flag.

Certainly, this would cause some problems for the police, and govermental entities attempting to enforce the flag burning laws.

The call would be to protect the police, and civil leaders from lawsuits from those victims of police brutality, and false arrest, by passing additional laws forbidding such lawsuits, or making it a crime to even burn images of American Flags.

Now once we're at that point, where burning images of things is a crime were moving into a strange world indeed.

We're entering into the Twilight Zone - creating the type of society which the backers of the flag burning amendment want this nation to become?

The American Flag, at that point will have been turned into a graven image - a sacred idol - with all the attributes, and special treatment of a god.

Think! A man burning the Holy Bible on the one hand stays out of jail, because it is his right to do so under our constitution, but if he then picks up an American Flag, and burns it he goes to jail. There is no denying it, we will have deemed the American Flag to be a god!

Perhaps we could next create temples dedicated to the god of the American Flag. People would have to bow, put their hands on their hearts, and sing the National Anthem, when in proximity to the American Flag, or else risk being made a human sacrifice at the hands of the Priest of the Church of the Divine American Flag.

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Photo: Free-Used & Not Mine

When will this debate be put to rest?

Disclaimer: I have never burned an american flag, and I have never seen an american flag set on flames except on television, or in photographs. Nor have I ever known anyone who has (as a form of political protest) set a flag on fire. I can not begin to understand why any american, with our rights to protest in other ways would chose to burn an american flag. It seems to make no sense to me at all why a protestor would burn the american flag because it places the most powerful of political symbols outside of their embrace - essentially, forever.

Springfield Illinois' Bridge to Nowhere

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Nestled between the City of Springfield Illinois' Municipal Building, and the Police Department can be found a Bridge to Nowhere.

This public space simply begs out for repair - NOT!

The pedestrian bridge was always an awful, cheap looking structure. The symbolism of the bridge was always suspect. It looks out of place, and always did.

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Ugly, oh yes. There's a much better version of this bridge in the movie, The Planet of the Apes!

As the rest of downtown Springfield is getting a sorely needed revamp, what with the opening of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, this public space begs to be put to use.

The entire "plaza" that runs south of the Bridge to Nowhere could become an inviting civic space. This area is situated just north of Capitol Street across the street from the Lincoln Home area on Seventh Street.

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My recommendation is to tear down The Bridge to Nowhere, and erect a very large bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln, perhaps on a horse, surrounded by a modern well lighted fountain. The key here is to make sure that the fountain, and statue can be seen all the way from the Historic Lincoln Home Area on Seventh Street.

The horrible modern art sculture on the "plaza" running between Capitol Street, and The Bridge to Nowhere needs to be donated to some other town or city with poor taste - or perhaps it can be sold for scrap if no one will take it.

Although the treelined "plaza" corridor between Capitol Street, and The Bridge to Nowhere is often used by hobo's taking naps, and lunch time brown baggers from the Municipal Building, and the Springfield Police Department the space is poorly designed, and greatly underused.

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This public space should be opened up, and turned into an invitation to explore the City of Springfield using the proposed statue of Lincoln and fountain to reach out to those visiting the Lincoln Home Historic Area.

I've included some disgraceful photos of The Bridge to Nowhere in this post, I sure hope I haven't offended anyone in doing so for it is so darned ugly!

Note the rust on the warning sign? It has been "temporarily" closed for years. The plaques on the hideous structure itself are unreadable to those still interested. To what could The Bridge to Nowhere be dedicated? Civic neglect perhaps.

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