Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Greatest play ever made by Cub Outfielder 40 years ago today

On April 26. 1976 two protesters ran into the outfield with a gasoline drenched American Flag and attempted to light it on fire. Cub outfielder, Rick Monday, who spent 6 years as a Marine Reserve rushed in and took the flag before they could burn it, making it the greatest play in Cub History.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Friday, April 22, 2016

1937 Movie about Robinson Illinois

What a time capsule!.This movie was put together as a form of advertising for the local businesses to be played in the area theaters. I remember some of the buildings around town when I was a kid but most of these landmarks were gone in the 1960's. I know this is my hometown, but it is almost like watching some mythical place in a black and white movie. We have gained so much with technology over the years, but after watching this, I realize we have also lost much. Take a look at Robinson, Illinois as it was 80 years ago. It is worth the watch.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Proud Mary: Credence Clearwater Revival or Tina Turner (Which one is better?)

A question for the ages
Since I am having problems stomaching this year presidential election, I decided to look at a question that needs to be decided once and for all. Which is the better version of "Proud Mary" The original by Credence Clearwater Revival or the Cover by Ike and Tina Turner. Rarely is a sequel as good as the original, let a lone better, but this may be the exception. Watch both and decide.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Zen of Archie Bunker

When I try to pass on my wisdom taught to me by the school of hard knocks to the younger members of my clan; they tend to look at me like I'm Archie Bunker. After watching these videos, I realize that maybe they are right.

We need more political satire today without calling everybody racists, haters and intolerant. Sugar coat everything as much as you want, people and ethnic groups are different and always will be, Embrace our differences and have a sense of  humor.

I doubt that All in the Family could even get on the air today. It was produced in a time when there was a lot of real turmoil, unrest and injustice in the country.  Norman Lear dealt with the issue with comedy through Archie Bunker. It got people talking and we laughed.  People would be screaming for CBS to take the show off the air and the network president's resignation if it aired today. Everyone takes themselves so serious today, comedians won't play colleges anymore. Lighten up young ones and PCers. Life is too short consider yourself a victim. Laugh at your faults and foibles. We are who we are. If you cant laugh at yourself...laugh at others. That's what we Bruce/Catlyn Jenner for.

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Rick Kelsheimer (An opinionated God-fearing redneck cracker square head kraut dirt track racing fan from Flat Rock.)

PS: And yet it still seems acceptable to make fun of Christians and Conservatives. Me thinks some out there speak with a forked tongue.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hutsonville Power Plant Goes Away Forever

Another Crawford County Landmark is gone forever. The Ameren CIPs which has been in operation for my entire lifetime has now dispersed. Not efficient, Dirty Coal and other EPA bureaucratically mumbo-jumbo has been given as the reason. 

Coal burning plants are leaving the country side daily with no replacement plants being built. It will only be a matter of time before the Newton Power Plant falls victim to EPA regulations. As much as the tree-huggers want to save the environment, they haven't come up with a practical alternative energy source. Wind mills and solar panels might be the future, but at the present time, they couldn't come close to meeting our needs. In the mean time...electricity prices will continue to soar and rural America will suffer for it. It may seem like a good idea to get rid of these old power plants.But let's look at what has gone on here.  There used to be a railroad tracks that delivered coal from Danville Illinois to Power the turbines. Hauling the coal by train was very efficient, but then it seemed like a good idea to pull out the rails and track beds during a downturn in the economy. The same tracks that went by the power plant came through  Robinson. Over the years the line was known as the Big Four,
New York Central, Penn Central and Conrail. Conrail was the last effort where the US Government got involved in the management with of course, doomed it forever.
 Power Plant Today
When the gas prices were low, the powers that be felt it was cheaper to haul coal from Indiana by truck. That was fine until gas prices went shy high and the EPA declared Indiana Coal to dirty to burn. Coal had to be shipped in from the Western United States. But wait... there aren't any train tracks leading to the Hutsonville Plant anymore. The Newton Power plant has remained viable for now because coal can be shipped by rail.( How much extra C O2 goes into the atmosphere from locomotives coming halfway across the country?) Probably more than if we would burn the local coal that we have in spades. But I digress.

Know for a fact that coal is being phased out of our country as it should. In fifty or a hundred years when we have the technology to replace it!!!

Political agendas are killing small towns; Especially in Southern Illinois. Think how many good jobs we have lost over the years. Power Plant Jobs, Railroad Jobs, Coal mining and all of the support businesses.

Technology had improved enough to keep the plant viable if Far minded leaders used common sense! Don't kill the horse if you don't have another one to take its place.

For you millennials,.. that means don't get rid of a good inexpensive source of energy to take its place.  I'll eat my hat when I see a nuclear power plant on the Wabash River.

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Rick Kelsheimer

More Good Ideas at the Time
Tear them down and all we have are old pictures

Enough Said

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Pulitzer Prize Winner David Hanners Sings about Betsey Reed

I interviewed Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, David Hanners a few years for a radio program and we discussed his fascination with Betsey Reed.  Originally from Casey, he said he reads all the local history he can get his hands on and then writes songs about a era long gone. David spends his off time performing in small venues where he plays the guitar and sings what could be call part folk songs and part story telling. Here is a song he wrote about the Hanging of Betsey Reed.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Could John Wayne Live in our World Today? I doubt it.

This interview with the Duke took place three years before his death in 1979. He is consistent with his patriotic views of America as he had been thought the years, but is obvious that he realized the country was changing. He looked at the good things America stood for and gazed at her faults through rose colored glasses. Many people today would rip him apart for his hatred for political correctness. Whether you like John Wayne's views or not, you have to have to admit; he was no hypocrite. But really. Would you rather have your views line up with 1970's version of John Wayne or someone like Jane Fonda? I side with the Duke every time.

PS. The short piece gives us a glimpse of John Wayne as a father. It's interesting how close his on screen persona seemed to mirror the real man.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

An Unsung Patriot

Grave of  Private Nathan Berry Farmer
I hear people talking about being a patriot. (And I put myself into this category) Yet, when it comes down to where the rubber hits the road; it’s all talk. The desire is there, but rarely do we have an opportunity to prove it. So we talk the talk, but few of us walk the walk. When we actually accomplish something worthy…are we humble? Sometimes…Sometimes not.
The presidential election is filled with rhetoric from the candidates declaring to be the greatest, bestest and All-Americanest man or woman since Sam Adams dressed up like an Indian and threw a tea party in Boston. Are the candidates humble?  Never.
The freedom that some of us are trying to hang onto, was purchased by our ancestors. Some paid more than others, but in the end, the outcome was our free republic. I want to honor a humble patriot, whom I never met, but am busting with pride to have a small measure of his blood flowing through my veins. His name was Nathan Berry Farmer.
Nathan Berry Farmer was my Great Great Great Grandfather. He was a blacksmith in Tamaroa, Illinois. He was in his late thirties, had a loving wife and a flock of children. And yet when Abraham Lincoln asked for volunteers to save The Union; he volunteered without hesitation despite being old enough to have been excused from serving. He enlisted because he felt it was the right thing to do. He marched away from his family and the safety of his farm to fight for the collective good of others. He fought so that all Americans could be free.
He was a simple average soldier. One of millions who answered the call. He committed no heroic feats that we know of and only served in the Illinois 49th Infantry for a total of 97 days.
Exactly a hundred and fifty-four years ago from last Wednesday, Nathan Berry Farmer along with the rest of Company I, camped near a small chapel in Southern Tennessee, named Shiloh on a bluff above the Tennessee River. Little did he know that an army of 30,000 Confederate Troops were sleeping less than a mile away. General William Tecumseh Sherman was so confident the Rebels wouldn’t attack that he decided not to send out scouts. When the Confederate troops attacked in the morning, his Company was over run. They fought bravely, but in reality, they didn’t have a chance. Because they did stay and fight, they delayed the enemy’s advances long enough for relief troops to arrive and hold the ground. The Union Army won the Battle of Shiloh on the next day. It was the bloodiest day of the war to that point. However, Nathan Berry Farmer didn’t get to celebrate the victory. He was killed during the first day of the battle. The reason he was able to be identified was because he had carried his inscribed Bible in his uniform jacket.
Shiloh Church
No parades to When Johnny Comes Marching Home or The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Nathan Berry Farmer never returned home. His name is on a tombstone in Tamaroa, Illinois next to his beloved wife, but the grave is empty. For giving his life for the good of the country, Nathan Berry Farmer was given a small plot of land, that in all honesty, is the best piece of real estate in the Shiloh National Cemetery.  From his gravesite on a bluff, you have a wonderful view of Pittsburgh Landing and the Tennessee River. Still, it’s not much of a reward for making the ultimate sacrifice.

In our country’s history, there are millions of stories about the ancestors and the price they paid so we could have what we have. Maybe we can’t all be patriots…but we can at least be grateful.

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Rick Kelsheimer  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Times have changed.

Elvis and Marilyn Monroe were considered outrageous and bad influences at the time this picture was taken. Even though they were loved by millions, many considered them to be too provocative for prime time television. Now they are considered wholesome and by today's standard, tame.  Many kids call them lame or boring. So have we come a long way, Baby. Methinksnot! But then on the other hand...I might be getting old. If I catch my self complaining about the music kids play or the lack of work ethic shown by today's youth or the way kids don't...  Never  mind. I'm starting to look in the mirror and see my father.

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Rick  Kelsheimer

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Frog Jumping Contest At Flat Rock

I found this clip and thought some would find this interesting. Back in my day, we didn't have a frog jumping contest, but I did win the Flat Rock Cub Scout Turtle Race in 1971. I didn't mean that I won it; it was my turtle, named myrtle that actually ran in the race. The word run might be misleading. It was more like a frightened crawl, But I kept the blue ribbon anyways. I also won the Pinewood Derby of 1972. Actually, my Dad built the the car and wouldn't let me touch the knife, but I took the glory and once again kept the blue ribbon.

Enjoy the video:

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Rick Kelsheimer

Monday, April 4, 2016

This IS A Big Deal! Private Rocket Blasts off, Goes into Space and Lands at Same Site for the Third Time.

This is big news. Since the US Government doesn't have the ability to put a man in space any more and has to rely on the Russians to taxi us to the International Space Station, the burden of catching up in outer space has fallen to the private sector. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon has a space company called Blur Origin. On Saturday Blue Origin quietly sent the very same rocket into space for the third time. The capsule came down within a few hundred yards of the launch pad and the rocket itself landed upright on the launch pad. This is the third time with the exact same rocket. This is a big flippin deal! It won' be long and Americans will be back where they belong. Shooting the red white and blue back into the vacuum of space. The news media should be all over this story, but they would rather give us Donald Trump insulting a tree huger of Hillary in a leather pants suit pandering to a Bruce Jenner wannabe. I want my Alan Shepherd, John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin back and Kim, Kanye and rest of the Kardashian/Jenner clan kicked back to the curb where they belong. I really believe that people like Bezos and Richard Branson will open up space to the masses. Who are you going to trust? The government who gave us Obama Care or the guy who can put a copy of Stephen King's latest novel on your doorstep in less than 24 hours? It wont be long before there's going to be American-Style Capitalism on Mars. It could be the last bastion in the Solar System.
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Rick Kelsheimer             

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Baseball Tribute to the Cubs: Lee Elia's Rant

Baseball Season Starts Today!!! If the Cubs finally win this year as predicted, Will they still be the Cubbies?: The lovable  losers or will they be just another team?  I( hope not. As a baseball tribute to opening day. Here is Cub manager Lee Elia's rant about the lack of support from Cub fans after a 5-14 start. Unfortunately for Elia, he didn't realize that WLS reporter Les Grobsteins reconder was rolling. Cub Baseball as it was on April 29, 1983.

Warning: Strong Langusge:

Here is a bonus clip on how Hitler(Who is a Cardinal fan) feels about the Cubs off season moves.

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Rick Kelsheimer

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Even Hitler Tries to Attack Donald Trump

The Presidential Election Continues to Take Strange Turns...

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Rick Kelsheimer