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Good Living In

West Frankfort

No. 22 Summer 2014 Showcasing the People, Places and Pride of West Frankfort, Illinois

L-R Front row: Jordan Moschino, John Dimmick, Nick Minor, PharmD, Tyler Mathews, Garrett Yadro, Jacob Woolard. L-R Back row: Martin Conaughty, Angela Triplett, R. Ph., Karen Bennett, Dan Woodland, Tammy Woolard, Marianna Woodland, Mark Roe, R. Ph., Wendy Blades, Steve Heyder, Felicia Mortag, Darci Mandrell, R. Ph, Joyce Fogleman, R. Ph/Owner, Lisa Claunch, Judi Markwell. Not pictured: Amanda Davis, Shane Bennett, Shiela Blackwood and Morgan Grigsby

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West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

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Publisher’s Letter

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West Frankfort


like to start out my publisher’s letter with at least a feeble attempt at humor. The only thing that I‘ve heard jokes about lately is the weather. Like, “Isn’t it nice that spring has finally arrived? Oops, you missed it. Oh well it will come around again. Who knows, maybe next month after this little frost we’re having.” I used to laugh at, ‘You know you live in Southern Illinois if you run your furnace in the morning and your air conditioner in the afternoon’. Not so funny. I’m pretty sure we did that several days already this year. Oh well, we’re calling this the summer issue of Good Living in West Frankfort. Who knows if you’ll be reading it on your front porch or beside the fireplace. One thing I am pretty sure of is that you will enjoy what’s in this issue. We held Tim Hasting’s memories of the Caleb Bike Farm over from the last issue, because that one was chock full of stories. But it’s none the worse for wear. Too many great stories is not a bad problem to have. We stumbled upon a couple of reports that fit into the “Local Girl Makes Good” category. I know you’ll enjoy reading about the performing success of Leigh Caldwell and the photographic excellence of former resident, Sally Mitchell. With the 100 year anniversary of Frankfort Community High School scheduled later this summer, we became curious about the school itself and the man who designed it. We hit the jackpot on this one. We knew nothing about him before we started researching and were amazed that William B. Ittner was actually a world-renowned architect. I love this article; I became so fascinated with him that I had a very hard time limiting it to “Just the facts, Ma’am.” I’d love to take a tour all across the country, visiting every one of his several hundred schools that are still standing. Very unlikely that will happen. A true summer story is actually a reprint of one that we published several years ago when we were still doing Good Living in Southern Illinois. Even I had forgotten most of what was in it, and I wrote it! The memories that blew through my mind are like a warm summer breeze with the scent of a Pic burning on the dash. I think you too will like thinking about the Egyptian Drive in again after all these years. We accidentally met Robert Mayernick, when he showed up at our house one day to buy a copy of our book, West Frankfort Back in the Day. Another surprise. His story is actually a Christmas story, but a good story is a good story, even out of season, and his is a great one. We love preserving veteran’s experiences and simply could not risk the chance that his story might never be told. I mean, what if we win the lottery and never put out another magazine? What’s that? You have to buy a ticket? Oh, right. Well then, I guess we’ll see you back here in the fall. Have a great summer.

Gail Rissi Thomas, Publisher Good Living in

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014 3

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS THEY MAKE THIS MAGAZINE POSSIBLE Aaron Hopkins, Attorney ....................... pg. 8 All American Hearing .............................. pg. 15 Baldwin Piano .......................................... pg. 4 Browning Clark Automotive ................... pg. 11 Calico Country Sew & Vac ..................... pg. 14 Dogwood Ridge Bistro & Gifts ........... pg. 31 Dr. Michael Clay, Dentistry ..................... pg. 29 Dr. Stephen Ponton, Foot Clinic ........... pg. 17 E. R. Brown Furniture ....................... pg. 14 Dr. Toni Young-Norman, 23 Frankfort Area Historical Museum ..... Back Gandy’s Auto Body Shop ..................... pg. 31 G. L. Williams Real Estate ...................... pg. 20 Heights Market ........................................ pg. 17 Herron Chiropractic ............................. pg. 30 Howell Insurance ...................................... pg. 9 J & S Professional Pharmacy ..................... pg. 2 Johnson Real Estate ................................. pg. 31 Lucas Bros. Honker Hill Winery ............... pg. 29 McCollom Real Estate ............................. pg. 31 McCord’s Market ..................................... pg. 27 McDonald’s ................................................ pg. 21 Mike Riva, Attorney 4 Morthland College .................................... pg. 14 Morthland College Health Services ......... pg. 14 Nolen Chiropractic ................................... pg. 12 Parker-Reedy Funeral Home ................... pg. 21 Ramey Insurance ....................................... pg. 20 ReMax Realty ........................................... pg. 9 Rich’s Appliances ................................... pg. 7 Rich’s Balloons & Party Shop .................... pg. 17 Sandy’s Flowers & Gifts ............................ pg. 17 Severin Garden Center .............................. pg. 23 Southern Illinois Bank ............................. pg. 9 Stotlar-Herrin Lumber ........................... pg. 7 Union Funeral Home ................................ pg. 13 Weeks Chevy-Buick-GMC ...................... pg. 30 WF Chamber of Commerce ...................... pg. 31 Your Hearts Desire .................................. pg. 9 Contact Michael A. Thomas at 937-2019 if you wish to advertise in “Good Living in West Frankfort”.

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Good Living in

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

Good Living In

West Frankfort

No.22 Summer 2014



Table of Contents


Robert Maynerick spent the Christmas of 1951 stationed in Korea. He shares his story of the night he heard of the Orient No. 2 Mine disaster.


Drive-In movie theaters are almost a thing of the past. But those old enough to remember will enjoy the memories of The Egyptian Drive-In.



Leigh Caldwell was living in Florida when she answered an audtion call to sing the National Anthem at a professional hockey game. Her success led to other opportunities to perform.



William B. Ittner may not be a name that FCHS graduates are familiar with, but we introduce the famous architect who designed not only our high school but many more across the country.



The Caleb Bike Farm at the intersection of Rte. 37 and the CountyLine Road was a popular attraction for kids of all ages in the late 80’s and 90’s. Writer Tim Hastings gives us its history.



Former FCHS librarian Sally Mitchell found a hidden talent as a photograper when she retired.. Find out more and view some of her beautiful pictures such as the ‘Redbird’ featured on the left.



A group of people have been busy making plans for the All-Class Reunion which celebrates the 101 graduating classes of FCHS since 1914. A schedule of events is included.

Good Living in West Frankfort is a magazine about the people, places and pride of West Frankfort. Our goal is to showcase interesting, unique and previously unpublished stories about the citizens, events and places in our community in a positive manner. Good Living in West Frankfort provides businesses the choice to advertise in a high-quality full-color venue at affordable prices. This magazine is free to our readers because of those advertisers.

No portion of this publication, including photos and advertisements, may be reproduced in any manner without the expressed consent of Good Life Publications . ©2014 Cover graphic by Michael A. Thomas:

Good Living In

West Frankfort A production of Good Life Publications 309 East Oak Street West Frankfort, IL 62896 (618) 937-2019

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West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014


Photos courtesy of Robert Mayernick Robert Mayernick (inset) spent nearly a year in Korea, including the bitter winter of 1951.

By Michael A. Thomas


t was on a hillside in Korea on Christmas Eve, 1951, when Robert Mayernick says he first heard the news that his father may have died in a mine explosion. On that dark, cold night, thousands of miles away from home, Mayernick found himself in a bunker—just a crude shelter in a network of trenches— listening to Christmas carols on the field telephone, a sort of mobile radio. “We were on 100% alert expecting everything and anything,” said Mayernick. “After dark you didn’t crank the phone to contact another phone—it made way too much noise—you just blew into it to alert the person on the other end. So this kid on another radio calls up and tells me ‘we have Armed Forces Radio on and they are going to play Christmas carols. Wanna listen in?’ “Sure,” I said. “They had just started playing them when the announcer interrupted with a special bulletin saying


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that there had been a coal mine explosion in West Frankfort, Illinois.” “I knew there were three or four coal mines in West Frankfort but the announcement didn’t say which mine had had the explosion.” Mayernick told his Lieutenant the news and the officer took over the phone to see what he could do to find out more information. “He called me over about 25 minutes later to tell me that the news is saying that the shaft is 550 feet deep. I knew then that it was Orient No. 2, the mine that my dad (Joseph Mayernick) worked at, and I knew he was working the night shift.” Like family and friends of other West Frankfort miners involved in the Orient No. 2 disaster, there was little that Mayernick could do that night but to pray and hope for a miracle. But unlike them, Mayernick was in a hostile land facing a brutal enemy that could attack at any minute. He was experiencing a feeling of complete

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

helplessness and isolation. More news about the disaster began to trickle in. There was a report from mine superintendent John Foster. “I knew him. He only lived three or four blocks away from my house. He was a customer at the filling station I worked at, and I used to pump his gas.” The little comfort it gave Mayernick to hear John Foster’s name did nothing to lessen his worries about his father’s fate. Mayernick finally got the message that his father was safe. “They got in touch with a UP correspondent who got the word that my father didn’t go to work that night. I learned later that because it was the last shift before the miners started their Christmas break he had decided not to go in that day.” It was a decision that saved his life. “I got the best possible Christmas gift of all,” Mayernick said. “A message home that my dad was OK.” Now all Mayernick had to worry about was getting home from Korea. The 1948

FCHS graduate had been drafted into the war in 1950. He was 21 at the time and received special training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. “It was similar to what later was known as the Green Berets,” Mayernick said of his training. “I was a spotter assigned to a heavy mortar company. I was in Korea for 10 months and 10 days, and we moved around quite a bit.” But on Christmas Eve, 1951, Mayernick was still not out of danger. “Someone came to my bunker at about 1:00 AM and pulled me down the line. They had seen something move in front of us but it was so dark—cloudy and no moon—that you couldn’t hardly see your hand in front of your face. We watched and waited until daybreak.” It was now Christmas morning and Mayernick was not prepared for what he saw next. “About 50 yards away from our trenches, the Chinese had put up a small Christmas tree; it was about three feet tall. They had dug a small hole and put the tree in it and then put rocks around the base to keep it upright. We didn’t know what to think of it.”

“Joe Chink & Brothers” is the handwritten signature on the Christmas card Robert Mayernick found just a few yards from his bunker on Christmas morning, 1951. Both sides used propaganda extensively to reduce enemy morale and encourage desertion.

Curious, three men, including Mayernick, cautiously made their way to the tree. “They had laid Christmas cards, about a dozen of them, on the branches. We didn’t know if they had booby-trapped it or not, so we wrapped some commo wire (communication wire similar to telephone line) around the base of the tree and went back to our trench. We pulled that tree over, and when it didn’t go off we knew we were safe.” Mayernick managed to keep one of the Christmas cards and bought it home with him. “They were always trying to do something to hurt our morale. When they would leave a position, they would leave us pamphlets telling us to quit fighting. I remember picking one up and glancing at it. I stuck it in my jacket. I couldn’t look at it for 3 days.” The pamphlet consisted of two scenes. One depicted a family about to sit down to a traditional Christmas dinner in a warm, cozy dining room. The other was a photograph of a G.I. outdoors, bundled up against the cold wind eating a can of frozen rations. The contrast was startling. “I can’t say that it never got to you. Sometimes it did.” In 1952 Mayernick was relieved of active duty in the Army but was put on active reserve until 1956 when he received his discharge papers. “After Korea, I went back to Villa Good Living in

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014


Provided by R. Mayernick

Photo by Michael A. Thomas

Park, near Chicago, went back to being a bricklayer,” Mayernick said. He married, had three children and moved to southern Illinois when he retired. He currently lives in Marion.

“I can’t say it never got to you,” said Robert Mayernick about the Chinese attempts at propaganda. “When I first saw this lying on the ground I stuffed in my pocket. I couldn’t look at it for three days.”

Robert Mayernick currently lives in Marion, Illinois

Aaron M. Hopkins

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Re m e m b e r i n g

Photo Courtesy of French’s Studio, Herrin IL

The Egyptian Drive-In

By Gail Rissi Thomas

and the Marlow Drive-In, later named the Riviera, on the north side of Herrin.   And there was one between Carbondale and     Ahh, Saturday night.  1950?  1960?   Murphysboro, the Starlite in Harrisburg Family night if you were very young.  Date and the Holiday in Du Quoin.  I have no night or buddy night if you were a teen.  It memory of those theaters, because on drive often found us dragging Main, stopping in night we usually headed to the south end here or there to chat with friends or arrange of Herrin on Route 148 to the Egyptian a meeting place, languishing at Teen Town Drive in, the Cadillac of drive in theaters, above Pen Yu Drugs, and of course hitting the one that made an indelible mark on Orval’s at least once for a world’s best Southern Illinois history. burger.  But summer nights, a “real” date,     When I began talking to people about when the Strand had been ruled out as a their memories of drive-in theaters, mainly the Egyptian, I found that the impressions destination, we headed to the drive in.        Drive-Ins were pretty plentiful in the seemed to be saved in categories, and many area in the Fifties and Sixties.  We had the of them were very similar. Most people, like Midway, appropriately named, as it was myself, remember the food—not the food midway between Frankfort and Benton, that was sold at the concession stand—but especially handy for those of us not allowed the food brought from home: big brown to drive too far.  In later years it was paper bags of homemade popcorn, some renamed the Rend Lake Theater.   There type of cooler filled with Coke or Kool-Aid, was the Marion Drive-In, located on the not an ice chest with individual bottles, but west side of Route 37 north of Marion, probably a large family-sized thermos with


Good Living in

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

an icy drink poured into everyone’s cup. There was no end of the variety of food taken to the drive-in and eaten in the car, often before the projector even started to roll. My mother even fried chicken or made homemade pizza to take along. Looking back now, it must have been a mess. Everyone remembers the speakers on the pole that clipped to your window. Some were better than others, and often we would switch parking places several times until we found one that worked without static. A message on the screen at the end of the film warned patrons to please remember to replace the speaker on the pole before driving away. Another reason for swapping parking spots several times was getting away from a car full of whining kids or a crying baby. Later of course, the movies soundtrack was broadcast by tuning into an FM station on the car radio. Technology was on the rise.  

Photo Courtesy of French’s Studio, Herrin IL

The Egyptian had a playground up near the screen, and in the earlier years it was vitally important to me that we arrived before dusk with plenty of time to play on the swings and merry-go-round. My memories of the playground are sketchy, but in talking to people about the drive-ins, I was thrilled to find several men still in the area who had worked at the Egyptian Drive-In as teenagers and remembered more about it than most of us ever knew. So many people told me that they stopped about a quarter mile away from the entrance to allow a couple of the kids to get into the trunk on nights when everyone needed a ticket, as opposed to special deal “Buck Nights,” when the price was a buck a carload. On any night, but those nights especially, you would see people bring lawn chairs or spread a blanket on top of the car to allow the moviegoers a little more breathing room.  Perhaps if everyone had paid that actually got into the gate, driveins would still be thriving today.  Probably not!   Another common recollection in everyone’s memory of the drive-in theaters were the mosquitoes. “I think that John Marlow built a drive-in in Herrin for one reason,” says Herrin businessman, Richard Pisoni. “He couldn’t stand the fact that there was a drive-in in Herrin and it wasn’t his. But he had one problem that he couldn’t overcome,” he added. “He had built the Marlow in a swamp, a low lying area where the mosquito problem was terrible. There was just nothing he could do to overcome it.”   Marlow’s probably sold the same mosquito abatement gimmick that was available at most other drive-ins, including The Egyptian.  Pic Mosquito Repellent was sold at both the ticket booth and the concession stand. “The Pic was a coil that you set up on your dash,” Pisoni explained. “You would light it (that’s when all cars had cigarette lighters) and supposedly it would repel the mosquitoes. It would stink up your car and burn your eyes, but I don’t know that it ever kept a mosquito away. I know we would wonder, ‘Is this really worth it?’”   Herrin resident, Monte Franklin, had a lot of memories to share about the Egyptian Drive-In. “When I was a youngster, my parents went to the drive-in a lot. It was all about entertainment,” Franklin said. “And I don’t mean just the movies. There was always a double feature and that meant a pretty long night of entertainment. The Egyptian had the top of the line movies. 

An aerial photograph shows the Egyptian Drive-In soon after it opened in 1948. The small screen was eventually enlarged to 125 feet wide and about 80 feet tall. It was billed as ‘the largest outdoor screen in the world’, a claim that was hard to prove or disprove at the time.

Even at intermission there were always things going on. For example, your ticket had a number on it, and, at intermission, they would draw numbers for prizes.” “Here’s something else they did at intermission. Back then, it was still legal to have a spotlight on your car. I remember they used to play a game at intermission.

I think it was called Spot or something like that. They would shine a spotlight on the screen and everyone would use their spotlights to try to follow it, you know, see who was the fastest and most agile to get to it first when it would move quickly. No winner. No prizes. It was just simple entertainment. The concession stand

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West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014 11

had a flat roof. They used to have live entertainment up there during intermission too. Hank Wright, a radio DJ from WJPF was there a lot playing country music. We rarely went to the concession stand much to buy stuff to eat, but I do remember my favorite thing was that sometimes I would get an ice cream Dixie Cup there, and they’d give you a little wooden paddle to eat it with. I loved that.”

Franklin added. “Cars used to line up along that road coming in from both directions, then turn into the drive-in toward the ticket booth. Eventually they built new Route 148 along side of it. You could pull up on either the north or the south side of the ticket booth and buy your tickets either side. They sure lined up. I think that Marlow got a lot of their business when people waited too long in line at the Egyptian and gave up saying, ‘Let’s go somewhere else.’” As I talked to people about the Egyptian Drive-In, one contact led to another. The area is a treasure trove of memories with many of those memories coming from men who worked at the drive-in and know the history and the facts about the operation. Names that were suggested in that category were almost too many to follow up with interviews. Don Falknor, Glenn Reed, Larry Walker, Don Brandon and brothers Ivan and An unidentified worker cleans the concession stand. In addition Gary Cravens were all employees to popcorn, soda and candy the Egyptian sold hamburgers, of the Egyptian. hot dogs and barbeques as well as homemade ice cream.   The Egyptian Drive-In first opened in 1948, and, although everyone   “You know, the road that ran along the thinks of it as a Herrin establishment, it was front side of the drive-in was old Route 148,” actually in the city limits of Energy. Wayne and Alene Smith built it, although Gary Cravens, of Marion, who worked for the Smiths for many years, recalled that it began as a partnership between Smith, Harold Greer and Hazen Coleman. “I’m not sure

exactly how that came to be,” Cravens said. “I think it was probably Wayne Smith who had the idea and then maybe Coleman with the money for the project. I really don’t know. I think at some later date, Smith must have bought the others out.” “There was a little children’s train that ran around the back part of the drive in,” Franklin said.  “I believe it was originally owned by Greer, but may have been bought out by the drive-in. The Egyptian had a playground for children that was above and beyond expectations. In addition to swings and a merry-go-round up near the front of the screen, there were several motorized rides more like the type of amusement found at a carnival.” “There was a carousel that I know was still in operation in 1960,” reported Gary Cravens. “There was also a Willy’s Fire Truck. It was a little fire truck that pulled a cart with a row of seats on both sides for kids to ride on.”   Although both Ivan and Gary Cravens worked at the drive-in, it was Gary, the older of the two, who worked there the longest.  “They had ponies that lived in a barn there on the grounds,” Gary said. “My first job with Wayne Smith was getting out the ponies, cleaning them up and saddling them. Then we’d put the kids on them and lead them around on a ring. I think I was about eight years old at the time. Over the years, I did just about everything you could do working at a drive-in, except run the projector. I worked the box office, maintenance, and concession stand. We had a pretty good concession stand. We sold hamburgers, hot dogs and barbeques in addition to the popcorn, soda and candy. During the day, I helped Wayne make the homemade ice cream that we sold.”   “The Egyptian’s screen was huge, so

The Marlow Drive-In, also called the Riviera Drive-In, was located north of Herrin on Rte. 148. Built in a low-lying area, it had problems with mosquitoes.

Photo Courtesy of French’s Studio, Herrin


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West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

big that the bottom of it was used for storage. The actual movie screen started about 35 feet up from the ground. It had to so that the people in the very back row could see the movie, although the people in the back row weren’t watching the movie anyway,” he laughed.   Don Falknor of Herrin worked at the Egyptian for 10 years. As film projectionist, Falknor was in charge of setting up the movies. Each film would have between three to five reels, which would have to be set up in order. “I would arrive on Friday morning and set platters for the weekend. Then on Monday I would come in and tear it down and ship it out to the air port next door.”    I worked the concession stand too,” Falknor recalled. “We sold Charlie Burgers, funnel cakes, popcorn fried in peanut oil, giant pickles, hot dogs, corn dogs and home made potato chips.”      . “Everybody who came in was given a garbage bag and a ticket that had a number on it. People would fill out their tickets with their name and where they were from. We would put the tickets in a hopper and then during intermission we would draw for prizes. We gave away prizes every night: ball-caps, tee-shirts, 2-liter bottle of Pepsi, free tickets for food and cash.”      The tickets also served another purpose. “After the movie started we would go through the tickets and see where people were from,” explains Falknor. “We would get people from all over. Sometimes there would be visitors from England or South America.”  Falknor estimated that the average crowd was between 100 -150 cars a night. “Our biggest crowd was 730 cars. We showed ‘The Blair Witch Project’ and Alene billed it as a Halloween Special. We had to set up a special drink trailer for that one to handle the overflow from the concession stand,” Falknor says. “The second biggest night was 640 cars, and that was when we showed “Mission Impossible” with Tom Cruise.”      Being an outdoor theater, weather could make things interesting for the patrons. “We would show the movies rain or shine,” Falknor said. “But sometimes lightning would shut us down when the power would go out briefly. Late in the season, fog could be a problem. I remember one night when we had to wait until 1 AM to finish. We even had snow once. It was mid-November during the last weekend of the season and we had an early snow. The temperature was about 25 degrees but we had about 30

faithful cars out there.”   The Egyptian Drive-In was once billed as having the largest movie screen in the world. That may or may not have been accurate. It was pretty easy to make statements about things like that before the Internet was around to refute your claims. Nevertheless, it was certainly the largest that anyone around here seemed to be aware of. “The original screen wasn’t that large, but they later built onto each side of it and it was about 125 feet wide and about 70 to 80 feet tall,” Gary Cravens said. “I remember that because we used to have to climb up along the top to change the bulbs on the lights that shined out on the lawn.”      The first drive in movie was opened in Camden, NJ in 1933. In Illinois the number of outdoor theaters reached their peak in the late Fifties and held their own until the early Seventies. During the peak there were 120 drive-ins throughout the state. Today there are only 12 drive-ins operating in Illinois, and an estimated 357 in the United States.   The drive in theater closest to us is in Newton.  At the first publication of this article, there was an operating drive-in at Salem.   Apparently, it has met its demise as so many others. As for the Egyptian, the advent of more television stations in the Sixties gave all theaters a run for their money, and by the Seventies when air conditioning became a necessity instead of a luxury, even high box office prices and outrageous concession

stand prices thinned the long lines at the drive- ins. The Egyptian was no exception. Kerasotes Movie Chain bought the Egyptian in 1974, and in the early Eighties returned it to Wayne Smith’s widow, Alene. She returned to the area and made an attempt off and on to run movies there. She turned the concession stand into an elaborate full service restaurant with a tropical theme serving such exotic entrees as alligator tail and lobster. In 2002, after a valiant effort, The Egyptian Drive-In went dark for the last time.   I was questioning my husband about his drive-in experiences when he was young. It was no surprise that many of his memories of the movies, the food and the hot summer nights were the same at the Starlite DriveIn in Kankakee as they were at the Egyptian in Herrin. Only with seven boys in their family, they may have been the car that my dad would park next to for a few moments and then decide to move on to find a quieter spot.  But for us baby boomers, drive-in theaters are one of those magical icons of Americana that is etched in our common experience.    Whether it’s Jimmy Stewart saying, “Well thank you Harvey, I prefer you too,” or Brian De Wilde screaming, “Come back Shane, Come back,” the impression was more than one left in our fantasies by the stars of the golden screen. It was more about the memories of those golden days and the simplicity of those golden years.

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Oh Say Can You Sing?

West Frankfort’s Leigh Caldwell has sung the National Anthem for several professional sports teams

Steinbrenner Field in Tampa Bay, Florida, is the spring training home of the New York Yankees and just one of many venues where Leigh Caldwell has sung The Star Spangled Banner.

By Michael A. Thomas


ot too many vocalists have had the chance to sing in front of thousands of people and receive thunderous applause after the last note has been sung, but Leigh Caldwell has done just that, and not just once, but numerous times. The 1990 FCHS grad has sung the “Star Spangled Banner” at several professional sporting events. Caldwell began her singing odyssey while living in the Tampa Bay area. “The Tampa Bay Lightning (National Hockey League) held an open-call audition for anybody interested in singing the anthem. I didn’t think it would happen, but I got it.” In fact, Caldwell was one of only four people chosen to sing at the Lightning’s home games, which meant she sang multiple times during the course of a season. “I had never been to a hockey game before, but I learned to like it. I am still a fan of the Lightning,” Caldwell said. Since the NHL also features several Canadian teams, Caldwell had to learn to sing ‘O, Canada’, the Canadian National anthem, and that lead to a job singing the national anthem for professional baseball teams. “In 2000, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays—


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they later dropped the Devil and became just the Rays—were playing the Toronto Blue Jays and the singer for the anthem cancelled. The Devil Rays contacted the Lightning front office and asked if they could give them names of any singers who could do both anthems,” Caldwell explained. “ I didn’t have to learn ‘O, Canada’; I already knew it, and so I got the job.” The baseball Rays must have liked what they heard. Once Caldwell got her foot in the door, she was asked to sing for the Rays spring training games. But she didn’t stop there. Since there are several major league baseball teams that spend spring training in Florida, Caldwell auditioned for other teams and sang at some of their games as well. “I sang for the Pittsburg Pirates (Bradenton, FL), the Cincinnati Reds (Sarasota), the New York Yankees (Tampa Bay) as well as for the Tampa Bay Rays who actually train in Port Charlotte. Spring training games are a much more relaxed atmosphere than regular season games. Players will interact with fans. It’s a lot of fun.” “I sang along with a track when I sang at the Lightning games, but for the baseball games it was always a cappella. The sound

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

systems at the spring training stadiums are not as good as those at the major league parks, so there was always a one or two second delay in the sound. You just learn to block it out and just sing,” Caldwell said. In 2001 and 2002, Caldwell sang at a regular season game for the Rays. “I didn’t have to audition. They just invited me to do a game.” She also sang for a Pittsburg Pirates regular season game. Caldwell said she never forgot the words or made a mistake in any of her performances. “Oh sure, some performances were better than others, just like anything else.” As for the high note on ‘the land of the free’, which has been the downfall of many a singer, Caldwell “just sang it pretty straight. It’s too risky if you don’t get it.” Singing the national anthem did have its benefits. In addition to the brief moment of fame, there is some compensation. “I usually got 4 tickets when I sang at spring training games but no money. When I sang for regular season games I would receive $75 to $200 plus two tickets.” Caldwell had a daughter in 2003 so she has quit singing the anthem, at least temporarily, but she would jump at the chance to sing for at least one more team. “I am a lifelong Cardinals fan. I would like to sing at a Cardinals game.”

From The Ridiculous To The Sublime



here have been many styles and renditions of our National Anthem ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. Rock legend Jimi Hendrix may have been the first to stretch the musical boundary of the Star Spangled Banner with his iconic—although some may say controversial—rendition at Woodstock in 1969. Until that time, it was expected that performers would ‘follow the rules’ when it came to playing the anthem. The guitar-playing Hendrix did not sing any lyrics, but what he did with his guitar is still controversial to this day. Played at the height of the Viet-Nam war, some say his performance was actually an anti-war statement. Hendrix used copious amounts of amplifier feedback, distortion, and sustain to replicate the sounds made by

rockets and bombs ‘bursting in air”. Three weeks later Hendrix answered the critics with this statement: “We’re all Americans ... it was like ‘Go America!’ We play it the way the air is in America today. The air is slightly static, see”. Roseanne Barr probably set the bar as low as it can be set in 1990 when she screeched her way through an unforgettable rendition of the anthem at a baseball game. As several in the stadium booed, Barr grabbed her crotch and spit, mimicking, she said, what she had seen baseball players do all her life. Hopefully, Barr had never seen players acting that way during the playing of the anthem. For her efforts, Barr received heavy media attention, including a comment by President George H. W. Bush, who called the incident ‘disgraceful.’

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Billy Coffey lives with his wife and 2 children in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. A product of his small-town locale, Billy counts as assets his rural authenticity, unwavering sense of purpose, and insatiable curiousity--all of which tend to make his front porch a comfortably crowded place. Snow Day is his first novel. You can also find him at his website: Good Living in

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014 17

William B. Ittner

FCHS’ Architect Extraordinaire By Gail Rissi Thomas


any West Frankfort residents would be surprised to learn that we have a building on our Main Street that was designed by a world famous architect.   Most of us have never heard of him, but the man was a fellow and life member of the American Institute of Architects and in 1903 was named President of the Architectural League of America.  He has been described as the most influential man in School Architecture in the United States.  William B. Ittner died in 1936, but Frankfort Community High School stands as one of over 430 schools nationwide that remain as a testament to his talent and his vision. Thirty-five buildings designed by him are on the National Register of Historic Places.      Ittner came from a family of overachievers, learning to use his abilities to the utmost and practicing a work ethic that he probably learned from his father.  Anthony Ittner had to leave school at the age of nine to work in the lead factory in St. Louis.  As an adolescent, he learned the trade of a bricklayer and managed to start his own brick-making business with his brother Conrad.  He was elected to the St. Louis City Council, served several years in the Missouri State Legislature and, in 1877, was elected to Congress.        His political life was dedicated to establishing trade schools for young men, and, in 1888, he saw his son, William graduate with the very first class of the


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Washington University Manual Training School.     Although Ittner and his architectural firm is known for many famous buildings in St. Louis and throughout the rest of the country, such as the Missouri Athletic Club and the St. Louis Scottish Rites Cathedral, most of his career was dedicated to the building of schools.  Determined that he would not design schools like the ones he had attended, closed-in brick boxes, Ittner introduced what became known as “The Open Plan.”  Quoting Cameron Collins in Urban Living, “His new school designs used natural

lighting, open spaces, unique classroom designs, attractive exteriors, and improved safety features. Instead of a simple four-sided box, his schools implemented E-, U-, or H- shaped floor plans. Corridors were lined up along large windows, allowing sunlight to spill in and fill open spaces.”

Taken from the 2nd floor stairwell of FCHS, this photo shows Ittners strong belief that a school building should allow as much natural lighting as possible spill into the hallways and classrooms.

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

Photo by Michael A. Thomas

Thinking about Frankfort Community High School, it is easy to picture characteristics that were evident in Ittner’s schools. The fireplace that was originally a part of the school library, the unusual details on the outside of the front of the school, and sky-lights strategcially placed on the roof, all went above and beyond the typical simplicity of a school building.         Ittner would design over fifty schools in St. Louis alone over the next eighteen years, and is credited with the design of the Soldan high school which had an enrollment of 1600 students.  Soldan, which is still in use today, became known world wide as the largest high school in America. His national reputation brought, architects, educators, and tourists to St. Louis from around the world to see his designs in person.      There are few details, or at least we were not able to uncover them, concerning exactly who in West Frankfort’s school board or administration decided that we should enlist William B. Ittner to design Frankfort Community High School.  Surprisingly enough, Ittner Architectural Firm is still a thriving business limited only to school design, with offices in St. Louis and Fairview Heights.  They still use the Ittner name, although there are no descendants currently associated with the firm.        A phone call to the main office put me in contact with an employee who was pleasant and very eager to search their files for information about the West Frankfort High School.  She told me that it was

Photo provided

According to author Cameron Collins, William Ittner thought of the exterior of a school building as a canvas for works of art. “ His father owned a brick factory, so he knew how to utilize different colors and textures of brick to create appealing designs. He incorporated towers, cupolas, and grand entrances that made schools look like civic monuments instead of plain brick boxes. Most importantly, his schools were designed to create a safe, healthy, and warm environment that fostered learning.” The photograph shows the X brick work design that appears on many of Ittner’s buildings. The inset, from Ittnet’s original architectural plans, indicates the ornamentation on this facade was to be done in ‘carved stone’. Photo by Michael A. Thomas

St. Louis’ majestic Continental Building was designed by Ittner in 1929.

commissioned in 1910, which is the date that the agreement was made to hire the firm. That is of interest, as the student body did not move into the school until September of 1920. She said that Ittner often made notes, including impressions, ideas and conversations on note cards and signed every one of them. She was hoping that perhaps something about West Frankfort might exist in their files, but unfortunately that was not to be.  She did however, find Ittner’s original drawing of FCHS with his signature, and was happy to e-mail it to us. It should be noted that all three stories of the two back wings of the school were not in the original design but added years later. 

Left: Looking very much like FCHS’s Paschedag Auditorium, Kathie Ludela stands on the stage of the former Niagara Falls High School Auditorium.One of dozens of Ittner’s schools placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the high school now serves as the home to the Niagara Falls Art and Cultural Center.

    Information about William B. Ittner and images of many of the schools he designed is plentiful on the Internet.  In researching some of this general information we found a photograph of the auditorium at Niagara Falls, NY, one of Ittner’s designs.  The Niagara Falls High School, no longer used as a school, has been converted to a cultural arts center and is a popular and vital part of the community.  The photograph of the ceiling in the Niagara Falls auditorium, while not a duplicate of ours, does show an Art Deco influence similar to that of Paschedag Auditorium.      FCHS Class of 1930 graduate, Zella Spani, recalls, “I remember when I was

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West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014 19

a freshman, that is the first time that I remember learning the word, ‘proscenium,’ the arch that separates the audience from the stage.’ That’s funny, but I remember learning about that and learning that that was something of an unusual, or perhaps prestigious thing, to have in your high school auditorium.”          FCHS graduates Alice and Phyllis Hays have another memory

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Above: The ceiling of Paschedag Auditorium has not been painted since the school was built. The colors of the original paint, now faded decades later, come to life (inset) with digital photography enhancement. Right: The original wooden seats of the auditorium, although uncomfortable by today’s standards, did sport Art Deco trim on the aisle seats. It is unclear whether Ittner designed either the ceiling or the seats. Photos by Michael A. Thomas

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West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

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Perhaps never used but still functional, a fireplace, one of Ittner’s trademark design features, occupies what once was the library. The room has since been divided in half to accommodate two computer labs. The ornate enameled plaque (below) above the fireplace reads ‘There is no frigate like a book to bear us lands away’ a quote by the great American poet Emily Dickinson.

The alcoves at either side of the main entrance to FCHS were designed to hold statuary or ornamental vases for flowers. Today they sit empty and it is not known if they ever fulfilled their original purpose. The conrnerstone at the base of the alcove is dated 1920 and engraved with William Ittner’s signature.

of the FCHS auditorium. “My father was one of the painters who painted the ceiling in the auditorium,” Phyllis said.  “I don’t know much about it, but it was in the early 1920s.  Until that time, it wasn’t completed.  If you looked up, you could see the open beams and the rafters.  When that was all closed in is when it was painted.  I know that he was paid by the WPA and was very grateful to get the work.  My sister and I didn’t graduate until 1940, but I recall that when we ever had an event held in the auditorium that included the entire student body, there was not enough room for everyone,” Phyllis said.   “ The freshmen boys would have to remain standing.”      So even though you are used to seeing it, the next time you pass Frankfort Community High  School, see  it as a monument to history for many reasons, a living landmark that proves West Frankfort at one time had only the very best that money could buy.     

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West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014 21

The Caleb Bike Farm

Photo courtesy of Dan Rodden

Joy and Purpose

By Tim Hastings


Caleb Bike Farmer Ivan Rodden (right) helps a toddler feed Charlotte Bronte, the Angora Goat, at a Caleb Bike Farm Petting Zoo display at HerrinFesta Italiana in Herrin, Illinois, in the early 1990’s

rankfort Community High School graduate Dan I. Rodden started sprouting beans in a glass jar on his kitchen window sill about 1988 when he was in his mid-40s. The project grew into The Caleb Bike Farm Petting Zoo which was located in West Frankfort from 1990 to 1998. Dan, his wife Lee, and their three children, were living in the Chicago suburb of Cary, Illinois, directing The Caleb Campaign youth ministry, when Dan observed that “having fun” was replacing fruitfulness as the goal of many people. He began


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the bean project because he believed the Bible’s teaching on fruitfulness was the path to purpose and joy. He marketed the sprouts to friends and neighbors and added practical farm experiences to his youth Bible classes. The classes met in a greenhouse attached to his garage. Dan taught children age six and older to raise and sell vegetables in order to become fruitful rather than wasters of time and talents. The class composed a song that went something like this: “Be a faithful, fruitful farmer; not a wimpy, whiney waster”. The students became known as bike farmers because they rode bicycles to sell

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

their produce door-to-door. The ministry was named for Caleb, the Hebrew warrior who followed Moses out of slavery in ancient Egypt. The Roddens expanded the classes to include caring for sheep and llamas boarded at a farm near their home. The bike farmers helped feed the animals. They also cleaned, carded, and spun wool. The family moved to West Frankfort in 1990 and purchased a farm of several acres at the corner of Illinois Route 37 and County Line Road two miles south of town. They continued teaching classes and began

offering tours of a zoo featuring a Capuchin monkey, camel, ostrich, wallabies, and numerous other exotics. The Southern Illinoisan newspaper showcased the farm on the cover of its Sunday Gallery section shortly after the farm opened. The story featured photos of youth from the Trinity United Methodist Church of West Frankfort helping feed animals and bale hay during a farm tour. Rodden said one of his most memorable experiences while giving tours of the farm began when a visitor spotted something unusual. “We were doing a tour with about 40 to 50 kids and the teachers and parent sponsors,” Rodden said. “One of the kids pointed out that one of the llamas had something hanging out of its posterior. We looked over and there was a mama llama having a baby and she was having trouble, so I had to excuse myself from being the tour guide and become ‘Midwife Dan’. “The kids and the teachers were glued to the fence around the pen and had a great time watching the baby llama be delivered,” Rodden said. “The teachers called up later and said it was the best field trip they had ever had.” The Roddens hosted field trips for approximately 32 elementary schools each May at the farm. The zoo was also open daily to the public for self-guided tours. The farm’s “Zoo-ToYou” traveling interpretive program was featured at the U.S. Army Corp of Engineer’s Rend Lake Visitor’s Center. A traveling petting zoo featuring over two dozen animals entertained at the General Tire Employee Picnic at Rend Lake, the Pepsi Mid-America Employee Picnic in Marion, and HerrinFesta Italiana in Herrin. Many children took classes at the West Frankfort farm, but one young man, Stephen Hamilton, was exceptionally successful. He enrolled in the classes when he was about six-years-old. By age 12, he was working 20 hours per week at the farm hand feeding and watering animals. Stephen was nearly unstoppable. Even when sub-zero temperatures required him to spend a full day replenishing water for animals, he didn’t quit. After the zoo left town in 1998, Stephen started riding his bicycle from his home in West Frankfort to work at a restaurant in Benton. Today he works as a fork-lift driver. Dan said recently that the Bike Farm had a fruitful effect on most of the youth with whom he’s been able to follow up. “Most are now hard workers in their jobs and/or have their own businesses,” he said. “Some are even missionaries. One of our students recently told me he cannot get the phrase ‘be fruitful, don't be a dissipater’ out of his head. This was my goal, because it prevents people from being fun junkies that are dependent on the government.” After leaving West Frankfort, Dan and Lee took a portion of the zoo on the road for approximately 10 years giving character-building talks to children at early learning centers in the Southern and Midwestern United States. The Roddens have retired to Florida where they post frequently through their web site,, and on Facebook. They have written two e-books, and Lee is working on her first enovel. Tim Hastings worked as Dan Rodden’s assistant at The Caleb Bike Farm in West Frankfort from 1990 to 1998.

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West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014 23

Alligator and friends -- A photograph of “Boots” the resident male alligator at the Port Aransas birding center. The birds in the photo are a roseate spoonbill (the pink one!), an American avocet, and two black-necked stilts.  The long lens distorts the perspective, the birds are not as close to the gator as it appears. Whooper and deer -- an adult whooping crane encourages a young deer to move along.  This was shot this February at Crane House.  Crane House is a guest house on a ranch on the coast just north of Rockport where whooping cranes have been regularly visiting for more than a decade and can be photographed at close range.  Crane House is also visited by sandhill cranes, deer, wild hogs, lots of songbirds, even a rare bobcat.  This photo gives an idea of the large size of the whooping cranes -- they average 5-feet tall with a 7-foot wingspan - the tallest North American bird.  In the early 1940s, there were only about 20 whooping cranes surviving (all of them wintered in this area of Texas and migrated to northern Canada to nest), and many people assumed they would soon be extinct.  But in part through cooperative efforts of the US and Canada to protect their habitats, the flock has rebounded to about 300 this year.  Whooping cranes captured from this flock have been used to try to develop other flocks, including the Operation Migration whooping cranes that can now occasionally be seen in Illinois.  But so far the Aransas, TX / Wood Buffalo, Canada flock is the only natural, self-sustaining, wild flock..


Good Living in

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

HIDDEN TALENT After her retirement as librarian at Frankfort Community High School, Sally Mitchell disovered she had quite a talent for photography! Great white egret - (2010, Rockport, TX) A great white egret flies to its nest with a twig. This is one my personal favorites. -- Sally Mitchell

By Gail Rissi Thomas Photos By Sally Mitchell (Unless Otherwise Indicated)

   Most of us have hidden talents that we may never even discover, and some of us are fortunate enough to cultivate those interests into satisfying  and fulfilling hobbies. But only rarely do we retire from a lifelong profession to find a passion for a new interest that actually becomes a second career and a whole new lifestyle. 

    Former West Frankfort resident, Sally Mitchell has just been that blessed since her retirement from Frankfort Community High School in 2006 after serving 16 years as high school librarian.  A 1968 graduate from FCHS, she attended the University of Illinois, where she earned her degree in Speech Education.  “My first love was always dance,” Mitchell confided.  “I really wanted to be a ballerina.  I took dance lessons from Jo Lynda Crowder when I was only six years old. Although I never really performed that often as I was

growing up in West Frankfort—other than a short solo in our high school production of Okalahoma and again at a variety show at the park bandshell. I still took all the dance classes that I could manage to fit into my schedule while I was at U of I.  However, I eventually decided that I was not cut out for a career in dance and left the program without completing that degree.”      The rest of Mitchell’s dancing was limited to continuing to study while she lived for a while in Washington D.C. and Chicago, as well as teaching a class from

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West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014 25

Titled ‘HeroBallet.’ Taken January 4, 2012, near dawn on a slightly foggy morning at Rockport Beach Park. This is a great blue heron engaged in a territorial display ‘dance’. There were two herons there, but too far from each other to get in one shot. Both slowly walked toward then away from each other in this stately pose, until finally one flew off. Wish we humans could solve our disputes in this peaceful, lovely manner! This is a favorite photo of mine, and received the ‘best in show’ award in the 2012 South Texas Photo Contest. -- Sally Mitchell

time to time. While at FCHS, she assisted with choreography in several FCHS student productions.      After substituting for a while in West Frankfort as Central Junior High librarian, Mitchell returned to school at SIU to obtain a degree in Library Science.  “ I worked at the SIU library and SIU Law  School Library while getting my masters. I was high school librarian at Carmi for one year,


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then was the public librarian at Benton for 5 years”    During her tenure at FCHS, the library, formerly located on the second floor of the high school, at Mitchell’s urging and under her direction, was moved to the third story of the building.  The library filled the space formerly occupied by the study hall. “Principal David. Lee was able to obtain funding from a private donor to convert the

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

large 3rd floor study hall,” Mitchell said. “After months of planning, we spent the summer preparing the space for library use, painting, installing new blinds, refinishing the beautiful old circulation desk, and installing new shelving, furnishings, and carpeting purchased through ColemanRhoads Furniture store. That fall with the help of custodians, students, and volunteers, all the books, computers, and other materials were moved into the new and beautiful Verna Lee Burton library.”      “ My early years in the high school library were just at the time when the use of computers was becoming widespread.  During my first year, with the help of students and teachers, we were able to obtain a computer by collecting a certain number of Kroger receipts.  From that time on, most of my career involved computer related innovations.  When the Internet was introduced, I was able to work with students and teachers on how to find and evaluate the most reliable information on the Web”.      When I retired in 2006, I began to look at my options for retirement.  My sister and brother-in-law, Melody and John Turner, had left Southern Illinois and my sister, Betsy, had moved to the Corpus Christi, TX, area.  During my visits to her, I had discovered Rockport, a small town located on Aransas Bay just off the Gulf of Mexico. What I didn’t know then that has since become very important in my life is that Rockport is a major birding location.  Not only do many species of herons, pelicans, and shorebirds live and nest here, but only a few miles north is the winter home of the last wild flock of critically endangered whooping cranes.  Whooping cranes are magnificent and fascinating birds, and the chance to see them draws visitors from all over the world to Rockport.”      So, with the help of her sister Betsy, after retiring from FCHS in the spring of 2006, she bought a small house in Rockport, sold my house in West Frankfort and made the move to Texas that fall.      Mitchell recalls that oddly enough for much of her life, she had no interest  in photography from either side of the camera and negative feelings about birds.  “My father loved taking family photos and I somewhat resented having to stop whatever we were doing to ‘smile and wave to the camera’!  My mother felt that birds carried disease and she also had some negative superstitions about them, feelings which were passed on to me.” She said. 

She did take one class in photography as a graduate student, and admits that a oneday seminar with a digital camera, while at FCHS, allowed her to discover the fun of photography.     “When I moved to Texas my only camera was an inexpensive digital point and shoot.     I quickly decided I needed more zoom to photograph the shy heron, egrets, etc.”  She soon needed to invest $300 for a camera with a 10x zoom.  Her skill and the desire for better quality soon outgrew that camera and she progressed to a Canon Rebel with a 300 mm basic lens. “I loved the clarity of the viewfinder and the fast shutter speed.  After about a year, I had worn that camera out!”  Another upgrade made her the owner of a Canon 7D with a professional level lens.  “I’d been told that the lens was more important than the camera in getting quality photos.  I found that to be true; the new lens made an enormous difference in my photos.”

“And much of the more expensive equipment is just too heavy and sometimes lacks zoom and requires better lighting conditions.”     Local photographers and artists have been a tremendous inspiration and help to me as I grew as a photographer. My first artistic endeavor after moving to Rockport was enrolling in watercolor classes with nationally known artist Kay Barneby at the Rockport Center for the Arts. .  From Kay I learned the basics of composition, line, and color in painting and have worked to apply these in my photography.  I am constantly amazed at the friendliness and generosity of the professional photographers I’ve met”      Mitchell says that “playing with photo editing” is what really got her hooked on photography.  Beginning with basic online artistic editing sites, she soon became proficient with Photoshop, and— after switching to a Mac computer— experimented with free trials of various programs before settling on Lightroom (a Mac program). She also uses editing software by Topaz Labs which offers a high level of customization.      Eventually, Mitchell became interested in attempting to sell photographs through stock photo agencies.  Through the book, Photographers Market, she learned about VIREO (Visual Resources in Ornithology). “VIREO maintains a collection of thousands of superb bird photographs, Black Skimmer Chicks - (2010 Rockport, TX) which are shared, free of charge with black skimmers nest at our local beach park so university science instructors and are sold I’ve been able to spend hours watching the care and effort the skimmers put into raising their to publishers.  I submitted a sample set of chicks.  They nest on the ground, the ‘nest’ is just photos and received a reply that they were a hole scraped in the sand. Both parents care for only accepting photographs of rare species the chicks, which are fed tiny whole fish. The black and unusual bird behaviors, but they would skimmer nesting ‘failed’ last year, only two chicks were hatched from the whole flock of 100+ birds;  like to include my whooping crane photos no one knows why.  They’ve just begun nesting this and several others.  I was very pleased when year, so we are watching closely and hoping for a I received a check from VIREO for the successful year, as black skimmer populations are sale of a photo of whooping crane ‘twins’ diminishing across the country. --Sally Mitchell and even more excited when I learned that the buyer was National Geographic,      Mitchell has ignored any temptation to purchased for inclusion in their book, upgrade again to the extremely expensive Global Birding” lenses, tripods and other camera gear. “I      Although Mitchell says she does not prefer to shoot hand held,” she explained.  enter many photo contests, she has been

successful and won competitive awards from her attempts. At the South Texas Photo Contest, in Corpus Christi, she has won cash prizes and had photos included in a calendar every year from 2007 through 2012. She has also taken honors, Best of Show, 1st Place Black and White, and Honorable Mention.       Mitchell’s photos have been exhibited and in some instances purchased at the Rockport Center for the Arts.    For several years her work has been displayed at Wind Way Gallery, Port Aransas Art Center, where she received first place in the annual Members Show last year, the Corpus Christi Art Center and the Shorelines show at the Rockport Center for the Arts.  This March, her photographs were included with work by all artists of Wind Way Gallery  at the Atrium Gallery in Fort Worth.  (      Mitchell sees her new career as a real blessing, both welcome and unexpected.  “I’ve always been drawn toward creative endeavors,” she said.  “I think it’s very easy to get wrapped up in the routines of daily life.  If I’ve learned anything from this experience it’s the importance of occasionally breaking out of our set routines and being open to new experiences.  It was only my retirement and moving to an entirely new location that gave me the time and motivation to try new things and develop new interests.  The friendships I’ve developed with fellow artists, photographers, and birders have certainly made my life much richer -- and more fun! The favorable reaction to my photos from old friends, new friends, artists, and gallery visitors has given me new confidence.” For many more examples of Sally’s work including “Herron Moon” (left) visit:



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West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014 27

ALL - CLASS REUNION August 28, 29, and 30, 2014

Schedule Of Events AUGUST 28-29 and 31 and SEPT 1, 2014 Southern Illinois Wineries Tour

FCHS Alums Charles and Janice Jordan Campbell, owners of SI TOURS OF CARTERVILLE, will be offering tours of southern Illinois wineries on August 28, 29, and 31 and September 1. For reservation information, call SI TOURS at 618-985-6953. E-mail them at: or visit their website at

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 2014 “100 YEARS OF FCHS” GOLF SCRAMBLE FRANKLIN COUNTY COUNTRY CLUB SHOT GUN START 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. 4 PERSON TEAMS MEN and WOMEN COST: $80.00 per person (lunch included)



Walker’s Bluff Wine Tour

BEGIN at 4:00 p.m COST: $15.00 PER PERSON We will gather at Walker’s Bluff for a tour of the wine cave and wine tasting.You may order hors d ’oeuvres on your own or eat at Walker’s Bluff General Store or you may make reservations at their famous Legends Restaurant. For reservations at Legends call 618-559-4893. Visit www.walkersbluff.


Gab Fest from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. West Frankfort Aquatic Center in the City Park Barbeque and all the trimmings served from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. West Frankfort Aquatic Center. Cost $12.00 per person.


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West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014


Breakfast at Frankfort Historical Museum (Old Logan School) 2000 East St. Louis Street from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Doughnuts, muffins, rolls, bagels, fruit, cheeses, juice, tea, coffee.

Cost of the breakfast $7.00 per person

Breakfast and Museum Tour 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Veterans’ Military Museum (old depot) 10:30 a.m. to Noon Coal Miners’ Memorial Park (next to Vets’ Museum) Morthland College, 202 East Oak 1:30 p.m FCHS tour and reception 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Photo shot of all attendees in front of FCHS at 4:30 p.m. ($25.00 includes mailing)

“100 years of FCHS” Program Max Morris Gymnasium Saturday Aug. 30, 2014 5:00 p.m.

(Classes will be sitting together by decades) Featuring special recognitions, history, and Music by the Southern Illinois Concert Band. The restaurants below will have food available after the program at Max Morris Gymnasium for attendees to the reunion:

Bella’s Ristorante

(Across from Dairy Queen, formerly Sawicki’s Grocery on East Main)

Food inside - Music and Tent outside for visiting

Knights of Columbus

(Corner of South Monroe and East Oak Streets)

Mostaccioli Dinner - Music inside

Left: Some of the ‘All-Class Reunion’ Committee members show off their special letter jackets: L-R: Susan Rose Dawson, Marilyn Litsch Arnett, Sylvia Tresso Tharp, May Lynn Levanti-Lincoln and Debbie Martin Bussler. Picture Provided

For more infomation about the All-Class Reunion contact: Marcia Schafer Raubach, 937-1898; Sylvia Tresso Tharp 932-6189; Mary Lynn Levanti Lincoln 995-1776; Susan Rose Dawson 932-2796; Marilyn Litsch Arnett. 937-1390; Kaye Harkins McClintock 663-2891; Debbie Martin Bussler 218-7005

Information is also available at: Facebook: FCHS 100 YEARS

Back: Jetta Veldman , Leslie Hampleman, Kacy Gore and Cassie Ruzich. Front: Jody Hopkins and Dr. Michael Clay

Dr. Michael Clay General Dentistry

205 N. Ida Street • West Frankfort • (618) 937-2737

Redbird Special Free Glass of Any Wine to all FCHS Alumni

Aug. 29-31, 2014 2013 Homecoming Queen Sarafina McKeown rides in the Homecoming Parade. Photo by Michael A. Thomas

Joyce (Bonifield) Lucas FCHS Class of 1957

Don Lucas FCHS Class of 1954

4861 Spillway Road Carbondale, IL 62901

(618) 549-5517

Fri - Sun Noon - 7 pm Good Living in

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014 29

Dr. Martin R. Moffett


Dr. Ryan Kathalynas, Dr. Allyson Kathalynas

We Accept all Major Medical Insurance, Workmans Comp & Personal Injury

Open: Dr. Kent Herron • Dr. Chere Herron Dr. Michelle Marvel • Dr. Carmen Hutchcraft

607 West Oak Street • West Frankfort, IL 62896

Phone: (618) 937-3509 / Fax: (618) 937-3500

M T W F: 8am-6pm • Th: 8am-Noon Saturday by Appointment

106 W. Washington • Benton, IL 62812

Phone: (618) 439-2225 / Fax: (618) 435-5063



Good Living in

10881 State Highway 149 • West Frankfort, IL

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

618-937-2446 Open Mon-Fri 8am-7pm • Sat 8-6

Ph. (618) 932-2181 Fax (618) 932-6330 201 East Nolen Street • West Frankfort, IL 62896

Good Living in

West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014 31

Please Support The

Frankfort Area Historical Museum

Preserving our Past Building for our Future

This Ad Sponsored by Brandon and Stacy Sawalich 32 Good Living in West Frankfort No. 22 Summer 2014

2000 E. St. Louis St. West Frankfort, IL 62896 Phone:(618) 932-6519

Gl in wf summer 2014a  

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