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710 North Illinois Avenue P.O. Box 2108 Carbondale, Illinois 62902 618-529-5454 â&#x20AC;˘ 800-228-0429 fax 618-529-3774

Publisher Dennis M. DeRossett Ad Director Abby Hatfield Executive Editor Gary Metro Editor Cara Recine Photo Editor Chuck Novara Graphic Rhonda M. Ethridge Designer Circulation Kathy Kelton Webmaster Lauren Siegert Photographers Steve Jahnke Chuck Novara Paul Newton Thomas Barker Advertising Rose Baffi Design Stacy Cramm Paul Lilly Anita Palmisano Ken Rowe Jay Stemm Contributers Joanna Gray Marilyn Halstead Jodi Hawkins Debbie Luebke Metro Becky Malkovich Les Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Dell Brent Stewart

Southern Illinois Magazine is a publication of The Southern Illinoisan. Contact us at 710 N. Illinois Ave., Carbondale, IL 62901, or at P.O. Box 2108, Carbondale, IL 62902. Also reach us on the web at Southern Illinois Magazine is published four times per year and is distributed free of cost to a variety of businesses and hotels in Southern Illinois. Copyright 2008 by The Southern Illinoisan. All rights reserved. For more information call 618-529-5454 or 618997-3356, or visit us online at

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Letter from the executive editor Looking for firewood? Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve still got plenty of downed timber on our land from the May 8 weather disaster now being described as a derecho. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be cutting plenty of firewood in the drier and refreshingly cool days of fall, my favorite season. It bothered me to leave the cleanup work unfinished, but the idea of triggering a medical emergency by laboring in the heat and humidity was even more troublesome. Gary Metro Call me lazy. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mind. But I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be spending all my time listening to a chainsaw in the weeks ahead. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m planning a celebratory bonfire with all of the brush Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve cut, and, providing I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ignite our home or the woods, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also be enjoying the good life throughout Southern Illinois.

This issue of SI Magazine offers a snapshot of all that awaits in the fall, beginning with the cover story by regular contributor Les Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Dell of Carbondale. His fine narrative paints a word portrait of autumn in our region, from the colorama of the Shawnee National Forest, to the orange dappled fields of Bandyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pumpkin Patch near Johnston City. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget about the community festivals of the season or the suddenly improved taste of our food and drink â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including the delicious and exhilarating bottled goods available along the Shawnee Wine Trail. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still looking for a good time, why not plan a full day around a home football game at Southern Illinois University Carbondale? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the final season for McAndrew Stadium and the pre-game tailgate and campus gatherings offer fun, camaraderie and plenty of pep for the football game that follows. By the time youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen the Saluki players and marching band thread through the crowd and into the stadium, you might feel like taking the field, too. I hope you have a great fall and enjoy this offering from SI Magazine.



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Fall 2009 The Bountiful Season Autumn is rich with activities, festivals and things to see and do and taste!


photo by Steve Jahnke

Michelle Sirles of Rendleman Orchards near Alto Pass sits among a plethora of red and golden delicious apples that are ripe for the picking.

Profile â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Singer and songwriter Stace England

Leisure & Luxury




Tasty trend


RVs offer all the comforts of home and more

School of Art and Design profs, students are at the top of their class

Murphysboro entrepreneur goes from home brewer to brewmaster

Starring role

Artstarts makes a production of philanthrophy and service


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History: Fort Massac

Where We Live â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Cutting home

Saluki Sports: Tailgating

this issue good eats heritage wine country 4 SIMagazine : Fall 2009

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good eats

Photo by Stephen Rickerl

By Becky Malkovich


Custard Stand

Life is but a ‘Dream’ in the form of a creamy treat in Sesser The “Dream,” as delivered through the walk-up window at The Custard Stand, is perfection on a cone: a vertical mound of creamy vanilla ice cream twists with sassy orange sherbet until a delicate combination of both peaks in a tiny curlicue of the purest taste sensation. Yum. A summertime standard for ice cream connoisseurs, the Dream is the Sesser landmark’s top-selling treat. “About three years ago, we did a count to see how many cones we sold — all cones, not just the Dream, but we sell more of them than any other — and we counted over 40,000 in a 20 to 22 week span,” owner Matthew Lappin, 24, said. “And business has picked up over the past three years, so I’d say we’re selling even more than that now.” The cone’s reputation has spread since it first started twisting about 10 years ago, Lappin said, drawing not just

local visitors but those who come from afar to sample some of Sesser’s finest. “I pretty much know everyone in town, and I’d say 60 percent of the time or more, there are people I don’t know lined up” Lappin said. “But I get to know them. That’s why I say ‘don’t know’ rather than stranger.” The stand has been the hangout for Sesser residents since it first opened in 1948. Lappin’s grandmother, Barb,

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Matthew Lappin (above) is owner of The Custard Stand in Sesser, where Kathy Schoenbaechler (top) waits for her order. The business has had several owners since opening in 1948 and has been in the Lappin family since 1986.

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Photo by Becky Malkovich

The Dream is a creamy and smooth spiral mix of vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet.


Get yours What: The Custard Stand Where: 101 S. Park St., Sesser; at the intersection of Illinois routes 154 and 148 Phone: 888-406-2202 or 618-724-5199 Online: Hours through Nov.15: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday

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Those other items constitute a growing percentage of the stand’s sales, Lappin said. The stand is “still not a cash cow, but it is profitable,” he said. Lappin, who started working at the stand when he was 14, said he hopes to own the business for 40 years. “That way I’ll be here for the centennial of the business and for our 60th year as owners,” he said. The stand, at the intersection of Illinois 148 and 154, is traditionally open for the season from April through Nov. 15.

• Hot Breakfast • Indoor Pool • Exercise Room • Business Center • All Rooms have Microwave, Refrigerator, Coffee Maker, Hair Dryer.

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purchased the stand in 1986; Lappin took over in May 2008. “It sounds like an exaggeration, but demographically, everyone comes here. There’s a tradition for Little Leaguers to come here after the game, win or lose. We get a bunch of high schoolers around 3:30 every day, and in the early evening, we have the elderly,” he said. Many visitors veer off Interstate 57, about 8 miles east, to taste the treat, while others take time out from camping at nearby Rend Lake to enjoy the best the stand has to offer. “We get a lot of tourists and vacationers. We’ve kept a guestbook in the past, and it showed us we got visitors from all over the country. We even get international visitors,” he said. “We also get people from all the local towns. Coming here is a tradition for a lot of people. They started coming here as kids and now they bring their own kids or grandkids.” Carol Jackson of De Soto was at the stand on a recent late summer afternoon. “Oh, my gosh. I’ve been coming here since my kids were little, probably 25 years,” she said. “They have the best ice cream and great service. And there are always people you know here no matter where you are from. When you’re in Sesser, you just can’t pass up The Custard Stand.” Sesser Mayor Ned Mitchell said he’s been a faithful fan of the stand “probably since they opened the place — however long they’ve been there, I’ve been going there,” Mitchell said. “I guess I’ve got no willpower because the older I get, it seems the more I go.” Mitchell said he never gets tired of the Dream, but lately he has been “in a cherry sundae rut.” But ice cream treats aren’t the only draw for visitors. The menu at the stand has diversified over the years and now includes sandwiches and other homemade food items.

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heritage by Joanna Gray

Check it out

Marion Carnegie Library adds a modern, progressive vision to its rich heritage You’re in Southern Illinois, but you’re not in the local espresso café or at big-name bookseller. You’re at the Marion Carnegie Library. Marion Carnegie Library is a paradox of a rich traditional heritage and a modern, progressive vision.

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Imagine sinking into a plush, comfortable chair and opening up the latest issue of your favorite travel magazine for an unhurried afternoon read. You sip on a chai latte freshly made at the coffee bar as you turn the pages and take an armchair journey to exotic places far from Southern Illinois.

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Funded with an $18,000 grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, it opened in 1916 with 1,162 volumes and 680 patrons. The city of Marion purchased the former â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grandma Clineâ&#x20AC;? residence from Sarelda Cline and her heirs for the libraryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s construction in 1915. Although Marion Carnegie Library still stands on the original site, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s certainly not Grandmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s library anymore. For one thing, you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be â&#x20AC;&#x153;shushedâ&#x20AC;? if you talk, even on your cell phone, as long as you keep it at a reasonable volume. And you can even enjoy a covered coffee drink and pastry from the libraryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coffee bar as you browse the stacks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our goal is to let people know that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re welcome here, and we do whatever it takes to make them comfortable,â&#x20AC;? said David Patton, the libraryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s director. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t chase them around and ask them to not talk, and if somebody uses their cell phone we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get bent out of shape about that unless they talk really loud. In that case, we might ask them to go down in the stairwell. We just ask people to be cognizant that there are other people around and respect that. We havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had any problems,â&#x20AC;? Patton said. The Larryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s @ Your Library full-service coffee bar, operated by Neil Clayton of Larryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s House of Cakes, is another unexpected pleasure. Library patrons are tempted by the aroma of freshly brewing coffee, espresso, cappuccinos and other hot and cold specialty drinks. Brownies, cupcakes, cookies and doughnuts from this popular Marion business are also available. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Marion Carnegie Library is the first in the Southern Illinois area to have a coffee bar on the premises,â&#x20AC;? said Stacey Vinson, special projects coordinator. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our way of providing more customer service. Working with Neil Clayton has been a great partnership for us.â&#x20AC;?

Growing with the community and its needs In 1997, Marion Carnegie Library expanded by 12,000 feet to include an elevator, meeting room, restrooms, study rooms and computer workstations. Visitors can also bring their own laptops and connect to the Internet via the libraryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free Wi-fi service. The highlights of the renovation include the coffee bar and the expanded Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department and Young Adult

The young adults room features a cafĂŠ. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a graffiti chalkboard where teens can express their inner artist when inspiration strikes.

Department. Today, Marion Carnegie Library offers 70,000 items, including books, periodicals, CDs, DVDs, audio books and game systems, and boasts 8,000 registered borrowers. However, more than 120,000 people come through the libraryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doors each year, not only for traditional library services but also to take advantage of the many free programs for adults, teens and children. One of the favorites is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Read the Movie, Watch the Book,â&#x20AC;? which is the libraryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free movie program hosted in the McCoskey Room. Titles range from recent hits such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Just Not That Into Youâ&#x20AC;? to the movie version of musical â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Phantom of the Operaâ&#x20AC;? to classics such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Donovanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Reefâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bringing Up Baby.â&#x20AC;? Vinson said participation is open to adult community members, who may participate by reading the book, watching the movie or doing both. Movies are shown at 5 p.m. on the last Monday of the month.

A special place for teens Vinson and the library staff are especially proud of the new Young Adults Room, which opened on the second floor in


photos by ALAN ROGERS


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heritage May. A teen rock band from Zeigler-Royalton High School headlined the grand opening party. The shelves are well-stocked with young-adult literature, magazines and reference books along with computer stations, video games and other multimedia materials. But what sets this room apart is a modern, open design with plenty of space to read and do homework, plus plenty of room for things that teens like to do: hang out with friends, play games, have a snack in their own café area and surf the Internet. There’s even a huge “graffiti” chalkboard where they can express their inner artist when inspiration strikes. Vinson said there are quiet study rooms for doing homework, too, and that the library obtains books and materials that directly relate to the students’ assignments. “We try to have materials here that might not be as readily available in the school library,” Vinson said. Teens also have their own page on the Marion Carnegie Library’s Web site where they can get research help for homework, learn about upcoming events and new books and provide feedback to the staff. “Teenagers are sometimes a neglected group,” Vinson said. “Their parents may not bring them to the library anymore, and they lose interest. But this is a place they can call their own. We’re hoping that the teens will keep coming to the library, and when they become adults that they will want to bring their kids here, too.” The Young Adults Department also features photography and art by local artists and photographers, including members of the Southern Illinois Photographic Society, which is one of the many community groups that use the McCoskey Room for its weekly or monthly meetings. The library also hosts special interest groups for teens. The Games Group for ages 11 and up meets Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (younger players must be accompanied by an adult). The Anime Club meets on the second and fourth Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Just for kids

Marion Carnegie Library has a comfortable place for teenagers to read and socialize. It also features a collection of young adult literature.

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Have you ever read a book to a puppy or a kitten? That’s what grade school-age children did in September at the “Read to the Puppy” event, which is a special Scholastic Book Fair family program hosted in the library’s children’s department. The Marion Regional Humane Society brought the “audience” of puppies and kittens. But there are regular animal residents of the Children’s Department, as well, including a rabbit and a hamster. “The kids really love the animals,” said Donna Halleran, director of Children’s Services at Marion Carnegie Library. Halleran is also an artist who created several of the colorful murals on the walls of the children’s department. “They learn how to respect and take care of the animals,” Halleran said. “Also, the kids love to play on the Little Tykes computer and play the games and puzzles.” As in the young adult department, the children’s department is stocked with age-appropriate books, magazines, games, computer stations and other multimedia materials. “Everything supports the concept of learning from the pre-schooler on up,” Halleran said. “We also offer a lot l i v i n g ,

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of programs for the kids and their families, including a very popular story hour that starts in the fall.”

All about customer service

More info

Marion Carnegie Library continues to evolve and grow to meet the changing needs of the community. According to Patton, in late October the library will complete the remodeling of an area on the lower level that will serve as a multi-purpose room. During the day, the room will be used as a quiet comfortseating reading room for adults. It can be used for small group meetings if the McCloskey Room is occupied. One section will be dedicated to a children’s story hour, complete with a platform for the storyteller and colorful mural of a scene from Beatrix Potter’s “Peter Rabbit” painted by Halleran. Every renovation, every new program is drive by customer service. “Marion Carnegie Library is all about customer service,” Patton said. “We’re a tax supported institution, and if we’re not offering good service to the public, we’re not doing our job.” Marion residents alone aren’t the only ones who can take advantage of the library’s services. Anyone with a card from any library in Illinois can check out items from Marion Carnegie Library. That’s good news for anyone who loves to read and wants to immerse themselves in the wide range of

materials and programs offered by this progressive southern Visit the library at 206 S. Market St. Illinois library. Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday “It’s very through Thursday and 9 a.m. to important to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. us that we are a department Learn more about the services and programs of Marion Carnegie of the city Library at www.marioncarnegilibrary. of Marion,” org or call 618-993-5935. Patton said. “Our mayor, Bob Butler, loves to read. He is usually the first in line every time our Friends of the Library group has a book sale. He is very supportive of the library, and that support allows us to do all of the things we want to do for the community.” While Marion Carnegie Library, indeed, is a nextgeneration library serving the real-world needs of a community in the Internet age, it still fulfills its original and most traditional role – providing a quiet place to hold a book in one’s hands, turn the pages and read. “If you love to read, you’ll make it in life,” Patton said. “If your kids love to read, they’re going to be OK, too.”

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profile by Brent Stewart

Stace England

Giving listeners a glimpse into American and Southern Illinois history

To say Stace England is a “local” musician is misleading but, at the same time, completely descriptive of what it is he does. Although he has five solo albums to his credit, England has found a niche in finding inspiration from historical situations for his music. “Greetings From Cairo, Illinois,” released in 2005, set to music the struggles, joy and legacy of the colorful Mississippi River town. In 2007, “Salt Sex Slaves” focused on the stories of Hickory Hill, the Old Slave House in Equality. Both albums have won England audiences and acclaim all over the world, garnering favorable notices from such media sources as The Village Voice, National Public Radio, Uncut and Radio One in Belgium. With his band, the Salt Kings, England has toured Europe and performed at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. September brought the release of another album with a historical basis, one that tells the story of a little known Southern Illinois who has an important place in film and American history. “The Amazing Oscar Micheaux” gives listeners a glimpse into the complex life of the nation’s first African-American filmmaker. Micheaux directed 44 feature-length films between 1919 and 1948; only 12 of which have survived. The album is an opportunity for England and the legacy of Micheaux. Before the album was released, England received invitations to perform at the Rome International Film Festival in Rome, Ga., and at the St. Louis International Film Festival. Turner Classic Movies has also taken an interest in the project, posting a write-up on its Web site.



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The CDs Stace England and the Salt Kings’ new album, ‘The Amazing Oscar Micheaux,’ as well as their past albums, is available in Carbondale at Plaza Records, 816 E Main St. D, and PMac Music, 100 N Glenview. For information about upcoming shows or to order CDs online, go to


Tell me about Oscar Micheaux. Who was he? Micheaux was a guy from Metropolis, born in 1881. He grew up in a farm community. The thing so remarkable about his life is that he had these stages; he seemed able to will himself into areas you wouldn’t think he could. So, he leaves Metropolis at 17, heads for Chicago and kicks around. The first dramatic thing is he decides to be a farmer because he felt that was a way for an African-American to make a name for himself, and that was one of the few professions available. So, he looks around— Iowa, Nebraska, different places— and he sees this homestead ad for South Dakota. He goes up there and by the time he’s 25, he has 500 acres up there, so he was very successful. He then becomes a self-made author. He knows nothing about writing books, and in his isolation, begins to write a novel. In 1913, he publishes “The Conquest” He develops this technique of selling to his friends and neighbors and in 1917 writes this novel he calls “The Homesteader.” These are widely successful; he’s learning how to sell through mail-order. A small film company, the Lincoln Motion Picture Company, approached him in 1918 about making “The Homesteader” into a film. Negotiations ensued; finally Micheaux says ‘I’ll do it myself.’ And he does. He raises $25,000 and makes this sprawling, eight reel, two

and a half hour epic of “The Homesteader” and it’s an absolute sensation. For the first time AfricanAmericans see themselves in heroic, nonstereotypical roles and the public just loves it. They’re expecting another uplifting story for his second film, “Within Our Gates” and what he delivers is a direct rebuke to “The Birth of a Nation,” D.W. Griffith’s greatest film. For me, the fact that an AfricanAmerican from Metropolis could produce a film like this and show it is a jawdropping thing that it actually took place. Micheaux was able to will himself into these situations and busts through anything to get his vision onto the screen.


What were the challenges in trying to take on this project? I acquired the films that were available and began to spend time with them. As I began to get inside the guy’s head and sort of be able to see the arc of his life in front of me and see the entire picture, the songs began to come. For example, “The Homesteader” is a Neil Young and Crazy Horse kind of roar. For me there were some serious experiences on the prairie I can visualize his first child died, he had a failed romance… those experiences took place in like a 20 by 20 box, so we tried to look at the arc of his entire life and that would inspire certain songs.


Southern Illinois has been very inspiring in your work. How did you come across this subject, and what makes these local stories so compelling?

I discovered Micheaux quite by accident. I was in the Carbondale library perusing the nonfiction section, and I found this book, ‘Oscar Micheaux, the Great and Only: The Life of America’s First Black Filmmaker,’ by Patrick Milligan. I read the first chapter and find he was born in Metropolis even more interesting, and I read the book and I was blown away by his life story. What I find with Cairo, The Slave House, Micheaux, something grabs me by the scruff of the neck. I think ‘Little Egypt’ has quite a few of these ‘through the looking glass type of stories,’ more so than any part of the country, because of its location and position in relation to the north and the south. We get labeled as ‘historical musicians,’ which we are, but for me, history is more of a vehicle to get our artistic ideas across. The Micheaux story is thrilling, exciting, but if he can do what he did with the challenges he faced, I can get past my obstacles. Don’t whine about how you can’t get the film made, get out there and make it so. It’s an inspiring message.


Why do you think these historical albums have resonated with the public? I think this region’s stories are very powerful. Maybe there are powerful stores other places in the country, but I think this region is very unique. We’ve found this niche of people that are really seeking these experiences. It’s not auniversal thing, 80 percent of CD buyers are not going to go for it, but there is a pretty loyal group of people who seek it out.

England talks about the new album and how he takes these local stories and crafts them into a narrative for a worldwide audience.

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out & about by Les O’Dell



All the comforts of home – and more – on the road


Paul Parrish knows a thing or two about recreational vehicles. He has been camping in one form or another for most of his life. His first excursion was in 1968 with a popup tent camper. Since then, he has owned 14 recreational vehicles, including trailers, fifth-wheel campers and motorhomes. Today, the retired building contractor who used to drive nails for a living drives a 42-foot luxury motorcoach. Parrish, who along with his wife, Viola, spends six months a year in the RV, says leisure vehicles have come a long way since his first. “It’s a world of difference between what we had then and what we have now. The pop-up didn’t have a bathroom or a kitchen in it. It was just a place for six people to sleep,” Paul said. “This one has everything you can get, including leather recliners, a full kitchen and our own bed.”

The Parrishes are among dozens of Southern Illinoisans who are taking to the roads in luxury RVs. For many of them, including James and Angela Simpson of Carbondale, the appeal is traveling with all of the comforts of home. “It is like a smaller, condensed home for us,” Angela said. “We’re comfortable in it, and we’re able take along a lot of our personal belongings. When you fly, or often when you drive, you can’t do that.” Simpson said often the couple takes their two dogs, both of their teenage sons and some of their friends along on trips. Unlike the Parrish family, the Simpson’s 2005 motorcoach was their first RV purchase. “We jumped in feet-first,” Angela said. “This is our first RV. Just a few weeks after getting it, we took a six-week trip all the way to Seattle.” She said that immediately on the trip, the benefits of a luxury vehicle were apparent. “It was the most fantastic trip. We didn’t have a schedule, so wherever we ended up at night, that’s where we stayed,” she said. The freedom of travel is what appeals to many RV buyers,

The Simpsons’ RV has provided comfortable trips across the country, from Seattle to Florida. photos

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James and Angela Simpson of Carbondale (at right with their boxer, Murphy, and their sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s black lab, Gage) took to the road only six weeks after purchasing their RV, traveling all the way to Seattle. The interior of the vehicle (above) has all the comforts of home, including a washer and dryer.






according to Dave Arnett, a salesman at Larryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Trailer Sales in Zeigler. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The appeal is family mobility, freedom and having cooking facilities so you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to go to restaurants all of the time,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can camp almost anywhere.â&#x20AC;? Plus, there are so many other features included in the luxury RVs, he said. Arnett explained that high-end motorcoaches â&#x20AC;&#x201D; with prices in the six- and seven-digit range â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are complete with big screen televisions featuring satellite receivers that lock on to signals while cruising down the



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out & about

highway, four-door refrigerators, microwave and convection ovens, hardwood floors, full bathrooms with showers and even washers and dryers. Some feature specialty indoor lighting and electric fireplaces. Many of the units have slideout sections that increase living space when the vehicle is parked. Donald and Joyce Wisely of Vergennes are enjoying their third motorhome. Donald said that in a luxury RV, travelers miss out on nothing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you go and stay in a motel, what do you see?â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You see what is outside the motel window. In the RV, if you want to pull off and see an area or something special, you can. You can spend lots of time wherever you want and still be in your home away from home.â&#x20AC;? Donald said with wireless Internet and cellular phones, he is always connected to the rest of the world. He added that he really appreciates his RV each night he travels. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is just as nice as our home, and it is the same clean place every night. It is our bed and I know who slept in it last night,â&#x20AC;? he said. Not only do luxury RVs owners carry all of the amenities of home, they are able to travel with many of the items from their backyards and garages as well. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the storage area below, what we call the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;basement,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

we have plenty of storage for all of our coolers, grills and outdoor games, lawn furniture and tables,â&#x20AC;? Simpson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We even have a TV set up so we can sit outside under the awning and watch television.â&#x20AC;? Simpson said they often pull an enclosed trailer with the motorcoach. The trailer is large enough to transport both a car and a motorcycle to provide them with another means of transportation when they camp. Marvin Oetjen, owner of Kamperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Supply in Carterville, said hybrid RVs called â&#x20AC;&#x153;toy haulersâ&#x20AC;? are especially popular. These campers include a dedicated storage space for motorcycles, four-wheelers and other ATVs. He said that luxury fifth-wheel campers and motorcoaches also are popular with buyers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Each unit is different in its own way,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I recommend people study their lifestyles and match the RV to what they want to do.â&#x20AC;? For Parrish, who said that going from the original pop-up camper to a 19-foot trailer was a huge step into luxury nearly 40 years ago, todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s luxury vehicles are perfect for what he wants to do: travel throughout North America. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re fun to drive and you sit up high where you can see the world as you go by,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re self-contained and set for at least a week. It is our second home.â&#x20AC;?



Â&#x201C;?Sd!&Cd:eTU2U^UVYd3_^SUbd VUQdebY^W >QcXCdbUUdgY^^Ub_VdXU 3_e^dbi3_\WQdUCX_gT_g^ Â&#x201C;2bUQdXdQ[Y^WQ^TB_]Q^dYSfYUgc Â&#x201C;;YdSXU^?`U^4QY\i@YS^YS2Qc[Udc QbUgU\S_]U Â&#x201C;6Y^UcdgY^UcY^dXUQbUQ ²8YWX\iBUS_]]U^TUTÂł ²2Ucd2eicÂłbQdY^Wc Â&#x201C;<YfU5^dUbdQY^]U^d_^CQdebTQic


20 minutes South of Carbonale 5.5 miles off of I-57 or 3.5 miles off of US51.

)$,5),(/',11 68,7(6 E\0$55,277

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history by Jodi Hawkins

Peek into the Past at

Fort Massac

Looking for some unique ways to enjoy this fall? Sometimes all it takes it is a stroll through the past, and Southern Illinois has the perfect place to start. Just along the Ohio River, Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis is a history hot spot. The 1,450-acre site is home to a replica of the previous American fort that was originally built during the French and Indian War in the middle 1700s. Although it was destroyed by earthquakes and vandals over the years, Fort Massac later became Illinois’ first state park in 1908. It’s an ideal location for picnicking, camping, hiking, hunting, boating and fishing, and it hosts several special events year ‘round, one of which has become quite a crowd pleaser for the young and old alike.

The annual Fort Massac Encampment is on the third full weekend every October. “This is probably the most family oriented event I’ve ever been to,” said Terry Johnson, site superintendent at the park. “Last year, we had about 168,000 people here for the two days.” The encampment is a portrayal of life in Southern Illinois in the 1700s. It kicks off with an educational program for area school students the day before, which Johnson jokingly described as a “painless history lesson.” Re-enactments are done throughout the weekend, including mock battles and cannon demonstrations. Several living history groups return yearly to re-create time periods of some significant early American events, such as the Civil

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The Southern File Photos

FORT MASSAC ENCAMPMENT Annual encampment with military and civilian activities begins each day with the posting of colors. Highlights include mock battles and tactical demonstrations, traders and craftspeople in authentic costumes, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; games, period music and food. Free admission.


When: Oct. 17 and 18; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday Where: Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis Phone: 618-524-9321 or 800-949-5740 Online: Fort Massac State Park is at 1308 E. Fifth St. in Metropolis. To get there, take Exit 37 off Interstate 24 into Metropolis; follow the signs. The historic site is open to the public seven days a week. Contact the site interpreter to arrange special programs for educational, scouting, civic or tour groups.

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War, which was the last time U.S. troops were stationed at Fort Massac. “The groups come from quite a distance,” Johnson said. “A lot of them are from Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Michigan. They’ve done everything from make furniture to performing military drills.” With the continued help of groups like the Massiac Marines, spectators also enjoy fashion shows, voyageur canoe landings, as well as some rather impressive opening and closing ceremonies. Tim Bischoff of Marion is the President of the Massiac Marines. He’s been involved in all of these attractions for many years. “I’ve most recently been presenting programs on Indian sign language as George Drouillard of the Lewis & Clark expedition,” Bischoff said. Come hungry and be prepared to try something new. You’ll be able to sample some great tastes from the past, like elk, buffalo, ham and beans and turkey legs. Those who prefer the more traditional beef, chicken and pork options will have plenty to choose from, too. Not a history buff? No problem. “You don’t have to be a historian to enjoy Fort Massac,” said John Ward, current narrator of the encampment. Ward, who is another Massiac Marine from Calvert City, Ky., advises people to come and feed their curiosity by asking questions. “Interact with the participants,” Ward said. “Find out about their persona and the time period they portray. Let your senses enjoy the sounds, sights, smells and, most definitely, the tastes.” Arts and craft lovers are sure to find plenty of ways to indulge their interests at the encampment. “We have people who demonstrate period specific crafts,” Johnson said. “There’s enough stuff going on to come in the morning and stay all day without seeing the same thing,” said Bischoff. He suggested people come and listen to the fantastic music and bring some spending money. “We have traders from across the nation with items they won’t see anywhere else,” Bischoff said.

Upcoming weekend events Here are programs and events coming up at Fort Massac. No admission fees are required. Oct. 3, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Southern Illinois Spinners and Weavers Guild in the visitor center. Spinners and Weavers are welcome to participate. (Also meets Nov. 7 and Dec. 5). Nov. 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Massiac Marines, French and Indian War period re-enactors present a living history program in fort. (Also meets Dec. 12). Nov. 14 and 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: The Southern Illinois Guard, Civil War period re-enactors present living history program in the fort. Dec. 13, 1 to 4 p.m.: Olde Tyme Christmas is a celebration of the Christmas traditions at Fort Massac. In the fort re-enactors will represent the French, Early American and Civil War traditions of Christmas and in the visitor center there will be music and refreshments.

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The fort’s history The rich history of this site begins before recorded history, when native Americans took advantage of its strategic location overlooking the Ohio River. Legend has it that Europeans took this same advantage as early as 1540, when the Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto and his soldiers constructed a primitive fortification here to defend themselves from attack. The French built Fort De L’Ascension on the site in 1757, during the French and Indian War, when France and Great Britain were fighting for ultimate control of central North America. Rebuilt in 1759-60, the structure was renamed Massiac in honor of the then French Minister of Colonial Affairs, and came under fire only once, when unsuccessfully attacked by a group of Cherokee. Following the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, the French abandoned the fort and a band of Chickasaws burned it to the ground. When Captain Thomas Stirling, commander of the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment, arrived to take possession, all he found was a charred ruin. The British anglicized the name to “Massac” but, despite the counsel of their military advisers, they neither rebuilt nor regarrisoned the fort. This oversight left them vulnerable and in 1778, during the Revolutionary War, Colonel George Rogers Clark led his “Long Knives” regiment into Illinois at Massac Creek and was able to capture Kaskaskia, 100 miles to the north, without firing a shot, thus taking the entire Illinois Territory for the State of Virginia and the fledgling United States. In 1794, President George Washington ordered the fort rebuilt, and for the next 20 years it protected U.S. military and commercial interests in the Ohio Valley. U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr and Gen. James Wilkinson, who allegedly drew up plans to personally conquer Mexico and the American southwest, met at Fort Massac during the summer of 1805. Edward Everett Hale later used the setting of Fort Massac and the BurrWilkinson plot as basis for his classic historical novel, “The Man Without a Country.” Although ravaged by the New Madrid earthquake in 1811-12, the fort was again rebuilt in time to play a minor role in the War of 1812, only to be abandoned again in 1814. Local citizens dismantled the fort for timber, and by 1828 little remained of the original construction. In 1839 the city of Metropolis was platted about a mile west of the fort. The site served briefly as a training camp during the early years of the Civil War, marking the last time U.S. troops were stationed at the site. The fort was abandoned after a measles epidemic in 1861-62 claimed the lives of a substantial number of soldiers of the Third Illinois Cavalry and the 131st Illinois Infantry, who were using the fort as an encampment. l i v i n g ,

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‘Big Bob’ Rodemich of East Peoria (left) and William Trigger of Peoria participate in the annual Fort Massac Encampment. The two portray trappers of the late 1700s.

--- Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Picnicking Fort Massac is the perfect place to bring along a picnic lunch. Tables, grills and drinking water are scattered throughout the grounds, and there are three playgrounds for kids. Four covered picnic shelters are available: one is reservable, while the others are first-come, first-served.

Camping There are 50 Class A vehicular campsites with electricity, a disposal station and a shower building, tent camping and a separate group campground.

Hiking The park contains a one mile loop trail through grassy woods starting and stopping near the fort. This trail is also designated as a Forest Watch Tree Identification

Trail. Brochures are available in the visitors’ center for the Tree Identification Trail. The 2.5-mile Hickory Nut Ridge Trail is one not to miss, as it takes hikers along the scenic Ohio River.

Boating and fishing Boating and fishing are permitted on and along the Ohio River. Anglers will find bullhead, carp, catfish, crappie, drum and largemouth bass. The boat dock and launch ramp are now open to the public.

Hunting Hunting is permitted for squirrel, woodcock, dove and rabbit in some parts of the park, and deer may be hunted with bow and arrow. Contact the park office for specific hunting dates and shooting hours.

In 1903, through the efforts of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 24 acres surrounding the site were purchased by the state and on Nov. 5, 1908, it was officially dedicated as Illinois’ first state park. Archeological and historical excavations were conducted on the site from 1939-42 and attempted again in 1966 , 1970, and during 2002. In the early 1970s a replica of an American fort at Fort Massac was reconstructed off the original site of the forts. The replica was based on the 1794 American Fort. This reconstruction was brought down in the fall of 2002, to rebuild another replica of a 1802 American fort. The original site, where all the forts were built has the archeological outline of the 1757 French Fort. The historic site is open to the public seven days a week. Contact the site interpreter to arrange special programs for educational, scouting, civic or tour groups.

--- Illinois Department of Natural Resources

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cover story by Les O’Dell

bountiful fu Fall into

It’s a season rich with activities, festivals and things to see and do


hether you call it autumn, fall, equinox or harvest, the season brings more than just cooler temperatures, colorful drives and precursors to holiday shopping to Southern Illinois. Fall is a season rich with activities, festivals and things to see throughout the region. As the air becomes crisper and the days shorter, many people in the area describe the season as their favorite, often because of the weather. “Southern Illinois falls are like those in most of the mid-latitude areas,” said Carbondale meteorologist Doc Horsely. “It cools and gets drier, and there are very few thunderstorms.” Horsely said temperatures in September and October drop 10 to 12 degrees from previous months and the area gets about half as much rainfall as during summer. “That makes it more comfortable and, of course, leads to the change in biology,” he said. Those changes in biology are a big part of what makes the season unique: Farmers take to the fields for harvest, children pick out the perfect pumpkins and foliage through the region begins to display brilliant hues.

Fall colors “We have a beautiful assortment of trees in Southern Illinois, which makes for a beautiful assortment of colors,” said Robert Mohlenbrock, a retired botanist from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. “Every unique species adds to the beauty.” Mohlenbrock is a recognized authority on national forests and said that he feels the coloration of the region is some of the best in the country.

“While it’s not quite as showy as in New England, I think this area is on par with Michigan and Wisconsin. I think it’s going to be pretty good this year, although it is pretty hard to predict the coloration of the trees,” he said. Mohlenbrock said there are lots of beautiful autumn drives in Southern Illinois. “Go anywhere in the Shawnee National Forest,” he said. “Also drive down highway 127 or go east to Garden of the Gods. Giant City is excellent, also.”

Popular destinations and tourism The nice weather, gorgeous colors and numerous festivals and special events make the region abundant with things to see and do, according to Russ Ward, director of the Southern Illinois Tourism Development Office. “There’s almost more to do in our area this time of year than you can list. Southern Illinois is full of wonderful things from local festivals to historic reenactments to just taking in all of the beautiful scenery. It’s almost impossible to cram it into one season,” he said. Many communities hold weekend-long festivals during the fall, celebrating their heritage, local people and products or the area’s uniqueness. With contests, parades and carnivals, the area celebrates local produce including wine, peppers, apples and more. Events honor wildlife including deer and catfish. Other activities recognize the beauty of the region and its people. “Many of the festivals are more than just local things, they appeal to a wide range of people and bring people out from all over the Midwest,” Ward explained.

Festival Fun Take advantage of everything Southern Illinois has to offer through one of its many fall festivals. Page 47.

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You won’t lack for fall fun in Southern Illinois. There are plenty of festivals and competitions, such as barbecue contests in Carbondale and Murphysboro. Bryan Jeffries of Zeigler (right) puts the finishing touches on meat before handing it off to a judge at Carbondale’s Pig Out in 2008; Jeffries is a member of team Just Porkin’ Out.



Kenny Marks (top right) helps unload pumpkins from the back of a trailer at Bandy’s Pumpkin Patch in Johnston City. ‘I don’t even want to know how many of these we go through in a day,’ Kenny says of the autumn pumpkin season. The patch is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 and is at 15020 Pumpkin Patch Road. There’s plenty to see and do for the entire family, including a corn maze, children’s area and special activities, hayrides, concessions and picnic area. For more information call 618-983-8676 or visit

Andrea Dahmer, owner of the Davie School Inn, a unique bed-andbreakfast in Anna, said her guests during the fall come for a variety of reasons and from a variety of places. “People come for the wine, for the fall colors, for all of the Shawnee hills. They come for the whole region,” she said. “We see a big


Enjoying a seasonal favorite – football – James Rochman (right) and Zach O’Hagan position themselves for a catch while their families were tailgating at McAndrew Stadium at SIUC. For a story on Saluki tailgating, see Page 34.

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cover story

increase in visitors in the fall. You really would not believe the number of people we get from Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, Tenn. They come from everywhere.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a popular season at Rim Rockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dogwood Cabins near Elizabethtown, too. Owner Dixie Dart said that guests book their reservations months in advance and try to predict the dates when the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foliage will be at its peak. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They come for the beautiful colors, and as the leaves fall, you can begin to see the rock formations even better. Our fall weekends fill up fast,â&#x20AC;? she said. The color orange is dominant at Bandyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pumpkin Patch near Johnston City this time of year. Owner J.T. Bandy said he expects more than 25,000 visitors to the 25-acre plot before November. Although hectic for Bandy and his family, he said the farm is enjoyable for almost everyone.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an awfully busy time of year, but I love all of the kids that come and all of the smiles as each one tries to pick out the best pumpkin,â&#x20AC;? Bandy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have a great time with the whole fall season.â&#x20AC;?

Food and drink

Photo by Alan Rogers

Connoisseurs of dietary delights have plenty to choose from throughout the autumn. A number of festivals focus on food, ranging from apples to chili and everything in between. Most offer a diverse selection of food from traditional favorites to new recipes. Barbecue cooking competitions are commonplace and events at area wineries celebrate award winning vintages, all during this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s harvest. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Besides being a very beautiful time of year, it is the time that we get really busy in the wine making process,â&#x20AC;? said Paul Renzaglia, winemaker at Alto Vineyards near Alto Pass. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The grapes are becoming ripe, being picked, crushed and we start the process of turning them into wine. He said that the fall is a very rewarding time for grape growers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the time that everything comes to fruition; we get the satisfaction of what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked so hard on all year long.â&#x20AC;? Renzaglia said autumn is a great time for visitors to tour area wineries. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is the exceptional time to come out, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really something to see with the Barbara Bush of Kite Hill Vineyards serves wine to tasters at the Shawnee Hills Wine Festival in Cobden. ripe grapes on the vine



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The Southern File Photo

If scenery and natural beauty are your thing, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll experience it almost everywhere you look, as illustrated by this field of sunflowers.

and with the colors, it is extraordinarily beautiful,â&#x20AC;? he said. Visitors wanting to get an insiderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view of wine making may even want to try their hand â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or foot â&#x20AC;&#x201D; at a traditional grape stomp. Several are held at area wineries during the season. Pheasant Hollow Winery in Whittington hosts the Illinois Grape Stomping Championships each fall. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Anyone is welcome to stomp. You get in a half-barrel and stomp for three minutes,â&#x20AC;? explained Pheasant Hollow manager Bruce Morgenstern. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We measure the juice that is produced to determine the winner.â&#x20AC;? He said that contestants have ranged from age 4 up to a 95-year-old grandmother.

Recreation Outdoorsmen and women are drawn to the area every fall during hunting seasons for deer, waterfowl, turkey and upland game. Besides being a popular activity, hunters find their sport to be a great way to get away from it all. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The hunting in Southern Illinois is great, but I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even have to get a shot off to enjoy it,â&#x20AC;? said Tracy Hatton

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of Eldorado. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love the serenity and peace and quiet. I just leave all my worries in the truck.â&#x20AC;? Hatton said she visits a number of Southern Illinois counties during the deer season, and is especially fond of the hunting in Pope, White and Saline Counties. The beauty of the area in autumn is another plus for her. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fall is the best time to be out there. Everything is so much brighter, plus you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to worry about being too hot or getting bitten by bugs,â&#x20AC;? she said. Fish in the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waterways continue to bite throughout the fall, and the region hosts several fishing tournaments with anglers looking to catch bass, muskie and everything in between. John A. Logan Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual Hunting and Fishing Days is popular for outdoor enthusiasts to get the latest gear and information. Hikers, golfers, motorcyclists and campers all enjoy their activities, and some even take advantage of the season to introduce a new generation to the great outdoors of Southern Illinois. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of my favorite times growing up were around a campfire,â&#x20AC;? said Garrett Stritzel of Herrin, who is enjoying the same activities with his wife and sons.




9/17/2009 3:15:14 PM


cover story

“The opportunities to learn and do something together out in nature is just awesome. I’m getting to revisit everything I did when I was young,” he said.

Football and friends



For many, one of the most sensory aspects of fall comes from the football fields located on high school campuses throughout the region. Homecoming games promote pride in schools and communities, and, along with intense rivalries, make for exciting Friday nights and Saturday afternoons. “Friday nights with the tailgating, the sound of the crowd and the whistles blowing encompass what fall is to me,” Stritzel said. “It’s what makes fall my favorite time of year. For Stritzel and many others, every game brings a sense of unity. “The whole community comes together and it is awesome

to see that much support for the school, the community and the team,” he said. Football is the key component of fall for Marc and Lori Cohen of Cobden, who along with their sons, are huge fans of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Salukis. “Our whole fall schedule revolves around SIU football,” she said. “We’re going to all of the home games, several of the away games, and I’ve already taken off from work for the day of the national championship game — just in case,” Lori Cohen said. Regardless of the interests, whether it’s football or wine tastings, the region offers something for everyone throughout autumn. “The best thing about Southern Illinois in the fall is all of the different aspects,” Stritzel said. “Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you go around one more corner and there is something new or something to rediscover.”

Former SIU football player Craig Turner and Jenny Arteaga were crowned 2008 Homecoming King and Queen during halftime Oct. 11, 2008.

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SIUC by Becky Malkovich

At the

SIUC’s School of Art and Design boasts successful teachers and students

top of their class

The SIUC School of Art and Design may be a hidden gem in Southern Illinois, but its reputation casts a brilliant shine both nationally and internationally. Consider the success enjoyed by many of the school’s graduates who go on to exhibit in major art venues; who curate museums; who design the packaging and look of many familiar products and those who bring their Salukibred expertise to students at other schools, colleges and universities across the country and the world. “Our alumni get jobs. The students whose ambition is to become art professors fulfill that ambition. We have alumni helping guide programs at the flagship institutions in their states. Our graduate program for a long time has been wellrespected nationally and internationally. Those students do well in terms of getting jobs. Many of our students are practicing artists after graduation,” school director Peter Chametzky said. “We hope our undergraduate program provides good training for a lot of different jobs. We teach digital skills, computer skills, problem solving, creative thinking and our graduates find work in business, advertising, industrial design, marketing. With the visual ability and training, I think our students are well prepared for a culture that is becoming more and more dominated by visual imagery.” The school’s faculty is similarly successful. “The faculty is excellent. What a student gets from coming here — whether from a small town or the inner city — is exposure to a world-class faculty and the opportunity for an education in art and design that is as good as can be gotten anywhere,” he said. For instance, industrial design professor Steve Belletire has worked with such international forces as 3M, Black & Decker and Gateway, Chametzky said. Belletire and other design faculty have valuable knowledge to impart to students as they strive to “make the products we

use every day more efficient, ‘green’ and visually appealing,” Chametzky said. Professor Jerry Monteith, whose “Lightspill” sculpture has a permanent home at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mount Vernon, oversees the school’s sculpture program and said the school’s environment is good for faculty as well as students. “We have a fairly young faculty who are very talented and very approachable. Most of our faculty show in strong venues in major cities in the country and even internationally,” Monteith said. “They are talented technically and know the field they are working in as well as the current issues that are significant in the field.” Alex Lopez joined the SIUC faculty in 2006. The sculptor came to Carbondale because of the school’s “great reputation. The School of Art and Design is very strong. It’s nice to be in an environment where everyone works hard and toward a common goal — to be able to be a professional in our fields. We share the work that inspires us. Plus, you meet the greatest people and see some amazing things and hear great stories.” Lopez, whose work was reviewed in the prestigious “Art in America,” said he continues to be surprised by his time in Carbondale. “The eagerness and wonderment here is so refreshing. Everyone is excited about the knowledge one can impart and they are eager to get it, as opposed to being apathetic,” Lopez said. The antithesis of apathy is on display at the school’s studio spaces in the old Glove Factory, where students and faculty can be found working on a great variety of pieces. “So far, I love it,” said Rachel Kirkendoll, a grad student from Kansas who was spending a quiet Friday afternoon in her factory space. “SIU has a great reputation in terms of art schools. There is a nice range in what the professors do, and I knew this would be a good place for me to come and make some sculptures.” The master of fine arts program is ranked in the top 60 among such heady company as the Rhode Island School of Design and Yale University. “We want our students to be able What: The SIUC School of Art and Design’s major fundraising event, to go anywhere in the world and do Art Over Easy auction and gala, features works by faculty, students, alumni what they want to do,” Chemetzky and community artists said. “We want them to be creative Why: Funds raised at the event will go to match grants received by the school that help and skilled and adaptable and be support its programs, scholarships and research adept at problem solving, which When: 7-9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4 are all things a fine arts degree can provide.” Where: Surplus Gallery at the Glove Factory, 432 S. Washington St., Carbondale

Art Over Easy 5

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Assistant professor Alex Lopez looks over his bronze sculpture, which is made of miniature bronze soldiers. Summer Hills-Bonczyk (right) works on a ceramic piece at the SIUC studio.

Students compete for $20,000 and prestigious prize Photos by CHUCK NOVARA

Graduating seniors in SIUCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School of Art and Design have the opportunity to compete for a prestigious annual award â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and be rewarded for their efforts. The Rickert-Ziebold Trust Award was established in 1974 to honor the memory of the late Joseph Rickert, a state senator and lawyer from Waterloo, who was an avid booster of the arts and SIUC. The endowed award comes with a prize totaling $20,000. The Rickert-Ziebold prize can be awarded to a single winner or shared among several competitors. The juried contest allows students to get a taste of the professional art world by competing with their peers. In addition, finalists in the competition have their work judged by a panel of faculty members. Award winners are announced in the spring.

--- Becky Malkovich

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where we live by Debbie Luebke Metro

Indulging their passions Couple finds their Lake Chautauqua home is the best of both worlds

Skip and Robin Cutting moved into their home on Lake Chautauqua two years ago.

Two world champion bicycle racers call a slice of idyllic woods on the shore of Lake Chautauqua home. Skip and Robin Cutting moved into the two-story modern home in Murphysboro just over two years ago, filling the walls with Skip’s oil paintings, art they collected from around the world and art gifts from friends. The home is a perfect location for indulging two of their passions: bicycling and painting. They met at a bicycle shop in Dallas, where they lived for about 14 years before moving here. Robin is originally from

Carbondale; her parents were the first owners of Arnold’s Market. She went to Texas to attend college. After earning a master’s degree, she began working as a physical therapist. Skip earned his degree in exercise physiology and was employed as a teacher, coach and clinical worker. “Now I’m just a slave around here,” he said, joking. Both still train, riding their bicycles in the rolling hills of Southern Illinois. A U.S. champion racer eleven times, Skip has raced in 26 countries and was in the Olympics twice. He is in the Cycling Hall of Fame in New Jersey. Robin tried

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out for the Olympics in 1996 and is a Master’s world champion. A painter for 40 years, Skip is participating in an art project conducted by Olympic athletes. Robin just started painting. When Skip’s daughter decided on a residency program in Ann Arbor, Mich., the two decided to look for another home near Robin’s family. They knew they wanted to live on the water and be surrounded by trees. They also needed room to display all their art work. “The other thing was proximity to the university,” Skip said. “It creates life, so to speak.” Perched on a hill overlooking the lake, the home has a large deck where the water can be seen framed by branches from large trees. Their cat Diesel (named because they found him dodging trucks on a street in Dallas) likes to snooze here on a swing in the sun. Robin loves the peacefulness and openness of the house and surroundings. Skip calls his home “a conduit to the outdoors.” “It really is an indoor-outdoor house,” Robin said. “It feels like you’re coming into another world, like you’re at camp or something.”

Doors are often open to permit Diesel to wander in and out, and the neighbor’s dog, Butterscotch, likes to visit and rest on a wicker chair on the front porch. Their cockatiel, Kraymurr, chirps happily in his cage near a large window. The centrallylocated great room with a 22-foot ceiling, two rows of square windows at the front and two rows of rectangular windows at the back add lots of light and establish the openness of the entire house. There are 10-foot ceilings throughout, and large windows in most of the rooms, making the outdoors seem part of the house.

Columns adorn the hallway between the music room and living room of the Cutting home.



Skip Cutting (right) discusses a triptych painted on burlap he acquired from a church in Ethiopia. Cutting said he put a lot of time and effort into restoring the piece.

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where we live

The great room was built to be a music room. The original owner, Southern Illinois University Carbondale music professor Wilford Delphin, had two grand pianos, a harpsichord and sometimes a stage in the room. Often a guitarist played from the large balcony overlooking the space. The Cuttings’ created several areas here — a conversation spot with a circular leather couch in front of the fireplace, a Spanish dining room set for meals, and a partners desk where the two can attend to mail and pay bills. Skip’s oil paintings range from a portrait of his father, Harry, a sailor in World War II, to a painting of Laguna Beach where he once lived, to a portrait of Robin’s mother when she was 5 wearing a pair of red heels, to the gigantic “Angel of Dance” hanging above the fireplace. “I do paintings that reflect places I’ve been or experiences I’ve had,” he said. The first two art pieces the couple acquired were a painting of Adam and Eve with the serpent, and a monk’s chest. There are 11 hand-carved chess sets from various parts of the world, several of them gifts from Robin to Skip.

Against a wall in the great room are primitive masks from Ghana and a bookshelf created from an oxcart. A hand-carved door near the front of the house was purchased from an Oregon artist. Cobden artist Ellen Spalt gave them the paintings of Queen Anne’s lace and purple thistle that hang near the staircase, and her husband, Lee Spalt, did the abstract painting in the dining area. Above the bar in a passage to the kitchen and family room is a painting of Chartres Cathedral given to Robin by one of her patients. Even the floors of the home reflect nature and the outdoors: cherry in the great room and on the stairs, and Chinese slate in the kitchen and hallways. Built-in bookshelves, a fireplace and two large comfortable-looking leather chairs for TV viewing are part of the family room. A gigantic window provides a magnificent view of a garden filled with black-eyed susans. Art on these walls includes a rare Haitian portrait of Adam and Eve carved from a steel oil drum, and a pen and ink drawing of a view of Paris from the river done by an artist affected by thalidomide who had no arms or legs.

The great room (left) was designed by former School of Music professor and accomplished concert pianist Wilford Delphin. It functioned as a music room and features phenomenal accoustics, which formerly accommodated two grand pianos and a harpsichord. Today, a large sofa faces the fireplace and windows that overlook Lake Chautauqua. On a table in the room (above) sits a carved chess set, one of 11 Skip Cutting has collected from around the world.

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In the master bedroom, a wall of windows provides views of the lake. The steel bed has a maple leaf design, and a gigantic French armoire which the two found in Texas nearly covers one wall. A copy of a Georgia Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Keeffe painting, the first Skip did for Robin, hangs in the room. The master bath, with a large round tub surrounded by windows, leads into Skipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s studio, where many of his paintings of Olympic athletes are displayed. Upstairs, the sweeping views from the balcony are sensational. Covering one wall are Coptic Christian paintings from Ethiopia from 1850-80 that were rescued from a church during an uprising. Skip restored the images on burlap of St. George and the Dragon, the Madonna and Child and Michael the Archangel. The upstairs guest bedroom contains a painting of an old church that Robin bought in Cuba several years ago when she was there for a cycling event. There is a photo of nude farm women protesting in Mexico City not far from a museum containing works by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Like the diversity reflected in their art work, they both appreciate the rich diversity of this area. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is, in some ways, unparalleled,â&#x20AC;? Skip said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re close to some big cities. In one day here we went to Vulture Fest (in Makanda), heard blues and had a glass of wine at Von Jakob Vineyard and heard a classical pianist and opera singer that night.â&#x20AC;? Robin said after living elsewhere sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proud to call this area home once again. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The peace here feels more like us all the time, and I like the openness, too.â&#x20AC;? She is talking about her home, but is probably also referring to what surrounds it.


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SI Saluki Saturdays Saluki sports

by Marilyn Halstead

With tailgating, the football fun begins well before the games do

Southern Illinoisans look forward to fall. With fall comes football. Football brings a Southern Illinois favorite: tailgating. Saluki football fans have joined the traditions of great football powerhouses, like Georgia and Illinois, and joined the tailgate. Who tailgates?

“Everybody tailgates,” said Mike Trude, coordinator of Public Information at SIUC. Individuals and businessess sponsor tailgate parties. The tailgate sponsored by SIU Alumni Association has become a Saluki favorite. Tailgating became more popular when the area between SIU Arena and McAndrew Stadium was designated the tailgate area. The priority parking lot, just west of the stadium, is also a favorite spot of tailgaters. Mike and Nancy Carr of Carbondale have been tailgating at Saluki football games so long it’s hard for them to remember when they started, but they do remember how it started. “We went up to an Illinois game in the early 1980s, and I’d never seen anything like it,” Mike said. Illini fans were everywhere, cooking and eating, as well as showing off their team spirit. The Carrs said they thought it looked fun, so they brought the idea home. “A whole group of us sat together in Section F; that’s where it started,” Nancy said. The couple began tailgating when their 28-year-old son, Tim, was young. Nancy said games always interrupted nap time, so Tim fell asleep. “I remember passing Tim down the line in the stadium,” she said. Their daughter, Katie, attended her first tailgate when she was only 2 weeks old. She is now a freshman at SIUC. “We tailgated before the priority parking lot was a priority lot. When they made it a priority lot, a group of us bought tickets that came with priority parking,” Nancy said, adding that they do not take any more spaces than they are allotted. The party has grown over the years with as many as 80 people attending. “Several times people thought we were the alumni tent, so we just fed them,” Mike said, laughing. The group has always been extremely loosely organized. Amber “Nurse” Hanson sends an e-mail to the regulars and lets everyone know if there is a special menu. The group always cooks, but cooks more for homecoming and has chili once during the season. Elsie Martin and Grey Dawg give the Salukis and tailgating a thumbs up.

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Mike Carr serves guests at a tailgating party behind McAndrew Stadium. ‘Several times people thought we were the alumni tent, so we just fed them,’ says Carr, who tailgates before every Saluki home game with a large group of family and friends. A grill is essential to feed hungry fans of the Dawgs.

Setting up is a group effort, too. The group has two tents and radios, coolers, chairs, crock pots and two grills. The Rochman family brings a grass carpet painted to resemble a miniature football field. There’s a Saluki flag complete with a flagpole and stand. And real Salukis, usually the dogs owned by Don McGee and Jamey Lambert, are around. So they have a custom water bowl for the mascots. “We carry a lot of junk out there,” Mike said. Mike usually drives to the stadium alone because there’s no room in the truck for Nancy, who finishes the food and joins him later. “This is not an easy thing to be like us, a tailgate czar,” Mike said, laughing. Mike thinks the name “tailgate czar” came with the tailgate “boxes,” containers used to transport everything the group needs for its tailgate parties. Dr. Homer and Amber Hanson handed down the boxes. The Hansons and Reed and Joan Martin were the original tailgate czars and organized the tailgates in early years. The Carrs also own a specialized tailgate accessory, an item found only at their tailgate group and in the one next door, which is the party of Mike’s fraternity brother, Rocky Bleyer. “Bill Crippen invented the greatest apparatus, the tailgate parking meter bar,” Mike said. “It comes with a ledge all the way around it, and it is painted maroon and white.” After Mike admired the bar next door, Crippen made one for him. The menu is easier than the set up is. Everyone brings a dish to share. Matt Solverson goes to Sam’s Club and buys hot dogs and brats for some games, especially homecoming,

and cooks them on his “super” grill. “Nurse” Hanson makes vegetable soup that is “to die for,” according to Nancy. Once each year, Mike makes chili for the tailgate. He has a huge cast iron pot and uses a secret recipe. “It is a secret recipe that cannot be duplicated, so secret I don’t even know what it is,” he said. “We did not want this all to be hamburgers and hot dogs. We wanted people to bring things,” Nancy said. “We have some fabulous food.” Even when Mike makes his chili, everyone brings a dish. Don “Big Dog” McGee once sent the group a case of porksicles, a favorite from the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. The Solversons began cooking breakfast for homecoming celebrations, and now it is a tradition. Matt Solverson’s father-in-law lives in the Metro East area but has adopted the Salukis as his team. He usually brings boxes of fresh Krispy Kreme donuts in a variety of flavors. SIU put electrical outlets in the priority parking lot about 10 years ago, and Mike said it revolutionized the parties. “That was a big deal,” he said. “It also added to the stress. You have to get there early and get plugged in.” The outlet often gets overloaded with extension cords and multiple plug adapters. “Nurse’s job is to go out and check the outlet before the season begins. If it doesn’t work, she complains to the physical plant to get it fixed,” Mike said. Former Saluki Coach Jerry Kill started a tradition of the team, cheeleaders, Saluki Shakers and band parading from the Arena to McAndrew Stadium. The tailgate shuts down when the team walks through.

Photos provided by Jim Martin

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Saluki sports

Being an official Saluki mascot is hard work! Real Salukis almost always join in the fun, usually those belonging to Don McGee and Jamey Lambert.

The Marching Salukis make an appearance during last year’s Homecoming tailgate.

Final season at McAndrew Photos Provided by Jim Martin

Here is a quick look at the remaining 2009 SIU football home schedule:

“We clean up and go into the game,” Nancy said. Their tailgate has made television several times, too. “Nurse” Hanson has become spokesman for the group. Solverson’s grill full of brats was featured on ESPN. “When we get someone on TV, that is a highlight,” Mike said. Only one item has ever come up missing: their Saluki flag. Mike hopes someone is running up and down Illinois Avenue with that flag. That would be better use than the flag decorating a tailgate party. But he parks his truck with one tire on the flag base to make sure the replacement doesn’t run away. And the tailgate group has become a sort of family over the years. They have numerous generations of fans and people from all occupations. They share jokes, including one longtime running joke about Mike’s program. “We have a doctor and a nurse. If you fall dead, they’ll save you,” Mike said. “We’ve had babies, celebrated birthdays, passed cards for those who are ill,” Nancy said. “It’s been great. People come back for homecoming, and they know where to come.” 36 SIMagazine : Fall 2009

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Oct. 10: Illinois State (Homecoming), 2 p.m. Oct. 24: Youngstown State (Family Weekend), 3 p.m. Nov. 14: Missouri State, 2 p.m.

ticket Prices & Information Single game ticket prices: Adult reserved seats (west side) $20 Adult general admission seats (east side) $17; homecoming $20 Youth seats $10 How to get them: Call 877-Salukis (877-725-8547) Order online at http://siuslukis.cstv. com/tickets/silu-tickets.html Stop by the SIUC ticket office in Lingle Hall

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wine country by Brent Stewart


alker’s Bluff If you build it, they will come – and they do

the land went to Cynde’s father, who in turn gave her an early inheritance. “My sister was sick a few years ago, and he wanted to help her because she wasn’t able to work,” Cynde said. Her father gave the sisters each a share of the property, then Cynde bought her sister’s share. “Basically, he and I took care of her the last few years of her life, and after she passed away, I came up here to visit him, because he was really the only family left,” Cynde said. Now living in Florida, Cynde came to Southern Illinois a week at a time and stayed in a 1979 Winnebago down by the river that runs across her land. It was then she first began to think about the potential of her family’s land, the place where she was born and raised and would sneak her horse across the river to go to DeSoto. In the 1980s, Cynde was a rehabilitation nurse at Old Ben 24 Coal Mine in Franklin County. Seeing the number of workers disabled on the job inspired her to start her own business out of her home after she and her husband, Dave, moved to Florida. That small business became Bunch and Associates, a disability management company that is

Walker’s Bluff sits on 120 acres of former farmland northeast of Reed Station Road in Carterville.

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photo by Brent stewart

In years past, the green, rolling fields of Southern Illinois were looked at in terms of profit and progress. The coal industry brought in giant shovels, tore up the land and put it back, sometimes the way they found it. At the time, it meant food on the table for the miners’ families and brought a higher standard of living to the area. As time went on, however, technology and environmental policies made Southern Illinois coal difficult to use, and the industry has dwindled. In recent years, there are others who are looking at the same green, rolling fields in a similar manner, as a way to bring prosperity to the region. But they don’t intend to alter the land to strengthen the area economy; they intend to use its natural beauty to attract visitors. When Cynde Bunch looks out over the 120 acres on which Walker’s Bluff winery and entertainment complex is built, she sees many things. There are lush forests, a grassy plain and green vineyards – and a lot of potential. This former farmland, northeast of Reed Station Road in Carterville, was owned by Cynde’s grandparents, Orval and Jewell Walker Morris. When her grandfather died, most of

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The winery is at 14400 Meridian Road in Carterville. From Illinois 13 east of Carbondale, go north on Reed Station Road, turn right at Vaughn Road, staying on it until you can turn left at North County Line Road and follow the signs to Walker’s Bluff. For a complete schedule of events or more information, go to or call 618-985-8463.


the third-largest in the nation and the only one privately held. It employs 600 workers. The thought of starting another business is not one Cynde took lightly. It came when the company her uncle, Dale Morris, worked for was bought out in 2005, slashing his pay in half and taking away his benefits. Cynde decided to plant a vineyard and hire her uncle, who had a farming background, as the supervisor. The grapes were planted in 2006, and the enterprise started growing. Workers were hired because there was more to do. Then an interesting thing happened. While visiting last summer, Cynde noticed a large number of people coming to the land just to see what was going on. “Every Sunday there would be 300 people out here,” Cynde said. “They wanted to start bringing a picnic or let the children play. If you allow it, whether or not you have any revenue off it, you still have a responsibility to keep everything clean.” Her husband jokingly suggested they start charging and, soon enough, plans for a full scale winery and entertainment complex formed, and Walker’s Bluff officially opened July 4, 2009. The grounds have a gazebo with bar, a full-service portable kitchen, a large stage for bands and a screen for outdoor movies and seating. Currently under construction with completion planned for October is the winery’s main building, which will house a restaurant and conference room space and have an outdoor area that will face a natural amphitheater for live performances. Next spring, a wedding pavilion will be built. The Bunch house will be turned into a honeymoon suite. Cabins are part of a more immediate plan, and, eventually, a hotel will be constructed, although plans are still in the works for how large it will be. A wine cave and production facility will also be built for their own wine, which will be estate grown and bottled on site, but not distributed, when grapes are ready in two years. “I think really the vision is more of a destination spot,” Cynde said. “People can come here, stay for a week or a day and have everything they need here. When I say here, I mean they could do the wine trail, visit their child at the university, come back here and do a day of spa, they can go to the (Southern Illinois) Miners and see a ballgame. Here,

Walker’s Bluff features outdoor movies, concerts and other evening activities. Grammy Award-winning Cajun band BeauSoleil performs during Cajun Fest early in September.

in this area, not needing to go to Cape Girardeau or St. Louis or Chicago. We have as good or better, as well as the peace and serenity.” As far as entertainment at Walker’s Bluff, there’s quite a bit to do including live music, trivia nights and chess tournaments. On Labor Day weekend, Cajun musicians BeauSoleil performed, and singer-songwriter John Sebastian will perform at the winery’s grand opening Oct. 10. One of the more unique activities is outdoor movies. They begin after dark, and admission is free. Just bring your lawn chairs or a blanket. “Our thing is all about a family-friendly atmosphere,” said Chelsea Petty, Walker’s Bluff event coordinator. “It’s a really inexpensive way to go out and watch a movie.” Chelsea also said that Walker’s Bluff would like to expand movie nights to include two screens, one for children and one for adults. “Since we don’t have a drive-in theater around here, this is as close as you can get,” she said. Movies chosen are are family oriented and also relate to the season or events happening at the winery. When “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” was shown, Walker’s Bluff was made up to look like everyone had found a golden ticket. Willy Wonka himself even made an appearance. Although Cynde’s plans seem ambitious, she is confident that Southern Illinois is the right place for this venture. “We have a travel industry and a spa industry that has changed the whole economy, not just in the U.S., but the entire world,” Cynde said. “If you look at where people are spending their money it’s on outside events, it’s where they can take the whole family and it’s things that hold us together as a family. Everybody talks about bang for their buck; if they come and stay in one of these facilities, they’re getting all of it.”

Walker’s Bluff will host a grand opening Saturday, Oct. 10, featuring a 6:30 p.m. performance by rock ‘n’ roll legend John Sebastian.

photo by Brent stewart

Grand Opening

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trends by Brent Stewart


home brewer to master

When it comes to beer, forget about the Germans, the Belgians, the English, the Scotch and the Irish. Those countries are known for their long-standing brewing traditions, but it’s the Americans who are leading the world in innovation and production. Prohibition put quite a dent in the development of the industry. According to the Brewers Association, in 1910 there were 1,500 breweries in the United States. As recent as 1980, 40 years after the constitutional ban on booze was repealed, there were fewer than 100. In 2009, we have finally just surpassed the 1910 number. But beer is no longer only about the big boys like Budweiser, Miller or Coors. When you head to the liquor store now, there are many more varieties on the shelves. People are learning there’s more to life that a watereddown lager. You’ve got all sorts of ales, pilsners, porters and stouts, an entire world of flavor. With all this variety, alcohol snobbery is no longer limited to fine wines or vintage scotch. This new appreciation for suds has also led some people to take matters into their own hands. Home brewing has become a popular hobby among beer connoisseurs as they try to perfect their own special formulas. Sometimes it’s just for fun, a hobby that’s an extension of their love of a good brew. For Chuck Stuhrenberg, dreams became a reality. Originally from the Chicago area, Stuhrenberg came to the region to attend Southern Illinois University Carbondale in the 1980s. After graduation, he opened a franchise of Chicago’s Rosati’s Pizza in Carbondale but quickly learned the difficulties of owning a business dependent on student patronage. He closed after five years. “I like to call that my master’s in business,” Stuhrenberg said, joking. In 1990, Stuhrenberg started another venture, Spray Shield Industries, selling paint booths and paint booth filters, which remains his main business.

Murphysboro man’s hobby brings back a town tradition with Big Muddy Brewery

But it was while he was in college that Stuhrenberg began making his own beer. “In high school, friends’ dads would make wine, and I thought that was cool,” he said. Stuhrenberg and his college buddies would home brew, and as the years went on, he began to take his hobby more seriously. “Instead of doing extract brewing, when I moved to full mash, or what they call all-grain, it was a whole different ballgame,” he said. Stuhrenberg said there are infinite recipes as opposed to extract kits, which are mostly likely to elicit a response of ‘Yuk!’ from your friends who taste them. Although Stuhrenberg said he always had professional brewing in the back of his mind, it stayed a hobby until fall 2008, when the economy began to sour, affecting even the paint business. “A lot of businesses just started going dead, and I was like, ‘What can I do here in Southern Illinois that maybe will pay my property taxes,’” he said. “I wasn’t thinking about getting really big or anything.” For guidance, Stuhrenberg looked to Mike Mills, a brewmaster for Buckner Brewing Co. in Cape Girardeau. He went to Cape and worked at the brewery to learn the craft. In his other hobby as a pilot, Stuhrenberg has spent quite a bit of time filling out paperwork for government regulation. That experience, with quite a bit of patience, was a big help as he began the process of applying for the proper licenses. After an extensive search, Stuhrenberg found the right equipment, and in July 2009, Big Muddy Brewing began production. It is the first brewery in Murphysboro in more than 50 years, since the Stecher Brewery shut down. The first beer offered by Big Muddy Brewing is Kinkaid Wheat. It was a recipe popular with Sternberg’s family and friends. It was also something he felt would be a

photos by CHUCK NOVARA

On Tap Big Muddy Brewing’s Kinkaid Wheat beer is available on tap in Carbondale at Pinch Penny Pub, 700 E. Grand, and Stadium Grille, 309 E. Main; and in Murphysboro at The Corner Tavern, 2003 Gartside St., The Da-Nite Tavern, 803 N. 14th St., Veterans of Foreign Wars, 108 S. 10th St., and the Elks Lodge, 1809 Showmaker Drive. For more information about the brewery, including merchandise such as hats and T-shirts, go to

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good “transition beer” for those used to the conventional corporate brew. At this point, there are only six places where Kinkaid Wheat can be bought on tap in Murphysboro and Carbondale. Stuhrenberg will soon begin bottling as well, selling single 22-ounce bottles of Kinkaid Wheat locally. One place offering Kinkaid Wheat is the Murphysboro Elks club. Elks trustee and operations officer Lee Blake said there has been a good response to the new brand. Some regulars have made it their drink of choice. “Anytime we can do something for a product made locally, we like to do it,” Blake said. In addition to diversifying his business interests, Stuhrenberg had another motivation for opening Big Muddy Brewery, which was realized when the Belgium company, InBev, bought St. Louis based Anheuser-Busch.

“I was just thinking, in my small way here, he said. “How can I keep money here in Murphysboro?’ “It’s 100 percent American-owned and 100 percent American-made. We need more of that in every aspect of the food industry.” In the next few months, Southern Illinoisans can look forward to other varieties of beer from Big Muddy Brewing. Stuhrenberg is hopeful that his next selection will be Saluki Dunkel Dog Beer, a recipe he is close to perfecting. Future varieties include Logan Lager, a cream ale, and, eventually, an Oktoberfest. Stuhrenberg is optimistic and feels there is no limit to the future of the brewery. “Hopefully, it’s at a point where I’m busy enough where I can create jobs,” Stuhrenberg said, looking forward a couple of years.

Want to try brewing your own beer? The ‘Beer Philospher’ offers a few tips

Local beer enthusiast Shawn Connelly is the “Beer Philosopher” and writes a column for Beer Connoisseur magazine. Here are his thoughts on do-it yourself brew: l There are basically two methods of homebrewing: extract brewing and Using a densitometer Chuck all-grain brewing. The process is the Stuhrenberg prepares to check same for both once you get to the some beer which has fermented. boil. The Big Muddy Brewery uses natural grains and grinds those All-grain brewing is more grains to their own specifications. detailed because you’re extracting the fermentable sugars directly from kilned malt grains (called grist) through a process called mashing. After the grains are mashed, they’re rinsed to separate the grain husks from the syrupy liquid (called wort pronounced “wert”) through a process called sparging. The wort is transferred into a brew kettle and boiled, cooled, pitched with yeast, then placed in a fermenter. Depending on the type of beer, it will ferment — the yeast will eat the sugar in the wort — for anywhere from five days (for some ales) to two months or more (for lagers). The by-product of the yeast eating the sugars is alcohol and Co2. Once fermented, the beer is then carbonated through bottle conditioning (adding a small amount of fermentable sugar to the bottles beer to allow the residual yeast to create Co2 in the bottle) or kegged (force carbonated with a Co2 canister). l The cardinal rule of homebrewing is sanitation! l Homebrewing isn’t difficult, and brewing using malt extract is easiest for a beginner. Kits are available to brew beer this way at home. You’ll just need some additional pieces of equipment, like a brew kettle, fermenter (plastic, glass or steel), capper, etc. l In some cases, an ale can be ready to drink within a couple of weeks of brewing. Lagers typically take a couple of months. --- Brent Stewart

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the arts by Joanna Gray

Artstarts plays

a starring role in community service They’ve danced their way down the Yellow Brick Road in “The Wizard of Oz.” They’ve sung the Good News in “Godspell,” and they’ve made memories as the magical felines of “Cats.” In the spring of 2010, they will don the tattered clothes and cockney accents of Charles Dickens’ beloved street urchins to tell the classic tale of “Oliver.” They are the young performers of Artstarts, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Marion which is dedicated to giving an enriching experience of the arts and community service to children in all of the 14 southern counties of Illinois – Williamson, Jackson, Union, Massac, Pulaski, Alexander, Saline, Perry, Franklin, Jefferson, Gallatin, Hardin, Johnson and Pope. More than a theater group, Artstarts produces a spring musical as well as musical productions tied to charitable events throughout the year. The organization also sponsors art

contests and shows, music theater workshops and fundraising events that benefit multiple local charities. Participation is open to children ages 8 to 18, but Artstarts’ leaders always make exceptions so that no child who wants to perform is ever turned away. “All children are accepted,” said Rebecca O’Neill, a professor of law at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and founding member of Artstarts. O’Neill now serves as president of the executive board of directors. “The ultimate production, no matter what skills the children had coming into a show, has always turned out fabulous,” O’Neill said. “I often think it’s because of the good karma we created by being so accepting that the stars fall in favor of Artstarts. Children of all ages become very good friends with other artists throughout our productions. Most of

More than a theater group, Artstarts produces a spring musical as well as musical productions tied to charitable events throughout the year. The organization also sponsors art contests and shows, music theater workshops and fundraising events that benefit multiple local charities.

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all, children expand their community and realize that there are many others who are just like them in the world. They know they belong.”

More Info

No dream too big

For more information on Artstarts productions and events, contact Cindy Hunt at 618-922-1853 or

The organization also gives scholarships each year to three high school seniors chosen from the 14 counties who are going into an art-related field. This year’s recipients are Sabrina Sanders of Marion, Justin Kimball of Benton and Angie Fisher of Herrin. “Art has significantly touched the lives of my children,” O’Neill said.” I, as well as the others, wanted to share some of the opportunities my children have had with other

photos provided

Artstarts began with the belief that no dream is too big for children who want to participate in the arts. In 2005, five Marion moms – Cindy Hunt, Sara Bond, Barbara Cypin, Rebecca O’Neill and Beth Mohlenbrock – took the initiative to enter their junior-high-age children in an international theater competition held every other year in Atlanta. “Our kids had just completed a Broadway musical in junior high,” Hunt said. “We wanted the school system to enter the cast in the theater competition, but the school couldn’t afford it. So we decided to take our children on own, and our group of seven kids won. We knew that we couldn’t depend on the schools alone to promote opportunities like this, because the budgets for art and theater programs are constantly being cut. So we decided to start our own nonprofit organization just for kids.” Hunt is the executive director of Artstarts, which now has both an executive board and production board with the original five members in leading roles. In establishing Artstarts, they have dedicated themselves to giving exceptional opportunities not only to their own children, but to all children in the region.

More than 100 children from Southern Illinois were involved in the production of ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ which ran March 26-29 at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. There were two completely different casts alternating every other performance and a full orchestra made up of musicians of all ages.

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the arts

children. That is why I worked to establish Artstarts, a non-profit charity that provides amazing opportunities in the arts for children throughout Southern Illinois.” O’Neill and Hunt both emphasized that Artstarts has become a very close community of volunteers and families who devote much time and energy to making all of the shows and events a success for both the children and the community. “We pride ourselves on having some of the most wonderful families in Southern Illinois,” Hunt said. “They all get involved, even the fathers, who help build our sets and contribute in many different ways. We are very proud of the way they help us get the kids involved in the arts and community service at an early age.”

‘Dancing’ for community service On Nov. 21, Artstarts will host its third annual Dancing with Artstarts fundraiser at Marion Civic Center. This very popular event, which is based on the hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” features local celebrities from many walks of life and raises money for nine local charities: Hospice of Southern Illinois, Marion Ministerial Alliance, MADD, Lighthouse Shelter, The H Group (formerly Franklin Williamson Human Services), Williamson County Child Advocacy Center, Night Shield and Marion Regional Humane Society. “We’re more than a theater group,” Hunt said. “We’re also a community service group, and we encourage our children to get involved in helping others at a young age.” Each charity is responsible for finding its own volunteer dancing couple, who competes for a mirror ball trophy just like the one on “Dancing with the Stars.” Audience members “vote” for the couple of their choice by donating money to the charity. At the end of the night, a winner is chosen based the charity that raised the most money. Hunt said each charity keeps all the money it raises that night. Last year, Dancing with Artstarts raised a total of $50,000 among the nine charities. “Dancing with Artstarts is just as competitive as ‘Dancing 44 SIMagazine : Fall 2009

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Dancing with Artstarts What: Dancers compete for votes in the form of donations Who benefits: Raises money for nine local charities When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21 Where: Marion Cultural and Civic Center Cost: $25; concessions available for purchase Call: 618-997-4030; all seats are reserved

with the Stars’ and just as fun because our dancers practice really hard and really want to win the trophy,” Hunt said. “It’s all about entertainment and giving back to the community.” In addition to the dancing couples, about 100 children will perform four times that night in a production themed “Oh, Happy Day,” featuring the songs and sounds from the movie “Sister Act.” The production will be choreographed by Hillary Renda of High Image Studio in Marion. She also choreographs the spring musicals and led the dance segment of the Music Theater Dance camp earlier this year. Matt Throgmorton, of Froggy Photography of Marion, contributes his expertise in event photography and multimedia services. “The opening number is ‘Oh, Happy Day,’ and the closing number is ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,’” Hunt said. “The mission of Artstarts ties into the themes of these songs that there is nothing you can’t reach, nothing is unattainable for these kids.” Last year’s theme was “Michael Jackson: Heal the World.” “We were very fortunate to be able to celebrate Michael Jackson’s music and dance before (his death),” Hunt said. “Many of the younger kids didn’t grow up in his era, but they learned to love his music and dancing.” Hunt also said that during the 10 weeks of rehearsal before the event, dancers and children bring donations of canned goods for the Marion Ministerial Alliance food pantry every week. Also, representatives of each charity come to talk to the children about their organizations and explain how the money they raise will help others. “By the time the event rolls around, the Ministerial Alliance has a good back stock for the holiday season,” Hunt said. “We hold this event before the holiday purposely so we can gear up for the season of giving.” The children of Artstarts also benefit from donations and support of individual and business sponsors. Every other year, Hunt and other Artstarts board members take a group on a five-day bus trip to New York City, where the children and their parents can experience the sites and sounds of the city, including three Broadway shows. “We have so many talented volunteers — great artists, musicians, dancers — who donate their time and talents toward the work that Artstarts does,” O’Neill said. “In turn, we discover children’s talents and encourage them to use those talents. Also, the children witness people giving, and the children give back. We hope to leave a legacy of children that will do the same for future generations.” l i v i n g ,

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business buzz by Brent Stewart

Looking at the world through

multi-colored glass Coast, and the process of deciding where to move was similar to throwing a dart at a map. “I didn’t really care which state I lived in,” Ruth said. “I wanted Midwestern values.” Fortune struck when the Greens found a house on McLeansboro Street in Benton, a historic mansion with a carriage house that could be home to a business for making and shaping stained glass, something Ruth has done for more than 20 years. “In my line of work, it’s all about reputation,” Ruth said. “If you’ve got the reputation, people will come.” Upon moving in, the upstairs became home to the Green family. The entire downstairs became the Glass Haunt. The windows are decorated with the work of Green and her business partner, Julia Fitzpatrick, and the inside also displays smaller items for sale, such as

photos by Stephen Ricker

The women of the Glass Haunt have decided to make a stained-glass sign for the business. The project, described by owner Ruth Green in a velvet-smooth English accent, will have 164 pieces and will take about 16 hours. Throughout the process, there is a little bit of dispute about the design, and somewhere along the way, a man comes in to service the fire extinguishers. All in all, it’s a fairly normal day. And it’s documented in one of the Glass Haunt’s online webisodes, short videos Ruth edits down from a day’s worth of footage shot by the small Webcam positioned to look out over the studio. She posts it on the business’ Web site, www.glasshaunt. com, as well as on YouTube. The large, old home that houses the Glass Haunt is also home to Ruth and her family. Three years ago, the Greens moved to Southern Illinois from California. They knew they wanted to be somewhere other than the West

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home décor pieces, crosses and chess sets. “Our main line of work is custom windows for business and residential,” Ruth said. “Clients show us where the window is going to be located. It is important to understand the setting for the piece, so that we can design it to match its surroundings. Then we measure for size. Definitely in our line of work, the old adage holds true, ‘Measure twice, cut once.’ Once we have decided on location and size, it comes down to cost. This is a little harder because glass varies so greatly in price depending on whether the sheet of glass is machine rolled or hand-manufactured. “Cost also depends on how detailed the piece is. Stained glass is so laborintensive. Each piece has to be hand cut and ground to fit exactly, then foiled and soldered. Finally, there is a long finishing process. So we like to make it easier for our clients and ask them to give us a budget. Then we adjust the amount of pieces or the type of glass used to juggle the numbers around to meet their budget.” When Ruth and her, husband, Andrew came “across the big pond” from the United Kingdom, she didn’t have a work visa, which had a twoyear waiting period. During that waiting period, out of boredom, she began taking classes on working with stained glass. Her initial exposure was unsatisfying because of uninterested teachers, but the minute she cut her first piece of glass, Ruth was hooked. “I spent two years in my basement at home, wasting and breaking an awful lot of glass, finding out what worked and what didn’t work,” Ruth said. “I love the feel of it, I love the sound of it, I love everything about it.”

Ruth Green, owner of the The Glass Haunt in Benton, poses for a portrait next to one of her stained-glass works.

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local events

October Festivals

Classes, etc. What: The Glass Haunt Where: 218 N. McLeansboro St., Benton Classes: 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, 1 to 4 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays Online: View products, watch webisodes, register for classes at Phone: 618-439-9481

The more experience she gained, the more Ruth learned, from pieces she would have to break down and put back together to pieces that were successful. The lack of a good teaching experience stuck with Ruth, who decided the instruction they would offer at the Glass Haunt would be different. “Our classes are free-form and unstructured,” Ruth said. “Students may build what they want because we believe in total hands-on experience. We are with them every step of the way throughout their project and are highly focused on teaching correct technique so that students will have the confidence to go on and build bigger and better projects. So many hobby stained-glass pieces sadly end up in landfills due to poor construction. We believe in not only keeping this art form alive but well-practiced, too, with skilled artisans. We charge a nominal studio-time fee for anyone who wants to learn.” Beth Lipscomb of Benton has been taking classes at the Glass Haunt since November. She had wanted to learn about stained glass since she moved to the area nine years ago but wasn’t able to find anyone who offered a class. “I’ve just always been fascinated with stained glass,” Beth said. “I thought it was beautiful and thought someday it would be fun to work with. Everything I know I’ve learned from Ruth. I came in here knowing absolutely nothing.” The Glass Haunt takes the craft very seriously, but the women always try to maintain an atmosphere of joy in their work. The webisodes from Ruth, Julia and employee April Martin’s love of reality shows like Bravo’s “The Real Housewives.” However, the webisodes are nothing like those series, because everyone at the Glass Haunt gets along so well. There’s no drama there. “To me, it’s really laid back, relaxed,” April said. “We’re like a family here. We cut up a lot and have fun. That’s the point.”

FALL FESTIVAL Carnival, games and parade When: Oct. 1-3 Where: Vienna City Park, Vienna Phone: 618-658-2063 SALINE COUNTY BLUEGRASS AND BAR B QUE Bluegrass and Cajun entertainment, great barbecue When: Oct. 3 Where: Saline County Pioneer Village, Harrisburg Phone: 618-252-6789 RIVERBOAT DAYS Annual event features golf tournament, parade, queen contest and ball, Little Miss contest, church tours, quilt show and flea market. Admission for some events When: Oct. 5-8 Where: Eighth Street, Cairo Phone: 618-734-2737 OKTOBERFEST Parade, 6 p.m. Friday; craft fair, 8 a.m. Saturday; king and queen coronation Saturday; live entertainment and food vendors When: Oct. 9-10 Where: Downtown and City Hall parking lot, Steeleville Phone: 618-965-3134 UNION COUNTY COLORFEST CELEBRATION Home tours, arts and craft fair, Biathlon race, music, barbecue. Kid fest at Anna City Park, 9 a.m.5 p.m. Saturday. Annual Wiener Dog Derby, with doggie fashion show at 1 p.m. with race beginning at 2 p.m. When: Oct. 9-11 Where: Throughout Union County Phone: 800-248-4373 SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY CARBONDALE HOMECOMING Parade, recognition of alumni and SIU-Illinois State Football game When: Oct. 10

Where: SIU Campus and University and Illinois avenues, Carbondale Phone: 618-453-2000 OKTOBERFEST FESTIVAL Vendors, carnival, music, car show, craft show, overload horse pull, barbecue cook off When: Oct. 10, begins at 8 a.m. Where: Sesser City Park Phone: 618-625-5566 POPE COUNTY FALL FESTIVAL Arts, crafts, food and more. Free When: Oct. 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Main Street, courthouse lawn, Golconda Phone: 618-672-4317 SOUTHERN ILLINOIS HARVEST FESTIVAL Weeklong events feature parade, entertainment, antique tractors, competitions and kid’s events When: Oct. 10-17 Where: Mount Vernon Phone: 618-316-4723 AMERICAN THRESHERMAN FALL FESTIVAL Demonstrations and other crafts. Operating sawmill, rides on miniature train, consignment auction of antiques. Tractor pull at 11 a.m. Saturday. Admission: $2 When: Oct. 16-18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Perry County Fairgrounds, Pinckneyville Phone: 618-357-3241 VULTUREFEST, MAKANDA Artists and craftsmen, food and music. Free When: Oct. 17-18, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Where: Makanda Boardwalk Phone: 618-457-6282 ALTO PASS COLORFEST 2009 Music and Wine tasting When: Oct. 17-18, noon to 6 p.m. Where: Alto Vineyards, Alto Pass 618-893-4898 TOUR DE SHAWNEE Bicycle ride offering tour lengths of 15 to 100 miles. When: Oct. 24, 8 a.m. Where: Rides begin at Olive Branch Community Center Phone: 866-407-1450

FLUOROSPAR FESTIVAL Barbecue, a carnival, children’s games, food and craft vendors When: Oct. 1-3 Where: Rosiclare Phone: 618-285-3445

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parting shot

p.s. photo by Alan Rogers The Southern

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Canoers make their way across Campus Lake recently at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

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SI Magazine Fall 2009  
SI Magazine Fall 2009  

The Southern Illinoisan's quarterly publication of SI Magazine.