St. Elmo News

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By The Staff

Thursday, November 28
• Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Saturday, November 30
• St. Elmo Community Clothes Closet will not be open.
Sunday, December 1
• A benefit for Eric Grobengieser and Jim Kline will be held at the Altamont Carriage House Event Center. There will be a dinner from noon-2 p.m., a bake sale, silent auction from noon-2:30 p.m. and a live auction at 3 p.m. There will be a gun raffle for a Henry Lever Action 222 Rifle, standard blue bodel. Supplemental funds will be provided by Thrivent Financial.
• The annual church conference for United Methodist Churches in the Wolf Creek Cluster area will be at 2 p.m. in the Altamont First United Methodist Church.
• The St. Elmo Christmas Parade, 6 p.m. The lighting of the Christmas tree will follow the parade and there will be caroling, etc. See article on this following the announcements.
Monday, December 2
• Items for the clothing giveaway are being accepted at the Freedom Reigns in Christ. See Future Announcements article.
• St. Elmo City Council, 7 p.m., Phillips Building.
Tuesday, December 3
• Friendly Neighbors Christmas potluck, noon, Phillips Building. Ham will be furnished. Those attending are to take a wrapped white elephant gift that will be used for a game.
• Council of Catholic Women Christmas dinner, 6 p. m., Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
Wednesday, December 4
• Wright’s Corner Unit of Home and Community Education, 11 a.m., Hitchin’ Post at Brownstown. Those attending are to take an item for Caring and Sharing, and a wrapped $5 gift.
Thursday, December 5
• Reservations are to be made by next Thursday for persons planning to attend the Royal Neighbors of America #5785 Christmas dinner at noon on Saturday, Dec. 7, in the First Church of God S.H.E.D. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children 3-12. Reservations can be made by calling 829-3394 or 217-343-1061.
• St. Elmo Business Association, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club, Christmas party at 6 p.m. at Thelma’s Restaurant in the Effingham Holiday Inn. To carpool, those attending are to meet at 5:20 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church parking lot.
Future Announcements
• Freedom Reigns in Christ Church east of St. Elmo on U.S. Route 40 will have a clothing give-away from 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Dec. 7. There also will be ham sandwiches, hotdogs, cookies, coffee and Kool-aid provided.
Accepted will be clothing, furniture, knick-knacks, etc., next Monday through Friday, Dec. 2-7  between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Do not leave clothes outside or they will be disposed of. For questions, you can call Melissa Carson at 217-663-0795 or the church at 827-9757.
• Santa Claus will be in the St. Elmo Community Park Centennial Building on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 2-4 p.m. The Avena Township Park Board will provide oranges, candy, hot chocolate and coffee to those attending. The board will welcome donations of cookies for Santa’s visit; they can be taken to the Centennial Building at 1 p.m. on Dec. 8.
Christmas in St. Elmo
Christmas in St. Elmo is being sponsored by the St. Elmo Business Association and this year’s event will be on Sunday, Dec. 1.
The Parade of Lights will start at 6 p.m. Vehicles, floats, people, etc., can be decorated with seasonal lights. The parade will line up on Sixth Street, south of the Bradford Supply on Walnut Street. Line-up time is 5:30 p.m.
The parade will go east to North Main, turn south and go to Second Street, turn west to go to Walnut Street, then turn east on Fourth Street, where the parade will end.
After the parade, the Christmas tree at the corner of Main and Fourth will be lighted by Mary Magnus, the 2013 St. Elmo Citizen of the Year. A community C=chorus will sing seasonal songs.
St. Elmo Historical Society will sell food. Businesses are invited to remain open, or open up, for Christmas in St. Elmo.
Fayette County Cookbooks Have Arrived
The Fayette County Museum’s 35th snniversary cookbooks arrived Nov.25 at the Fayette County Museum. They sell for $15 to help raise funds for the restoration of the Museum’s upstairs.
The books now are available at the museum, which is open from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Some businesses in the Fayette County towns soon will have the cookbooks to sell; this info will be given soon. They will make good gifts for Christmas.
New Extension Program Coordinator
Donna Duncan McCormack recently joined the U of I Extension 4-H staff as the Clay/Fayette counties program coordinator.
She is excited to learn about 4-H and getting started in the new position. She has met several at the County Achievement Awards Night recently held and is looking forward to meeting other 4-H members, leaders and volunteers.
She has a degree in elementary education from Eastern Illinois University, so educating youth is very important to her. She has subbed in the Clay City School District.
In her spare time, she enjoys renovating her and her husband’s home. She also enjoys playing with her springer spaniels, Maggie and Molly.
Other staff members serving Fayette County are Rachelle A. Hollinshead, county director; Ken Larimore, Extension educator, CED; Tabitha Welch, Extension educator, 4-H youth; Debbie Boley, office support assistant; and Jo Stine, community worker, SNAP-Ed.
Historical Vandalia, Inc
The Board of Historical Vandalia Inc. met the evening of Nov. 18 at the Fayette County Museum in Vandalia with the following present: President Steve Durbin, Joyce Mueller, Phil Shroyer and Mary Truitt of Vandalia, Marilyn Beyes of Smithboro, Jim Brewer of Ramsey and Anna Jean Rhodes of St. Elmo.
Truitt reported that the museum had 350 visitors in October; the Halloween evening of trick or treating helped the attendance.
About 30 items the museum has received since the last meeting include books, photos, campaign buttons and posters and post cards. Many of the items relate to the John F. Kennedy 1963 assassination
It was reported that the museum’s 35th anniversary cookbook should be received at the end of November or early in December.
It was voted to have Brewer put the museum information on Facebook.
Beyes reported that the sale of baked goods and vegetables in 2013 has made more than $600 for the restoration fund. Gooseberries and seedless blackberries are still available for pies. Pies can be ordered by calling the Museum at 283-4866 anytime between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The Statehouse Christmas Open House are set for Saturday, Dec. 14. The museum normally closes at 4 p.m., but will remain open until 6:30 p.m. and Baroque Folk will perform their music during this time.
County Extension Foundation
The Fayette County Extension Foundation met the evening of Nov. 19 in the Vandalia Extension Office. Joi Eddy of Ramsey was elected to the board of trustees to replace Lynn Tappendorf of St. Elmo who had resigned.
Sunday, March 30, has been set as the date for a fundraiser spaghetti dinner; the place will be announced later.
Those present at the meeting were President Brian Willenborg of Vandalia, Caryl Hickerson of Shobonier, Mary Ann Rhoades of Ramsey, Marsha Lilly-Wright of Beecher City, Joan Schaal of St. Peter, Kevin Payne of Brownstown, Anna Jean Rhodes of St. Elmo and Rachelle Hollinshead, Unit 21 County Extension director, of Vandalia.
The next meeting is set for Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Vandalia Extension Office.
Royal Neighbors
A regular meeting of the Royal Neighbors of America #5784 was held the afternoon of Nov. 20 in the Phillips Building, and plans were finalized for the Christmas dinner, set for noon on Saturday, Dec. 7, in the First Church of God S.H.E.D. Everyone is welcome to attend the catered meal. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children 3-12. To make a reservation, call 829-3394 or 217-343-1061 by Dec. 5.
Those attending are asked to take a non-perishable food or a new toy for Caring and Sharing. Also, socks, gloves and caps would be appreciated.
RNA is planning to pay for the turkeys for the Thanksgiving dinner and hams for the Christmas dinner the ministerial alliance is having for shut-ins and those having to spend the holidays alone.
A New Year’s dinner for RNA will be held at noon on Jan. 1, with the place to be announced later. Everyone is welcome to join the RNA members; take a dish to share.
Those attending the meeting were Ina Abendroth, Jean Brown, Anna Ruth Lilly, Irene Reed, Marjorie Sarver, Della Stewart, Betty Weight and Leona Wright.
St. Elmo HCE
The St. Elmo Unit of Home and Community Education met the afternoon of Nov. 20 in the St. Elmo Public Library.
Roll call, “The person or thing I am most thankful for,” was answered by Karen Denning, Goldie Harris, Loretta Heischmidt, Noma Moore, Mary Myers, Anna Jean Rhodes, Ann Rowland, Sharon Shelton and Karen Wegscheid.
The October HCE Board newsletter was read. Volunteer service sheets were given to each one. Also passed out were the special feature lesson on cookies and the new program books. The meeting was devoted to filling out the program books January through December 2014.
Those attending took cookies, cupcakes, etc that first were served along with cans of soda. Plastic bags were available for each one to take samples of each of the leftovers.
The unit decided to have a Christmas party at the Brownstown Hitchin’ Post at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
All-Church Thanksgiving Dinner
The First United Methodist Church Vit-Em-In Sunday school class sponsored an all-church Thanksgiving dinner the evening of Nov. 21 in the church Fellowship Hall.
Those attending were the following: Elizabeth Bail, Bob Cox, Rene Edwards, Judy Gillespie, Kent Janes, Helen Koonce, Frank and Delva Krost, Ed and Barb Lane, Richard Lowe, Rick and Kari LaMar and Aidan, Bob and Joanne Owen, Dave and Joann Maxey, Dee and Leatha Newberry, Anna Jean Rhodes, Joni Springman, Kathy Spitler, Jack and Marilyn Sproat and Lloyd and Mona Stanley, all from St. Elmo, and Pastor Dan and Pat Laack of Vandalia.
Rev. Laack gave the meal blessing. The tables were decorated in a fall Thanksgiving theme by Edwards and Marilyn Sproat.
The Vit-Em-In class furnished turkey, dressing, gravy and mashed potatoes (that Mary Ann’s Restaurant made for them) and bread and beverages. Those attending took a variety of vegetables, salads, cranberry sauce and desserts (that included pumpkin pies) to make a complete Thanksgiving dinner menu.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings on a Fayette County Actress
I just found out about a former Vandalia resident, June Squibb, in her largest movie roll to date. She plays Kate Grant in the Paramount movie “Nebraska,” which stars, in addition to her, Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Stacy Keach and Bob Odenkirk. It is directed by Alexander Payne.
As the character, Kate Grant, she is the wife of Dern’s character, Woody Grant, and mother of Forte’s character, David Grant.
Right now, the movie is in limited release. The closest movie to Vandalia started being played in three theaters in Chicago on Nov. 22.
During the St. Elmo oil boom, my folks moved to Vandalia the fall of 1939. We lived on Eighth Street and I was in the fifth grade at Lincoln School. June was a classmate. I became friends with several in the area, including June, who lived a few blocks north and a little east. After a half year in the fifth grade, we moved back to St. Elmo.
The last time I saw June was when she played stripper Electra in “Gypsy,” had been on Broadway, but was in St. Louis on Dec. 9, 1961. LeMar and Billye Jo Marchman, Bob and Jeanne Cox and Phil and I went to the musical, which starred Ethel Merman. After the play, we went backstage to talk a few minutes to June.
My son, Steve Rhodes of Chicago, and a friend of his, Scott Edmonds, also of Chicago, both emailed me news articles that had been published about her – one was in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 17 and one was in the Chicago Tribune on Nov. 22. I finished writing my life story last Christmas Eve and gave a copy to Steve and my daughter, Phyllis and family. In one of the years, I told about the Marchmans and Coxes and Phil and I going to see the play “Gypsy.”
The Los Angeles Times article tells that 84-year old June has honed her acting craft for more than 60 years. She began as a character ingénue at the Cleveland Playhouse, getting a big break in off-Broadway playing in 1958—she played the comic supporting role of Dulcie in “The Boy Friend.” She was in musicals 15 years. Her late husband and acting teacher, Charlie Kakatsakis (who died in 1999), inspired her to retire her tap shoes and do more dramatic work. She was age 60 when she made her film debut in Woody Allen’s 1990 “Alice.”