St. Elmo News

Thursday, July 28
• ExxonMobil Annuitants, noon, Maverick Restaurant, Litchfield.  
Tuesday, August 2
• Friendly Neighbors, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant. Those attending are asked to take school supplies for the grade school.
Wednesday, August 3
• St. Elmo City Council, 7 p.m., St. Elmo City Hall.
Thursday, August 4
• Registration at St. Elmo Jr.-Sr. High School and Elementary School, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
• St. Elmo Business Association, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
Blood Drive
• American Red Cross blood drive, 2-6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 8, St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Hall. Donors of all blood types are needed. All presenting donors will receive a St. Louis Cardinals T-shirt, while supplies last.
Family Fun Fest
Family Fun Fest was sponsored by St. Elmo First United Methodist Church from 4-8 p.m. on Sunday, July 17, at Deken Park. It was a fun time for the whole family and it is estimated that 100 attended.
Everyone is thankful that the clouds and rain came at 2 p.m. and the sun was shining again the rest of the afternoon; the west wind helped with the temperature.
Prairieland Pickers entertained for about two hours. In the group are Don and Carol Allsap of Beecher City; Tom and Sheri Watson of Altamont; and J. R. and Sue Borcherding, and Dee and Leatha Newberry of St. Elmo.
There were fun and games for the kids and the adults enjoyed the wonderful fellowship of visiting and being entertained by several babies who were there with their parents.
For the meal, pork chop sandwiches and hot dogs were cooked by Dale Sperry, and those attending took all kinds of potluck dishes. Snow cones also were available with tickets from the youth.
After the meal, several, of various ages, gave testimonies about the love of Jesus Christ in their lives and how they shared Him with others.
Historical Vandalia Inc.
The board of Historical Vandalia Inc. met the evening of July 18 at Fayette County Museum in Vandalia and received tickets to sell for the Season of Entertainment and History featuring “People and Antiques.” Proceeds from these events will go toward the building restoration.
The first event is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 25, in the Vandalia First United Methodist Church Wesley Hall, which is handicap accessible. This one will start at 1:30 p.m. (others will start at 2 p.m.), because Stan Seevers of Argenta needs a little extra time.
Seevers, known as the “The Tool Man,” will present “Stan’s What’s It,” a very popular program given a couple of years ago. This year Stan will bring different unique farm and home tools from his extensive collection for those attending to try to identify their usefulness; each person will be given a sheet of paper with each number telling where the object will be used.
After the fun time of trying to figure out the identity of each, Stan will tell what each is. His presentation is a lot of fun and those present learn about their ancestors and how they lived their lives. Prizes will be given to the audience members who can recognize and identify most of the tools.
Those attending may take a mystery item for Stan to identify.
A variety of refreshments will be served after the program and a door prize will be given.
The second event, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, will be on Annie Oakley by Barbara Kay of Glen Carbon and the third event, 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, 2017, will be “The Lincoln Boys” by Kevin Kaegy of Greenville. More will be given on these events in the future.
All events are at the Vandalia First UM Church and refreshments follow each event.
Season tickets donations are $30 per person. Single event tickets are $13 in advance or $15 at the door. Student tickets (age 6-18) are half price. In addition to the board members, tickets are available at the Fayette County Museum; the phone number is 283-4866. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Present at the board meeting were President Steve Durbin, Donna Blair 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 178 visitors in June. Truitt represented Historical Vandalia Inc. at the June 28 7:30 a.m. breakfast at First National Bank in Vandalia that was held to donate funds to various organizations. The museum received $150, which will be put into the operations fund.
Beyes reported that because of the weather this year, the garden west of the museum didn’t produce as many gooseberries as it usually does, but there are gooseberries in the freezer for several pies that the museum sells for $12.50 for regular and $3 for mini size.
Since the June meeting the following items have been donated to the museum: original manuscript “Frog Town and the Buried Treasure”; Samuel Sidener 1866-1871 ledger; genealogical info on Samuel Sidener and typed copy of his ledger; scrapbook from 1880’s and info on owner; copy of one page story from L. Hanabarger’s book, “Scrapbook Tells Story of Women in 1880’s”; three land grants (1838,1849,1848); four land deeds (1838,1841,1848,1869); postcard of Statehouse; color 4×6 photo of Phil and Marilyn putting bricks in garden walkway; 1994 menu from Cuppy’s Soda Fountain;
Sunday picture section of St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1967 with a story about Vandalia; White rotary sewing machine with attachments and instructions; 1929 photo of Lincoln School Rhythm Band; photo of part of thye women’s Bible class of the Methodist Church; and photo of parade float for Johnson, Stephens & Shinkle Shoe Co.
St. Elmo HCE
For the special July activity, the St. Elmo Unit of Home and Community Education planned to eat lunch July 19 at the House of Plenty in Highland (they first thought it was in Belleville). Of the seven who originally planned to go, only two were able to do so, because two were ill, one had a family death, one had visitors and one had another commitment. The two chose to stay home.
It was found out that the House of Plenty closed about two years ago, but if three or four could have gone, the destination suggested was Eckert’s Farm and Country Store and Restaurant in Belleville. This may now be the August activity, if enough can go on a scheduled date that has to be decided.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings
on July
July has been a very different month for me. On Friday, July 1, I had to go to Champaign/Urbana to get new batteries for my wheelchair at National Seating and Mobility.
When I left the parking area to get on Champaign Avenue, I thought I looked both ways for traffic. When I made a left turn to go east I hit a car going west;it stopped in the eastbound lane and I stopped in the west bound lane. The seat bags didn’t go off.
I had a small bump on the left side of my head, just above my forehead, and a small scratch on my right knee and a small scratch on my left elbow. I started my van and backed back into the wheelchair parking area to get out of the westbound lane. I think the first to arrive was the fire department, then the ambulance. I didn’t go to the hospital, but the woman, who was the driver in the other car, did. She was checked and didn’t have to stay.
It wasn’t long until a policewoman came to fill out papers on the accident and that took quite a while. I finally got out of my van to check the damage; my van left front hit the 1997 car right front. I knew there would be a lot of work, but the van was able to be backed into the parking area. I knew I would have to wait for an insurance appraisal because this was the Friday afternoon before the Fourth of July.
A towing vehicle came to remove the car to a garage; it was about 3:30 when my van was towed to a garage. I had to go back inside the wheelchair office to wait for a van to take me home. I also called my Country Company Insurance agent Cheryl Watson.
Being in a wheelchair, I can’t get into a taxi; I had to get a med van and one wasn’t available until 4:30 p.m., so I was able to stay in the wheelchair office. The med van got me back home at 6:30 p.m. (and the cost was $415).
I had a message on my phone from Country Companies at Springfield and she said she would leave at 4:30 p.m. I could not return the call until Tuesday, July 5. That day, I had to make a lot of calls, found out both vehicles were totaled (my 2010 Chrysler only had a little more than 60,000 miles and in May I had four new tires put on it), and one of the calls was to United Access, which handles handicap vehicles. It had a cherry red 2015 Dodge that had a little more than 30,000 miles on it.
On July 7, United Access brought the van for me to look at. I decided to take it, so they took out the driver’s seat and let me pull up in my wheelchair to where it was comfortable to use the brake and accelerator; they marked where my chair would be locked in.
Before I could get the Dodge ,I had to wait until the insurance made the appraisal final (Hosick Motors at Vandalia had to email the insurance about the new tires and United Access had to email them about the cost of a wheelchair lift for the van).
United Access brought me the Dodge on July 12. On July 14, when I went to the Lunch Bunch meeting, my seat belt had nothing to attach it to; it came from the left door and would not reach over to the passenger seat belt.
When I got home, I called United Access and was told the attachment was in the trunk and it only had to be snapped in (which he forgot to do when he brought me the van). I decided to go to Sperry’s to see if someone could put it in, but was told I should go to Hosick Motors in Vandalia. The left seat belt was wrapped around my wheelchair arm so I looked like I had one on. Hosick Motors checked in the trunk and the attachment was not there. I came back home and called United Access and he was sure it was in my van, so I hung up and went into the garage to check everywhere. It was not in the little blue bag it was supposed to have been in.
I called back to see if he could bring one the next day (it was getting late in the afternoon of July 14) and he said he would. Just before 10 a.m. on July 15, UPS came with the insurance check for the total damages to the Chrysler. I called United Access and he said he was about ready to leave. I told him I had received the insurance check to deposit, but I wasn’t going out again until I got the seat belt attachment.
It only took him a couple of minutes to put the attachments in the floor. When he left, I did also to deposit the insurance check so he could deposit the one I had written for the Dodge.
I was stuck at home for 11 days. I know I couldn’t enter items on July 9 at the Fayette County Fair, but that morning Karen Wegscheid called to get some information on entering items and said she would take mine for me. I entered angel nativity ornaments in the hobby section and received a third place, and two mantel arrangements in floral section and received a first and a third.
Roger Cruse, who is with the Champaign Fire Department, came to my car window to talk to me. He asked me if I knew Jo Spitler, and I said she had been a very good friend. I think he said the woman he mentioned, Aline Herriet, was an aunt of his and was a close friend of Jo’s; both lived in Mahomet. Jo died a few years ago,
One day this past week, I was in the kitchen at noon. When I turned on the water, there was none. I went to the bathroom and there was no water there. I am with Fayette Water Co., but I didn’t know why I was without water. I called M & M Plumbing. Before he came, the water came back on. I have been with Fayette County for several years and this is the first time this has happened. I need to check with them if it happens again.
A few days ago, I received a phone call from Memphis, Tenn. Lyneth Butrum said her mother died May 21 and she was going through some of her things, Her mother was Lena Fay Creswell, a second cousin of mine; her grandmother Ina (Garrett) Brooks, was a sister to my mother, Mattie (Garrett) Bates and her mother Doris Flippin was my cousin.
In April 1958, Phil, baby Steve, me and my Mom were planning a trip to Kansas on the April 8, then go on to Oklahoma. On April 7, Aunt Ina called and said Doris had died. Mom and her niece, Doris, were very good friends, so we went to Oklahoma to attend Doris’ funeral.
The last time I saw Lena was several years ago, when she came here to visit with me. Because Mom was the youngest in a family of 10, I am the youngest grandchild on the Garrett side and also the youngest grandchild on the Bates family side. I think I have two cousins still living – Bobbie Blain of Visalia, Calif. (the only child of one of Dad’s sister) and Marie Zachery of Wichita Falls, Texas (Aunt Ina’s other daughter). I did not hear from either at Christmas.
July 28 will start my 31st year giving the St. Elmo News on WPMB in Vandalia. I first started with them back in Dec. 1963; they opened Sunday afternoon and I was with them six days a week until the end of January in 1972.
On July 24, 1986, Tom Wright came to my house to see if I would do St. Elmo News again on WPMB and I said, “Yes.” I was to give it over the phone a little before 8 a.m. three days a week and on Monday July 28, my first day, there was a storm and WPMB was off the air. I taped the news and it was broadcast at noon.
St. Elmo had a bad storm in July; mine was in June.  The evening of July 13, there was a high wind, lightning and thunder and my TV went off. I heard something crash and thought I had better go into my little bath in case we were having a tornado. I didn’t hear anything more, so went back into the family room. I tried to turn the TV on, but it didn’t work. I saw the blue light, in the box next to the TV, was not on. I then noticed in the dining room, the outlet that is next to the bathroom door, had a light on that goes on when electricity goes off.
I knew the switch had been thrown off, but the switch box is behind the bathroom door; the room is too small for me to close the door and get to the switch box in my wheelchair, so I called Doug Engeljohn. While waiting for him to come out, I went to the kitchen and the light would not come on. Back in 1972, we started remodeling and Phil did all the electrical work (he took electricity in college). Each room had several circuits, so if a switch was thrown, the entire room would not be dark; several circuits in the kitchen helps one use different appliances! It was the switch that Engeljohn tripped back. I now could use the TV.
The next morning, the Terminix man came to spray around the house. When he came in, he said there was on the back deck a storm window with broken glass. Also, the 100-year-old ash tree west of the house had a large limb hanging into the mulberry tree north of it.
It took two days for Ken Flowers and Dave Jennings to cut them down, along with a couple of other trees. Lash Construction had to get me a new aluminum storm window because the old wood one is not repairable.
I found out that the wind storm was south of me, and I have been told trees were damaged at the Moss and Mattix residences.
Enough is enough! I am hoping that August will be a happier month for me!

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