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St. Elmo News

Thursday, September 3
• St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club, 7 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library.
Friday, September 4
• Yard sales around town start at 8 a.m.
• Free outdoor movie, 8 p.m., SE Community Park.
Saturday, September 5
• Vendor Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., SE Community Park Centennial Building: Pampered Chef, Avon, Color Street, Perfectly Posh, Scentsy, Thirty One, Tina’s Gourds’N’More, etc.
•  Cornhole Tournament, 2 p.m. SEC Park. $10 a team. Players must be at least age 13; double elimination. First place wins a cash prize and two $20 steak dinners at Daryl’s Dine In.
• “Danny Patton and the Straight Lace Band,” 6-9 p.m. SEC Park.
Sunday, September 6
• Lighthouse Pregnancy baby bottles have to be returned to the churches.
• Justin Todd Herod concert at the Table Watch; see Facebook page for details.
Monday, September 7
• Drive-thru pancake and sausage breakfast, 6-10 a.m., St. Elmo firehouse.
• 8 a.m.-12 p.m.-trunk sales in the SEC Park.
• 11 a.m.-O’Dell’s Food Truck for lunch & the SEC Park.
• Kids’ power wheel demo derby 2-4 p.m., SEC Park.
• “Loudon Country,” 5-9 p.m., SEC Park.
• Citizen of the Year announcement, 6:30 p.m., SEC Park.
Tuesday, September 8
• Friends of the St. Elmo Community Park, 7 p.m., park Centennial Building.
• American Legion Post #420, 7 p.m., Legion Home.
• Fayette County Board, 7 p.m., Vandalia Moose Lodge.
Thursday, September 10
• Lunch Bunch, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• St. Elmo Public Library District Board, 6 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library.
Labor Day Weekend Medal Hunt Activity
Members of the district board of the Avena Township St. Elmo Community Park are sad that activities had to be scaled back due to COVID-19, especially since the past two years Labor Day celebrations in the park have been successful and well received, but there is a new activity this year – a medal hunt.
The rules follow:
1.The medal will be hidden in a place that may be accessed any time by anyone
2. Anyone is eligible to win (except park board members and their partners).
3. The medal may be disguised or wrapped in any way that the cluemeister chooses, but you will not need to dissemble any type of infrastructure, dig into the ground or damage any vegetation.
4.New clues to the whereabouts of the medal will be released daily at the businesses that sponsor the Labor Day Medal Hunt 2020.
5.There will be only one winner. He or she must follow instructions on the medal to notify the cluemaster as soon as the medal is found.
6. The medal must be presented, in person, to the cluemaster on the park state at 6:30 p.m. on Labor Day. If the medal is not found by 6:30 p.m. on Labor Day 2020, the exact location will be announced on the park stage.
Assuming it is found before 8 p.m., the presentation will take place at that time. If the medal is not found by midnight that night, the fund will end and the prize will be added to next year’s hunt.
The first clue is in the Sept. 1 St. Elmo Banner. Daily clues will be released at the businesses of the following sponsors: Country Companies; McKellar, Robertson, McCarty and Click; Daryl’s Dine-In; Waltrip’s Corner; Serenity Therapeutic Massage; St. Elmo Pet Clinic; United Fidelity Bank; and St. Elmo Dietrich Band.
Also sponsoring the Labor Day Medal Hunt are CD Feller Enterprises, Feller Oilfield Service and Petco Petroleum.
Fayette County HCE
Fayette County Home and Community Education Board met the afternoon of Aug. 24 at the Vandalia Senior Citizens Center, with the following members present: President Ashley Davis, member at large; Joyce Mueller, Edith Runkel and Debbie Segrest of the Vandalia Day Unit, Donna Blair of the Bingham/Ramsey Unit, Connie Green of the Sefton Unit and Anna Jean Rhodes of the St. Elmo Unit.
The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.
First Vice Segrest announced that the education committee will meet at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25, in the Senior Citizens Center. She also will chair the lesson planning committee with all unit first vice presidents at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25.
Second Vice Rhodes told that the 2019-20 year ended in June with 82 members; 15 didn’t rejoin, but two former members rejoined, so the 2020-21 year started with 70 members: Bingham/Ramsey, 8; St. Elmo, 8; St. Peter, 15; Sefton, 19; Vandalia Day, 15; Wright’s Corner, 4; President Davis is a member-at-large.
In June, Sefton got a new member, Carolyn Grames, and in August, Betty Miller of the Sefton Unit died, so the county membership remains at 70.
Community outreach/family issues chair Blair announced that the HCE Week will be Oct. 4-10 and asks that all units donate a baby gift item for the gift basket that will be given to the first baby born to a Fayette County mother that week.
Cultural enrichment chair Edith Runkel announced that the Get-Acquainted Day will be Tuesday, Sept. 15, in the Brownstown Golden Years Club building.
Registration will be at 9:30 a.m. and the brunch potluck at 10 a.m. For the annual fundraiser, those attending are to take a Bake It, Make It, Sew It or Grow It or new or like new article for the auction. If unable to take an article, members should donate $5.
The October International Dinner will be at the Shobonier St. Paul Lutheran Church, and the date will be announced later.
Units are asked to donate to the Nurability Organization, which has a Nurability Camp; $10 will sponsor a student.
Lions Club
The St. Elmo Lions Club met at 6 p.m. on Aug. 24 at Mary Ann’s Restaurant, with the following present: President Dave Maxey, Don Crawford, Pee Wee Denton, Roger Fulk, Skip Heaton, Holly Huffer, Dan Laack, Rex Reeder and Bob Wells. Maxey led in the Pledge of Allegiance and Laack gave the meal blessing.
Roger Fulk became a member of the St. Elmo Lions Club 24 years ago this August.
The Heath Bar fundraiser will be conducted from stationary positions around town at local businesses on Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24. The club members will not move door-to-door as they have in the past. The stationary positions will be announced later.
St. Elmo HCE
Home and Community Education doesn’t have regular meetings in August and usually does something special. On Aug. 25, the St. Elmo Unit had an 11 a.m. luncheon at Mary Ann’s Restaurant, but only two were able to attend – Karen Wegscheid and Anna Jean Rhodes.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings – Year 1955
On Jan. 19, Phil and I went to Vandalia to talk to Frieda Goad about adoption agencies to write to about adopting a baby.
The afternoon of Jan. 23 we went to Vandalia to see the new Fayette County Hospital, and my diary says “It sure is nice!” The news article in my scrapbook says the 103-bed hospital cost $1,241,092 ($12,049 per bed). The hospital district had been started four years ago.
Mom had started working as a cook at the Mark Greer Hospital and got to be a cook in the new hospital.
Had a snowstorm on March 25 and the next day Phil pulled about a dozen people out of snow drifts across the road south of our house.
My diary almost makes me tired reading it. For instance, July 8 reads: “Canned 18 pts green beans today, made cover for Phil’s tractor umbrella, did hand washing, etc.
Had to go to the Fayette County Fair today because it was 4-H day. Phil combined P.M. Kettens came out awhile tonight.” (I had much energy when I was young.)
This was the year the public could be vaccinated for polio. My doctor at Decatur told me to get vaccinated because there are three types of polio – paralytic (that I had), bulbar (in the lungs) and non-paralytic. Phil and I both got vaccinated.
On Aug. 10, we bought a black 1952 Chevrolet, and my diary says “Now I can drive again.” We finally were able to have a second vehicle.
I remember that the clutch that had to be pressed with the left foot had to be moved up to the dashboard so I could use it with my left hand; I was not able to pick up my foot and move it forward to use a clutch.
So, after almost five years of not being able to drive and having to have people take me places and bring me back home, I could drive again. It was on Aug. 23 that I went to Vandalia to take part of my driver’s test and went back the next day to finish the test.
On Sept. 2, I had the St. Elmo Woman’s Club here – Billye Jo Marchman, Delores Gillespie and Harriet Hinton were on the committee with me and there were 34 here.
Mrs. Ray Buzzard, Carol Jean and Judy went with us to St. Louis on October 8. Shopped in Weleck’s all morning and I bought coat material (I gave $13.50 a yard for the deep red 100 percent wool; the cost of the wool fabric was high in 1955).
That fall I made a long coat. Because of the expensive fabric, it took me a day to get it cut out because I had to make sure all the pattern pieces were placed right and I didn’t run out of material. I spent about eight days making it; it had much hand tailoring, bound buttonholes, etc. and was lined. I wore the coat for many years. The material, etc., cost around $80, but Weleck’s told me if I bought one like it at a store, it would probably be $200-$300.
Phil and I went on the Meadowlark train to Chicago on Nov. 14. That night, we ate at the Bit of Sweden’s smorgasbord then went to the movie, “Cinerama Holiday.”
The next day, Phil went to the Illinois Agriculture Association meeting at the Sherman, and Mrs. Mattes of Vandalia and I went to the Morrison Hotel to a women’s meeting. That night Phil and I saw “Pajama Game” at the Schubert.
The next day, several of us women shopped all day. That night, Phil and I ate at the Hieldleberg with Betty Baughman, who was a Delta Sigma Epsilon sorority sister of mine and lived in Chicago. The next day, Mrs. Mattes and I shopped all day again, and that night she and her husband and Phil and I went back to the Bit of Sweden. The next morning, Phil and I shopped, and in the afternoon came back home on the Meadowlark.
By Dec. 10, I made 17 kinds of Christmas cookies and a fruitcake. Phil was working in the oilfield, sometimes 12 hours a day.
During the year, in addition to clothes I made for myself, I made many, many dresses for Mom, and several of them were white uniforms. I also made several shirts for Phil. We still didn’t have a TV, but sometimes would go into Phil’s folks to watch theirs.
Back to polio vaccinations – I think parents refusing them for their children is a mistake. I belonged to the Polio Survivors and Friends of East Central Illinois for several years, and we met monthly at the Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital in Mattoon.
We started with more than 30 post-polio survivors, but over the years, lost many to death or nursing homes. A few years ago, we were down to five, three in a wheelchair, so we disbanded. The last report said we have no polio here, but it was still in three countries, and that makes it a plane flight away.
When I was in the Decatur and Macon County Hospital in December 1950 and went to therapy, the room was filled with babies and children through high school. I knew, since they were not fully developed, some would grow up deformed, so I did not feel sorry for myself and I accepted the fact I would have to wear a full-length leg brace.
It was in the late 1970s when I realized post-polio was developing and started using a cane some of the times.  In the mid-1980s I got a motorized cart and by 2000 I needed to start using a walker. Some who had the non-paralytic polio started developing paralytic symptoms after 30 or 40 years.
My right leg was not paralyzed, but it ached a lot when I was in the hospital. Several years ago my right foot started turning to the right (paralyzed) and my right leg, which has done all the work for 70 years, is wearing out; this is why I am in a wheelchair. Polio started back in the early 1900s and the peaks were in the 1940s and 1950s.
If polio is a plane fight away, it could arrive here anytime, and when people get it, they may also get post-polio symptoms after 30 or 40 years.
Everyone needs to get vaccinated, so polio does not break out as the COVID-19 has.


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