City Beat: Some Of This And That From Here And There
• A DAY after last week’s editorial on the lies that politicians tell, one of our readers sent me a link to The Independent which quoted an article from The Washington Post: “According to analysis by the Washington Post, Mr Trump made 30,573 false or misleading claims between his first day in office, on 20 January 2017, and his final day… when Joe Biden was sworn in as the country’s next president.”
I assume the Post has also fact-checked other presidents and the first year of the Biden presidency for a “truthfulness” comparison of presidents, Frankly, I don’t look for a politician who tells the fewest lies. I look for a leader, regardless of his or her political affliation, who believes one lie to the people is one lie too many!
• FLYING SAUCERS? Tom Emery has an interesting article in this week’s print edition of the Decatur Tribune about UFOs being seen in the Central Illinois area in 1897. Stories of UFO sightings have always fascinated me. Someone recently said that, when UFO pilots see what is happening on earth today, they probably decide not to stop and speed on to another corner of space! (They probably make sure the UFO doors are locked tight as they fly by.)
• PLAYED for Coach Kintner — Karl Meurlot of Decatur has some personal memories of being on Decatur High School teams in the 1950s coached by local legend Gay Kintner. Karl wrote a “letter to the editor” that is on page 2 of this week’s print edition, after I published a “Scrapbook” story on Kintner in the March 16th edition. I enjoyed reading about Karl’s personal experiences and observations from having Kintner as his coach.
I played basketball with and against Karl at the Decatur Racquet Club (as it was called then) on Southside Drive about 25 years ago — maybe longer. Karl, who graduated from high school several years before I did, was still a tough opponent and great teammate decades after playing for Kintner. I got reaquainted with Karl a dozen years ago when the Decatur Tribune offices moved to the fourth floor of the Millikin Court Building and Karl had his law office on the same floor, so we would often see each other in the hallway and chat a little. He moved his office to another location several years ago so it was nice to read and share his memories this week of a special time in this city’s sports history.
• RETIRING — Scott Busboom, a longtime broadcaster for the Cromwell Radio Group, where he co-hosted Busboom & Wolfe (Doug Wolfe) on WZUS 101 FM and also broadcast sports for many years, is retiring this month. I certainly wish Scott, and his wife Paula, the best as the next chapter of their life is unfolding. Doug Wolfe will still be seen and heard on the news at WAND-TV.
• WHAT!!!! I could hardly believe my eyes when I read a story by Matthew Flaten in a Herald & Review digital update, which indicated that legendary Warrensburg-Latham Boys Basketball Coach Vic Binkley was asked to resign. Flaten wrote: “Following a season in which the Warrensburg-Latham boys basketball team won its 1,500th game in program history and Hall of Fame coach Vic Binkley notched his 700th win, Binkley may not be returning for a 37th season in 2022-23.
“Binkley said following his yearly performance review last Friday, he was asked to resign his position by Warrensburg administration.”
I certainly don’t know the whole story as I’m writing this, but I can tell you my initial reaction is “Why in the world would anyone connected to Warrensburg-Latham even think of telling Binkley to hit the road!” That’s like a member of the administration of the Decatur School District decades ago telling Coach Gay Kintner not to expect to return for another season. Unfortunately, or fortunately, personnel matters are not in the public domain until a decision is getting ready to be made, or has been made. If I was a member of that community, I would be paying a lot of attention to what is, or is not, happening to Coach Binkley. Yikes!!! Double Yikes!!!
• A STREET LIGHT in front of the Dairy Queen in South Shores has been blinking off and on for the past several weeks. It’s one of those tall, high-powered ones and the constant on and off blinking is a distraction and irritation. I hope it is replaced soon or we might all have to be checked for radiation burns. (smile)
• RETIRING — Dennis White, who owns White’s Auto Body at 5115 S. U.S. Business 51, in Elwin, notified me last week that he is closing the business after 64 years. Apparently age and health contributed to the decision to retire. As a longtime business owner myself I can emphasize with Dennis in that decision. I wish Dennis and his family the very best. Obviously, it will be quite an adjustment.
• RECORD SLAP — Does anyone have any idea how many times “The Slap” from the Oscars has played on television programs? Actor Will Smith walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock, after Rock had made a comment in jest about Smith’s wife. The slap was cringeworthy the first time I saw it and it seemed that was all the media could focus on for several days after it happened. Hollywood takes itself much too seriously and major media programs play along with it. I guess the slap gave new meaning to “slap-stick” comedy. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that last sentence.)
• THE ESTABLISHMENT — It’s always nice to see new businesses opening or business expansion. Last week, the Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of The Establishment Downtown at 259 North Main St (where Bizou was located). The owners of the Diggity Dawgs food truck are transporting the Decatur community back to the 1920’s with this Gatsby-themed restaurant and bar. The Establishment Downtown will be open for lunch and dinner, serving upscale items. Best wishes to The Establishment Downtown.
Okay, I know I’m older than some of our readers (maybe most of our readers) but how many of you remember when Macon Music was located in that building for many years? I do … and called on them for advertising in my younger years.
• COUNTY FAIR — This year’s Macon County Fair will be held June 2-5 at the Macon County Fairgrounds, 3700 North Westlawn Avenue, on the northwest side of Decatur. There is a lot of information about every aspect of this year’s fair at www.maconcountyfair.com I’ve always enjoyed going to the fair since I was a kid and, although I have not been to all of them in the years since I was a kid, I’ve been to a lot of them as editor of this newspaper, a public official and private citizen. Although the number of farmers has dwindled since the fair started, there is still a lot to enjoy. The fair faced some pretty tough going for several years, but it seems to be coming back in a very positive way. The county fair is about as American as mom’s apple pie and baseball. We’ll have more information on what’s going to happen between now and when the fair opens in June.
• ENJOYED chatting with Cody Moore, Republican candidate for Macon County Sheriff in my office recently. The Republican Primary in June (that seems so far off doesn’t it?) has Cody going against incumbent Sheriff Republican Jim Root. I look forward to sitting down and talking with Sheriff Root again (it’s been awhile) and will have more on the race for sheriff as we get closer to the primary.
• I JOIN Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00 on the City Hall Insider half-hour of the program.