Back in Time

click to enlarge
Kids Sitting on Porch
Circa 1930
from family photos

I've decided to go back in time a bit and share some old photos and other memories. Here's a great photo taken in the 1930's of some children sitting on an old wooden porch. This photo reminds me of the "Our Gang" kids from the old short movies.

Chicago Street Car 1938

click to enlarge
Passengers Boarding Chicago Streetcar
from family photos

Christmas in Chicago

click to enlarge
Chicago's Christmas Tree
Daley Plaza


Click to enlarge

Chris next to his first snowman of the year.
December 1, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Wooden cut-out of Santa
Made by Roman Ziolek

Winter Barn

click to enlarge
Barn Covered in Snow
Near Wilmingon, IL

Old Boat House

click to enlarge
Old Boat House
Anclote River
Tarpon Springs, Florida

Bronze Statue

click to enlarge

Girl on Swing
Train Station
Tinley Park, Illinois

Support Our Troops

Click to enlarge

Support our Troops
Wilmington, Illinois

Walnut Room Christmas Tree

click to enlarge

Climbing to See the Tree
Walnut Room
Marshall Field Building
State Street Chicago

Visiting the elaborately decorated Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room Restaurant inside Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's) has been a holiday tradition for years. The restaurant is on the 7th floor but the tree extends up at least two more storeys where shoppers gaze through the gold painted railing to view the tree. Often, there are lines of people waiting to get close enough to view the tree.

click to enlarge
Wedgewood Boxes Beneath the Tree Walnut Room Christmas Tree
Marshall Field Building

State Street Chicago

Engine #1892

Steam Engine
Tinley Park Train Station

It was an overcast but unseasonably warm day for late November (65 degrees), perfect for taking in the sites of the Christmas holiday downtown.

This steam engine sits on the site of Tinley Park's first train station as a monument to the role the railroad played in the village's development. Tinley Park is named after the community's first railroad agent, Samuel Tinley, Sr.

Launching Pad

Click to enlarge
Bunyon Giant
Wilmington, Illinois

One of three bunyon statues along Route 66 in Illinois, this one is in front of the Launching Pad restaurant. Originally from California, the statue was purchased for $3,500 and turned into a spaceman for the restaurant. It was named "The Gemini Giant" after NASA's Gemini program.

It still greets drivers on Baltimore Steet "Old Route 66" in Wilmington, Illinois


click to enlarge
Icicle on Bob's Tree
Wilmington, Illinois

Too "Dam" Dangerous

Click to enlarge
Kankakee River Dam
Wilmington, Illinois
December 2, 2006

Turbulent water at the base of this dam have proven to be very dangerous. Many people have drown at this very spot in recent years, yet others ignore the warning signs and wade into the river to fish a few yards upstream of the dam.

Click to enlarge
Throwable flotation devices perched near dam
Wilmington, Illinois

We watched as tires and logs bobbed up and down in the water at the base of the waterfall. The swirling water prevents things from flowing downstream, so many things are stuck in place for hours or even days before they finally flow downstream. This is why it's so dangerous to swimmers and boaters, they can't escape the current.

Kankakee River in Winter

click to enlarge
Flooded Kankakee River
Kankakee River State Park
Near Wilmington, Illinois

A cold December afternoon along the river. Temperatures were around 18 degrees with some snow showers.

Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade


Every year, thousands of motorcycles drive down Western Avenue in Chicago from the Dan Ryan Woods to drop off toys for needy children. This year, the toys for tots riders had to endure a temperature of 18 degree during the 20 mile drive.

The Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade is billed as the "World's Greatest motorcycle parade". It's a great site to see--thousands of motorcycles (over 20,000 in 1998), many decorated for Christmas, and riders carrying a gift for a girl or boy. The Chicago Police stop all east and westbound traffic to allow the motorcycles free passage.

We got there a bit late today, so I was unable to get over to the other side of the street, but we still enjoyed the spirit of the parade.

Tinley Park Metra Train Station

click to enlarge

Train platform decorated for Christmas
Tinley Park, Illinois

The Tinley Park Metra station on 173rd and Oak Park Avenue was host to the Holiday festivities last weekend when Santa, rides, hot chocolate and carriage rides were offered free of charge.


Congratulations to John and Tracey on the birth of their twin daughters Paige and Lia. (Congrats to big brother Joshua too).

Don't know any details yet, so keep checking back.

A Christmas Past

click to enlarge
Christmas Carriage Ride
Tinley Park, Illinois

A boy watches as a carriage ride passes an old home in Tinley Park.

The carriage rides are part of the holiday events scheduled each weekend from Thanksgiving to Christmas. They include a kid's Ferris Wheel, little train ride, photos with Santa, and hot chocolate and cookies.

This was an unseasonable day for November, with temperatures in the 60s.

Chicago's Christmas Tree

Click to enlarge
The Official Chicago Illinois Christmas Tree
Daley Plaza 2006

Chicago's massive 85 foot tall holiday tree is comprised of more than 100 smaller Balsam Fir trees illuminated with more than 4,000 twinkling red, gold, white and green lights and 130 glowing ornaments. The tradition of an official City tree was initiated back in 1913 when it was first lit by Mayor Carter H. Harrison in Grant Park. -from

Chicago Temple Building

Click to enlarge
The Chicago Temple Building at Night
Chicago, Illinois

Built in 1922, by architects Holabird and Roche, this building was once the tallest building in Chicago, and second tallest in the world. It remains the tallest Church building in the world at 29 storeys and 568 feet tall. It is constructed of steel and masonry and is the home of the United Methodist Church of Chicago.

This photo was taken from Daley Plaza on November 26th 2006

Marshall Field and Company

click to enlarge
State Steet at Night
November 2006

It's Macy's now, but I'll still call it Marshall Field and Company. It's a family tradition for many to travel to downtown Chicago and walk around State Street during Christmas. Every year, Marshall Field and Carson's would have elaborate moving displays in their windows, often telling popular Christmas or children's stories.

Marshall Field's was purchased by Macy's and Carson's is closing it's State Street store. What happened to "That great street?"

Click to enlarge
Clock on the Marshall Field Building
State Street
Chicago, Illinois

Hay Storage

click to enlarge
Barn on State Road 4
Near North Liberty, Indiana

Close-up of the contents of the barn

Cold November Morning

Red Sky
Looking East toward a distant Lake Michigan at Sunrise
Will County, Illinois

Hersh In Concert

Kristin Hersh performing at Shuba's in Chicago, Illinois December 2005.


Kristin never disappoints. Whether she's performing her solo works acoustically, or with her new "surf punk" band 50 Foot Wave, or with Throwing Muses, the trend-setting alternative band she founded in the mid 80's, her enthusiasm for music shines through.

Called "The Godmother of alternative", Kristin created a musical style unlike any before (or since). Deep, dark lyrics, sophisticated guitar work, and vocals that range from a whisper to screams (often in one breath) are at the center of all three performances.

Home to all of Kristin's music and meeting place for her loyal fans
Throwing Music

November Harvest

John Deer Combine Harvesting Feed Corn
LaPorte County, Indiana

Ted's Barber Shop

A customer getting a haircut from Ted, the owner of Ted's Barber Shop in North Liberty, IN. I've been going to Ted's since the early 1980's and the place hasn't changed one bit (except for an occasional new joke on the wall or puzzle on the counter)!

I guess the building was an old bank or something because the door behind Ted is a vault. Must be where Ted keeps his scissors for his famous "Presidential Haircuts".


Click to enlarge
The famous Spongeorama in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

A live spongediving demonstration performed by a real sponge diver. It takes place in the Gulf of Mexico around the mouth of the Anclote River.

I've never seen this in person, but each time I'm in Tarpon Springs, I hear a man with a Greek accent over the Spongeorama loud speaker announcing the departure times , "See a real sponge diving operation! See dolfins along the way! The boat leaves in 5 minutes! There's still room for more! Hey, you in the blue shirt, have you seen Spongeorama?! Bring the kids!"

It wouldn't be Tarpon Springs without the sponge docks, Spongeorama, the gift shops playing Greek music or Louis Pappas Restaurant - oh wait, they closed - and it's still Tarpon Springs!

Orange County Choppers Fireman Bike

If you've ever seen the Discovery Channel's program called American Chopper, then this bike will be familiar to you. It's the Fireman bike designed by Paul Teutul, Jr of Orange County Choppers to honor the 343 fireman who lost their lives in the World Trade Center attack. It was on display at a local store over the weekend.


Mike an Chris by the bike


Piece of the World Trade Center

Number 343 to honor the lost firemen



John and Anthony having breakfast at Wheatfield's on Saturday morning.
Taken and uploaded with my cheap phone camera

Trick or Treat

Decorations on Halloween

A "Reel" Antique

Firehose Reel
Battell Center Hallway
Mishawaka, Indiana

The Company


Singin' and Dancin' Into the Holidays
The Company
Perform Saturday, November 4th at the Battell Center in Mishawaka, Indiana.

The Company (starring the grand daughters of the late Perry Como) have presented their lively holiday song and dance show for the past 24 years. Over 14 performers and five musicians got the crowd singing all night long with their tribute of Perry Como, holiday songs, and music from the 40's 50's and 60's.

Happy Halloween!

...from Chris, Dan and Mike

me too!

Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest!

With only three more days until Halloween, we had our annual pumpkin carving/decorating contest today. Here are all of the pumpkins, click on the image to enlarge it.

Don't be shy, let me know which one you like best by adding a comment!

traceypumpkin wolfpumpkin
Tracey's and Mike's

scottpumpkin jerrypumpkin
Scott's and Jerry's

joshpumpkin dannypumpkin
Josh's and Danny's

chrispumpkin pirateskullpumpkin
Chris' and Tom's

Chris' from school