It is arduous to speak to a Hollywood star when you do not understand he was considered one of your heroes

All through my profession, I’ve interviewed or at the very least spoken to a number of individuals who have been within the nationwide highlight. Marquette basketball coach Al McGuire; former Bulls standouts Michael Jordan, Jerry Sloan, Norm Van Lier and Artis Gilmore; actress Michael Discovered of “The Waltons”; presidential candidate Bob Dole; comic Jim Belushi; rock star and Steppenwolf frontman John Kay; Solar Information proprietor Sam Phillips (he, of Elvis Presley fame); Cubs stars Randy Hundley and Billy Williams; and White Sox star Tim “Rock” Raines. There are in all probability others, however the level is, you meet attention-grabbing folks when you find yourself a journalist.

However think about speaking to a Hollywood star and never realizing he was truly your childhood hero. It is irritating to determine that out years later.

And I have been pissed off earlier than. In any case, I had the chance to go to one other hero, Larry Fantastic of The Three Stooges, in 1974 when he was in Cedars-Sinai Medical Middle close to Hollywood. My buddy’s grandmother labored on the hospital and organized for us to go to.

We bought to the hospital car parking zone and chickened out, below the excuse of not eager to see considered one of our beloved Stooges in dangerous form. Larry died in January of 1975 and the Stooges’ Moe Howard wrote in his e-book that Larry was disenchanted followers by no means came over. I remorse it to today.

So, who was the childhood hero I truly spoke to and did not make the connection? That might be James MacArthur, who performed Fritz Robinson within the Disney journey yarn “Swiss Household Robinson” in 1960. As a 7-year-old child, it was straightforward for me to consider it was the best film ever made.

It seems MacArthur, whose mom was theater legend Helen Hayes, was a distant relation of the late Skott Zimmerman, a St. Charles golf retailer operator who sponsored and arranged the Midwest Golf Professional-Am occasion every summer time on the Royal Fox Nation Membership to profit Particular Olympics.



MacArthur got here to St. Charles a couple of occasions for this occasion that I used to be lucky sufficient to play in. I by no means performed with MacArthur, however I talked to him in 1998 on the post-event dinner.

I knew him solely as a well-known actor in “Hawaii 5-O” within the function of Danny “Danno” Williams, with the well-known line of “E-book ’em, Danno” closing most of the reveals after a prison was caught.

He was a pleasant fellow. We shook palms and talked about golf, as a result of I did not know what else to speak about. I did not watch “Hawaii 5-O.”

James MacArthur, proper, goes over his script with actor Edward Arnold in preparation for MacArthur’s first skilled appearing job on a nationwide tv program (“Climax,” CBS) in Los Angeles, California, on Aug. 25, 1955.
– Related Press Picture/Ellis R. Bosworth



In simply the previous month, I got here throughout an outdated VHS tape of “Swiss Household Robinson” in a field at residence — and there it was. James MacArthur had an enormous function, together with different Disney little one stars — Tommy Kirk, who handed away late final yr, and Kevin “Moochie” Corcoran, who died in 2015. And all of it got here again to me that MacArthur was my favourite character, sort of an Errol Flynn swashbuckler sort, preventing big snakes and pirates and ultimately successful the love curiosity within the movie.

I dug out the printed program for that 1998 golf occasion (sure, journalists do not throw issues out) and skim the entry about MacArthur, and it didn’t point out the film.

It is arduous to consider I missed the possibility to speak to him about what it was prefer to make that cool film. It could be much like somebody speaking to actor Tom Hanks when he was in downtown Geneva in 2001 filming “Street to Perdition,” however not realizing he was the star of “Large,” considered one of your favourite motion pictures if you had been a child in 1988.

I did not make that mistake once I met Jerry “The Beaver” Mathers and Tony “Wally” Dow at an autograph signing occasion at DuPage County Fairgrounds two years in the past. I knew what I wished to ask them beforehand, being aware of most each episode of “Depart it to Beaver.”

Because it turned out, I by no means noticed James MacArthur once more — and he handed away at age 72 in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2010.

Getting an opportunity to speak to a well-known particular person is not a rarity within the Tri-Cities space. We have had our justifiable share of Hollywood, music or sports activities royalty flip up; Brian Wilson of The Seashore Boys lived in St. Charles for a number of years, and Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy name St. Charles their residence now.

The Arcada Theater has so many music icons carry out right here, you can run into one at any time — like seeing Graham Nash at a close-by automobile present earlier than his gig or, previous to his passing, seeing Davey Jones of The Monkees strolling round city.

I am not sure what the ethical of this story is. However do not go up the chance to speak to a film, sports activities or music star if you happen to ever get the possibility. On the very least, be sure to bear in mind if that huge star was considered one of your heroes.

Let’s ‘Collect’ at bakery

Like most academics, Sandra Ranney of St. Charles enjoys seeing her former college students do nicely. Within the case of considered one of her former third-grade college students at Fox Ridge Elementary, Deanna (Pieniazek) Keilty, it additionally carries the advantage of attempting scrumptious bakery items Deanna and her husband, Eric, put together for varied marketplaces.

Eric and Deanna lived in Chandler, Arizona, the place they started an in-home bakery referred to as “GingerBrick,” promoting goodies at varied markets all through Phoenix.

As a result of her household remains to be on this space and her mom, Donna, a former substitute instructor in St. Charles, was fairly unwell, Deanna and Eric moved again and ended up in Rockford.

After Donna’s passing, they modified the title of the bakery to “Collect” in reference to gathering once more with household and associates — they usually began promoting in native markets.

Collect Bakery has a sales space on Fridays on the Baker Neighborhood Church indoor market in St. Charles, and on Saturdays on the Batavia downtown indoor farmers market.

When visiting associates in Arizona, Ranney stated she would pattern among the couple’s bakery items — Jalapeño cheddar bread, Danish, bagels, focaccia, scones, croissants and fudge.

“My associates right here would beg Ken and Donna to deliver up some treats after they would return for visits,” Ranney stated.

As a lifelong resident of St. Charles, Ranney has it in her blood to help native companies. In any case, her father was George Worthley of the Klick and Worthley Drug Retailer, which is now the location of the ZaZa Trattoria restaurant.

Her grandfather was Carl Soderquist, whose building firm constructed the unique Illinois Avenue Bridge, amongst different space websites.

“It is a motive why I prefer to help native enterprise and provides a shout out when somebody like Deanna and Eric have introduced their future to our space,” Ranney stated.

A tile takeover

In case anybody is questioning what’s going on after they see work crews on the former Binny’s Beverage Depot website in St. Charles, you might quickly see builders and handymen alike visiting the place.

Town would not have lots to share on it but, however preliminary data signifies the previous Binny’s at 1950 Lincoln Hwy. is being cleared to make method for a tile retailer.

Binny’s moved to the Geneva Commons almost a yr in the past.

Town did not have a reputation to share but on who’s probably taking on the St. Charles location, however Ground & Décor involves thoughts as a guess, as a result of it is a slightly giant tile retailer.

It is nearly film time

I am probably not in a moviegoing mindset but, nevertheless it has been troublesome to see the Randall 15 advanced in Batavia empty since final March.

Michigan-based Emagine Leisure is about to take over the advanced and embody Emax, a 94-foot-wide display screen. Anybody itching to go to the present at this Randall Street website has a motive to be hopeful about doing so someday in 2022.

Emagine is also searching for a liquor license for the theater advanced.

Oh boy, one other place for me to imbibe a bit and go to sleep whereas watching a film.

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