All through my profession, I’ve interviewed or at the 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 Realized 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 most likely others, however the level is, you meet attention-grabbing individuals when you find yourself a journalist.
However think about speaking to a Hollywood star and never realizing he was really your childhood hero. It is irritating to determine that out years later.
And I have been annoyed earlier than. In spite of everything, I had the chance to go to one other hero, Larry Advantageous 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 obtained to the hospital car parking zone and chickened out, underneath the excuse of not eager to see one in every of our beloved Stooges in unhealthy form. Larry died in January of 1975 and the Stooges’ Moe Howard wrote in his guide that Larry was upset followers by no means came visiting. I remorse it to this present day.
So, who was the childhood hero I really 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 simple for me to imagine 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 learn Particular Olympics.
MacArthur got here to St. Charles just a few instances 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 “Ebook ’em, Danno” closing lots of the exhibits after a legal 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 performing job on a nationwide tv program (“Climax,” CBS) in Los Angeles, California, on Aug. 25, 1955.
– Related Press Photograph/Ellis R. Bosworth
In simply the previous month, I got here throughout an previous VHS tape of “Swiss Household Robinson” in a field at house — 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, form of an Errol Flynn swashbuckler kind, combating big snakes and pirates and ultimately profitable 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 imagine I missed the possibility to speak to him about what it was prefer to make that cool film. It will be just 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 “Massive,” one in every of your favourite films if you have been a child in 1988.
I did not make that mistake after 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 acquainted with 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 Seaside Boys lived in St. Charles for a number of years, and Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy name St. Charles their house 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 automotive 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 cross up the chance to speak to a film, sports activities or music star for those who ever get the possibility. On the very least, be sure to bear in mind if that massive star was one in every of your heroes.
Let’s ‘Collect’ at bakery
Like most lecturers, Sandra Ranney of St. Charles enjoys seeing her former college students do effectively. Within the case of one in every of her former third-grade college students at Fox Ridge Elementary, Deanna (Pieniazek) Keilty, it additionally carries the good thing about making an attempt 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 known as “GingerBrick,” promoting goodies at varied markets all through Phoenix.
As a result of her household continues to be on this space and her mom, Donna, a former substitute trainer in St. Charles, was fairly sick, 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 buddies — and so they began promoting in native markets.
Collect Bakery has a sales space on Fridays on the Baker Group Church indoor market in St. Charles, and on Saturdays on the Batavia downtown indoor farmers market.
When visiting buddies in Arizona, Ranney mentioned she would pattern among the couple’s bakery items — Jalapeño cheddar bread, Danish, bagels, focaccia, scones, croissants and fudge.
“My buddies right here would beg Ken and Donna to convey up some treats after they would return for visits,” Ranney mentioned.
As a lifelong resident of St. Charles, Ranney has it in her blood to help native companies. In spite of everything, her father was George Worthley of the Klick and Worthley Drug Retailer, which is now the positioning of the ZaZa Trattoria restaurant.
Her grandfather was Carl Soderquist, whose development firm constructed the unique Illinois Avenue Bridge, amongst different space websites.
“It is a cause 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 mentioned.
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 rather a lot 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 practically a yr in the past.
Town did not have a reputation to share but on who’s doubtlessly taking up the St. Charles location, however Flooring & Décor involves thoughts as a guess, as a result of it is a quite giant tile retailer.
It is nearly film time
I am not likely in a moviegoing mindset but, nevertheless it has been tough to see the Randall 15 complicated in Batavia empty since final March.
Michigan-based Emagine Leisure is about to take over the complicated and embody Emax, a 94-foot-wide display. Anybody itching to go to the present at this Randall Street website has a cause to be hopeful about doing so someday in 2022.
Emagine is also looking for a liquor license for the theater complicated.
Oh boy, one other place for me to imbibe a bit and go to sleep whereas watching a film.