Meet ‘A Christmas Story’ cast December 16-17, 2023, as they reunite at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, Indiana. The movie marks its 40th anniversary this year. To celebrate, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority is hosting “Ralphie & the Gang Come Home.” Eight cast members are scheduled to be there, including Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in the movie.
The USS Alabama almost went to scrappers. For fifteen years following decommissioning, the battleship sat at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Then, in the early 1960s, the federal government announced plans to scrap its aging World War II battleships, including the USS Alabama. The people of Alabama wouldn’t have it. The children alone raised $100,000 toward the $800,000 it would cost to move its namesake battleship to Alabama. In 1965, the USS Alabama opened in Mobile as a memorial and museum. Today the submarine USS Drum and a plethora of military aircraft and vehicles join the battleship on the 155-acre USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.
Step back in time, to around 1850, and experience a ride on the Illinois and Michigan Canal Boat. Located in LaSalle, Illinois, a mule powers the boat. Yes, a mule, that walks along a towpath alongside the I&M canal.
We used to enjoy an occasional afternoon at a greyhound racetrack. Over a nice lunch in the climate-controlled clubhouse, we’d place our two-dollar bets on the races. We each used our own “scientific method” of determining the winning dogs. Our methods rarely worked, but we had fun. So, when we saw that Abilene, Kansas, is home to the Greyhound Hall of Fame museum, we had to visit. The Hall of Fame highlights the history of the greyhound racing industry and pays tribute to both humans and dogs who impacted the industry.
From the moment you approach the Weber House and Garden arched gateway, surrounded by shrubbery and flowering plants, you know you’re in for a special treat. A button on a call box instructs you to “press to speak.” That’s to get the attention of Ted Weber, who most likely is toiling on the two-acre garden that surrounds the Streator, Illinois, Storybook house. Ted will lead you on a tour through the garden and house and entertain you with stories and conversation throughout the tour.
Last summer we visited Old Abilene Town in Abilene, Kansas, as part of a media event. That evening, our hosts treated us to a cattle drive featuring Texas Longhorn cattle, a ride on the Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad, and a museum tour. In the museum we learned about Wild Bill Hickok’s time in Abilene. So, we were excited when we were also invited to attend the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo, where we could see real cowboys and cowgirls in competitive action.
The Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo is an annual event, named multiple times as one of the top five professional outdoor rodeos in America. What was the rodeo like?