Sunday, November 13, 2005

The SJ-R Looks Back

The Springfield Journal-Register has a link up on its web site to a series of photos from Springfield’s past. These are pictures originally published in the SJ-R. I’m not going to post any of those pictures here since the linked-to SJ-R page is dedicated solely to those pictures. Just go there and take a look. Some are quite interesting.

My favorite is the World War II bomber taking of from what is now Dirksen Parkway in 1942 after earlier having made an emergency landing.

There’s also a good aerial photo of the intersection of Wabash and Veterans Parkway from 1977, not long after White Oaks Mall opened. It was the edge of Springfield at the time and the photo shows that quite well. Hey Russ, this would be the Springfield Rewind ultimate challenge.

Hopefully the SJ-R will keep this link active for some time to come. I’d like them to do more of this.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Springfield Radio and TV History

If you are interested in radio and television history in Central Illinois, including Springfield, you should check out Doug Quick’s web site. Quick is the weatherman at Champaign’s WICD/Ch. 15. He has a long history of working in both radio and TV in the area. His site has such goodies as old radio air checks from local pop stations (many from WDBR) going back as far as 1972 and the local TV schedules from days gone by. Check out this WICS/Ch. 20 retrospective. There is a ton of information (and links to even more stuff) on this site. I've also added a link in the blog roll.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Conn's Cafeteria

This entry is prompted by memories triggered from photographs in Springfield Rewind: Monroe Between 5th & 6th - 1949, featuring the Senate Movie Theater on the north side of Monroe between Fifth and Sixth.

By the 70's, on each side of the Senate were dining establishments. You could get into both those restaurants from doorways inside the lobby of the Senate, or, of course, from the street.

Obscured in the Springfield Rewind photo is the one immediately to the west. I might be wrong, but I believe it was Conn's. Perhaps Conn's Cafeteria. The place was long and narrow. When you walked in the door from the street, there were tables in front, and towards the middle on the left was the serving line. Across from the serving line, on the right, were more tables lined up against the wall.

Some days, I would stop in Conn's on my way to work. There was one lady working there at that time of the morning. Her name was Margie. She was old, and small, and wiry. She was always nice to me.

Margie could take a cinnamon danish, and in the blink of an eye, cut it into two slices. She would butter the cut side of each half, toss them on a hot griddle, and squish them down with a trowel until both parts were heated to perfection. The whole process took about a minute and a half.

I would take that grilled danish back to my desk on the 11th floor of the Ridgely Building and just about swoon from the taste. It was so wonderfully delicious. That original taste is something I've never been able to recreate. The danish and a Coke cost a dollar.

If I got anything wrong in this entry, please let me know in the comments. I'm particularly concerned I might have got the name of the place wrong.