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Source: KENNEDY TUNES UP FOR ILLINOIS

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Watching the Chicago Cubs defeat the LA Dodgers last night, playing at Wrigley Field, was a delight, EXCEPT for one glaring, disgusting thing — the constant spitting by the players captured in slimy TV close-ups throughout the game. For modern people, the sight of curling up globs of spit is about tantamount to watching these young super-heroes urinate on the ground.

I’m occasionally reminded of the days of cuspidors (do you even remember that word?) by a quirky brass antique that I inherited from my acquisitory aunt, that sits aside my oak desk at Applewood Lodge. I doubt that it’s been used in at least 100 years, and the only thing in it is a page from Country Living magazine of March 1991 titled “What is it? What is it worth?”

The back of the turtle cuspidor opens when you step on the head to reveal a removable brass container, probably not large enough to contain one innings-worth of spittle from the Cubs game. They say there is a prime example of such a cute spittoon on display at Thomas Edison’s home in Ft. Myers, Florida. I’ve been there but we must have somehow missed it among all the other cherished mementos of Edison’s life.

The story tucked inside our the cuspidor says it was probably manufactured in England in the early 20th century, a time when such grotesque dribbling behavior was perhaps more in vogue. The  article indicates that my aunt’s spittoon might have been worth up to $750, even 25 years ago!

If we took up a collection among the TV viewers of last night’s Cubs triumph, I bet we might have raised enough to either buy one of those cuspidor’s for each spitting player at Wrigley Field, or perhaps raised even more to pay them to keep their torrid excretions to themselves.

In an incredible coincidence, I lost my cars keys at the Enormous Chicago Auto Show this afternoon, and got them back almost immediately due to some wonderful people whom I don’t know.

I had parked in the large indoor lot behind the McCormick Place show building. The place was swamped with kids and others with the day off — President’s Day. When I left, I paid my ticket and stepped into the garage and started fumbling through my pockets for my keys. Not finding them, I walked over to a garbage can and began spreading out the contents of my pockets to complete my self-search. I had also left my cell phone in the locked car, so was contemplating my next step.

Just then, and attractive young McCormick Place employee stepped up and asked if I’d lost keys, and asked what kind of car I had. She asked if there was a micro flashlight on the key ring. Yes! She had already turned them into the office, so we walked the few steps over there, and wa-la, I had my key back. She said a woman leaving the show had handed them to her a short while before.

What were the odds? A show with a thousand cars and thousands more in garages, tons of people crowding everywhere, multiple garage entrances. A responsible person who must have seen the keys on the floor, somewhere, who turned them into this responsible employee, who immediately took them to the office, and then was on the alert for someone who looked like they might have lost their keys! I love these people!

And, by the way, another great auto show, with all the latest on display. The prototype Buick Avenir sedan is the classiest thing to come out of Detroit in years. Of course, the new Mercedes Mayback is even classier.

Oak Street Beach, Chicago 2014

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Through the 70s and early 80’s, the top daytime radio conversational interview show out of Chicago was the Bob and Betty Sanders Show, over the 50,000 watt clear channel WBBM News Radio 78, from 10 to 2. I was one of their tens of thousands of regular listeners across the Midwest, while shuttling on the Eisenhower Expressway between my Michigan Avenue office and my client, McDonald’s, in Oak Brook. Bob and Betty later retired to Williams Bay, on the shores of their beloved Lake Geneva. Bob missed the radio show give and take, so Betty helped him organize a discussion group, which came to be called the Sanders Session. It was sort of like the show, but without the radio.

Bob passed away last year, but the Sanders Session goes on, meeting every few weeks. This week, Betty dropped in and reminisced with the group, sharing stories from their many years on the air, in which virtually every visiting celebrity of the era was a guest on their show. We were honored to have Betty sit in on one of the continuing meetings of The Sanders Session. Bob and Betty started something, and we don’t want to let it go.

Bob Sanders, a Chicago upbeat talk radio legend, of the Bob And Betty Sanders Show, passed away today. He will be greatly missed by his old fans and friends, and our condolences to his wife and radio partner Betty. I’ve been privileged to be part of a regular discussion group at Lake Geneva aptly called The Sanders Session, which was created by Betty for Bob as his health declined. Bob hasn’t been able to attend for some time, but the spirit of lively conversation that he and Betty made famous on daily Chicago radio from 1968 to 1983, lives on. See More
Change of Subject: Bob and Betty — an update
blogs.chicagotribune.com
Bob of the legendary Chicago radio team of Bob and Betty Sanders team checked in via e-mail the other day. The husband and wife team were a midday fixture on WBBM-AM 780 from 1968 to 1983.

To mark the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a flotilla of seven warships escorted the Royal Yacht Britannia through the rivers and lakes all the way to Chicago. It was a muggy July 20th in 1959, when the Brittania, then almost new, dropped anchor at Chicago’s inner harbor, heralding Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip‘s arrival, the first to the city by a reigning British monarch.

As a 16-year-old, I filmed the action from a unique vantage point — aboard my father’s little launch, as the glistening Royal Barge powered by, nearly swamping us,with Phillip waving at the pleasure boats and the Queen ducking behind the windshield to keep her curly hairdo in place.  Sailors at attention stood on the bow and stern of her mahogany, silver-trimmed barge, flying the royal banner. My film is long gone (I think I cut a clip from it into a high school film project we called “An Expose of Spiriualism.”

But here is a newsreel of the event from British Pathe: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/queen-conquers-chicago

The Queen’s barge landed at the Monroe Harbor seawall, since known as the Queen’s Landing, and she crossed a red carpet across Lake Shore Drive to Buckingham Fountain, where she was greeted by Mayor Daly and Governor Stratton. A million gawkers lined the shoreline and fountain area. They paraded in open cars up Michigan Avenue, crossed the Chicago River, and proceeded to lunch at the Ambassador West Hotel.

The impending demise of the Chicago News Cooperative, which has a daily web feed and has helped keep the New York Times relevant in Chicago, signals another step backward in journalism. The cooperative helped serve as a rescue blanket for some leading former Chicago Tribune journalists. It was long on real news coverage and opinion, not on infotainment and “if it bleeds, it leads” news reports. It lasted a little over two years. RIP!

Chicago News Cooperative to suspend operations

  • A screenshot from a video of a Chicago News Cooperative staff meeting.
A screenshot from a video of a Chicago News Cooperative staff meeting. (Image via chicagonewscoop.org)
February 17, 2012|By Robert Channick and Becky Yerak | Tribune reporters

The Chicago News Cooperative, a non-profit news organization launched in 2009 to add another voice to the city’s journalism community, is expected to suspend operations, a source close to the organization told the Tribune Friday.

The CNC, which operates a web site and publishes a section in the Chicago edition of The New York Times twice a week, operates as a non-profit organization. It has a partnership with WTTW-Channel 11, Chicago publictelevision, and WBEZ, Chicago public radio.

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