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December 2009 Archives

Happy Trails Bob Waldmire

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Bob Waldmire, still looking for stuff in the last month of a wonderful life.

You could not categorize Bob Waldmire just as you cannot stereotype Route 66.
The migratory road is more than vintage jukeboxes and antique cars. It is about everyone, or at least anyone who has dreamed of a rainbow on a western horizon. Mr. Waldmire was an artist-gypsy-raconteur who was born in St. Louis and grew up near Route 66 in Springfield, Ill. He died Wednesday in Rochester, about 10 miles southeast of Springfield. Mr. Waldmire lost a battle with cancer. He was 64.

I visited with Mr. Waldmire three or four times over the years, the last time being in early November. He was in repose on a cot in the 1966 school bus he converted into cozy living quarters. My intention was to talk about his life and Route 66. But just as in all our other visits, Mr. Waldmire began by talking about birds.......

Sounds Good in Naperville

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Wentz exterior.jpg

I had heard about the impeccable acoustics at the $30 million Wentz Concert Hall, which opened a little more than a year ago in downtown Naperville. The sound in the 605-seat theatre has been compared to New York's Carnegie Hall.

You can hear a pin drop.

I was at Wentz for the first time on Sunday to celebrate my Mother's 88th birthday. We were in the balcony to see the Du Page Symphony Orchestra's "Winter Dreams" program.
Not long after a group of children joined the symphony to play percussion on "Up on the House Top," "Jingle Bells" and others, an elderly man collapsed on the main floor. The symphony was between songs. We were in the balcony.
I could hear the "thud" of the man hitting the floor from our seats.........

Dave's Unusual Hometown Naperville Tour

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SHAW_CEMETERY[1].jpg Alan Shaw, president-founder Folk Era Records whistlin' in the graveyard with his long neck Wildwood five-string banjo.

THIS is my way to get your thrill in Naperville:
(Between 1969-73 I sometimes attended Naperville Central High School. My parents still live in the subdivision along the Du Page River that was known as West Gate.)

9 AM.-- Rise and shine at Folk Era Records, 705 S. Washington St. [(630)- 637-2303,], (and the Rediscover Music Catalogue) the largest independent folk music label in the Chicago area---and the only record label in America to rent its office and warehouse space in a cemetery.
They should be doing the Grateful Dead reissues.
Folk Era (The Kingston Trio, John Stewart, Paul Robeson, Chad Mitchell Trio, etc.) is in the Naperville Cemetery, 750 S. Washington St.

11 AM--Goodwill Industries Store, 530 Fort Hill Dr. [take Jefferson west from downtown; (630) 357-6258]
I've found great vinyl like Marty Robbins. There's the obligatory Herb Alpert LPs and tons of kitchenware. Not a bad selection of hardcover books. When my brother Doug visits from Nashville he updates his vintage wardrobe from the threads of Naperville rich people......

Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2009 is the previous archive.

January 2010 is the next archive.

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