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August 2011 Archives

The Sound of Chicago Soul

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Curtis Mayfield_Soul Train Photo Exhibition.jpg

Get off your bicycle. Take off your headphones. Stretch out on a sidewalk and close your eyes.
Get down with your inner ooh child.

The muscular pulse of Chicago is at the root of its timeless soul music.

"When I was a kid, the rag man, the vegetable man, the ice man, they were pulling their stuff with the horses and wagons," Chicago trumpet player-historian Melvin Williams recalled during a conversation last week at Soundmines Studio in the 8000 block of South Stony Island in Chicago. "We used horses and wagons in Chicago up until 1955."

Saxophone player Gene Barge left the warmth of Norfolk, Va. in 1964 to become producer-arranger-session musician at Chess Records.
"Chicago was home of the labor people," he said......

Potosi's Community Spirits

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The world's largest cone top beer can, 40 feet into the Wisconsin sky .

POTOSI, Wis.---The remarkable comeback of the Potosi Brewing Company is a story of a community coming together to preserve its history.

From the ground up.

One of the cooler things about a visit to the Potosi Brewery/National Brewery Museum/transportation museum/restaurant and beer garden is an original man cave about 70 feet deep.


"Before refrigeration until the early 1900s breweries needed a place to keep the beer cold," said David Fritz, president of the Potosi Brewery Foundation during my mid-July visit. "Some had caverns. This one is extremely unique in that it's a cave carved out of limestone. It was always damp in here. Just before we opened in June, 2008 we had two feet of water because of the super saturation of the ground. Following that we retrofitted the cave with three high capacity pumps."

In the mid-1800s the brewery would also cut ice out of the Mississippi River---about a quarter mile west of Potosi--and stock it in cave sawdust. The cave temperature is normally 52 degrees.

Any visit to the brewing company is filled with similar historical nooks and crannies.....

Ryne Sandberg's Moral Compass

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ALLENTOWN, Pa.---The journey of Ryne Sandberg is unprecedented in baseball history.

No Baseball Hall of Famer has devoted five years his life to spinning through America's backroads like a slow knuckleball. Along the way Sandberg has worked at becoming a different guy than he was as a player; he has learned to be more vocal and direct.
The ability to embrace change is a challenge for all of us.

Ryne Sandberg (Courtesy of Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs)

The Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer spent two years managing the Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest League, the Tennessee Smokies of the Southern League, the Iowa Cubs who for some reason remain in the Pacific Coast League and now the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs of the International League.

Sandberg, 51, has earned a seat in booth one of the Ellipisis Lounge..........


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.


Chicago's Record Row In addition to being a resource for archived stories, this is a place to share anecdotes about Chicago's Record Row, to network about Record Row developments and an opportunity for locals and tourists to comment on their experiences along Record Row.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from August 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2011 is the previous archive.

September 2011 is the next archive.

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