Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Santa and the Moline Cuties - Kathy Wilcox and Jorja Beert

Santa and Kathy Wilcox.
Notice the mittens attached through the sleeves.

 Kathy Wilcox

Jorja Hepner

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

MHS 68.
Santa Mike Collins is coming to Moline

Well it is that time again ! Santa is coming to the Quad Cities the 16th 17th and 18th of Dec. would consider the 15th as well. Will do appearances for Children's Homes and Nursing Homes on the16th for just the boost in my spirit. Contact me here!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Happy 83rd Birthday - Moliner Ken Berry

Carol Burnett had the best variety show on TV,
and Ken Berry was a welcome guest.


  1. Christopher Korman says:
    I know Ken from his many years of his guest starring turns on Carol Burnett and Mama’s Family which my father Harvey Korman appeared on. Ken is a perfect example of an Artists getting type cast. Most people don’t know that Ken Started off as a dancer with the Billy Barnes revue along with Michelle Lee and Bert Convy. The fact is Ken Berry is one of the greatest song and dance men around and if he had been given the chance to prove that he would be mentioned with Astaire and Kelly Today.The only thing that supersedes his talents is his humility,grace,and integrity.Its been a privilege and honor to say I got to know the icon Ken Berry.

Video interviews with Ken Berry about the Carol Burnett Show, Mayberry RFD

In the Army, Spock got Berry to try Hollywood.

When I read about Ken Berry on his website, many details about Moline echoed what others have said and I have thought:

"Ken Berry was already five-eighths of the way to Mayberry when he was born in Moline, Ill., on November 3, 1933. Kenneth Ronald Berry was the second child (joining sister Dona Rae) of Bernice and Eugene Darrell Berry, who at the time of Ken’s birth was an accountant for John Deere Company."

Early career:
"When I got the job and it took me away from home, that must have been very hard for my parents," Ken says. "But they were very supportive and it was really a thrilling experience for me. After the Horace Heidt show, I came back and finished high school in Moline. I used to drive up to Chicago once a week and take a voice lesson and a tap lesson in the same studio. But that didn’t last very long. After graduation, I went back out to California to look for work. And I didn’t get much at all."

Mayberry as Brigadoon
About Mayberry, Ken says, "It’s a wonderful place to visit and people would fantasize about living there. It’s a place like Brigadoon that shows up every hundred years. It’s a place you dream about living, but you know it’s fantasy and you don’t care."

Mayberry Like Moline
He adds, "I grew up among people very much like that -- a bigger town, but not much bigger -- and the neighborhood was very much like that and the people were very much like those characters. And it was fun for me to visit, too. It was one of my favorite half hours ever on television and that was long before I met Andy."


GJ - My wife Chris and I talk about how much we enjoyed the 40th reunion of the MHS 66 class. She has always felt a part of my class, even though she met them after graduation, when we were at Augustana.

We have had a number of discussions with people on Facebook. The common theme is how pleasant people were to each other in Moline. It is no surprise that Ken Berry had the same experience earlier.

My father knew many people from work and from graduating from MHS. We had a lapboard where all his classmates inscribed their names with a woodburner. All his classmates seemed to be named Eric Johnson, John Ericson, Eric Ericson, John Johnson, Sven Svenson, Sven Ericson, Eric Svenson, John Svenson, etc.

Once we were discussing a local politician, and dad said, "I cannot believe he would be like that. His father was one of my teachers. His word was his bond."

With my mother in the Moline school system and my father in business, I was connected to everyone - one way or another. The kindly attitude was expressed in many different ways. When I went to Augustana College, a bike ride away, my mother's classmates were there.

The daughter of Dr. Andreen taught education at Augustana. "Are you going to be a teacher, too?" she asked. I said, "No, never."

Later I learned that Dr. Andreen left his position as a noted professor at Yale to become president of a threadbare college on the banks of the Mississippi. The little portable college, which barely survived, has become one of the best liberal arts colleges in America. Looking back, we can see how much people sacrificed to create a better life for future generations. I wonder if the same will be said about us Boomers.

I can imagine Ken Berry recognizing the fictional characters of Mayberry being so much like Moliners. I will have to write about them too.

Ken Berry had a hit show in Mayberry RFD in the late 1960s. He said Mayberry was just like the town he grew up in - Moline.
In Hollywood he is still known as the nicest guy in show business.

Andy Griffith launched the pilot of Mayberry RFD with Ken Berry.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Song for Cub Fans Tonight - Especially Those in Chicago

Homer Jackson was destined to be a baseball fan, with that first name -
sponsoring fast-pitch softball and always backing Cubs baseball.

A Song for Cubs Fans Walking by Wrigley Stadium.
Copyright 2016, Gregory L. Jackson
Apologies to “On the Street Where You Live” – My Fair Lady

I have often gone to Wrigley Stadium
But the critics always
Wondered what the Cubs had done.

All at once am I
Several stories high
Knowing I'm on the street where Cubs play.

Is the popcorn fresh
In the North of town?
Can you hear a blast in any other part of town?

Does Budweiser pour
Out of every door?
No, it's just in Chi-town where Cubs play.

And oh, the towering feeling
Just to know the trophy is near,
The overpowering feeling,
That any second the commish will soon appear.

People stop and stare
They don't bother me
For there's no team left on earth
That I would rather see.

Let the Indians sigh
I don't care if I
Can be here on the street where Cubs play.

People stop and stare
They don't bother me
For there's no team left on earth
That I would rather see.

Let the Indians play
I won't care if they
Can drop by on the street where Cubs play.
Let me stay on the street where Cubs play.

 Adam Jones, WQUA, told me about going on the fan-bus with Dad,
from Moline to the Cubs games.

Chicago Cubs Fans - One Day More

Growing up in Illinois, the only baseball team I knew about was the Cubs. My father was the ultimate Cubs fan, always waiting for his team to continue its winning ways through the summer. I went to games as a kid, even though we were on the opposite side of the state. When I served a parish in Sturgis, Michigan, our youth group went to Cubs games.

My favorite moment in baseball was early. I knew very little about it. I asked my father what grand slam was. He explained the bases loaded and a home run hit. I asked,"Could that happen now? The bases are loaded." He laughed, "That hardly ever happens." As soon as he said it, the player hit a home run and emptied the bases. That story was told around Moline for a long time.

Once the Cubs rain up a three-game deficit, I told Mrs. Ichabod, "One more loss and the Cubs lose the World Series." Instead, the Cubs began winning again. Last night must have been exciting for every Cubs fan in the world. A grand slam almost certified the win early, and the game ended 9-3.

One day more.

Watching baseball at the park is great, but baseball on TV has never intrigued me. I watch interesting games on the computer by calling up the scorecard and refreshing it every so often.

 Dad sponsored fast-pitch softball teams,
and we watched the King and His Court play locally.

My father was born in 1910 and experienced the drought of losses that plagued all Cubs fans. He would have needed to live to 106 to have watched these games. He would have sold his car to be at one of the games - that is certain.

 Cousin Dean posed for this picture.
We had tons of these hats to wear - and had to wear them
for cute calendar poses, no matter how old we were.

 Many years later, those paper hats were still
available for poses. Here is Little Ichabod previewing
how his son would look at the same age.