CHARLESTON — The Grand Prairie Friends are having a very special “world movie premiere” for a movie called “The Magic Stump” at Warbler Ridge near Charleston, as part of their Fall Fete event on Saturday, Sept 24.
The documentary, created by Turnstone (Chicago), follows three well-known Coles-County bird experts, Dave Mott, Ron Bradley and Tyler Funk, as the discover the secrets of “the magic stump”. This true-life account of a discovery by these birders of a random stump in a farm field in Coles County, takes viewers on a journey to discover a host of unusual birds which frequent the rural Coles County stump along their migration path. What draws the birds to this exact spot is quite the mystery.
To celebrate the movie debut, Grand Prairie Friends will host an entire afternoon of family-friendly bird events starting at 4 p.m., along with lectures and bird walks from the three local “movie star cast members”. Just prior to the 7 p.m. movie showing, the cast will participate in a Q&A panel.
Food vendors will be available, the event is open and free to the public. Lawn Chairs are suggested for the outdoor viewing.
For more information about the movie, check out a short trailer for the movie on YouTube or visit
To reach the Grand Prairie Friends, contact Sarah Livesay at
My Town: Clint Walker's memories of Coles County as pulled from the archives
Cosmic Blue Comics
From the Nov. 22, 1992, Journal Gazette, this photo of Cosmic Blue Comics in Mattoon; where I spent virtually every Saturday afternoon for about two years. That small back room you see just off to the right of the Coca-Cola sign was where they kept the many, and I mean many, long-boxes of back issues. I still own my bagged copy of "Tales of the Beanworld" issue No. 1 that I found back there. Sadly, this location is now just a "greenspace".
Pictured, Shelbyville's Bob Murray from the June 2, 1982, Journal Gazette, displaying his dominance over the TRON arcade game at the "Carousel Time" arcade at the Cross County Mall, later to be the Aladdin's Castle, soon thereafter to be not a thing anymore. I spent just about every Saturday at that arcade, perhaps with that exact same haircut. No overalls, though. I was more of an "Ocean Pacific" kind of kid.
Pictured, from the Nov. 28, 1988, Journal Gazette, Icenogle's grocery store. Being from Cooks Mills, we didn't often shop at Icenogle's...but when we did, even as a kid, I knew it was the way a grocery store is supposed to be in a perfect world, and that's not just because they had wood floors, comic books on the magazine rack, or plenty, and I mean plenty, of trading cards in wax packs.
I had long since moved away from Cooks Mills by the time this Showcase item about Adam's Groceries ran in the June 13, 1998, Journal Gazette, but there was a time when I very well could have been one of those kids in that photo; for if it was summer, and you had a bike, and you lived in Cooks Mills, that's where you ended up. At last report, they still had Tab in the Pepsi-branded cooler in the back. I'm seriously considering asking my money guy if I could afford to reopen this place.
Pictured, from the July 16, 1987, Journal Gazette, this ad for Mister Music, formerly located in the Cross County Mall. I wasn't buying records at that age, but I would eventually, and that's where it all went down. If you don't think it sounds "cool" to hang out at a record store with your buddies on a Friday night, a piping-hot driver's license fresh in your wallet, you'd be right. But it's the best a geek like me could do. Wherever you are today, owners of Mister Music, please know that a Minutemen album I found in your cheap bin changed my life.
Sound Source Guitar Throw
Portrait of the author as a young man, about to throw a guitar through a target at that year's Sound Source Music Guitar Throwing Contest, from the April 18, 1994, Journal Gazette. Check out my grunge-era hoodie, and yes...look carefully, those are Air Jordans you see on my feet. Addendum: despite what the cutline says, I did not win a guitar.
Pictured, clipped from the online archives at
JG-TC.com, a photo from the April 18, 1994, Journal Gazette of Sound Source Music Guitar Throwing Contest winner, and current JG-TC staff writer, Clint Walker.
Here today, gone tomorrow, Vette's Teen Club, from the June 20, 1991, Journal Gazette. I wasn't "cool" enough to hang out at Vette's back in it's "heyday," and by "cool enough" I mean, "not proficient enough in parking lot fights." If only I could get a crack at it now.
FutureGen: The end of the beginning, and eventually, the beginning of the end, from the Dec. 19, 2007, JG-TC. I wish I had been paying more attention at the time. I probably should have been reading the newspaper.