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American Rail Journeys’
[MARCH 21, 2001] “Great
American Rail Journeys." John Grant, Globe Pequot Press, 2000,
leave the Pennsylvania station ’bout a quarter to four,
a magazine and then you’re in Baltimore,
in the diner, nothing could be finer
to have your ham ’n eggs in Carolina,
you hear the whistle blowin’ eight to a bar,
you know that Tennessee is not very far."
"Chattanooga Choo-Choo," by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
celebration of the "beauty, history, and romance of railway
travel," John Grant’s "Great American Rail
Journeys" is the companion book to the PBS series of the same
name. The book is a catalog of rarely seen glimpses of America and
showcases "eight of America’s most scenic and historically
rich landscapes." Those landscapes are an integral part of the
book’s appeal. According to Grant, "With train travel, the
going is as important as the getting there."
book is divided into eight sections; each section represents a rail
journey in a different part of North America.
first begins in Alaska on The Alaskan Railroad. This 356-mile trip
between Anchorage and Fairbanks is a daylight adventure that takes
about 12 hours to complete. Travelers can plan their own multi-day
itinerary with overnight stops in the frontier town of Talkeetna or
Denali National Park.
The Adirondack travels a 400-mile route from New York to Montreal
and includes 18 regularly scheduled stops. The scenic highlights of
this trip include the historic landmarks and architectural
attractions of the Hudson River Valley, the awe-inspiring beauty of
the Adirondack Mountains and tranquil Lake Champlain.
Sierra Madre Express of Mexico’s Copper Canyon is a
south-of-the-border treat certain to please any seasoned traveler.
The train traverses a 1,300-mile route through the heart of the
Sierra Madre range and the Copper Canyon. Elevations up to 8,000
feet combine with spectacular vistas accessible only by train,
making this a truly memorable detrip. The route of the Sierra Madre
Express (eight days and seven nights) offers the chance to visit
Mexican villages, interact with the local Tarahumara Indians and
experience the extraordinary scenery of this jewel of the Mexican
Rockies by Rail’s American Orient Express is a 238-mile trek
through two of the premier national parks in the lower 48 states.
Leaving from Denver, the train follows the Colorado River as it
winds its way through the western countryside. Luxury is the order
of the day on this train; vintage Pullman cars offer the finest in
sleeping, dining, and observation. According to Grant the first day’s
travel between Denver and Salt Lake City "goes through the
heart of the Colorado Rockies…it is one of the best one day train
adventures in North America."
[to top of second column in
of Mexico’s Copper Canyon train is The Canadian Rockies’ Skeena,
one of Canada’s best passenger trains. Traveling 720 miles from
Jasper, in the province of Alberta, to the Pacific Ocean port of
Prince Rupert, the Skeena travels through some of the most
spectacular wilderness scenery on the North American continent. As
with other trips, passengers can make numerous multi-day stopovers
and enjoy such activites as fishing, biking, hiking and sightseeing.
Opportunities for wildlife viewing and interaction with the native
cultures are also abundant.
in the continental United States, Amtrak’s The Coast Starlight
travels almost 1,400 miles over a two-day period from Los Angeles,
Calif., to Seattle, Wash. In addition to making over two dozen stops
along the way, the Coast Starlight travels through some gorgeous
West Coast coastal scenery. Especially noteworthy is the ride along
California’s Pacific Ocean beaches and valleys. As the train heads
toward Oregon and Washington the scenery transforms into thick
forests and breathtaking mountain heights.
American South by Rail’s American Orient Express is another luxury
train where no expense has been spared. The restored cars include
sleeping accommodations that serve as a reminder of the trains of
the 1940s and 50s. Beginning in New Orleans and ending in
Washington, D.C., this 1,400-mile trek passes through eight
different states and makes regular stops in several famous Southern
author concludes with Alaska’s Gold Rush Train, The White Pass
& Yukon Route, a train that offers two different trips from
Skagway: a short three-hour trip to White Pass Summit and a longer
eight-hour trip to Lake Bennett. The appeal of this train is the
path that it follows — the same path used by those caught up in
the gold rush fever of the 1880s. Recreations of frontier life and
abandoned gold rush sites await the historically inclined traveler.
As with other train riding experiences in Alaska, the incredible
scenery is one of the highlights of this trip.
American Rail Journeys" is a wonderful source of information
for planning a railroad-style vacation. The photography of the
different vistas offered by these trips is stunning and makes casual
browsing a joy. In this quotation from the book, Southern folklorist
Nick Spitzer captures the charm of riding the rails: "You’re
moving at a wonderfully mellow pace across the landscape. You see
the backs of yards, you see…fishing camps, you see little dance
halls and honky tonks in the crossroads of towns." This book is
highly recommended to anyone who is planning a rail vacation or
enjoys books on trains.
more information visit the library at 725 Pekin St. or call
Sumrall, Lincoln Public Library District]
see the tax professionals at
Meier, Enrolled Agent
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111 S. Sangamon
for Lunch Mon.-Sat.
Open for Dinner Tues.-Sat.
here to view our
menu and gift items
Released on video Tuesday,
March 6, 2001
127 Minutes DreamWorks
Home Entertainment -2000
and directed by Rod Lurie
Oldman (also the executive producer)
movie uses graphic language to describe sexual scenes and presents
The box said “two thumbs up” and
recent years, the "two thumbs up" endorsement has meant
that I probably was going to find the movie to be a loser.
"Thriller" usually means I may endure it but I’m
probably not going to be thrilled with it.
in the case of "The Contender," both my thumbs are up
too, and I am indeed thrilled.
Contender" is a gritty movie, a political "action"
film of sorts. It is a thriller because you don’t have a clear
shot at the plot until it is finally revealed for you. At the end,
you look back on the film and say, "Yeah, I should’ve seen
Contender" is gritty because it focuses on a dirty fight
between political rivals to appoint a new vice president of the
United States. The president (played very aptly by Jeff Bridges)
selects a woman, Sen. Lane Hanson of Ohio (Joan Allen), for the
job, against the advice of party officials and his own advisers.
The previous vice president died somehow in office — but
"The Contender" never tries to explain his passing.
whole plot is wrapped up in the confirmation hearings and the
process of bringing an appointee to office or sending ’em off
Oldman plays Sheldon Runyon, the Republican chairman of the
selection committee. The highly respected, powerful senator seems
bent on not only denying the president his day in the sun but also
destroying the very career of Sen. Hanson.
top of second column in this review]
things about this movie made a good impression on me.
the acting was excellent. Oldman plays a perfect bad guy in this film
(he seems to have the bad-guy act down pat). Jeff Bridges, who I
thought incapable of playing a convincing president, stepped up to the
plate and delivered. Christian Slater played the part of a freshman
congressman who was seeking to do the right thing on principle, and
was perfectly cast for the part. Finally, Joan Allen was wonderful in
her portrayal of the contender under siege.
the plot was dynamite. This movie seems to make you move away from
certain characters and make certain assumptions, but you find yourself
making a couple of 90 degree turns before it’s done. In the spirit
of "The West Wing," it is full of political intrigue and the
power of the Washington scene. "The Contender" is a film
about respect and dignity and the rocky road to realizing those two
first hour of the movie has a single weakness: The lack of actors on
the set portraying political operatives, appointees, devotees and
those holding office makes you believe the story less. They needed a
fuller cast to make it seem like Washington and government.
is not a partisan film about the usual struggle between Republicans
and Democrats. Instead it is a story about the dynamics of power,
accusation and truth.
I recommend this film to you if you enjoy a good thriller, if you
enjoy stories about the political struggles of this nation and if you
like a good fiction about how truth prevails.
give it 3½ stars (out of five).
scholarship applications available
23, 2001] To
foster local talent, Lincoln Community Theatre will award a $500
theater arts scholarship to a Logan County graduating high school
senior who plans to attend Lincoln College.
applications are available from area high school guidance counselors
or by contacting Connie DiLillo, LCT scholarship chairman at
732-7859. Completed applications must be postmarked no later than
Woodlawn Rd. in Lincoln
1-888-455-4641 or 735-5400
Ask for Terry Lock or Sharon Awe
Ag Lines of Credit
Low Auto Rates
Free Checking - Debit Card
Money Market Index Account
and Frame Shop
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M-F 10-5 Sat 10-4
a friend about
chooses summer production staff
12, 2001] Lincoln
Community Theatre has announced the 2001 summer production staff.
first production, "You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,"
which runs from June 8 through 16, was selected in celebration of
LCT’s 30th anniversary season. This musical was the first
performance offered by Lincoln Community Theatre during the
organization’s first season in 1971.
2001 production will be directed by Sean-Edward Hall of Springfield.
Wayne Mara of Lincoln has been hired as technical director, with
Jason Yarcho, also of Lincoln, as accompanist and orchestra
director. Lights and sound will be managed by Stuart Wyneken of
July 13 through 21 comedy, "Moon Over Buffalo," will be
directed by Jerry Dellinger of Lincoln. He will also serve as
lighting director. Technical director will be Max Levendel of
of second column in this article]
final production, "The Wiz," will be directed by Tracy
Tiritilli of Bloomington, with husband Mark Tiritilli serving as
technical director. The show will run Aug. 3 through 11. Yarcho will
again serve as musical accompanist, and Wyneken will handle lighting
also plans a children’s play this summer. Performances will be
June 28 through July 1.
more information see the LCT website, www.geocities.com/lincolncommunitytheatre.
7 chooses cast members
3, 2001] Theatre
7 – Decatur’s Community Theatre has selected cast members for
its production of the comedy "Dearly Departed." The show
is about a colorful but dysfunctional Southern family coming
together to hilarious results when its patriarch, "Bud,"
Departed" is being directed by Joe Straka, with Penny Williams
as assistant director
members and the characters they play are as follows: Nancy Jo
Batman, Raynelle; Shawn Becker, RayBud; Lesa Andrick, Lucille; James
Graham, Junior; Tish Duis, Suzanne; Pam Stinson, Marguerite; Tom
Morrow, Royce; Carl Sebens, Reverend Hooker; Karen Becker, Veda;
John Dunn, Norval/Clyde; Julie Lycan, Nadine; Heather Jewell,
Juanita; and Penny Williams, Delightful.
go on sale to the general public starting Monday, March 5, at the
Decatur Civic Center Box Office, 422-6161.
dates for "Dearly Departed" at the Decatur Civic Center
Theater will be March 30-31 and April 6-7 at 7:30 p.m. and April 1
and 8 at 2 p.m.
7 news release]
Lincoln Community Theatre website
Community Theatre’s (LCT) website is up and available. The
site serves a number of functions, from providing information on
becoming a season ticket holder to showing what new productions are
being planned for next season. It lists everything one wants to know
about LCT — except the scripts. The top of the page lists those
already involved in the theatre and announces any paid or unpaid
positions, which are still available. Audition dates are also listed
for prospective actors.
site also links to Gus Gordon Productions and Grand Ball Costumes.
Gus Gordon produces plays all over central Illinois, and the site
lists the upcoming plays. Grand Ball Costumes rents costumes here in
central Illinois for plays, Halloween, weddings, birthdays or any
little farther down, the site offers information on upcoming plays,
admission prices and season ticket prices. Presently, LCT’s
website is displaying pictures of recent performances:
"Annie" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the
you are interested in joining a performance or just going to see
one, visit LCT’s website at www.geocities.com/lincolncommunitytheatre/index.html,
e-mail LCT at email@example.com,
or write to Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln,
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