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‘The Hearse You Came In On’

[JUNE 6, 2002]  "The Hearse You Came In On," Tim Cockey, Hyperion, 2000, 308 pages.

If you are looking for a light, highly entertaining read for a hot summer day, then Tim Cockey’s "The Hearse You Came In On" is just the book.

The story begins at Sewell and Sons Family Funeral Home, where the funeral in process is for the late Mr. Weatherby, a retired firefighter who died of a heart attack.


This funeral promises to draw a modest crowd, so Aunt Billie, the owner of the funeral home, and the main character, Hitchcock Sewell, her nephew and partner, are working the crowd. During the funeral, Hitchcock’s day and the next few months become somewhat complicated due to the arrival of Carolyn James, "an obstacle in a tennis dress and baggy sweater," who, in a somewhat drunken state, "crashes" the Weatherby funeral, and after a bit of conversation with Hitch, announces that she would like to arrange a funeral … her own.

Hitch’s life gets a lot more interesting from that point on. The day following his strange encounter with Carolyn James, he is surprised to run into her again as a client by way of suicide by asphyxiation. He is even more surprised to discover that THIS Carolyn James is not the same woman he encountered the previous day. Hitch decides to become amateur sleuth and attempt to discover the identity of the woman.


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During his search, he discovers her to be Officer Kate Zabrinski, who was working on behalf of the actual Carolyn James, a seemingly perpetual victim. Kate explains to Hitch that, in a drunken moment of weakness, she stumbled into his funeral home with the half-baked idea that the best way to help Carolyn was to fake her death. Convinced that Carolyn’s suicide is in fact a murder, she enlists Hitch’s help. Hitchcock thus begins his journey into a whirlwind of politics, blackmail and police corruption.

"The Hearse You Came In On" is Tim Cockey’s debut novel. He has served as a story analyst for such companies as American Playhouse, ABC-TV and Hallmark Entertainment. He has also promoted professional opera productions, helped run a farmers’ market and edited books about how to get other people to give you money. He now lives in New York City. (Biographical information taken from book jacket)

If you enjoyed this book (and I’m sure you will), be sure to try "Hearse of a Different Color," "Hearse Case Scenario," and look for the soon-to-be-published "Murder in the Hearse Degree."

[Bobbi Reddix, Lincoln Public Library District]


LCT box office opens

[JUNE 5, 2002]  The Lincoln Community Theatre box office opened for the summer season on Monday, June 3. Season ticket holders may begin making reservations for any of the three summer productions by calling 735-2614 or visiting the box office from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The box office is located in the lobby of the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Lincoln College.

General admission tickets for performances are offered one week before the opening of each show, at $9 for adults and $6 for students through eighth grade. The first production of the season, "Hello, Dolly!" opens on Friday, June 14.

Season tickets for the summer, which include the June musical production of "Hello, Dolly!" the July comedy "Dearly Departed" and the August musical production of "The King and I" are still available. Send check or money order ($20 for adult; $12 for children through eighth grade) to LCT, Box 374, Lincoln 62656.

For more information on season membership, call (217) 732-4763 or (217) 732-2640 or visit the LCT website,

[LCT news release]

Cast selected for LCT’s ‘Hello, Dolly!’

Lincoln Community Theatre has chosen cast members for the local June 14-22 production of "Hello, Dolly!"

Cast as the ever-meddling Dolly Levi is Jill Nessler of Sherman, who has previously appeared on the Lincoln stage as Miss Hannigan in LCT’s summer 2000 production of "Annie" and as Lucy in last summer’s opening show, "You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown."

The role of millionaire Horace Vandergelder will be played by Roger Boss of Lincoln. Boss has appeared in numerous LCT productions, most recently as part of the barbershop quartet featured throughout the 1999 production of "The Music Man."

Other players featured in this June production are Marilyn Willmert of Lincoln as Mrs. Malloy, Deb VanDeVoort of Springfield as Minnie Fae, Andy VanDeVoort of Springfield as Cornelius, Kyle Pepperell of New Holland as Barnaby, Josh Twente of Lincoln as Ambrose, Alison Maske of Mount Pulaski as Ermengarde, Brian Welter of Lincoln as the policeman/judge, and Nancy Schaub of Lincoln as Mrs. Rose.

Chorus members include Tina Mayer and Brian Willmert of Lincoln, Ann Opferman of Petersburg, and Abby and Heidi VanDeVoort of Springfield.


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The play is directed by Dan Bailey of Lincoln, who will also design and oversee construction of the set. Jan Mikelson of Hartsburg will serve as accompanist; Jeff Kindred of Atlanta will direct vocals; and Miranda Stone of Lincoln will serve as light and sound director.

All performances are at Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Lincoln College and are at 8 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday, June 16, performance, which is a 2 p.m. matinee.

For information regarding tickets, contact LCT, Box 374, Lincoln, IL  62656. The LCT box office opens on June 3. For information regarding season tickets, call 732-2640 or go to the LCT website,

[Judy Rader, LCT publicity chairman]

Movie classics

Logan County Arts Association upcoming films

All upcoming monthly features in the Logan County Arts Association series of classic films will start at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Cinemas, 215 S. Kickapoo.

Thursday, June 13

Alfred Hitchcock’s "Rear Window" (1954)

Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Thursday, July 11

"Top Hat" (1935)

Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers

Showman Jerry Travers is working for producer Horace Hardwick in London. Jerry demonstrates his new dance steps late one night in Horace’s hotel, much to the annoyance of sleeping Dale Tremont below. She goes upstairs to complain, and the two are immediately attracted to each other. Complications arise when Dale mistakes Jerry for Horace.

Thursday, Aug. 8

John Ford’s "Fort Apache" (1948)

John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen

In John Ford’s somber exploration of "Custer’s last stand" and the mythologizing of American heroes, he slowly reveals the character of Owen Thursday, who sees his new posting to the desolate Fort Apache as a chance to claim the military honor which he believes is rightfully his. Arrogant, obsessed with military form and ultimately self-destructive, Thursday attempts to destroy the Indian warrior Cochise after luring him across the border from Mexico.


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Thursday, Sept. 12

"Breakfast at Tiffany’s" (1961)

Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Buddy Ebsen, Patricia Neal

Based on Truman Capote’s novel, this is the story of a young jet-setting woman in New York City who meets a young man when he moves into her apartment building.

Thursday, Oct. 10

Horror/sci-fi double feature

"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1931)

Frederic March, Miriam Hopkins

Based on the story by Robert Louis Stevenson. Dr. Henry Jekyll believes that there are two distinct sides to men: a good and an evil side. He faces horrible consequences when he lets his dark side run wild with a potion that changes him into the animalistic Mr. Hyde.

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951)

Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe

An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) lands their spacecraft on cold-war Earth just after the end of World War II. He tells the people of Earth that we must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Tickets will be available at Serendipity Stitches, 129 S. Kickapoo; the Lincoln Public Library Annex; at the door; or by calling (217) 732-4298. Ticket prices are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2.50 for children 13 and under. These features are one show only, with limited seating.

[Logan County Arts Association ]

Lincoln Community Theatre information

Lincoln Community Theatre’s website is at Pictures from past productions are included.  The LCT mailing address is Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln, IL  62656.  E-mail:

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