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Speaker coming to library for humorous presentation

‘You are what you eat: America on the run’

[OCT. 9, 2002]  A free program called "You are what you eat: America on the run" will be presented at the Lincoln Public Library on Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Ryburn-LaMonte’s humorous presentation traces America’s move from the kitchen to the drive-through, with frequent stops for "junk" food along the way.

The program will be in the Pegram Room of the Carnegie building. For more information, please call the library at (217) 732-5732.

[News release]

[Photo provided by Lincoln Public Library]

4th ‘Owl Prowl’

[OCT. 4, 2002]  The Illinois Raptor Center invites visitors for an evening educational tour of the center’s property with owls displayed in their appropriate habitat. The tour will end in the Sangamon River floodplain, where participants may hear wild barred and great horned owls.

4th annual Owl Prowl fund-raiser

Date:  Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26

Time and place:  6:30 p.m. at the Illinois Raptor Center, 5695 W. Hill Road, Decatur

Cost:  $15 per adult; children half price (includes prowl and refreshments)

Prowl rain or shine. Bring a flashlight and dress appropriately.

Call (217) 963-6909 to make a reservation or send an e-mail to

This year the Illinois Raptor Center is also offering private owl prowls for organizations and businesses Oct. 21-24. To book a private prowl, call (217) 963-6909 by phone or TTY or e-mail the center.

[News release]


‘Hanging on to Max’

[OCT. 9, 2002]  "Hanging on to Max" by Margaret Bechard. Roaring Brook Press, 2002, 142 pages.

Seventeen-year-old Sam Pettigrew used to go to a regular high school, but now he is a senior and attends an alternative high school. Last year his girlfriend, Brittany, got pregnant and decided to give up the baby for adoption. Sam didn’t want that to happen, so he took the baby. Brittany and her family moved away. Sam hates the name that Brittany gave the baby, so when he became the custodial parent he changed the baby’s name to Max.


Sam lives with his widowed father, who has agreed to help him out with Max until Sam graduates and takes a construction job. It is obvious that Sam and his father love each other, but they have a hard time showing it and communicating with each other. They are both still grieving over the death of Sam’s mother.

The story opens with Sam falling asleep in math class. He is struggling with being a parent and a student, and he feels like he will never get caught up with his homework. He is also having trouble adjusting to his new school and he misses his old friends.

When Sam was in the eighth grade he had a crush on a girl named Claire, and one day she shows up at school with a baby of her own. He is very excited to see her and a friendship develops. Claire is more comfortable with her parenthood than Sam is, and she organizes trips to the park and mall for the two of them with the babies. Being with Claire makes Sam realize that he has really missed the company of a girl.

His father is very uncomfortable with the idea of Sam having a relationship. They have a conversation in which Sam asks his father if he is going to punish him forever by watching everything that he does.


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Sam always dreamed of going to college, and when he took the PSATs he got very high scores. Claire convinces him to take the SATs with her, but he has to do it behind his father’s back. When the letter comes to the house with the SAT scores in it, Sam’s father opens the letter. He confronts Sam with the reality of his situation, and Sam is more confused and stressed than ever.

Sam and Claire and the babies are invited for a night out at a friend’s house with other couples. An innocent mistake happens, and it ends up with an emergency room visit for Max. It is at this point that the story begins to change directions. Sam faces some things that he has been thinking about for a long time and the result is a heart-wrenching, surprise ending.

The author uses flashbacks to fill in the missing pieces of the story, like the evolution of Sam’s relationship with Brittany, his mother’s last days and the first time he sees his baby son. Ms. Bechard does a good job of describing the dilemma young parents face in trying to be good parents without completely giving up their dreams for the future.

The book contains some rough language, so it is recommended for eighth grade and up. The author has done a very good job with a hard subject.

For more information, please visit the library at 725 Pekin St. or call (217) 732-8878 or 732-5732.

[Linda Harmon, Lincoln Public Library District]

LCHS fall play ‘The Curious
Savage’ opens Friday

[OCT. 8, 2002]  The LCHS fall play, "The Curious Savage" by John Patrick, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday in the auditorium at Lincoln Community High School.

The cast includes Betsy Buttell as Mrs. Ethel Savage, a "mature" widow whose stepchildren — Sen. Titus Savage, played by Stanton Schumacher; Lily Belle Savage, Amanda Perry; and Judge Samuel Savage, Tim Fak — decide to have their mother committed because she is spending what they consider to be their multimillion-dollar inheritance. Not only has she decided to finance her own play, but she also tries to "send a ship full of orphans on a cruise around the world... while there’s still a world to go around." Her goal is to provide people with enough money to indulge their own foolish fantasies.

When she arrives at "The Cloisters," the home where she will be evaluated by Dr. Emmet, Brian Welter, and looked after by Miss Willie, Amanda Shelley, Mrs. Savage encounters a "perfectly normal" group of "residents." Led by the "statistically inclined" Hannibal, Ty Sank, the group waits with concern to meet the new resident. Fairy May, Lindsey Boerma, worries that Mrs. Savage will be a beauty, challenging her position as the prettiest. The elegant and. lovely Florence, Allison Kessinger, takes the change in stride as she focuses on her son, John Thomas. Jeffrey, Doug Rohrer, tries to hide his "hideously scarred face" from Mrs. Savage, and Mr. Paddy, Brandon Davis, who "hates everything in the world," throws in his own touch of escapism by turning off the lights at every opportunity.


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As the plot unfolds, the Savage stepchildren prove they will stop at nothing to regain control of their estate. More importantly, the "Savages" prove that residency in a "home" should not be taken as the only proof that one is unbalanced. Even though Mrs. Savage must accept the fact that the gentle residents of The Cloisters have indeed lost touch with some of the harsh realities of the world, she realizes that their company is infinitely more desirable than that found in the jungle of her Savage stepchildren.

The play is directed by Carolyn Schreiber with the assistance of student directors Tom Swanson and Bo Wright.

[LCHS press release]

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Lincoln Community Theatre information

Lincoln Community Theatre’s box office, phone 735-2614,  is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday for the summer season. The office is located in the lobby of the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Lincoln College.

Performances of "Dearly Departed" are scheduled for July 12-20, and "The King and I" will be presented Aug. 2-10. Show times are 2 p.m. on Sundays and 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The LCT mailing address is Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln, IL  62656; e-mail:

Visit the LDC website at Pictures from past productions are included.

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