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Short Posts of Historic Facts and Events in Illinois

14

Jul

2016

Happy Anniversary, Joe!

On or around July 15, 1831, Joseph Naper and a bunch of other folks started a little community on the banks of the DuPage River. I always take a moment to stand outside and imagine what it might have been like.

 

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14

Jul

2016

Happy Anniversary, Joe!

On or around July 15, 1831, Joseph Naper and a bunch of other folks started a little community on the banks of the DuPage River. I always take a moment to stand outside and imagine what it might have been like.

Was it hot, especially with long dresses and woolen trousers? What if there were thunderstorms like we had the other day? From what we can tell, there was one log house here, but most folks must have slept under their wagons or simply under the stars.

I look at the restored prairies, like the one at the College of DuPage, to get an idea of what it must have looked like when they arrived. What flowers were blooming? How tall were the wild grasses? Were there any fruits ripe enough to enjoy?

Joe's group always intended to build a community. They brought their families, their livestock and the iron works to build proper houses -- not log cabins -- from the very beginning. And this land wasn't exactly wilderness. There were several homesteaders in the general vicinity as well as the native people who regularly moved through the area.

They were probably excited and a little nervous. Happy to be on land after nearly a month of sailing on the Great Lakes. Apprehensive to be so far from the comparative civilization of Chicago. Sentimental, perhaps, over the homes they left behind in Ohio and New York. Worried about being ready for the coming winter.

But they pulled together and made it happen. And Naperville folks have been doing the same every since. I believe Joe was more of a whiskey kind of guy, but we're toasting with a cold beer because the Naperville Ale Fest happens to be this weekend. Happy Anniversary, Joe! Here's to many more!
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15

Jun

2016

50 Years Ago — Summer Place Theatre


In 1966, North Central College started a  community theatre tradition. Enthusiastic drama students appealed to professor Don Shanower for opportunities beyond the school year. Shanower enlisted the help of part-time faculty member Don Jamison and together they launched Summer Place Theatre. 
 
 
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15

Jun

2016

50 Years Ago — Summer Place Theatre


In 1966, North Central College started a  community theatre tradition. Enthusiastic drama students appealed to professor Don Shanower for opportunities beyond the school year. Shanower enlisted the help of part-time faculty member Don Jamison and together they launched Summer Place Theatre. 

Jamison’s career was at Western Electric Co. but he also founded amateur drama clubs and appeared in live WMAQ-TV productions. Teacher Shanower worked with student John Belushi at NCC and cast him in "A Thousand Clowns" in 1969, but Belushi was fired from his during rehearsals for chronic absenteeism.

Shanower got permission to use a storefront on Washington and Porter that once housed a Chevy dealer and SPT performed five shows that first season. 

For the next several years, productions were held under tents that were erected on the NCC campus. Torrential rainstorms in 1969 and again in 1973 destroyed the tents, as well as the shows being performed there.

Around the same time, the barn where props were stored was burned to the ground, but SPT still didn’t give up. 
A metal-roofed pavilion was built to replace the tent. Unfortunately, it was soon crushed by the Great Blizzard of 1979, but a second pavilion lasted for a decade. For many years, SPT hoped to raise enough money to erect a permanent home, but shows instead have been held at North Central High School
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18

May

2016

Naperville's Lantern Bar and Grill Celebrates 50 Years

Using Tech for Book Marketing

Don and Kate Gingold

 

Kate and husband Don have been building websites since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

As the Internet has evolved, producing books and marketing them has become much more complicated. Whether traditionally-published or self-published, authors today need to know their way around websites, blogging, social media and other online marketing tools.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs, small- to medium-business owners and not-for-profit directors. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Frequently Kate also writes about tips specific to authors, some of which are available here.

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The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.