Okay, I am somewhat back…

A lot of stuff has happened the past couple of months. I have neglected this blog, which I will rectify now.

Living in Arkansas now. It is far, far different from Canada. There are some aspects of Canada that I miss, but for the most part, considering myself an Arkansan now. I actually love it here. The funny thing is that the past couple days have been very cold. Err well, cold by Southern standards, anyway. I keep wondering how I even made it in Canada, because now I think 20 degrees is too damn cold and not sufficient for life. I do miss the food in Canada, but hilariously, there is a Canadian restaurant in Memphis called Kooky Canuck’s that is suitable and has poutine. Well, sometimes they have poutine, anyhow…when JM and I went there, there was no cheese curds!! Grr. Hopefully, when we go back to Memphis, there will be copious amounts of cheese curds for the poutine. In the meantime, I gotta try to make it myself.

Been out and about a lot since coming back to the states. Is it different from a few years ago? Yah, it is, in some ways. I appreciate Arkansas for the friendliness factor. The people here are wonderful. East coast and Quebec attitudes don’t come close to what happens here. Always did appreciate the South for that.

Got to see one of my favorite bands on December 7th, Eyehategod at the Downtown Music Club in Little Rock. Goatwhore opened up, as did a grindcore band called Phobia. Totally unimpressed with Phobia. Grindcore just does not do it for me, and I don’t think they appreciated my Burzum shirt. Go figure. Goatwhore put on an incredible show, very much into the crowd. I was very impressed with them. Eyehategod…LOUD. Very LOUD!!! It was good, think they were wasted though…lol.

I caught a pretty bad cold at that show, I am convinced. I am not entirely used to the germs down here, and I am trying to adjust accordingly.

Went up to the Quad Cities to see my parents. My father is not doing well; in fact, he looks pretty bad. I don’t know what to do from here, but we plan on going back relatively soon. JM enjoyed his time in the QC; we went to the casino, he did well, I did okay there on the slots. Had good food and a good time, other than the terrible snowstorm while we were there.

I fell in love with Hot Springs, that place is awesome 🙂

Bear with me, not completely 100%, have been so sick lately.

I have a lot to plan for right now. Going to Vegas later in the month. 😉 I am a very lucky woman, and I know it, and intend on spreading some of this gratitude.

I hope y’all are good.

PS…my photos are on my flickr account, I have a pro account now. Please check them out 🙂


Things I remember…

I would like to write them down BEFORE I forget! Hey, never know, somebody else might remember these places, also. Stuff from the Quad, from when I was a kid. Besides, I am getting old now. I have to document stuff.

I remember Skateland in East Moline. I must have been there every weekend. I spent way too much time there. Loved the New Years Skate, when you could stay there until the wee hours of the morning. Hell yeah. Had my speed skates, loved it! Closed down now.

Skate Ranch in Milan. I didn’t spend as much time there, but I liked it. Closed down now. Had this really groovy dance floor in the middle of the skating rink. Also had volleyball outside and a mini movie theater. Milan used to have a lot of entertainment options…from what I understand, it is pretty much dead now.

Hmmm, speaking of Milan, it used to have the kickass Showcase Cinemas and Razz-Ma-Tazz. Razz-Ma-Tazz was this pizza place, kinda like Chuck-E-Cheese but a lot bigger. Milan was the fast food mecca, also…Rudy’s Tacos, Happy Joe’s, etc. There was this great pizza place called the Pizza Joynt that was outside of Milan proper, on the way to Andalusia, I believe. I spent a lot of time in Showcase Cinemas.

Theaters-Parkway Theater in Moline, near Southpark Mall. Closed down. Sierra Theater, on 23rd Avenue. Closed. I don’t think they call it 23rd Avenue anymore…

There was this weird restaurant I remember going to when I was a child. Called Drawbridge Restaurant, or something like that. It looked like a castle. I don’t think it lasted very long…it was cool.

Showbiz Pizza, Davenport! Had two birthday parties there. Turned into Chuck-E-Cheese. Bummer.

Duck Creek Plaza in Bettendorf! That place was usually dead, but it is gone, anyway.

Used to like the Book Emporium in East Moline. Bought many, many books there. Gone.

Remember those fountains in Southpark Mall in Moline?

Wacky Waters…Davenport. Gone.

That is life, I suppose…I wish I had pictures of these places that I remember once in awhile. Would be great.

A lot of great stuff is gone, which is rather disappointing, but there is still Harris Pizza and Frank’s Pizza. I hope. Doesn’t do me a lot of good here in rural Canada, but miss it all the same.


Black Hawk State Historic Site to close in Rock Island

*I’m so sad about this…it is a favourite childhood memory. Sigh…everything is disappearing.*

The John Hauberg Indian Museum is the only facility in the country that tells the history of what was once Illinois’ largest city and capital of the Sauk Nation.

Housed in Black Hawk State Historic Site’s Watch Tower Lodge in Rock Island, it sits within a half-mile of that ghost town’s western edge.

This weekend may give general visitors to the museum a last look at the lives of the Sauk (Sac) and Mesquaki (Fox) Indians in the city of Saukenuk — and even a plaster cast of the head of their leader, Black Hawk. It might be the final peek visitors to the historic site get at most facilities here even though the park itself will remain open.

At least that is how things appear right now.

“We keep hoping for a reprieve. Maybe the Legislature can find a way yet,” said Janet Moline, chairwoman of the Citizens to Preserve Black Hawk Park.

Victim of budget cuts

Illinois’ elimination of financial support for state historic site personnel has played out for five months. All but four state parks have been spared, but not historic sites. Cuts — which have meant closure for some sites — were threatened on Oct. 1, then Oct. 15.

As of Monday, Black Hawk State Historic Site is slated to lose half of its paid staff of four. Lack of staffing and maintenance effectively means doors will close to the John Hauberg Indian Museum, the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum and Singing Bird Lodge.

“The heat and air conditioning will be on, but the doors are closed except for groups already booked,” Moline said. “(The citizens foundation) pays for a naturalist for groups.”

What will remain available at Black Hawk are the park’s trails and picnic shelters. A popular place for wedding receptions, the Black Hawk Room in Watch Tower Lodge, will be available for rental.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich vetoed a bill that would have provided $2.4 million to keep state historic sites staffed.

“I don’t understand what this governor did. It’s a bunch of baloney,” Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan, said.

Verschoore said historic site employee salaries are not a big burden to the state. “These sites are pretty much (financially) self-sufficient. What else can you say that about?”

Thanks to private grants to Citizens to Preserve Black Hawk Park, a display about who the Sauk and Mesquaki were, when and how they arrived here and left, will open at the Hauberg Indian Museum on May 9 next year.

“There will be a grand opening,” Moline said.

Site supervisor Beth Carvey added, “Even though we’re in crisis mode, we’re still moving forward.”

Moline is glad grants keep programming afloat, but the state’s actions disappoint her.

“It’s the state’s responsibility — not private groups or citizens — to make the history of Saukenuk available.”

Efforts to stay open

Lack of interest was not the reason funding was suspended.

Black Hawk State Historic Site Supervisor Scott Roman said the facilities draw between 140,000 to 150,000 visitors per year.

In September 2008, Carvey said, 1,200 school children visited the Hauberg Indian Museum.

In 2007, the Illinois Bureau of Tourism named Black Hawk State Historic Site one of the “7 Wonders of Illinois.”

Rep. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, said public support has been strong.

“I have received well over a thousand letters, e-mails and phone calls,” he said. “We have received some for the Hennepin Canal and Bishop Hill, but Black Hawk park has inspired the most response, by far.”

Petitions have been another form of support. Signers and those circulating the petitions included Native American Coalition of the Quad-Cities members, who meet at Singing Bird Lodge.

Regina Tsosie, the coalition’s president, said, “We’ve been concerned about the closures since summer. I guess it’s finally happening, and it’s sad.”

Tsosie, who is also a member of Citizens to Preserve Black Hawk Park, noted that President George W. Bush has named November as National American Indian Heritage Month.

“The timing is ironic. How can we celebrate? Being a Native American, I feel (the closures at Black Hawk) put a dark cloud over our history, especially for the Sauk and Mesquaki people.”