Saturday, March 18, 2006

Peru-Circus Capital of the World

With the advent of spring the old fever came back again and I have joined the Ringling show in my capacity of zoologist and chaplain. This work is a new thing, an experiment, with the Ringling Brothers, and I am here on trial only, but hope to make a success of it, as I did with Robinson and Barnum & Baily. I have now reached the height of my ambition, so far as circuses are concerned. I have always wanted to get with this menagerie, as it is the largest traveling. We opened here in the Coliseum, Thursday evening, April 5th, to a crowded house.
Wishing you and the Republican a large measure of success, I am as ever, Very Respectfully, W.H. Sheak. April 7, 1906.
The circus fever is strong in Peru, Indiana. The youth in our town are now preparing for the Greatest Amateur Show in the World.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

For all of you with Irish roots this is your day! Have a happy one! St. Patrick was aware after he escaped slavery, that his calling was to convert non-believers to Christianity. St. Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity to his followers.

In 1737, Boston was the first city to celebrate St. Paticks Day. At present, people celebrate by wearing green, drinking green beer, cooking corned beef and cabbage and going to their favorite parades. I understand Chicago turns their river green. I imagine that is quiet a site to behold.
Wonder how much food coloring that takes?

I will leave with this thought--As you slide down the bannister of life may the splinters never point in the wrong direction!!!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Close Your Eyes

Let's take a peak back into time to the days when everything was a slower pace-- the days before internet, dvd players, mp3's and color television. When you close your eyes can you see your life back in the late 40's and early 50's? I grew up with black and white t.v. and everyone had t.v. towers next to their houses. I can remember the Sunday closing law where everything was closed on Sunday. You went to church with your family and in my case we drove in our family car on a quest to see our grandparents.

On the way out of town you would stop to get gas at the local gas station ---an attendant would pump your gas, check your oil, clean your windows, then to top it off you would get S&H green stamps, which you could redeem for nice merchandise.

Upon arriving at my grandparents farm, you could look out to the barnyard and see the hen houses. The chickens always scared me because I was afraid they would peck me. Also out in the barnyard was the famous "throne." The old outhouse stood there waiting for you. That is one thing I am glad is gone!

My grandparents are gone now but the memories of going to the farm will be with me always. The best part was their hugs and kisses and all the stories they would tell of a different generation. I miss that!!

More Ancient Movies

Yesterday, in recognition of the Ides of March, I missed putting up this 1912 movie poster. Quo Vadis featured some grisly footage and I can picture Peruvians twisting in their seats while watching this spectacle.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I have a great love for music--classical, rock, comtemporary, jazz, blues, and some country. Listening to Mariah Carey's "Hero" the other day made my mind wander to some of my heroes. My career in music was started at the early age of eight when I took piano lessons. Mrs. J.O. Miller was my piano teacher. Hour after hour was spent practicing scales which I hated. Mrs. Miller expected the best from her students. I remember the first recital I was in. I was so afraid that I would make a mistake, but much to my surprise, I remembered the piece and never made a mistake. When in Jr. High I picked up a clarinet and thus began my career in band. When I entered High School Mr. James Noble was my band director. He was just like Mrs. Miller, he expected you to do your best. I recall one day I was on the football field trying to learn marching techniques. Mr. Noble possessed a bullhorn and in his deep baritone voice came,"what's the matter Bonnie, do you have two left feet. After that, I was much more aware that I had one right foot and one left foot. How embarassing. Even though these two people made me practice, practice, and practice, I developed a real love for music. I can't imagine what life would be like with no music. These two people gave to me a real love for music. They are both gone now but I want them to know that they were my heroes. Do you have a hero?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Learn about butterflies day in Peru

Butterflies are delightful. Young and old always enjoy seeing this beautiful creature floating on air. Nectar from many types of flowers is the best way to attract them. Just a few are, Aster, Liatis(butterfly flower), Lavender, Violets. I always hope for one to land on me when enjoying my garden. How about you? Spring fever is upon us.

Monday, March 13, 2006


James Whitcomb Riley belonged to a social club known as the Academy Club of Peru. The activities were held on the third floor of two adjoining buildings at the corner of Second Street and Broadway. One room was a club room and the other a dancing hall. Riley and his partner were employed to paint and redecorate the two rooms. Guests inquired about the fresco painted and was told it was the work of Riley. One admiring visitor once said of one of the pictures, was itself, a poem. The years passed, the club outgrew its quarters, and the rooms stood empty. When the owner of the building died he left his estate to his daughter Alice. Alice married a Logansport banker by the name of Forgy. In a few years the Forgys built a handsome home in Logansport and when the home was completed Mr. Forgy sent expert plasterers to Peru to take out the corners of the club room adorned with Riley's work and put them in place in a room in his new home. I went on a quest and contacted the Cass Co. Historical Society. They emailed me back and gave me the location of the house the Forgys had built. As with most things in today's society, the house has been torn down as well as the two adjoining buildings that were so full of history.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

More On James Whitcomb Riley And Peru

more on...James Whitcomb Riley
While in Peru, James became interested in a young woman by the name of Catherine, an Irish girl. Riley dated her and called on her at a residence located on the corner of East Third Street and Wabash Street. Most of Riley' evenings were spent in her company. A young man by the name of Neff was Riley's messenger boy taking messages to Catherine. Eventually, Riley simply up and left Peru. Catherine had no explanation. He finally wrote a letter and in it was a poem "The Little Town of Tailholt." Catherine was very saddened at his departure, as well as others with whom he had made friends.