Personal Observations

Claude A. Walker

Originally printed in Forest Park Review July 16, 1964 page 2

 Having popped off about why some people do not want to get involved in being a witness to an accident by aiding the victim, I will get back to the old routine of writing the usual homey column without vindictiveness or recrimination.

I realize that the 4th has come and gone, but I can’t help doing a bit of reminiscing about our Independence Day.  This was brought to my attention rather forcefully by a couple of precocious youngsters who resented that I was part of the group of legislators who outlawed the use of fireworks in this state.  They thought that I was responsible for taking away from the “Fun,” I and their grandfathers had when we could shoot off firecrackers, tournedos, Roman candles and skyrockets.

These children obtained the impression that when I was a child I was having a ball celebrating the 4th in the manner which was custom of the day.  Obviously their grandfathers told them about the Good Old Days when they demonstrated their patriotism by making big noises with fireworks.

There was only one drawback to this type of activity on the 4th.  Too many children suffered injuries such as blindness, loss of finger, tetanus, and various degree burns.  There was not a community in the United States that didn’t report some type of accident and while injuries were seldom fatal, thousands of children carried their scars to their graves, especially those who were blinded or lost parts of their extremities.

I was glad that these children were intelligent enough to understand that when I told them that the legislature held hearings on the bills that brought doctors, nurses, optometrist, and hospital administrates with revealing statistics on the dangers of fireworks.  The state Fire Marshall also submitted facts on the number of fires accused by fireworks.  

I believe my little friends were convinced, but there is still that desire by children to make a big noise. (Perhaps like a politician).


Carl Dominik, barber at 7232 Roosevelt recently returned from a trip to Texas,  He had occasion to go through Luling, Texas where he picked up the local paper.  The was astonished to read that Luiling Watermelon Thump results were announced int that paper.  To bring my non-western readers, up to date, a Thump is an auction.  In this case it was also like a State Fair where farmers offered their largest watermelons for display and sale.  Our barber friend was astonished to learn that the prize watermelon was 72 pounds and 15 ounces, and brought $615.00.   It was also remarkable to know that the 30 top melons, the smallest weighing 51 pounds brought $4530.00.   All of which proves that whatever they grow in Texas, they grow big. [note: dollar amounts copied as published]


The Yellow Cab Co. is looking for the first Yellow Cab that was placed on the streets of Chicago.  It is a 1915 Model J. The cab sign and offer free rides to folks in Chicago.  If anyone has any knowledge of the whereabouts of this vehicle, they may call the Cab Co. in Chicago.


I will be glad to give the recipe for “Zuercher Geshnetzeltes Bellevior” to any local culinary artist.  No charge, just a plateful of it (if it comes in plates.)


I am sure that my 59 readers will feel much better when they learn that the gross revenue of the toll roads in Illinois in the 12 months ending May 31st were $24,075,169.00.  Operating costs were $22,869,056.00.  Looks like a good investment.



               If you are planning a trip south west and the State of Missouri is on your itinerary, better put a $100.00 bill in your shoe or sew it in the inside of your coat.  May counties in Missouri are forcing out of state motorists to put up a hundred-dollar CASH bond for any traffic violations.

My own experience was in Cape County, near Cape Girrard.   The county seat is Jackson, just 400 miles from here.  I happened to have $108.00 with me and credit cards.  So I left Jackson with $8.00, the credit cards and a receipt for the “sawbuck”.  Thanks to a fellow legislator in Cape Girardeau, I was able to pay my fine of $21.00 by mail and my bond was returned.

May I suggest that, if all possible, route yourself around Missouri, or obey the traffic laws to the letter.