Posts Tagged ‘DeKalb’

RoadDog lends personal touch to NIU story

February 21, 2008

NIU_Black_Ribbon Our good friend RoadDog regularly writes about the fun side of old road travel, but he’s also been following the story of tragic shootings at Northern Illinois University, which lies along the Lincoln Highway on the west side of DeKalb. He and his wife Liz graduated from there in 1973 and like so many, find it hard to reconcile a place you love with someone’s senseless act. They took time yesterday to revisit the campus and favorite places in town. Here are some excerpts from their experiences:

Flags from Sycamore to Dekalb were at half mast and many of the signs at local establishments had words of comfort regarding the tragedy. Same with flags and signs along Lincoln Highway, Il. Route 38.

We saw at least six news vans parked along the spaces closest to Cole Hall. This is now five days after the event.

We went outside again to the two tents set up to cover the boards on which people were writing their feelings. There are now four. It was nice that someone had supplied Sharpies of different colors to express the grief. Most just said something about prayers. However, some were quite poignant. A lot said, “We are all Huskies today,” some of which were from people from other schools.

Came home and Liz found that the NIU site on Legacy now has 371 pages with about ten entries on each page.

This Still Hasn’t Completely Registered.

To read all three of RoadDog’s heartfelt entries, click here: 1, 2, 3.

Click here to read bios of the five fallen students and a schedule of memorial services.

Tragedy along the Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, IL

February 15, 2008

IL_NIU logoViolence sadly came to Northern Illinois University along the Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, Illinois (pop 43,000) yesterday when a former graduate student entered a lecture hall and opened fire, killing six, wounding 15, and then killing himself. The campus has 25,000 students about 65 miles west of downtown Chicago. The university’s home page has details, and more information is available at the Chicago Tribune here. NIU has scheduled a news conference for 9 am CST on Friday, February 15. A Mass is set for 12 noon at Newman Catholic Student Center, and an Ecumenical Prayer Service will be held at 7:30 pm.

Stop-action video of DeKalb to Link Wray tune

January 4, 2008

Here’s a fun video of downtown DeKalb, Illinois, assembled from thousands of still images, which are themselves a bit distorted in day-glo colors. The view races up and down Lincoln Highway at a stop-action 180 mph to the tune of “High Way” by guitar legend Link Wray (sounding like a faster version of his big hit, Rumble). It’s a jumble of imagery, but anyone familiar with DeKalb will recognize many landmarks – even if seen only for a second.

Classic News Stand Closing in DeKalb, IL

November 23, 2007

Friday was the last day for a popular DeKalb intitution. A story in the DeKalb Daily Chronicle recounts the history and good times at Ralph’s News Stand & Trophy House, 664 E. Lincoln Highway. Ralph Seats owned and operated the store from 1952 until his death last year at age 83. It was popular with locals but, as the article explained, “With a small number of street parking spots near the store—and an influx of chain stores offering some, but not all, of the same services as the shop—Ralph’s is yet another signature mom-and-pop style shop to shut its doors.”

Like an old-time general store, Ralph’s carried a bit of everything: “Lock de-icer can be found next to chewing tobacco. Toward the back of the store are rows of cards offering warm praises for birthdays, graduations and other life events. Sitting among chewing gum is an old-fashioned rotary-dial phone with a detachable ear piece connected to a cord … lottery tickets, trophy engraving, Western Union service, tobacco, magazines, newspapers and a tube tester from the years when TVs needed tubes to operate.

Ralph’s first opened in the middle of the 600 block before moving to the corner of Seventh Street and Lincoln Highway. For decades it was open 5 am till midnight. Ralph insisted a big-band radio station be on at all times, which it was—until he left! His widow Doris said it’s hard to close, but “it’s a little more than I can take. It’s sad not having him here. I miss him.”

Photo Ralph’s Magazines by Joe Thorn

DeKalb IL Road Work Continues into 2008

November 6, 2007

An article in DeKalb’s Northern Star, produced by students at Northern Illinois University, reports that reconstruction of the Lincoln Highway downtown will continue through Summer 2008.

Work in the 100 block, including a bridge replacement and an awkward lane shift, has led to more than a dozen accidents in the past half-year. Joe Spika, construction field engineer and DeKalb County area supervisor for IDOT, said the standard merge there should present no problem: “When people obey it, everything works just fine.” The work, nearly half done, will move to the other side of the bridge by Thanksgiving and will continue through at least mid-Summer.

DeKalb, IL
Above: looking east in the 200 block of East Lincoln Highway, DeKalb.