Thursday, May 1, 2014

Top April Posts

At long last April is gone, and so, after the last few days, is the snow cover below 7,000 feet. Yesterday was delectable. May is opening with more of the same. I began work on a new garden plot (with a raised bed) a few weeks back, taking a few shortcuts to allow early planting. I am hoping for the best. Cold April weather kept my attentions indoors much of the month, which was great for posting productivity on Along the Gradyent, but not such a positive influence on my golf game. Here are the top ten April posts. 

Diagram depicting the anatomy of the Club Rendezvous tragedy.
1. My boyhood hometown of Morton Grove Illinois was a mecca for roadhouses and speakeasies during the 1920s and 1930s.  One of these establishments was the Club Rendezvous, located in a converted bungalow on the southeast corner of Austin and Dempster, where the Hi Lo and Jewel Tea grocery stores, and the Sun Drug pharmacy, operated during my youth. In the wee hours of the morning on March 25, 1935 a flash fire erupted in the club. Inwardly opening, spring locked doors trapped patrons inside, including Northwestern University students, killing seven and seriously burning a dozen more.  Morton Grove Before the Baby Boom: Club Rendezvous Goes Up In Smoke chronicles what happened that night and outlines the shady history of the club proprietors -- Al and Rose Cowdrey.
2. If you like the movie CaddyShack you will love King Day Post, which tells the story, from this then fourteen year old's perspective, of us caddies going on strike, following the model of a civil rights demonstration. The post is fun and, like the movie -- long after its initial release -- has become a perennial favorite. We are happy to entertain. Read and enjoy.
Obama's sprawling new NSA data center.
3. In the NSA scandals, all Barack Obama has done is follow in Bush's footstep, right? In NSA Overreaches are Bush's Fault? we point out the contrary evidence is right in front of everyone's eyes. 
4. In the The Masters (Repost) we reminisce about  caddying for the first of the honorary starters at The Masters, and apologize for not believing the elderly gentleman when he related to us how he won the Open Championship.
George S. Foster, candidate for Congress in 1904.
5. My great uncle George S. Foster led an incredible life. As a teenager he lived in a sod shanty where a snake slithered from the roof down into his cup of tea. By the time he was an elderly man he was a gentleman farmer who lived comfortably on the shores of Lake Michigan. Along the way he was a successful lawyer, a Chicago Democratic politician, and a zealous advocate for unpopular clients. Read all about in On the Road to Bathgate Act 4g: George S. Foster, Chicago Politician, Lawyer, Banker and More.
6. Morton Grove: Before the Baby Boom is the first installment of the Morton Grove Prohibition era roadhouse series that we are rolling out.  We began with the figurative end, which is the burning of The Dells. Our next post in this series will come out this month. It will document the history of The Dells from soup to nuts, or perhaps should I say from robbery, to arson, to kidnapping and to murder. These guys played for keeps.
The Dells is torched on October 7, 1934. The boys stopped to pose.
7. To Invest In A Bank talks about my investment in Glacier Bancorp, headquartered up the Flathead valley in Kalispell.  As promised, I attended Glacier's shareholder meeting earlier this week. I took copious notes -- about a lot of tall, serious looking guys in dark suits, white shirts and boring ties. When the gardening and golf schedule permits I'll write a post with insights gleaned from that first hand look and share a look at my new GBCI hat.
8. First it was Fannie Mae.  Then it was the Obamacare website contractor.  It was a neighborly mix. The in house lobbyists for both lived across the street -- from me, literally. Check our story out in It's That Fella Across The Street.
9. With the golf season in full swing again, training for the uninitiated is freshly in order. Readers of this blog who are new to the game are learning how to survive a season of professional golf coverage in The Golf Channel: Spouse's Guide To Sanity (Special Guest Post).
Paul Bunyan in Bathgate, not Brainerd.
10. Bathgate had snow -- Fargo and Brainerd didn't. On the Road to Bathgate: Fargo the Movie, is an ever popular pop culture story that found new legs this month with the debut of Fargo, the series, on FX. "You should have seen it right after they put it up," said Reinhold Henschel, who owns Reiny's Bar, one of a handful of businesses in the town of 75 people about 10 miles south of the Canadian border. "It was foggy, and people couldn't see it until they got right up to it. Then, it says, 'Brainerd,' and they thought, 'What the hell?"

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