September 4th: Nick’s Belly Buster Burger


 Unfortunately, no one was interested, which translates into a “Nix for Nick’s” so I went for a bike ride with my sister (Tall Club Wannabe), I don’t really need the lbs anyway. Nick’s will be sourly missed by me anyway, it’s quite a treat. There was a possibility of rain, which held off, so it was mostly overcast. We saw 3 Deer at two locations two females and a huge male (4 points on each antler) meaning he was 4 years old and probably weighed at least 350 pounds, making the largest deer I’ve seen in years. Fortunately, he was running away from us. By the time I get my camera out of my pocket and ask the deer to “smile,” he’s gone. We also saw a starving Coyote, walking around fully exposed in the daylight, the cops were already on that one along with animal control, apparently, he was going to be captured and fed (maybe a Nick’s Belly Buster Burger). The guy with the net said I didn’t have to worry because they were after the Coyote (can’t be too careful because of my past experiences with large nets and people from the loony bin). Can you imagine how much it cost to capture that Coyote? Two Cops & two animal control officers for at least an hour that’s $400 minimum. Cheaper to let a bunch of rabbits and chickens, maybe even some rooster (to spice things up) loose in the woods.

The forest that was burned last fall by the Cook County Precision Fire Drill Team has recovered nicely, you can’t even see the beer bottles lying about anymore, on these bike rides, I’m actually pretty good at riding the downhill parts, so far I’m over 1,150 miles in 2021. No wind it was a delightful ride, I even “knocked off,” my usual honking (believe it or not I forgot, my sister didn’t complain about my lack of honking).
Ace Reporter

7/5/21 Monday Cruisin’ Lockport


It was hot outside (the occasional breeze helped) and they were having electrical power problems at the get-go. Being a retired electrical engineer, I suggested they try plugging their equipment into a receptacle. They wound up using a portable electric generator. I was the only Tall Club Member to attend this event. I got to park in the Library Parking Lot, so I knew it wasn’t very crowded. They had about 12 Orphan cars there. Orphan cars are cars that are composed of various other car parts, like a Yugo body, Pinto Engine, and Vega Transmission, stuff like that. I asked a guy, “can I adopt that 1954 GMC Up-Me-Up Truck?” He said “sure for $22K. I replied what about $4K? He told me he was insulted, I said I’d give him an IOU if he had the title. He said, “You won’t need a title with this beauty.” “Probably because it doesn’t move,” was my retort.  I had to keep going at this point.

The Steve Edwards Orchestra was composed of 5 members. They attempted to sing a wide range of songs, like;- Bee Gee’s “You Should Be Dancing, Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”, Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World; Mustang Sally, and a Smokey Robinson Song of some-kind. They had around 12 dancers, which is pretty good for Lockport, which is primarily composed of “Redneck Swamp Stompers”. You want to be wearing steel-toed work boots dancing in Lockport. On my +5 Star scale, I’d give them +2 Stars. Even then they were a million times better than I sing, so my being a music critic is somewhat ludicrous.
Ace Reporter;-Tommy

7/6/21: Unannounced Lockport Bike Ride


Only two people attended this event; my sister Linda (Tall Club Wannabe, who has basically recovered from her knee surgery) and yours truly; we only went for a short 19-mile bike ride; pretty hot no breeze, almost too hot to honk! A guy passing us requested a honking demonstration, so I honked it up pretty good with my menagerie of honking devices, he gave me a high sign (not flipping the bird) as he passed. Parts of the trail have washed out due to the 10 days of rain we just had.

The ride went pretty well, except on the way back my front tire got stuck in a rut (due to being washed out) causing me to fall, since I was only going 16 MPH at the time I didn’t get hurt I finished the bike ride as planned, about an hour later, it was OUCH time, as long as I kept riding I was fine. My sister says, “see now you know how I feel after my knee surgery.” So I had to vacuum up around 20 bees in my apartment (I still have a beehive living in my attic) which was somewhat of a challenge with a stiff leg. I haven’t been stung yet, which I find amazing. I must be getting old because guys shooting off firecrackers when I’m trying to sleep, not that much fun like it was 55 years ago.

Ace Reporter

Lockport Canal Days – 6/13/21


Four people attended this fascinating activity; Jim N, Milanne, Dave S, and yours truly. We couldn’t get in to see Heritage Village because unknown to me it closed at 4 PM. The attendant did open the “Hoosegow,” for us, I think he wanted to lock us up in there permanently!

We didn’t get a chance to visit the Privy, but Milanne wasn’t that excited about seeing it anyway. We offered Milanne $2 Dollars to swim across the Indiana-Michigan Canal, she said she wouldn’t swim across that even if we offered her $7. We also saw a petting zoo, if you wanted to see a Rhinoceros you were out of luck.

Naturally, we ended up at the beer tent, guess what? No chairs, I’ve been to 4 of these Canal Days Carnivals and until 2021 they had unlimited seating! Also, beer was not cheap at $5 a can! Milanne managed to locate a local brew that she enjoyed.  So we had to stand, however, the huge beer tent was basically empty anyway because of the volume, you could be half a mile away and hear the band (and I’m a noisy guy)! If you stayed in the tent you’d be deaf within 15 minutes! None of the bands played any Polka music, the first band played “Acid Rock,” at ear-splitting volume, talk about a headache;- I could’ve taken a pass on that one. Eventually, we played Bingo because they had chairs. We left there around 7 PM and couldn’t believe the number of people that were coming to Canal Days as we were leaving.

We sat on my patio because it cooled off somewhat, and saw the first 2021 fireflies. We were shooting the breeze when a wild deer walked through my backyard, at this point, I wished I had a rifle and a $250 Illinois Deer Hunting License (with a waiver to shoot stuff within Lockport city limits and not during Deer hunting season), After everyone left, I found out why all those people we coming to the gala Canal Days celebration, a spectacular fireworks display from 10 PM to 10:30 PM. Dave S kept commenting on how good I smelled, I told him I slipped on one of those bars of soap they put in the urinals, “but, it doesn’t smell like that!” I told him I put on some deodorant for a change of pace. That’s why previously when I went to Six Flags on a Roller Coaster ride, I didn’t put my arms up over my head like everybody else, because I use deodorant.
Ace Reporter

Laura’s Remembrance – 6/12/21


 I’m somewhat familiar with the area, I looked it up on Google Maps; Apparently, someone in South Elgin changed some of the street names! I had to use my GPS so I got there at the 11 AM buzzer. I couldn’t believe all the people there! The two commemorative trees were a River Birch and a Beech Tree, they were both over 20ft tall located between the Fox River Bike Trail on one side and the Fox River on the other side. They had a representative from the park district to answer all tree questions, like why do trees have leaves? Can I carve my initials on the tree? Can I build a tree fort in the tree? Can I hang my hammock on the trees? Does the park district hang Christmas Lights on the trees during the holidays? The plaques were not ready maybe they didn’t know how to spell Laura.

We shortly adjourned to Laura’s brother’s (Larry) estate, which was about a mile away; there was plenty to eat, beer to drink, and tales to tell. I would estimate the crowd to be around 100 people! 20 from Paramount; many of which I haven’t seen since COVID started. So I got to fill them in on the latest jokes. This “event,” was so much more enjoyable than a conventional depressing funeral, it was “A Celebration Of Life: dress causal and it was hot. Some of the members I talked to included;- Diane & Rob; Nan & Gary; Johnny A; Jim N, Milanne & Dave S; Lori; Nancy C; Pat & Jean; Linda P and Dave; Dan B; Barbara S, and a bunch of members who will feel slighted by me. They posted photos of Laura’s life. Unfortunately, we’re all getting older; there’s only one thing worse than getting old and that’s not getting old. We no longer throw ice down each other backs (we’ve grown so sophisticated) however Johnny was pretty good at splashing me with ice water., which did cool me off somewhat. It’s always entertaining to shake up a few beers real good and see what happens when an unsuspected victim opens one of them, a great beer gag that never gets old.

Eventually, it started raining, which wasn’t a problem because we were all seated underneath a huge covered roof picnic area. We also posted notes to Laura on a Miniature Viking ship that was ceremoniously burned in a nearby pond in true Nordic fashion. Unfortunately, the Viking ship floundered and flipped over before completely burning up, but the thought was nice. Anything to do with fire excites us guys. Plus it reminded me of Johnny’s boat because it was hull side up. Johnny told me he stopped his yacht from flipping over by keeping 20 cases of beer in the hold.

Milanne passed on a chance to pick up Laura’s cat “Calley, to add to her cat collection. Calley had the ability to totally eviscerate a screen door or window within one hour ending up with something that looked like steel wool. Couches and chairs took longer to be eviscerated. I’d be petting Calley, who wanted to be petted, then in a flash, she would attack my arm, both biting and scratching, in less than a second my arm would end up being a bloody mess. Calley would bring in dead birds, dead chipmunks, and injured mice, which she would release in Laura’s apartment periodically. I kept my opinion of Calley to myself.
Ace Reporter;