Marce Van Glabek's idea for the Pottawatomie Garden Club to hold a plant sale fundraiser this month sounded good on paper. But rather than "mum," it had "dud" written all over it when plans to conduct the sale at the St. Charles Municipal Center concourse fell apart, literally, because of a construction project at the center.
"After attending several meetings and filling out applications to get that spot, they decided for the first time in many years that it was time to rehab the center," Van Glabek said. "It was going to take away our parking and access, and it would have been disastrous."
Enter the county and its cooperation to allow the ladies of this 85-year-old club to set up shop for the sale on Saturday, Sept. 14, at an even better location -- in the parking lot of the county offices on Randall Road, across from the county fairgrounds.
The timing couldn't be better, said Van Glabek, who has been in the club for nearly 20 years. The fairgrounds will host the annual St. Peter Barn Sale that weekend, and the county operates its monthly recycling day at the site. In other words, thousands of cars will be driving by the plant sale, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Event co-chair Julie Griffith says the mum sale will be the first in the club's history. "It will feature mums, perennials, floral arrangements and boutique, or high-end, ornament items," Griffith added.
The club will bring in 300 mums that were locally grown and in midseason form. "The buds will just be popping, so people will be able to see the colors," Van Glabek said.
Most folks know the Pottawatomie Garden Club as the one whose members place flower pots along the city's bridges. But members also work on landscaping at various other locations, including the Living Well Center in Geneva and the St. Charles Public Library, Griffith said.
The fundraiser will support an annual horticultural scholarship for a District 303 graduate as well as donations to various gardening programs.
Van Glabek said she helped organize a mum sale for the Glenwood School when it was located in St. Charles. "We sold 600 mums and it was a great success," she said. "We just need good weather Saturday."
A working snap: Maybe there was something to the idea I floated in the column a few weeks ago about what readers would do if they had a magical power to fix something in the area.
Some readers said they would snap their fingers and remove the old St. Charles Post Office on 14th Street. The post office got knocked down a couple of weeks later by developers planning an auto-parts store at that site in the Valley Shopping Center.
Others said they would use their power to revitalize the Charlestowne Mall. A week later, city officials said they were excited about the prospect of speaking to potential new owners of the mall who want to discuss bringing the near-empty structure to life.
As has been the case throughout most of Charlestowne's life since it opened in 1991, specific details likely will be difficult to come by. But at least this particular snap of the fingers has some potential for the city's east side.
Hometown Ninja flavor: We would have been talking this up like crazy in our house about 22 years ago. Not many conversations went by back then without the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coming up.
Our son and his friends, all about 4 or 5 years old at the time, were pretty much obsessed with the trials and tribulations of Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo.
So what's going on with the action heroes now? Nothing, other than a former St. Charles resident, Pete Ploszek, is now an aspiring Hollywood actor who has landed the role of Leonardo in a Turtles movie scheduled for next summer.
In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles world, this is no small role. As those youngsters back in 1990 or so would know for sure, Leonardo is the oldest of the Turtle brothers. As such, he is their leader.
We'll all have to keep an eye on Ploszek. He's been on episodes of "Parks and Recreation" and "Shameless," which also features St. Charles' Ethan Cutkowsky.
The other locals on TV: What are the chances of two St. Charles kids being on the same TV show at the same time? If you are using "Talk of the Town" as the barometer, it appears to have happened twice now.
In addition to the aforementioned Pete Ploszek and Ethan Cutkowsky being on "Shameless," we also had Rachael and Jonathan Cruz of St. Charles appearing in "The Good Time Kids" on a Christian-based network.
Rather extreme differences in terms of the content of the shows, but the same underlying principle -- local kids on TV.
Quite a price change: Granted, this is coming from a guy who doesn't shop that often, especially for clothes. But it was pure sticker shock when I grabbed a package of three T-shirts, or undershirts as some may call them, and saw a $30 price tag. I thought these things might cost $5 a piece or so.
Of course, there was a half-price deal if you bought a second package, but it dawned on me that I've likely never owned six undershirts at one time. Plus, I couldn't come up with any possible reason or equation that would call for me to fill my drawers with undershirts in that manner.
If I were a 25-year-old man in great shape, an undershirt might be a decent stand-alone garment. But I'm much older and my marshmallow-soft belly renders an undershirt as just that -- something under another shirt to pretty much "hide" everything.
In reality, I needed one T-shirt. Just one. I saw no such animal on sale at this particular store.