In her first meeting with Geneva city officials after becoming the executive director of the Geneva History Center a few years ago, Terry Emma asked if anything could be done to enhance the alley between the center and the Crystal Life Technology Inc. shop.
"I just thought it would be a nice walkway -- a place for people to relax and reflect," Emma said.
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The city responded with a plan to create a pedestrian walkway at that spot, a project it hopes to start this spring -- if spring ever comes.
That led to another good idea for Emma and the history center -- a fundraiser called "Pave the Way," in which donors can have their names engraved on pavers along the new Third Street pedestrian walkway south of the center.
When I first heard about this fundraiser to benefit the center's building maintenance fund, I was thinking maybe I could put my hands and footprints in cement, with a big crowd of a photographers snapping away. Hey, if it's never going to happen for me on Hollywood's Walk of Fame near TCL Chinese Theatre, why not in Geneva?
But alas, this is a good idea, not a dumb one.
For $1,000 for a full paver or $600 for a half, individuals or families can create a lasting impression in downtown Geneva near the place that treasures the city's history.
Interested families can register for a paver on the center's website, which offers a registration form.
As of last week the center had sold about six of an available 25 pavers. The suggested deadline to have your name literally written in stone is April 1.
St. Patrick's snow?: Is it possible that the St. Patrick's parade in downtown St. Charles is less than a month away?
Is there any way that we won't have huge snow drifts to contend with, even for that March 15 festivity along Main Street?
The St. Charles Downtown Partnership says nearly 8,000 people came out for the parade last year. And it was really cold that day.
So maybe leftover snow piles wouldn't be that big of a deal.
We'll take it: When a new restaurant comes into one of our fair cities, it's common for someone to say, do we really need another Italian restaurant in town? Or a Chinese or Mexican restaurant? Or a pizzeria or burger-and-beer joint?
My answer to all of those questions is: Yes, because that is what we eat.
One could argue that we didn't need an Applebee's, Bennigan's and Friday's all within a mile of each other along Randall Road, and it would have some merit considering Bennigan's and Applebee's have since shut down.
But when the economy is OK, people still jam restaurants on a fairly regular basis. I would welcome any new venture looking to make a go of it, because it always has a chance to lure a loyal following.
Hot diggity dogs: Along those lines, do we really need another hot dog, beef and pizza place around here? Of course we do.
Franky's, a hot dog location popular in Addison, is moving into the vacant Wendy's location at 2526 E. Main St. in St. Charles and will open March 1, an employee in Addison told me. The company website proclaims Franky's is "Not Just Another Hot Dog Stand." That sounds good enough for me. Another place to try an Italian beef sandwich is always OK in my book.
Significant helpers: Joanne Spitz and Melinda Kintz sure look out for the best interests of students in Batavia who may not have all the comforts of home.
As the Daily Herald reported last week, the two helped launch Community Helpers Impacting People in Need (CHIP IN Batavia). The organization helps students who are homeless. I was surprised when Joanne told me the group currently helps about 55 students, but expanded its service to help others on free/reduced lunch programs to more than 200 students living at the Batavia Apartments or Lorlyn Apartments.
"We have accomplished quite a bit in a very short time," Spitz said.
These two ladies deserve any accolades that come their way for spending time to make the lives of these kids better.
A fundraiser for the group is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at O'Sole Mio in Batavia, where 20 percent of proceeds that day will go to CHIP IN Batavia. A bigger fundraiser at the restaurant is set for March 14. Check out the organization's website or Facebook page for details.
Not a pretty sight: Going into Valentine's Day, a relationship expert sent out a national news release about mistakes that couples make that can dim the romance in a relationship.
One tip was to simply "put your best face forward," meaning people only make themselves look good for the "outside world" and don't care what they look like for their spouse.
Well, I work from my home office quite a bit these days, and I have a wonderful surprise for my wife each day: Taa-daah … here's what I look like after four days of not shaving … and here's what I look like after five days of not shaving. It's not a pretty sight, I must agree.
Thanks for coming: Finally, thanks to everyone who came out last weekend on another snowy night to attend TriCity Family Services' Trivia Night fundraiser. Our trivia team had a lot of fun hosting the event, plus I learned something that would have come in handy in geography class.
The crowd at Trivia Night booed loudly when, apparently, most of the teams incorrectly answered a question about how many true oceans grace our planet, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The answer is one, as this administration says it is actually a continuous body of water.
So, when I didn't like getting red check marks on my geography test papers back in the early 1960s, I should have stood up and just booed the teacher.