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updated: 2/2/2013 5:16 PM

Geneva History Center to host Coultrap program

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  • The Geneva History Center will have a program Feb. 12 about the former Coultrap Elementary School in Geneva.

      The Geneva History Center will have a program Feb. 12 about the former Coultrap Elementary School in Geneva.
    BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer


Those who wanted to save the Coultrap school building from the wrecking ball in Geneva should be glad I did not attend that school. I would not have aligned myself among those looking to save a building with no current purpose or any redeeming value to the community, other than nostalgia.

I felt the same way when some Batavians couldn't believe the former high school and junior high building at the corner of Wilson Street and Batavia Avenue would come tumbling down to make way for a new library. In my mind, it was crazy to think the location wasn't perfect for a new library.

You could accuse me of not having a soft spot in my heart for old school buildings. However, they shouldn't be smashed to pieces for a weak alternative. Yet, I've even softened my angst about the ViewPointe townhouses being built more than 20 years ago in St. Charles atop the hill that was once home to Mount St. Mary High School, and then Valley Lutheran High. Also, the historic Civil War Farnsworth Mansion was on the property and dismantled for what seemed like a ridiculous reason at the time.

Shelby School in St. Charles still stands, as it has been used for office buildings and even an art display over time. Plus, in its location on Fifth Street, anyone would be hard-pressed to say what could go in that neighborhood spot if it were knocked down -- other than new homes. And we know how new home building is going at the moment.

There are other old school buildings have new uses all over the Fox Valley area. But the Geneva School Board was wise to eliminate any costs it might incur in the future with Coultrap, because taxpaying natives are quite restless. Plus, the open space will come in handy at some point, even if it ends up just being used for more parking.

But those with nostalgia in their hearts have an excellent program to attend Feb. 12 at the Geneva History Center when residents share Coultrap memories.

Just make it fun: The recent debate in St. Charles over who should organize and operate the annual Riverfest festival was interesting from this standpoint -- not every community has so many organizations interested in taking on the mammoth task of organizing a festival. So it was great that Pride of the Fox LLC and the St. Charles Festival Committee made their pitches to a city committee, whose members picked the Pride of the Fox LLC to run the show.

The main thing, of course, is that no matter who runs it, the mantra is pretty simple: Keep it fun. It has evolved into an excellent festival.

I would also say this about Joy Meierhans, whose group did not get picked. I've known her a long time, and she has put on numerous quality festivals for various cities. It would be wrong to not acknowledge her past commitment to St. Charles, regardless of who runs the festivals in the future.

Just white noise?: It's hard to tell whom they are really bellowing at, other than to hear themselves bellow.

Some self-proclaimed "preachers," and I use that term loosely, have on occasion surfaced at the Metra station in Geneva to greet commuters coming home. Those of us trudging to our cars after a long day in the city get to hear how we are doomed without heeding the words of Christ.

I pick up on that message at church every Sunday, thank you. The padres at my parish do a reasonable job of giving sound advice in that regard, without yelling it out in foreboding fashion -- at a train station, of all places.

So, on behalf of the commuters who don't get to say what they really want to say, or are at least thinking, here's my advice to these preachers/carnival barkers: Just shut up.

Not always a new facade: Remember when hearing about a new business opening meant a new storefront popping up downtown? In today's work world, a new business opening could simply be a man or a woman sitting on the couch at home with a laptop. The "storefront" in that case would be a new website.

When glancing at new business lists, if an address appears you don't recognize, there's a good chance it's tucked away in any number of community neighborhoods. But the web address is the key.

Don't miss the party: The last day to get tickets for "Dancing with the Geneva Stars" is Monday. If you wanted to be part of the fun on Saturday night at the Eagle Brook Country Club, hop on the website for tickets or to vote for your favorite couples. As of late last week, tickets remained available.

Take them down: We've had a cold snap and some heavy rain, but it seems there have been plenty of opportunities for folks to take down their Christmas decorations. If you are still lighting up the neighborhood with holiday bliss, it's time to knock it off.

I'm seeing the Raven: Rubbing my crystal ball on this one. And it comes up blank. But I would still take the Baltimore Ravens and the points in the Super Bowl, if I were a betting man.

And just for fun -- and because I know the food at Super Bowl parties is far more important than the game -- here's some interesting pizza stats that Papa John's shared:

Americans eat about 77 football fields of pizza each day. They also eat about 350 slices of pizza a second. And, of course, Super Bowl Sunday is the top day for selling pizza, with New Year's Eve coming in second.

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