Tag Archives: historic

Help save the historic Allentown Union Hall!

WOW!  Nice article in the Pantagraph about the fundraising auction!  Click here to read it!

The old historic Allentown Union Hall (a.k.a. Allentown Hall) needs our help. It was structurally damaged over the winter months and if it is not repaired soon it will have to be torn down for safety reasons.  The Allentown Hall was built in 1892 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


There are two ways that you can help save the Allentown Hall.  You can donate something to the auction fundraiser or you can buy something from the auction fundraiser.  Details about this auction fundraiser are on the attached flyer:

Click here to view the auction flyer (2 page PDF)

Please contact either Gail Kruse at 309-925-5497 or Kory Rickett at 309-925-5085 if you wish to donate anything to the auction fundraiser. The auction fundraiser will be held on Saturday August 1, 2009 at 10 AM in the Tremont Community Building.

Oh yeah, they will accept monetary donations as well. Just mail your check to Allentown Union Hall Association, 15905 Uhlman Road, Tremont, IL 61568. Thanks for your help!

Historic Sportscar Racing at Daytona International Speedway

Today I attended the Daytona Continental Historic Races at the Daytona International Speedway. This event is organized by the Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) organization, and is just one of about 10 historic sportscar racing events that it organizes each year throughout the country. According to the HSR website, “Historic racing series such as HSR represent the fastest growing segment of motorsports in the United States and Europe.” It was an exciting day and I had a lot of fun watching these vintage cars compete against each other on the racetrack. I recorded a little bit of video with my pocket digital still camera and edited it into a four and a half minute compilation. You can watch my video compilation on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGwrNkTx42o

Click on any photo below to go to my online photo gallery where you can download a higher resolution version:

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This is an event that I will definitely take my boys to when they are a bit older.


Norris Gray: A Spaceport Legend

While at work today, I had the great pleasure of meeting Mr. Norris Gray, who helped bring Werner Von Braun and other German rocket scientists to the United States after WWII. He also helped launch the first Bumper rockets, which were derived from the German V-2 rockets, from Cape Canaveral.

Kurt Leucht and Norris Gray

Chief Gray, as everyone calls him, was the Fire Chief and Emergency Services Officer for the Bumper program here in Florida. He’s close to 90 years old now, but he’s as spry & spunky today as he was back in 1950 when he launched the first Bumper rockets from launch complex 3. He talks about his experiences and the history of the Spaceport with a gleam in his eye.
Today, Chief Gray often volunteers to support NASA’s KSC Press Site for launches and landings. He absolutely loves the space program. It was a real pleasure to meet and work with Chief Gray today and I hope to work more with him and hear more of his early spaceflight stories again soon.
Here are some good Internet links about Chief Gray: