Jan 17, 2018

Our Castle

Our Castle



The Givens Castle was built in 1886.

It was built by Robert G. Givens, an American businessman who worked as a real estate promoter and a novelist, to impress his fiance. There are several different tales about the design of the building, some saying that it was a replica of her family castle, some that it was a sketch he drew of an existing ivy castle in his native Ireland. Unconfirmed stories say that the bride died before she had the chance to live in the castle.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this. I love the castle and the ghost story. I attended several functions there and think I saw the light once through the windows, too! I'm so glad it was not torn down and that Beverly has such a wonderful landmark.

Here is a shot of the Givens Castle that was taken around 1955.  It shows the side 'portico' porch that existed until around the early 70's.  

As you may or may not know, this was my home... at least the top two floors were from 1951 until 1965 when we moved to Oaklawn. It's a long story how we ended up in that magnificent place, a life changer for sure. Anyway, this is kind of a rare shot from 103rd. St.

BTW:  the 1889 photo on the blog shows the little limestone bridge, path, and fountain that was still in place in the 50's between the Castle and Barb Cuttle Wilcox house next door to the north on Longwood.

Tony Visser - Sutherland 1/63  


    Our Castle.  How cool is that?  Each your heart out, other schools and neighborhoods.

    103rd and Longwood Drive

    Cultural Connections: Chicago's Only Castle | Chicago ...

    Sep 7, 2011
    We have the remarkable story of a 19th century Beverly landmark. ... The Irish castle was originally built ...

Jan 15, 2018

I am a Seenager (Senior teenager)

I JUST discovered my age group!

I am a Seenager (Senior teenager). 

I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 55-60 years later.

I don't have to go to school or work.

I get an allowance every month.

I have my own pad.

I don't have a curfew.

I have a driver's license and my own car.

I have ID that gets me into bars and the wine store. I like the wine store best.

The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant, they aren't scared of anything, they have been blessed to live this long, why be scared?

And I don't have acne.

Life is Good! Also, you will feel much more intelligent after reading this, if you are a Seenager.

Brains of older people are slow because they know so much.

People do not decline mentally with age; it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains.

Scientists believe this also makes you hard of hearing as it puts pressure on your inner ear.

Also, older people often go to another room to get something and when they get there, they stand there wondering what they came for. It is NOT a memory problem; it is nature's way of making older people do more exercise.


I have more friends I should send this to, but right now I can't remember their names.

So please forward this to your friends; they may be my friends, too.

Submitted by Charles Van liere, MPHS Jan 66

Jan 10, 2018

New Years Resolutions

Don't Procrastinate - Make your resolutions before Jan 10

Take the XMAS tree down

Lose weight

Eat healthy

Work out 

Have fun

Don't worry, be happy

Travel more

Love your loved ones

Forgive goofs

Run Spiel Chek

Jan 4, 2018

Blue Zones

"Blue Zones describes the characteristic lifestyles and the environments of the world's longest-lived people. The term first appeared as an international concept in the November 2005 National Geographic magazine cover story "The Secrets of a Long Life" by Dan Buettner. Buettner identified five geographic areas where people live statistically longest: Okinawa(Japan); Sardinia (Italy); Nicoya (Costa Rica); Icaria (Greece) and among the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California. He offers an explanation, based on empirical data and first hand observations, as to why these populations live healthier and longer lives."

"The people inhabiting Blue Zones share common lifestyle characteristics that contribute to their longevity. The Venn diagram at the right highlights the following six shared characteristics among the people of Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma Linda Blue Zones:[11]
Family – put ahead of other concerns
Less smoking
Semi-vegetarianism – the majority of food consumed is derived from plants
Constant moderate physical activity – an inseparable part of life
Social engagement – people of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities
Legumes – commonly consumed

In his book, Buettner provides a list of nine lessons, covering the lifestyle of blue zones people:

Moderate, regular physical activity.
Life purpose.
Stress reduction.
Moderate calories intake.
Plant-based diet.
Moderate alcohol intake, especially wine.
Engagement in spirituality or religion.
Engagement in family life.
Engagement in social life."

Click to read the full article on Wikapedia:

Jan 3, 2018

Why Plan When You Can React ?



Things I have learned as a City Planner and Marine and Boy Scout and in Sunday School.

Don't worry, be happy.  

Why Plan, when you can react?

Any road will do when you don't know where you are going.

As you climb the ladder of success, don't forget who helped you.

This too shall pass.

Get it done.


Life has its ups and downs.

It will get better.

Think positive.

Positive Mental Attitude is a Force Multiplier.

Don't make mountains out of mole hills.

What good does getting depressed do?

Dive right in.

Take bite size projects, and finish them.

Make a decision, and stick with it.

The longest journey begins with a single step.

Excuses are like belly buttons, everyone has one.

If anything can go wrong, it will.

If it ain't broke don't fix it.

But a stitch in time saves nine.

Run spiell chek.

Travel more.

Eat Less.

If it tastes good, spit it out.

Keep plugging away.

Swing for the Fences, but try not to strike out.

Stuff happens.

Just do it.

Can do easy.

Criticism, like sewage, runs down hill.

When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

7 "P's" - Preliminary prior planning prevents pitiful poor performance.

"We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives!"  Mary Angelou

Be Prepared.

Do a good turn daily.

Good guidelines then and now - A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

On your Honor, Do your Best, Do Your Duty, For God and Your Country.

Leave your campground better then you found it.

Leave your community better then you found it.

If like many planners you are disorganized, find someone who is organized to help you.

Checklists help, but don't let them become the bible.

Search for the Win / Win.

Developers are important to your community.

Seek, and Ye Shall Find.

Planning, like life, has its ups and downs.

It will get better/It's got to get better/I hope it gets better.

Brevity is Beautiful.

KISS - Keep it Short and Sweet.

Short Plans are Best.

Don't make mountains out of mole hills.

Life can be a can of worms.

Publish or perish.

The longest journey starts with a single step. 

Keep plugging away.

Muddle through.

Take bite size projects, and finish them.

Make a decision, and stick with it.

Keep your eye on the ball.

Planning should not equal procrastination.

Keep your friends.

Don't be a workaholic.

How many people on their death bed say, "Gosh, I wished I had worked more?"

The Few, the Proud, The Marines.

The Few, the Careful, The Planners.

Building consensus among governments and people is like herding Cats.

Show me which way the people are going, and I will lead them.

Planning Chicago's third airport is like bathing an elephant - it is big, difficult, and you can definitely get hurt.

Excuses are like belly buttons, everyone has one.

Grant me the COURAGE to change what should be changed; the SERENITY to accept what cannot be changed; and the WISDOM to know the difference.

We will all hang together, or all hang separately.

Don't sweat the small stuff.

But pay attention to details - other people are.

Let criticism roll off your back.

Do what your boss tells you unless it is illegal or immoral.

Flee Fornification, And/Or, Don't get caught.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Most of your life is none of their business.

Socrates was a famous Greek Philosopher. Like many planners, he was always telling people what do do..............  They poisoned him.

When you take a job, you are issued some marbles. Each time there is a problem one marble is taken away. No new marbles are ever added for any reason.  After a while, you lose your marbles.

When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

Hostile public hearings are stressful, but they seldom shoot at you with real bullets.

The Planner is like the Marine Point Man - he leads from the front, gets shot at often, and sometimes gets dinged.

When it absolutely, positively has to be destroyed overnight - Call 911-Marines.

Great Leadership enables the Marines to get American teenagers up at zero dark thirty, work out, stay clean and neat and organized, and Charge Machine Guns, all for minimum wage.

Yea though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, because I am a US Marine and therefor the baddest guy in the valley.

To err is human, to forgive divine - neither of which is Marine policy.

The height of windy braggadocio obnoxiousness - a Marine from the Windy City.

Stop me before I Plan again.

ACDC - Acronym Code Decode Center

FUBIJAR - Flip You Buddy, I'm Just A Reserve 

FUBIJAC - Flip You Buddy, I'm Just A Consultant

FUBAR - Flipped Up Beyond All Recognition 

WITAWTAW - Where There's a Will, There's a Way

PANE - People Against Nearly Everything

NIMBY - Not In My Back Yard

NIMTOF - Not In My Term Of Office

BANANA  Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody

REMF - Rear Echelon MF

SUCKS - Snarky Unfair Churlish Kid Stuff