Tuesday, October 31, 2023


 If you have an hour or so, this is an interesting listen on the history of Halloween, especailly the rise of modern Halloween celebrations. Trick or treating, as practiced today, arose as a bribe for children, especially boys, to not commit acts of vandalism during the holdiay. During WW2, due to sugar rationing and the subsequent lack of treats to give out, trick or treating died out, only to get revitalized by its appearance in 1950s Peanuts' Halloween strips and Halloween themed sitcom episodes.

In the 1960s, costume manufacturers like Ben Cooper introduced commercially made costumes, replacing homemade ones and candy manufacturers produced snack size candies, which edged out apples and popcorn balls.

Adults got involved more in the holiday when Coors, looking for a holiday that it could claim, seized on Halloween and enlisted horror host Elvira as spokesperson. The brand saw sales shoot up when her standee appeared in stores and other brands soon rushed into capitalize.

Although haunted houses had been a Hallween staple since the early 1970s, they were primarily run by non-for profit organizations. 1978's Halloween proved there was a demand for scarey movies and then more scary entertainment in general, setting the stage for today's more commercial haunted house attractions and all of the Halloween activities taking place during October.

Monday, October 30, 2023


 Trick or Treating in Carbondale runs for 5 to 7 p.m. tomorrow. S. Glenview is the most popular place in Carbondale to trick or treat as shown by so many kids running around there that the city shuts down the street for the duration of trick or treating and Carbondale Police department focuses their Pumpkin Patrol activities on that area.

House Decorating Contest

 From an email sent out by the city:  

House Decorating Contest! We didn’t want to let Halloween slip by without recognizing all the spooky, wacky, wild decorations of our city’s homes and businesses! If you’ve been feeling great pride in your scary d├ęcor this month, share pictures of your outdoor Halloween decorations with the City of Carbondale to be entered into our Halloween Decorating Contest! There will be two categories: Residential and Business. The winner in both categories will receive a $100 gift card. ( entries must be within city limits.) To submit an entry, email pictures of your display to contest@explorecarbondale.com along with your name, address, and a telephone number to reach you at. Entries will be judged on creativity, scare factor, and originality. All entries must be submitted by Monday, October 30, 2023.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Carbondale Halloween

Trick or Treat on Main Street numbers looked down from last year, likely due to the drizzle and projected thunderstorms. The weather caused the Live on Washington concert to move to Buckwater Brewery and it looks as if they decided on Friday to do so as there was no sign of any stage construction at the Washington Street concert venue on Friday or Saturday.

Downtown traffic was lighter Saturday night than Friday night with more parking available and no lines to get into any of the bars, at least not when I drove through about 10:30. Most of the costume traffic had moved from Illinois Avenue on Friday night to University Avenue last night. Several of the fraternity houses had well attended parties with costumed party goers spilling out from the house onto the lawn, in spite of the weather. 

Friday, October 27, 2023

Carbondale Halloween

 Plenty of events taking place tomorrow for Halloween. If rain occurs and storms get bad, the Downtown Carndy Walk will be canceled and the Live at Washington and Main event will move inside Buckwater Brewworks 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Shoe Dept.

 Just heard that the Shoe Dept. shoestore in Univeristy Mall closed down Oct. 15. some of the staff had said the store was moving to another location in town, like Ulta Beauty and Old Navy, but apparently not. One more large empty space in the mall. Still not as bad as marions Illinois Centre Mall, but getting close.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Bucky Home Visitors Center

 This is pretty cool. Mighty Buildings will 3D form a building to serve as the Visitors Center for the Buckminster Fuller Dome Home. Not sure when the building will be installed but likely sometime in 2024


 Drove through Downtown Friday, Satruday and Sunday nights and it was certainly nice to see parking packed and a line out the door at Trax. Wish there had been more lines at other bars but I guess the city will take what it can get. 

No costumes that I saw but I figure they will be out in force this weekend, though I certainly have not seen much advertising for this weekend's activities. There is even a Carbondale Halloween t-shirt available but, again, have not seen any way to purchase one yet.

Saturday, October 21, 2023


 South Dakota State beats SIUC 17-10. given South Dakota's reputation, I am not surpised the team won, I am pleasently suprised that it was only by a touchdown and an extra point. 

Parking in downtown is packed tonight. It is possible to find a space on the side streets but the lots south of Main Street are all filled.  Lots of Saluki wear on the streets. No costumes though. Guess that will be next weeke.d

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Pumpkin Patrol

 Carbondale Police are looking for volunters to help out with the 2023 Pumpkin Patrol from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on October 31. From what I hear, most of the Patrol will monitor the S. Glenview Avenue area, which gets so many trick or treaters that the city shuts the street down during trick or treating hours.


 Both the west side Burger King and Newby's Pizza are now open. Burger King is in its old location in the Schnuck's parking lot, only with a new format of walk up and drive through only. There are a couple of outside tables though.

Newby's is the former Carbondale Primo's Pizza and is located in the long closed Wiffle Boy's Pizza location on East Walmart. There is still a Primo's Pizza located in Energy and I hear the East Park location may reopen as another restaurant or business.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Break-In Arrest

 Break in  to a business in the 400 block of North Illinois last Saturday night. Burglar tripped an alarm and police found him still on the premises when they arrived.. Maybe it was a silent alarm becasue if I was engaged in extralegal activity in a building and an alarm started blaring, I would not stay around waiting for the police to arrive.

Monday, October 16, 2023


 Stopped by the last Off the Rails concert of the year toward the end of the night to catch the Modern Day Saints playing. Not sure if it was the band choices or the chill in the air but attenance was pretty light for the last few songs. I counted roughly 60 people there. One of the food truck vendors said attendance, and sales, had been comparatively light all evening. Attendnace had been much heavier at approxiately the same time at the previous two concerts.

Saturday, October 14, 2023


 Well looks as if the "ring of fire" eclipse viewing was a bust as clouds covered Carbondale all day.

However, you can still attend the final "Off the Rails" concert of the year at the Washington Street event space. Concert goes on until about 10 tonight. Maybe sometime next year the planned stage will be installed but I would be willing to bet not until 2025 after the multi modal transport center is completed.

Friday, October 13, 2023


 In case you want to watch the partial "ring of fire" eclipse tomorrow, SIUC will host events at Saluki Stadium from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Did not keep your glasses from the 2017 eclipse?  SIUC Will have free glasses available

Thursday, October 12, 2023


 One of the big selling points for bringing Evolve into downtown Carbondale was the number of students/residents it would bring into the area and with them an increased level of consumption. Unfortunately, this has not happened.  The strip of shops just north of Evolve and above Trax is completely empty and University Plaza sits half empty. Save for Insomnia Cookies, the retail space on the ground floor of the Evolve complex has never had a tenant.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Old High School

 City Council voted to acquire the deed to the old high school building on N. Springer Street from whatever limbo it is in and demolish the building as a safety hazard. Council looked at rehabing the building but would likely cost well over $2 million to do so. An inspection would run $25,000 to $30,000 by itself. Given that water comes into the building during rains, ceilings have collapsed in some areas and a number of windows are broken, rehabilitating the structure, built in 1922, does not appear feasible. 

This is indicative of a problem with older buildings I have noticed in Carbondale over the years. Structures get ignored by their owners or the city, with maintenance continually put off,until the building has deteriorated so much that it is too costly to rehabilitate and the only option is to raze it. This happened with the old Johnson Hotel on North Illinois, the Tuscan Lodge at the corner of Jackson and Washington and the Bank Building/Opera House at the corner of Main and Washington, as well as the Southern Recycling and Peerless Laundry buildings on South Washington. True all of them were in unsalvagable shape by the time of demolition but owners also let them run down instead of maintaining them.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023


 I was speaking with an insurance agent this morning, having some questions about some upgrades to equiptment and mentioned wanting to look for a better deal on home insurance. They told me this is not the time to go looking for it. Two insurance companies in northing Illinois are currently not writing new home insurance policies and Farmers just laid off about 23,000 employees, about 11% of its workform. The storm damage around the coasts is partially to blame but it also appears that the damage caused by the derecho earlier this year also hit a number of Illinois insurers quite hard.

Sunday, October 8, 2023


 The city has spent time and effort to increase the attractiveness of the east side entrance to the city but has really ignored the other three points of the compass. of course, the amount of traffic coming in past Wal-mart is about 4 times that coming in from the other three sides. If I recall correctly, there are about 20,000 cars passing Wal-mart every day and only about 7000 heading to and from Murphysboro, with about the same coming in from the south and even fewer from the north side.

Friday, October 6, 2023


 Haunt is a 2019 horror movie set in where else, Carbondale Illinois. Unfortuately for us, the film was shot in Kentucky, so nothing in the film looks like Carbondale at all. Even the establishing shot of "campus housing" shows a street of older homes that looks like something you would find in Champaign around the U of I campus.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Heritage Motel

 I really wish the city or a local organization would approach the Heritage Motel about repairing its sign. It is an icoic 1960s style sign and deserves a long life but is slowly falling apart.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Primo's Pizza

 Primo's Pizza will shutter its East Park location in Carbondale sometime later this year and move into the old Wiffle Boy's Pizza location on East Main. Long time residents will remember this as the location of  TCBY back in the late 1990s early 2000s. Indoor dining space will be significantly reduced so not sure how much inside dining will be available.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

17thStreet BBQ Marion

 17th Street BBQ is closing its Marion location and I cannot find any current references to the Las Vegas location the restaurant had. It appears that the orginization is retrenching operations and focusing on the Murphysboro businesses.

Sunday, October 1, 2023


 Apparently Stix has closed down again for the forseeable future.According to a post on the bar's Facebook page, it closed the weekend of Sept 14 and will not be reopening, at least not under the current ownership