The President’s Message

Holy cow it’s November! It seems like we were just enjoying the Grand Tour of Homes and the Moss Avenue sale and now we are getting ready for winter. The seasons really pass by quickly.

Usually the November MBRA membership meeting features a candidate’s forum. Since there are no local elections this year, another political topic will be presented. Brad McMillan, former chief of staff for Congressman Ray LaHood, and now Director for the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service at BU, has agreed to speak at our meeting about the campaign to introduce an amendment to the Illinois Constitution regarding redistricting. Mr. McMillan is a member of the steering committee for this effort and well qualified to speak on this subject.

A secondary topic will be an update on the sale of the Washington School. The MBRA Board has made efforts to understand the potential of this property and comprehend what it would take for a buyer to develop the site into something of benefit to our neighborhood. Your constructive input would be appreciated.

Lastly, “The Hanging of the Greens” will be November 23. This is a great time to pitch in and help on a neighborhood project. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your families.

Jim Evenhuis,

President MBRA

Moss Avenue Sale Music Review


Photo Courtesy: Raphael Rodolfi

As you wandered the street during the Moss Avenue Sale (waaaaaay back in June!), you may have stopped to enjoy the music of a few groups who graciously agreed to play for the enjoyment of all of our guests. The Sale Committee would like to recognize and thank the following groups who made the day especially enjoyable!

Sidetracked, a seven-member band that specializes in a “smooth mix of jazz, pop, and soul” entertained the crowd for their second year at the sale. Passersby and vendors alike thoroughly enjoyed the talents of this lively and popular group. Their members include John Jenkel: keyboard and vocals; Stacie Bertram: vocals; Debi Redington:  vocals; Paul Conner: guitar; Rob Bertram: bass; Dan Diefendorf: drums; Doug Steward: saxophone. On sale day, Sidetracked played in the yard of Ed Tarbuck and Joanne Bannon. The band regularly performs at Jimmy’s Bar, The Fieldhouse, The Black Rabbit, and other local venues. Their versatile sound appeals to audiences of many ages. Following the 2012 sale, Sidetracked was hired by MBRA neighbors to play for family wedding events. You can find them on facebook, or at

Also in their second year providing music during the sale were MBRA neighbors Roman and Karla Wegrzyn. Many of you may know Roman from his successful piano tuning skills and the tuning business he ran for many years. Karla is a ‘radio-personality’ whose voice you might recognize from radio broadcasts and commercial voice-overs. While separately they are both terrific, having them together in musical form is simply magical. With Roman’s skills on the keyboard and Karla’s soft, jazzy vocals, this pair added a very special touch to the day!

A terrific new addition to the music line-up this year was a group of young men who met each other on their first day of orientation as new employees at Caterpillar, hence their name New Cats on the Block. The group loves playing outdoor events and specializes in bluegrass (traditional as well as popular), bluegrass variations on other popular music, and a nice selection of their own tunes. New Cats talent includes Jordan Blimbaum: banjo and vocals; Michael Adashek: mandolin and vocals; Chris Skierski: guitar and vocals; and Evan Stumpges: bass and vocals. This group delighted the crowds with toe-tapping music and a hometown touch! Look no further than facebook for more info about New Cats on the Block.

Many thanks to these groups who very generously play without compensation for our big event! We hope you will consider them when looking for live music for a family or business event. Thanks also to our neighbors Tom and Deb Dougherty for hosting and providing electricity and extension cords to New Cats as well as Roman and Karla!

Submitted by: Joanne Bannon

Thru the Windshield

How do we look to those passing by? Observations…questions…hopes…concerns

by Marjorie Klise

Darn it! It looks like Chicago will beat us to the bragging rights of innovative traffic control. We have suggested, several times, to our traffic folks at City Hall that the Main and University intersection would be the perfect place to introduce the “all-way” pedestrian walk pattern.

This method is used on the east coast and the west coast of our country as well as in Europe…and it works. It is especially effective when there is a wide intersection with a variety of turn lanes and pedestrian destinations on all corners. Our site is ideal!

So…the lights are green for east-west bound traffic.

Give them the full 80/90 seconds. Then the lights are green for all north-south traffic. No ‘right on red’ allowed. AND THEN THE LIGHTS ARE RED FOR ALL TRAFFIC AND PEDESTRIANS BEGIN TO WALK. They walk curb to curb, corner to corner, straight or diagonal.

This gets everybody across the street….college students, school children, mothers with strollers, neighbors and customers. After 35 seconds we go back to the traffic lights allowing the traffic to move quickly and safely with no need to guess who should have the right of way.

Roundabouts are fine for bucolic English lanes where gentlemen doff their hats to each other and motion the other fellow to precede them into the merge. But I have seen very little hat-doffing at the Main and University intersection.

If Chicago likes it for State Street, can’t we show a certain amount of imagination and give it a whirl? This is a mater of re-programming a few traffic lights, adding the speed table concept and spending some of the leftover dollars on trees, plantings and benches.

Let’s try it.

The Central Illinois Jazz Society

Sunday, November 17, 2013

CIJS House Band at 6:00 p.m.

Guest Group: Illinois Central Jazz Train at 7:15 p.m.

The Jazz Train is excited about the November 17 concert for CIJS. We have loaded the show with Standards at every turn. Stormy Weather, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, I’m Getting Sentimental Over You, Besame Mucho, Them There Eyes, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Salt Peanuts, and Take the ”A” Train will all be performed. We will also present an entertaining seven-movement work by Les Hooper entitled, A Short History of Jazz, which only takes about four minutes to play. Some of the performers who will be prominently featured on this program are Toby Thomas (alto sax), Dale Rideout (trumpet), Billy Cook (guitar), Doug Wilcox (trombone), Bridget Bourke (alto sax), Nathan See (tenor sax), Myles Singleton (trumpet), and Jeremy Clarke (drums). Thank you for inviting us to play for you.

You will want to be sure to catch this excellent group at:

  • December 2 – Peoria Pizza Works 7-10 p.m.
  • December 17 – ICC Performing Arts Center (Christmas Concert Benefit for the American Cancer Society – this is with the Original Skazz Band) 6:30 p.m.

The Central Illinois Jazz Society (CIJS) House Band will play during the first set, under the leadership of Larry Harms. For more information call 692.5330 or visit

St. Mark’s Implementing a Student-led Safe School Ambassador Program

St. Mark’s School is piloting a new program titled, Safe School Ambassadors, a proactive program, that discourages bullying and mistreatment, and encourages communication. Developed by Community Matters in Sebastopol, CA., the program has been used in 1,200 schools, benefiting 60,000 students. St. Mark’s is the first private school in Illinois to pilot this program.

The Safe Schools Ambassador Program trains diverse student leaders to intervene when they see mistreatment of friends and other students. They are trained in nonviolent intervention and communication skills to use among their peer group to prevent and stop bullying.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, St. Mark’s would like to thank our neighbor, Westminster Presbyterian for allowing us to hold our two-day student training on September 30th. We would also like to thank our parents who attended St. Mark’s School for an evening training on Bullying Intervention and Communication Skills.

In addition, we appreciate the support from our local legislators, Senator Darin LaHood, Mayor Jim Ardis, Mayor Jim Dillon, and Councilwoman Beth Jensen. Parent and community involvement greatly increases the long-term benefit of this program and our overall community.

St. Mark’s wishes you many blessings at this time of Thanksgiving.

Hanging of the Greens

Get in the holiday spirit with friends and neighbors by joining in the annual Hanging of the Greens!

Saturday, November 23 9:30 a.m.

Ed Tarbuck and Joanne Bannon’s home at 1705 W Moss Ave

Weather permitting, we’ll meet on Saturday, November 23 at 9:30 a.m. at 1705 W Moss (Ed Tarbuck and Joanne Bannon’s home). Remember to bring work gloves, small wire clippers and, if possible, a sturdy ladder (6’ minimum, 8’ preferred). Trucks are also greatly appreciated for green delivery around the neighborhood.

Lunch follows at Ed and Joanne’s for all volunteers!

Call Joanne at 453.8669 if you have questions.

Margaret Mead


Margaret Mead

American cultural anthropologist

The Splendor of Christmas Past

Final_HistoricTour_FlyerRevel in the splendor of holidays past with a tour of five vintage homes in two distinctive historic districts of Peoria, Illinois. Carolers, luminaries, dazzling Christmas décor, and costumed WWII reenactors capture and celebrate the Christmas spirit with the Peoria Historical Society.

 Tour Dates

  • December 7th  5 – 9 p.m.
  • December 8th 1 – 5 p.m.

Featured Homes

Flanagan House at 942 NE Glen Oak Avenue

The John C. Flanagan House was built in 1837 and is the oldest standing house in Peoria. This American
Federalist style house offers a spectacular view of the Illinois River Valley. John, a Philadelphia lawyer, came to settle his father’s estate of 600 acres, acquired in 1824. He decided to build and become a land developer. Native Americans assisted in the construction of the home. A sawmill and brick kiln were also built on the property. The Society acquired the house in 1962 and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Displays include: Empire furnishings and period artifacts, 18th and 19th century area history, Peoria’s distillery industry, collections of antique glass, china, furniture, toys, quilts, and vintage clothing. House decor and costumed interpreters will portray a WWII era Christmas theme dedicated to our service women and men – “If Only in your Dreams.”

Sherry Seckler Home at 924 NE Glen Oak Avenue

Built in 1880 by a Congregational pastor, the home was later enlarged by N.C. Dougherty (Peoria superintendent of schools later jailed for embezzlement) into the current larger configuration. The Today relatively few surviving examples of the style exist compared to other more popular styles of Victorian architecture.

Stick-Eastlake is a style named for Charles Eastlake often referred to as Victorian Stick. The Stick-Eastlake style enjoyed popularity in the late 19th century. Over the years most of the exterior Stick-Eastlake features were removed. The main floor architecture is the Arts and Crafts Style popular when Doughtery remodeled. Behind the home and inaccessible to the public is the original carriage house.

With a spectacular Illinois River view, Sherry Seckler has owned the home for 8 years and is currently restoring the home to its former grandeur. The exterior is currently being repainted to accentuate the architecture with plans to replace and enlarge the front porch in the future. Several bedrooms have recently been refurbished with plans to stabilize the upper porch and restore the sitting room that it adjoins. Enjoy a work in progress during the multi-year transformation.

Pettengill-Morron House at 1212 W Moss Avenue

Celebrate a post-WWII Christmas holiday with Miss Jean Morron at The Pettengill-Morron House. Built by Moses Pettengill in 1868 in the Second Empire architectural style with 11 rooms, the museum contains a unique collection of possessions from several generations of a Peoria family. In 1900 a colonial revival porch and porte-cochere were added, giving the home a grand Victorian appearance. Miss Morron acquired the property from the John Boyd Stone family in 1953 and owned the house until her death in 1966. After her death the house and its contents were given to the Peoria
Historical Society.

John and Barb Timerman at 1537 W Moss Avenue

The Timerman home was originally built between 1883 and 1887 as a single story, white clapboard Victorian (see black and white picture below) similar to the current home at 1539. In 1916 or 1917, the owners, Dr. Adolph and Johanna Foertner remodeled it into the current brick, two-story home on the tour today. It features a beautifully maintained Arts and Crafts interior with most of the original woodwork and floors, all in superb condition.

In 1950 William and Beverly Chapman, owners of The Faust Club (Peoria nightclub) added the swimming pool in order to relax after their 4:00 A.M. closing time. They also removed the original radiators and installed the present heating system. The home was sold in 1962 to the Frasco family and again sold in 1966 to Robert and Marie Calvetti. After the Calvetti lives were threatened, the first alarm system was installed. Sometime after that, they moved and left the home vacant.

Hugo and Doris Hoerdeman purchased the home in 1969 and moved in with their four children. Their care and attention for 32 years has left the home in excellent condition. John and Barb Timerman purchased the home in 2001 and had little remodeling left to do. The TV room floor was replaced in 2002 and the downstairs bathroom was remodeled in 2003. The kitchen was updated recently. John and Barb welcome you to their beautiful Arts and Crafts style home and hope you enjoy your tour.

Richard Tomic at 1605 W Moss Avenue

Built in 1910 by architects Reeves and Ballie for Thomas and Gladys Corning Lovelace, the Cape Cod style home has fabulous birch floors instead of the traditional oak floors used at the time, the original stained glass windows with the decorative “L” for Lovelace on the landing, beautiful leaded glass doors and restored woodwork throughout the home.

The Corning and Lovelace families were prominent Peorians affiliated with Corning Distilling Company, Commercial National Bank, Bradley University, and Allied Mills. Lovelace Hall at Bradley University was name after the family. Restoration of the home began in 2003 and continues today.

Event Info

$12 in advance, $15 at the door

Tickets available November 1 at Harp & Thistle Kelleher’s Irish Pub & Eatery or at the Society’s Office

For more information: 309.674.1921 or

Events at the Franciscan Recreation Complex

FRC logoOpen Volleyball

  • Adults 18+ at The F.R.C in West Peoria
  • Mondays, 7:30-10 p.m. & Thursdays, 8-10 p.m.
  • $3 per visit, or $20 for a 10-visit punch card


Motor Mites

  • Monday through Friday, 9:15-11:15 a.m. Plus Friday, 1-3 p.m.
  • $2 per visit, ages 1-5
  • More information can be found at or by calling FRC at 309.677.6705

Rocky Glen Art Fundraiser & Silent Art Auction

rocky-glen-web-versionA light painting of Rocky Glen by Doug and Eileen Leunig, valued at $2,500, will be raffled at 8 p.m. on November 21 at the Sky Harbor Steakhouse, 1321 N. Park Road.

This event includes a wine tasting from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. and a silent auction. Tickets on the Leuing art work are $5, and the winner need not be present to win. It is on display at Sky Harbor, where tickets can be purchased.

For more info on Rocky Glen contact Dave Pittman at 676.5237 or visit