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Pyne Needles
            by Ed Pyne, Publisher
May 21  2015
Come and visit the Simpkins Military History Museum in Heyworth
When I arrived at the Simpkins Military History Museum, 605 E. Cole St., Heyworth for their Spring Open House I was lucky to catch Mr. Carl Munday of Normal and Mrs. Vera Williams of Gibson City, the guests of honor.
Mr. Munday served in WWII as a B24 Bomber pilot and flew 51 missions in the China, Burma, India theatre and escaped some close calls to return home.  He still meets with one of his crew members, John Ross of Michigan in Mishuakau, Indiana.
Mrs. Williams’ husband Robert Williams, also served in the Burma Theatre (now Cambodia) and returned home. He married Vera in 1948 and they farmed near Gibson City. She still lives in their home. Bob died in 2006 at the age of 82. Visit the museum for more pictures and information about Carl’s and Bob’s service and of many others.
Museum curator Gary Simpkins started his museum collection when he was 12-years-old. He saved his allowance for carrying water to the home of Bertha Fisher in Heyworth. He bought a $5 Civil War Bayonet and still has it today. He later served in Vietnam and is now on the staff at Illinois State University. He also served mayor of Heyworth.
The museum started in Wapella 38 years ago and moved to Heyworth 26 years ago. The collection ranges all the way from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm. There is a flag from the Revolutionary War era.
The museum features a pair of straw boots the advancing Germans wore in frigid Russia to try to keep their feet from freezing.
The museum also features a Spanish Conquistador horse stirrup from the 1700s when they explored the new world.
Regular hours for the museum are 1:0-5:00 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday or other times by appointment by calling 309-473-3989.

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May 14  2015
Post Office Food Drive a huge success!
They did it again! The Postal Service collected over 80,000 lbs. of non-perishable food items in the Twin Cities and surrounding communities Saturday for local food banks and churches to distribute to the needy. When the Midwest Food Bank sent a semi to the Bloomington Post Office to pick up the donations they were surprised to learn they needed another semi! The total was over 40 tons of food.

Rural offices do well too
We contacted some of the nearby post offices for their totals. LeRoy had an outstanding total of 2,250 lbs.  Lexington collected 1,333 pounds from generous donors. Heyworth didn’t have the exact total but estimated it to be over 700 lbs.
Chenoa didn’t have a total by pounds, but the Scouts in the city helped pick-up the donations and counted 891 items. In addition, the carriers there collected another 50 bags of food so they estimated it to be way over a 1,000 items.

Congratulations Graduates
Area schools are beginning to hold graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2015. In one of our papers we had a story about the El Paso-Gridley High School bringing back the tradition of the “Senior Prank.” 
Principal Quam opened the door to his office and was met by 750 balloons the Class of 2015 put in there. He got quite a chuckle from the surprise.
Do you have memories of senior pranks for graduation? Send them to us and I’m sure our readers would enjoy them. e-mail: thenormalite@gmail.com


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