I recently saw an ad for dropping off old blue jeans for recycling into insulation at St. Clair Square, but missed the dates. Please help. -- Ellen Douglas
If you don't want to be left singing "Bell Bottom Blues," be sure to get to St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights this weekend to take part in the Blue Jeans Go Green recycling program.
Until Sunday night, you can recycle those old denim threads and even be rewarded for not throwing them in the trash. If you drop them off at Pop-U-Lure Popcorn in the food court, you'll get a coupon for half off any bag of popcorn. At Buckle, you can receive 10 percent off a pair of new jeans -- plus a free Rock Revival drawstring bag (if there are any left by this time; this program has been going on all month).
During the recycling process, all zippers, buttons and hardware are removed before the denim is returned to its natural original cotton fiber state. It ultimately becomes UltraTouch Insulation for homes in need and other community-based civic buildings.
In its eight-year history, the program has used more than 600 tons of worn-out denim (1,052,386 pieces, according to the Web site counter) to generate approximately 2 million square feet of insulation. It takes about 500 pairs of jeans to insulate one home so if yours are getting ratty, bring 'em in. Denim of any color or condition is welcome.
For more information, go to bluejeansgogreen.org.
When I pay my subscription each month, there is a place on the bill for a tip. Since I have a carrier who provides superior service, I provide a tip. Does someone let the carrier know who gives tips? -- Donna Kepner, of Belleville
Rest assured that our carriers generally know who is giving those extra bucks, so keep them coming because that's a job that (if done well) deserves tipping -- and I'm not saying that because I work here. I would not want to drive around in the middle of the night trying to make sure each paper is tossed accurately in a secure yet easily retrievable place.
Although carriers see names that are abbreviated on their payment sheets, they usually can figure out who's who, Bart Tate tells me. (If he/she hasn't realized it's you, hopefully yours will be reading this public thank-you today.)
And while you're at it, ask your carrier if they would like you to save those blue bags to reuse. Mine does, so I neatly save several weeks worth and then call him so he can pick them up on his route. It's good for his pocketbook and good for the environment.
Cherished memory: When Doris Holdener, of rural Smithton, was just a few months old, her father, William Roth, died of pneumonia in January 1929.
When her mother went to Romeiser's in Belleville to buy a funeral suit for her husband, the store gave Holdener's 5-year-old brother a pair of pants. The family still has those pants, which now are being passed down from generation to generation.
"All those years, she kept that pair of pants," Holdener told me. "She said he wore them the day of the funeral and he never wore them again. They're just absolutely in perfect condition."
For sharing that memory, here are the answers to those mystery tokens you asked about. According to the Belleville city directories, you could have received 5 cents in trade at Joseph Grosspitch's liquor establishment at 1020-22 W. Main St. and a free 5-cent drink at Ed Dawson's pool hall at 914 N. Charles St. (He apparently lived at 912.) Both were gone by 1950.
More local treats: My recent column on locally produced products brought a plug from John Barger for Country Bob's sauces and seasonings out of Centralia. They can be found at most major supermarkets, Walmart or at countrybobs.com
I also received a call from someone surprised that I didn't mention horseradish, considering its ties to this area. Well, I was, too. When I went looking for it, I couldn't find any that had been produced in this area right now. Too bad my dad isn't still alive or else he'd whip up a jar or two that would knock you on your seat.
Satisfied reader: If anyone ever has a similar problem, Andy McCowen, of Belleville, said he was pleased with how Jeff Statler of Grand America Jukebox in St. Louis repaired his two electronic games. Within days of my answer, Statler provided a quick and reasonably priced fix, McCowen said. His only regret was not waiting for a later tip and at least talking to Belleville's own A.P. Moore at 233-4043.
Who was the United States' first woman ambassador and to what country was she sent?
Answer to Thursday's trivia: In "Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study," Sigmund Freud suggested that the personality of our 28th president was molded largely by his powerful father (a Presbyterian minister) and an unresolved Oedipus complex. As a result, Wilson looked for mother substitutes in his two wives Freud claimed.
Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 618-239-2465.