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As you come into the Champaign-Urbana area for Ebertfest 2013, we invite you to walk through the legacy of the great Roger Ebert in his hometown. On our FourSquare page (foursquare.com/Ebertfest, we have compiled a list some of Roger's memorable sites in the C-U, including what Roger thought of the sites per his memoir, Life Itself. These will serve as a guide in your exploration of Roger’s community in celebration of his life and the festiv. Open the FourSquare app on your smart phone, add the Ebertfest t-do’s to your personal to-do list, and then visit the locations and chec-in via the app. Also featured here is a print-out of the locations for those of you without smartphones. Get out there and explore. As Roger put it, “So on this day of reﬂection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.”
News Gazette Building, 15 Main St, Champaign, IL Dick Stephens, who must have been all of twenty at the time, chain-smoked Camels, drove a fast Mercury, and covered Urbana High School sports for the News-Gazette. The sports editor in those days was Bill Schrader, who called everybody 'coach.' He promoted Stephens and grandly ordered him to 'hire your own successor.' After talking to Hal's dad, Harold Holmes, the managing editor, Stephens hired me....To be hired as a real writer at a real newspaper was such good fortune that I could scarcely sleep. To be sure, the job paid poorly, but everything was cheaper in those days and I was already driving my own car, a 1954 Ford. I stayed past midnights on game nights, driving home after curfew on a pass from the police department" (p. 76). Illini Union, 1401 W Green St, Urbana, IL Roger’s picture is framed here as an alumnus. Illini Media Building, 512 E Green St, Champaign, IL "I spent more time working on the Daily Illini than I did studying. After selling the Spectator, I walked in cold and began writing a weekly column. I became the news editor, and then was appointed editor in my senior year. I can't say it was the best job I ever had, but... well, yes I can. It was the best job I ever had. The Daily Illini had been from the earliest days a commercial enterprise and not a "student activity." It was owned by the Illini Publishing Company, which also owned the yearbook and a campus lowpower radio station....The paper occupied the basement of Illini Hall at Wright and John. It was in every sense a real newspaper, published five days a week on an ancient Goss rotary press that made the building tremble. Something was forever lost from newspapers when their buildings stopped trembling" (p. 100).
but I could pledge one as a townie and continue living at home.. we would stroll after dinner onto the Quadrangle. students hunched over their work. The Marching Illini were playing 'Hail to the Orange. I was here on opening day and saw Red Grange running for seven touchdowns against Michigan'" (p.. you'd be worth your weight in gold). the first forward pass. IL "The university also had the world's larger arched roof. 505 East Armory. We entered a vast hall with ramps leading overhead.The Steakburger is a symphony of taste and texture" (p.. the president of the Student Senate (Larry Hansen).. 91). . The song. IL "If I were on death row. 93). 'This was the first card formation in the country. The house plunged me into undergraduate life. 'Illinois also had the first homecoming. desperately sleep deprived.' A librarian asked me what I wanted to see. Champaign. I made the rounds during Pledge Week. Some years later. because it had more fraternities and sororities than anywhere else. Willis. 63. IL "Illinois was known as the Greek Capital. Phi Delta Theta Fraternity House. In cubicles. R. 91). 'Phi Delta Theta Girl' never struck me as particularly complimentary (If you were the kind that sold.' Floor after floor extended above and below. This doesn't involve taste. 'The first issue of Life magazine. We didn't have money for me to live in a fraternity.. This was the top house on campus at the time.' Mr. an Egyptian loves falafel. or the best of everything" (p. visible through steel catwalks.. with twenty-six. IL "My parents took me to my first home game in Memorial Stadium. It involves a deep-seated conviction that a food is right..' Daddy repeated before every game.. Main Library. Urbana. 91). I memorized the names and years of all the upperclassmen. Champaign. We walked down a narrow corridor and found every issue of Life" (p. and during Hell Week. The Main Quad. Memorial Stadium. Champaign.V. my last meal would be from Steak 'n Shake.' I said promptly.' my father told me. the egg scene in Cool Hand Luke rang a bell" (p. 1709 S Neil St. has always been right. a Brit loves bangers and mash. the first huddle.000 people all focused on the field below. Champaign. my mother's boss at the Allied Finance Company. University of Illinois. 'I'd like him to see the stacks. 'This is the greatest university in the world.' Opposite us. 'Your Holiness. The Armory. 1402 S 1st St.We'd gather to serenade sororities. Willis said. when I saw it. (at Wright St. IL "One day Mr. 'Someday you'll go here'" (p. If I were to take President Obama and his family to dinner and the choice was up to me. 61). one of the greatest scorers in Illini basketball history (Dave Downey). intricate designs were being formed by the Block I.. 1408 W Gregory Dr.We went to the main desk. deciding on Phi Delta Theta and its handsome stone house on Chalmers. and much more arcana. the names of the Founders. and a Canadian loves doughnuts.The university had the first.Steak and Shake.. took me over to the University Library ('the world's largest. and always will be. 309 E Chalmers. 11-91). I would reply. over the Armory. a Finn loves reindeer jerky. the names of their girlfriends. I earned myself a night of sleep by winning the raw egg eating contest. the biggest. If the pope was to ask where he could get a good plate of spaghetti in America. and the editor of the Daily Illini (me). lined with trees and the biggest buildings I'd ever seen..). 'This is the boy's first visit to the library. IL "On pleasant days. We entered a labyrinth so awesome that I now picture it when eating Borges' 'The Library of Babel. Urbana.' my father explained). it would be Steak 'n Shake. and in my senior year had the captain of the football team (Mike Taliaferro). We emerged into a dizzying expanse of space. have you tried the Chili Mac or the Chili 3-Ways?' A downstate Illinois boy loves Steak 'n Shake as a Puerto Rican loves rice and beans.
or 'Touchdown.. I walked with him. I sat in his office in a dormer under the roof of the English Building. Urbana!' with enthusiasm. Altgeld Hall. “When I think of those days. 'We repaired these bells on. 'Ladies and gentlemen. and it occurs to me that he must have known that..He appeared in my life almost precisely when my father died.. Meyer's women looked healthy and wholesome. Madame Bovary. when I walked into English 101. IL "Altgeld Hall and its bells. I grandly announced. 51 E Main St (at N Market St).. I believed.” down to a Friday night in autumn. and a football game.. We were the first generation after Elvis. they often come English Building. Meyer had a breakthrough hit with Vixen!. 1002 S Race (At E Iowa St)... one of them Walter H. It was signed with three names. Illini Theater (now Highdive). Champaign. across from the Illinois Central Station and the News-Gazette. The Sound and the Fury.' I forget the date. a malt shop on the corner. I received a letter from Russ Meyer.. It said the crew had found a note tacked up to a beam in the tower. I wrote a letter to the editor. The Professor's House. IL “I went to Urbana High School between 1956 and 1960.. We were taught well.. with a jukebox.. and which my father had personally installed. 85). The Ambassadors.. Urbana.I'd never seen anything like it..' I read announcements about homecoming dances and charity car washes and chanted..' which centered largely on the difficulties of playing volleyball with the ball constantly shielding the genitals. Alfred Prufrock. Did he understand the need he began to fill?" (p.Urbana High School. Teas opened in 1959 at the little Illini Theater. I successfully auditioned for the job of the game announcer.. It read. on the first day of classes at the university. and one of the last generations of innocence. Ebert" (p. and watched the games from a third-floor window of the school building. which could be heard all over town in the summer.... unlike the carnal strippers in such films as French Peep Show..' A couple of years later. which I had also attended while 'studying at the library. an article appeared in the NewsGazette about the restoration of the bells in Altgeld Hall. Wright Street. Urbana.. It was like a cliché from the movies. where I first met Dick Stephens. He would become my mentor and the friend of a lifetime. We even had the Elbow Room. please rise to join in the singing of our national anthem. to hang out in. The Great Gatsby. Our generation would imprint an iconography on American society. and one of the great friendships of my life began. Champaign!' with dejection" (p." Crime and Punishment. IL "A turning point in my life came at 8:00 a.. 1409 West Green Street. 608 S. Urbana. We had no idea how lucky we were. We looked forward to the future. We knew nothing of violence and drugs. certainly not in nudist camp 'documentaries. We were inventing the myth of the American teenager. IL "A movie named The Immoral Mr. taught by Daniel Curley.. In the 1970s. who covered the Tigers for the News-Gazette. ...Curley introduced me to many of the cornerstones of my life's reading: "The Love Song of J. walking the four blocks to school.. 'Touchdown..m.Curley walked everywhere. girls wore dresses. 11-15).Boys wore slacks. Nostromo. 94-95).