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Wednesday, March 12, 2008 09:23 pm

Cap City

Untitled Document HOMEWARDBOUND
Fire up the barbecue grill. Prepare the punch. Call your aunts and uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, and neighbors. After spending 45 days in the Muscogee County, Ga., jail for demonstrating at a military base, Diane Lopez Hughes got out of the joint this week. Known around Springfield for her involvement in peace-and-justice issues, Hughes was again arrested in November during a protest at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security, once known as the School of the Americas. It was her third arrest for participating in civil-disobedience activities. Want to welcome Hughes home or get a glimpse of her jailhouse tattoos? Friends are hosting a reception at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 16, in the Sacred Heart Convent’s De Porres Hall, 1237 W. Monroe St.
NAKEDJACKSONVILLE
Get ready, folks — the fig leaf is about to come off. Keith Barrell’s “Recline” (the unedited version) and more than 50 other artworks will bare all as part of the Imagine Foundation’s first exhibit of nudes, opening this weekend at the Asa Talcott House, 859 Grove St. in Jacksonville. Clare Lynd-Porter, the organization’s founder, says the members of the foundation are excited about the start to their “Other Side” series, a new venture into adult-themed exhibits and performances. Future events will include adult-themed music with playful lyrics, such as Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale” (“Appetizing young love for sale/If you want to buy my wares/Follow me and climb the stairs”), and maybe even adult-themed theater. “It’s all for fun,” Lynd-Porter says. Anyone over the age of 18 may view The Human Form: A Group Exhibition of Nudes between 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A public reception begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.
VOICESOFFAMILYFARMS
Two state agencies apply for a federal grant. They get it, and, next thing you know, they “annex” a smidgen of Wisconsin so that the map of the project looks like Illinois with a little square nipple on top. What’s this? Another Tony Rezko real-estate special? Well, not exactly. “There is plenty of dirt on this project,” admits Illinois State Museum employee Bob Warren, “because it is, after all, about agriculture.”
Actually, Illinois Times’ own books and poetry editor, Jacqueline Jackson, is the reason for this temporary adoption of Rock County, Wis., into Illinois. As author of Stories from the Round Barn and its sequel, More Stories from the Round Barn (both published by Northwestern University Press), she has cultivated family-farm history into an art form. So when the ISM and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum won a grant to preserve 50 oral histories of Illinois agriculture, they had to include Jackie. The fact that her family’s dairy farm happened to lie just across the state line didn’t stop them. “We used to deliver milk in both Beloit [Wis.] and South Beloit [Ill.],” Jackie says. She gave the oral historians their money’s worth. “Most interviews lasted an hour and a half to two hours,” Warren says. “Jackie was eight hours. She filled up our 30-gigabyte hard drive twice.”
Video excerpts from their interview with Jackie and other Illinois farmers will be shown today — Thursday, March 13 — in the rotunda of the State Capitol, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. during Museum Day. About 50 museums will have displays; look for Jackie on the big-screen TV near the east exit of the rotunda.
CURSES!
Sure, we’ve prognosticated on the outcomes of political contests and were wrong. Who hasn’t? It was probably just bad timing when, after we did a story about Todd Smith’s plans to convert the old Esquire Theatre site into a shopping center, the project fell through. In 2006, our readers named a certain Springfield eatery one of the best in town. The day the issue hit newsstands, immigration authorities raided the joint. This fall we ran a story outlining the job history of an alleged child molester and clown named Klutzo. He was dead within 24 hours of the paper’s hitting the streets, after he was subdued by county jailers. Notice an eerie pattern yet? In last week’s cover story about MacArthur Boulevard, we wrote that parties involved with another proposal for Esquire were remaining tight-lipped, fearing that premature discussion would jinx plans. By the next morning, Chicago developer Jim Purinton had pulled the plug on his year-long effort.
SAYGRACE, GIVETHANKS
At the risk of admitting to being regular readers of Grace Hughes’ blog, www.graceuncensored.com, we just couldn’t help but notice her post on the evening of March 6: “Barack Obama’s office has watched my video!” Grace was writing about her choreographed video salute to the candidate, which received a mention here last week. Obama campaign officials thanked Grace for her “creativity and enthusiasm” in making “that awesome video.”  
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