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The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill., Bill Flick column

By Bill Flick, The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Aug. 31--There's a urologist in Bloomington -- Dr. Leak.

Yes, he's heard all the jokes.

There's a Dwayne Bank, too. He's a teller. Naturally.

And today we are happy to announce discovery of a woman who works in human resources at Illinois State University.

Meet Candy Land.

Yes, we would not kid here. Even funnier, it's via marriage. Through childhood and her teens, she was just Candy Friedle ... but then one day she met Donald Land, and ...

"Almost every time a new person hears my name, they will ask me about it," says Candy. "I was in personnel for 20 years in the Air Force where I signed orders and my commanders constantly got calls to verify that was a real signature. But along the way, being Candy Land has also brought a lot of smiles and it makes my day just to see the smiles."

When your name is Candy Land, there is, of course, the obvious.

Friends and relatives, as an example, cannot resist giving you a specific present on special days, and this Candy Land has enough Candy Lands board games to open her own Candy Land store.

Sadly, after 29 years of marriage, her husband died three years ago. But, she says, even if she remarries someday, "I am keeping my name."

Unless, of course, his last name might be ... Striper. Or Kane. Or even just Corn.

"Back in high school, I did date a guy named Danny Barr," she chuckles with a big Candy Land smile.

Famous no more: When Hanson's Cleaners closed in July, another longtime B-N business went away.

Summer didn't get any better either.

Lancaster's, the upscale downtown Bloomington restaurant, has closed, too.

And, after nearly 80 years as a "local" business, Famous Liquors on Empire also has hung a "Closed" sign -- a business that, before being Famous, was National Liquors, a store with such a history that back in 1941, it ran a series of ads in this newspaper that proclaimed beer "a drink good for your entire Bloomington family."

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That probably wouldn't play as well today, of course.

Neither obviously does trying to run a "local" business in chain-store times.

TV fame update: When you go into retirement, as Dave Magers did in 2013 after 35 years at Bloomington-based Country Financial where he finished up as its CFO, you usually see such retirement types out on the golf course or at the grocery store.

But if you turn on the NBC these days, you might see Dave.

A longtime old car buff, he "retired" to become CEO of a Wisconsin-based collector-car auction company, Mecum Auctions. And in "retirement," Magers has inked a deal with the NBC Sports Network for creation of TV's latest reality show, an hour-long (Thursdays at 9 p.m.) show, "Mecum Dealmakers."

"It's been a great relationship with NBC," says Dave. "It's also a big change going from insurance CFO to collector cars, auctions and making TV shows."

There's an irony of sorts, too, for Magers.

After all those years at Country, his new TV show is sponsored by ... State Farm Insurance.

Cornucopia: If you've ever wondered if Central Illinois is, in fact, one of the best locations on the planet to grow corn, then you've not driven recently along West Hovey in Normal.

There, as you'll note from the photo snapped by Lisa and Chris Marx, a corn plant has even defied soil and grows out of an iron sewer grate.

Conan thinks Normal is in Equador? If a fan of Conan O'Brien on TBS you already know his late night show does a regular segment called "Fan Correktions" where viewers send in mistakes committed on the show. Week in, week out--- usually through an entertaining shtick -- O'Brien humorously proves the viewer wrong.

Steve Reeves, of Normal, made it on the Conan show one day last week, with a video of Reeves pointing out a Conan mistake and then, of course, Conan pointing out to Reeves how he wasn't actually wrong.

What was perhaps funniest, although no one realized it except Steve Reeves: In introducing Reeves, Conan said Reeves lives in Ecuador, not Normal.

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"I am not quite sure why he said I was from Ecuador since I had Normal's ZIP code on my profile," says Steve. Then he adds, "Hey, maybe I need to send a correction to the correction!"

Stay tuned.

Flick is at [email protected]


(c)2014 The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



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