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 The Movies
 Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss
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duane

381 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2007 :  23:06:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know that many folks don't particularly like this movie as compared to ACS, but it is one of my favorites, because it so parallels my youth. Our family was from EC, only 2 miles away from Hessville (Hohman). My father was originally from Paw Paw Michigan, where my grandmother and several of my Dad's brothers were still farming (except Doc, who owned a junk yard - what fun!) Anyway, each summer our family would load up the 1950 Chevy to the brim for our 1 week vacation to Paw Paw. We would take Hwy 12 to the Red Arrow Highway in Michigan (2 lane US highways). Hwy 12 went through the Dunes back then. While US steel in Gary had been there for ages, the Steel Mills in Burns Harbor were still a good decade or so into the future, so it was much different than today. I remember places that had big "Indian Rugs" for sale hanging out by the road. Also there was Saylor Basket place (on Hwy 20 in Porter) that sold all kinds of Yard (Slob) art, like mirror balls and concrete statues.
We would stop at wayside rests to have a picnic lunch. My mom usually made "city chicken" which was pork pieces on a stick. Our trip usually took about 3 hours to get from EC to Paw Paw. We would do a lot of fishing, swimming in the Paw Paw River, running around the farm and playing at Doc's Auto Parts junk yard. A great place for a young boy.

I often wonder if the many similarities between the Parker family's trip to Michigan and my own were based upon taking the same route and seeing many of the same places. I never really heard of Clear Lake in the area, nor of Ollie Hopnoodles. As with many Shep things (like Hohman itself) they are no doubt fictitios names based on real places and events.

Just wondered if any other region rats that took their annual vacation to Paw Paw, Dowagiac, Watervliet, Lawrence, or any nearby places noticed similarities with what Shep put in the Ollie Hopnoodle movie.

Dave

USA
30 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2007 :  11:54:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Clear Lake, near Marcellus. More east and south, but not too far, in relation to Dowagiac et al. This info is in the story (probably not in the movie).
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duane

381 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2007 :  21:24:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks. I never should have doubted it!
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Dan

USA
25 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2007 :  10:23:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Duane that is a great story from a simpler time. I'm a city person, living in NYC my whole life. Your description of vacationing in what we called "the country" is wonderful. Most of what was "the country" outside of NYC when I was a kid in the 1960s is now suburban towns. Upstate NY farmers couldn't turn down the piles of money offered to them by developers. Same for farmers out east on Long Island.

But where is "EC"?
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duane

381 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2007 :  23:33:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
EC is East Chicago. Not actually a part of Chicago, and not even in Illinois, but an industrial town in northeastern Indiana. East Chicago is the location of the steel mills (Inland Steel and Youngstown Sheet and Tube) that Shep refers to in his books and movies. East Chicago was part of the Calumet Region (or "da Region" as the locals call it) along with Hammond (Shep's Hohman) which had lots of secondary steel manufacturing, Whiting - which had several oil refineries such as Standard and Sinclair, and of course Gary which had US Steel - at one time the largest steel mill in the world.
It was both a wonderful and toxic place to grow up. As Shep stated: "In the steel towns of northern Indiana, where I festered as a youth!"
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2007 :  10:55:01  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
ALL,

The interesting note is that the 'Minas' connection had a cottage at Paw Paw. The Minas grandchildren graduated frÝm Hillsdale. One Grand daughter is a physician.

I believe EC was important back then and earlier also. My paternal Uncle was Treasurer of EC in 1905. Uncle Walter built his own ATV and drove to Florida and Sanibel in the1920's. NOW that was difficult without good roads!

Linda
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