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News and Information Archive : 1999 (Part I)

Date: January 1999
  • The 50th anniversary year for the World's Largest Catsup Bottle has begun. The publication of first issue of the official Fan Club newsletter, Catsup Bottle News, is pushed back. It has become a victim of its own success, and time restaints keep it from coming together.
  • Darren Futa calls from the Maxis Company and wants to include the Catsup Bottle water tower in a "Sim City" computer game.
  • Mary Conner of Public Policy Productions in Palisades, New York, contacts us in the preproduction stage of a documentary she is working on and wants to include the Catsup Bottle. At this point, we're not at liberty to reveal the plans, but we look forward to a scouting visting this summer and possible filming in the fall. (More on this later.)

Date: February 1999
  • Plantation House Bed & Breakfast, in rural Madison County just outside of Collinsville, is catering to the tourists in the region by handling Catsup Bottle products. They have had a great response to our merchandise! Bruce and Kathy Clims have recently opened the Plantation House, and we wish them the very best.

Date: March 1999
  • Collinsville native Scott Thompson, is now a news reporter and anchor for CBS affiliate KOTV Channel 6 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He returned to his hometown on assignment recently. He reported on growing up in Collinsville and what it now means to him. His report focused on the downtown revitalization effort, the Catsup Bottle, and other things that make Collinsville special. Also included is an interview with childhood friend, Mike Gassmann. The piece is scheduled to air during May sweeps week.
  • Wilma Chase and Sue Smith of Collinsville, and their friend Margie Frailey, departed home on March 4, 1999 headed for St. Louis Cardinals spring training in Jupiter, Florida. Wilma has always loved our town, but she is now wearing Collinsville stuff all over her white van! This includes pictures of the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle, the Horseradish Fest, and anything “Collinsville” she could think of! She actually stuck an 8 x 10 of the Bottle on the side of her van with magnets!
  • The State of Illinois Tourism folks have included a full color photo of the Catsup Bottle in their beautiful 1999 Visitors Guide. Call 1-800-2CONNECT and they’ll be happy to send a copy out to you. Always remember gang, Illinois is a “Million miles from Monday.”

Date: April 1999
  • Our friends at the Gateway Postcard Club News featured a fun article about the special USPS Catsup Bottle 50th Birthday stamp cancellation entitled “Brooks Catsup Bottle Over the Hill.”
  • On April 26 we were thrilled to learn that our Web site, was Netscape’s “What’s Cool” Pick of the Day. We received 8 out of 10 points for design and 8 out of 10 for content!
  • Interviews are held with members of the Catsup bottle Preservation Group by Mary Harrison, a freelance writer for People magazine. The piece is scheduled to run sometime before the upcoming 50th Anniversary Birthday Bash in June. Unfortunately it never sees print.
  • As we all know, spring and summer weather often turns violent. Our buddy, Nathan Loyet, is a Lightning Strike Survivor. He was in his parents’ garage and was struck as a storm quickly approached. A nationwide support group that helps lightning strike survivors and their families recently put together a huge quilt made up of patches from around the country. Each patch consisted of the survivor’s name and where he comes from. Nathan’s patch featured this photo of him and a photo of the Catsup Bottle. It became the centerpiece of the project!

Date: May 1999
  • CBS affiliate KOTV Channel 6 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, airs Scott Thompson's report on his hometown, "Where I Grew Up." The piece is excellent! The segment showed downtown and Webster School, Collinsville's horseradish industry, Cahokia Mounds, and of course the Catsup Bottle. Also included was a very touching piece about Scott and his late father. Judging from the e-mail and faxes we received, everyone else loved it just as much as we did. Great job, Scott!
  • A representative from American Airlines calls and requests a slide of the Catsup Bottle to include in their in-flight magazine, Amerian Way.
  • The Catsup Bottle appears in High Performance People magazine promoting the upcoming Birthday party celebration. Our high-performance landmark appeared on the same page with high-performance singing sensation Shania Twain! Let’s hope readers actually noticed we were there, too!
  • Harper Barnes of St. Louis Magazine writes about our famous landmark in his "Mystery Tour" column and includes a wonderful full color photo. In the same May issue, there is a vintage photo of a St. Louis Browns baseball player. Look closely, and in the distance, on the outfield wall, somewhat out of focus, you will see a beautiful billboard touting the "old-fashioned TANGY taste" of Brooks Catsup! Our eagle-eyed Catsup bottle Lady spotted that one. Much thanks goes out to Harper for hooking us up with a photo for our archive.
  • The 2nd edition of Moon Publications’ "Road Trip USA" hits the streets where we discover author Jamie Jensen posing at the Catsup Bottle for his biography photo used on the inside flap of the dust jacket! This guy has traveled the world, and the roadside attraction he chooses to pose with for his book is the World's Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville! Thanks, Jamie!
  • Dave Heller from News Channel 20 in Springfield, Illinois, airs a great TV Travel piece and includes not only our Catsup Bottle but the awesome Cahokia Mounds site, too! Dave wrote back to us: “…we had fun in Collinsville, so much fun that folks are still talking about that story!”

Date: May 18, 1999
  • On May 18, 1999, Congressman John Shimkus alerts his colleagues of the 106th Congress to "perhaps one of the most monumental events to take place this year." His comments become a permanent part of the Congrssional Record as he mentions the Catsup Bottle's 50th Anniversary Birthday Bash and commends the Catsup bottle Preservation Group for saving a unique piece of Americana essential to his community's heritage.

Date: May 24, 1999
  • For you philatalists out there, the May 24 issue of Linn's Stamp Collector News magazine features an article announcing the two commemorative Catsup Bottle postage cancellation marks.

Date: June 1999
  • The very first issue of the Catsup Bottle News is published. It's the official publication of the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Fan Club! This little newsletter is designed to keep the Catsup Bottle’s biggest supporters informed of all the great things that keep happening.
  • Minju Pak, Editorial Director for Santa Monica Press in California has been in touch to tell us about her new book project - "Offbeat Food: Adventures in an Omnivorous World." This book will look at the more unusual aspects of food and food culture, and, of course, they want the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle to be a part of it!
  • Author Jerome Pohlen emailed us for bottle information to include in his book "Oddball Illinois," to  be published by the Chicago Review Press. His travel book will be about interesting and offbeat attractions around the state and as he says, “The Catsup Bottle is definitely one of those attractions.”
  • The Catsup Bottle Birthday Celebration was listed in the “Fun, Food and Festivals” in Illinois Main Street Communities, Summer ’99 Events calendar put out by Lieutenant Governor Corrine Wood’s office.
  • Erma Lange from Santa Maria, California, wrote to us and asked for a slide to accompany a freelance article she was writing.
  • The photo exhibit, “Rebirth of a Landmark - A Photographic Essay," features photographs taken by Michael Gassmann and Thomas Miller. The exhibit will be shown through July 10, 1999, at the Collin Art Gallery, 317 West Main Street in downtown Collinsville. Photographers Gassmann and Miller, both Collinsville residents, saw a need to capture the restoration process for posterity. Each was unaware of the other until the restoration project and their respective works were complete. The best pieces were combined into one stunning display.

Date: June 13, 1999
  • Plans are finalized for the World's Largest Catsup Bottle 50th Anniversary Birthday Bash. The event is held on Sunday, June 13, 1999. in downtown Collinsville. Festivities include food booths, souvenir stands, games, live music, a custom car show, a parade, and of course cake and ice cream. 

Date: June 18, 1999
  • Lt. Governor Corrine Wood, in a June 18th resolution, congratulated  Collinsville “for its efforts to preserve that which was the best from the past and build continued prosperity in the future.” The resolution also recognized the Catsup Bottle Happy Birthday celebration and the benefit to communities to host special events and festivals.

Date: June 27, 1999
  • Collinsville resident Nancy Harding made a fun discovery while visiting her son in California. Imagine her surprise when she read the Fresno Bee Sunday June 27 comics and found the Catsup Bottle featured in "Ripley’s Believe It or Not!" The Ripley’s strip is distributed by King Features Syndicate all across the country!

Date: June 28, 1999
  • WSMI 1540 AM radio Monday Morning Talk Show hosts Mark and Rita called the to do an interview on June 28th. In a thank you note later they said, “We really enjoyed visiting with you about your beloved bottle. It is always great to hear about a community that works together to preserve it’s heritage.”

Date: June 29, 1999
  • Associated Press writer, Michael Pearson, may be responsible for 101 hits on our website in a 24 hour period after his article was sent out on the AP wire service June 29th. It's the first time we've hit over a hundred.
Awesome - thanks for the great article, Mike!

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