Thursday, May 26, 2011

David Meets 4 Former Negro Baseball League Legends

On May 21st and 22nd T.O. Productions hosted a Sports Card, Memorabilia and Autograph Signing Show at Wolff’s Flea Market in Palatine.  The big attractions at the show were three 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bear players: Emery Moorehead, Mike Richardson and Shaun Gayle.  It was really cool to meet the Bears as I am a big fan and vividly remember the glory of the 1985 championship season. 

While the Bears appearance was the big draw, for me, a special highlight of the day was the appearance of 4 former Negro Baseball League Legends: Hank “Baby” Presswood, Johnny “Lefty” Washington, Louis “The Grey Cat” Clarizio Jr. and Ray “Boo Boy” Knox.  As a huge baseball fan who enjoys the history of the game, it was a great honor for me to meet these amazing gentlemen.  I spent two hours listening to stories about Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and many other stars of their era.  I heard how Johnny Washington picked off Hank Aaron.  Louis Clarizio told me what it was like to be one of 6 white (and the last surviving) players in the Negro League.  I heard how as a manager, Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe would take half of each player's salary and keep it while on the road to prevent them from blowing their paychecks.  These were just a few of the many stories that I had the honor to hear.  I wish I brought a tape recorder with me to remember everything they told me!

If you are a baseball fan and enjoy the history of the game, don’t ever pass up an opportunity to meet and experience first-hand, the life stories of the former Negro League players.  They really love to talk baseball and where else can you speak with players who knew and competed with some of the greatest players of all time--and played in a league every bit as good as the majors?

It was a day that I honestly will not forget.

We hope to invite these fine gentlemen to our market in Palatine or Rosemont in the future!

For more information, go to
Left to right:  Louis "The Grey Cat" Clarizio Jr., Gary Crawford, Johnny "Lefty" Washington, David, Hank "Baby" Presswood, Donald, Ray "Boo Boy" Knox, Tony of T.O. Collectibles

Monday, May 23, 2011

What To Do With Your Unwanted Electronics

What To Do With Your Unwanted Electronics
E-Waste: A serious worldwide environmental issue
By Sharon Wolff

Fact: Computers are used on average for less than three years and cell phones are replaced every 2 years. “Electronics waste is growing exponentially” ( In this day of quickly evolving technology and seemingly planned obsolescence, consumers are compelled to possess the most updated electronic devices. For those of us who own even minimal gadgets and accessories, the collection most likely includes a television, cell phone, PDA, computer, printer, monitor, scanner, keyboard, modem, back-up technology, laptop, stereo, copier and fax machine. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, Americans own approximately 25 electronics per household. True, you paid good money for your electronic items, but when they become obsolete or unfixable, you may not be able to resell them.
So what do you do with your unusable electronics?  Did you know they should not be thrown away with your household garbage, to end up in the landfill?  In September 2008, Public Act 95-0959 became law in the State of Illinois. The act establishes a statewide system for recycling and/or reusing computers, monitors, televisions, and printers discarded from residences by requiring electronic manufacturers and retailers to participate in the management of discarded and unwanted electronic products.  Throughout Illinois, companies offering electronics recycling services are easy to find. Be on the lookout for community recycling events, which are usually free to the public. In September 2009, Illinois became the 16th state to adopt an electronics recycling law known as the Electronics Products Recycling and Reuse Act (SB2313). This legislation bans certain electronic items, mainly computers and televisions, from Illinois landfills starting in January 2012 (
The EPA considers many electronic “e-waste” items to be toxic and hazardous. Components within these devices contain heavy metals that when added to a landfill potentially leach into groundwater and contaminate soil air, humans, wildlife and the environment.  Compounds that must have an alternate method of disposal include lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury, brominated flame-retardants, antimony trioxide, selenium, chromium and arsenic. Once separated from the original device, components like copper, steel, plastic, silver, glass and gold are valuable and reusable. Certified recycling companies create jobs within this growing line of work, conserve natural resources and energy and reduce air pollution and green house gas emissions.

So, where is your e-waste? Is it gathering dust in your closet, basement or garage? It’s time to take environmentally responsible action and e-cycle! 

Wolff’s Flea Market will make it very easy for you on June 11, 2011.  As a special free service to our Palatine community, COM2 Recycling Solutions will collect your e-waste for disposal between 9am and 2pm.

Drop off an item and get free admission the flea market! Shop 300 booths of antiques, collectibles, new merchandises, resale, tools, furniture, home décor, plants, clothing, jewelry, books, environmentally friendly merchandise and more!  Enter for a chance to win one of several environmentally friendly raffle prizes and Wolff Howlers for shopping! GRAB A FRIEND AND TRY A FLEA MARKET!(tm)


Friday, May 6, 2011

52 Pounds of Potatoes & Recipes

I have 52 pounds of potatoes in my home. Put another way, I have over 100 spuds (not studs) in my house. Why? It's  long story.

It all began when I purchased an ordinary 10 pound bag of Russet potatoes on sale at Jewel for $1.99. Independently, dear husband realized he had a taste for the yellow version of these tasty tubers, and brought home a 10 pound bag of Yukon Gold Potatoes before I even peeled the first Russet.  That same evening, I starting humming the old Harry Chapin song, 30 Thousand Pounds of Bananas. Please stay with me as we will soon tabulate some serious potato poundage.

The following day, my 92 year-old mom asked me to buy her a "few" baking potatoes at the Marketplace on Oakton. Well, the "fruit store" as she calls it, offered 5 and 10 pound bags for the same low price! Such a deal! What would you do? What would Harry Chapin (may he rest in peace) do? So, instead of 3 potatoes, I bought in on a $1.49 - 10 pound bag. After all, if stored properly, potatoes last many months, don't they? I stuck the bag in the closet where she stores her potatoes and onions. Later that evening, I received a call that went something like this, "What the X am I going to do with all those potatoes? All I asked for were 3 potatoes. You'll have to take them home with you next time you come over!" I don't really like to argue with Mom, and really, isn't every 93 year old woman always right? The following Monday, I dutifully visited her home and she reminded me to take the potatoes. So I grabbed a few and stuck them in my bag. By now, I was beginning to wonder what I would do with all these potatoes...  My brother arrived, another potato fan, and I was hopeful that he'd snag some for his own. But, he declined, stating that he would be taking the CTA bus home the next morning and really didn't feel like carrying potatoes with him. At least I tried. The evening went nicely, we had a small, but  pleasant dinner. When it was time to leave, I picked up my bag, and noticed its heavy bulk. Somehow, my mom had unobtrusively carried the last of the 10 pounds of potatoes (minus the 3 individual tubers she kept for herself) and hefted them into my bag!  So, I went home with 7 more pounds of potatoes. If you are counting, we are now at 27 pounds of potatoes.

Dayeinu! It would have been sufficient, had not the potato farmers come to Wolff's Flea Market in Rosemont last Sunday. Sure, it was cool seeing people walking out with 25  or 50 pound bags of potatoes. But I did not expect dear husband to purchase any!  I guess you can't ever have too many potatoes... He brought home his own 25 pound bag, as he should have, to support local farmers and flea market vendors. And that is why I have 52 pounds of potatoes in my house. That's over 100 spuds (not studs).
Please enjoy my potato menu and recipes

Monday: Baked potatoes (4 potatoes used), salmon
Tuesday: Cream of Potato Wild Rice Soup (10 potatoes used) and Chicken Burgers
Wednesday: Twice Baked Potatoes (4 potatoes used) and Turkey Breast
Thursday:  Leftover potato soup and turkey (0 potatoes used)
Friday: Chicken pot pie (4 potatoes used)
Total Potatoes Used: 22 out of 100+

Cream of Potato Wild Rice Soup-Crock Pot
Wash, peel and cube 10 potatoes
Place in slow cooker and cover with water
Add parsley, salt (optional), 1T  bouillon (chicken or vegetable)
Cook all day until potatoes are soft
Place 2 cups cubed potatoes in large stock pot and set aside
Put rest in bowl and blend with electric mixer until creamy
Add to stock pot
Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Add milk to reach desired consistency
Add cooked wild rice
Stir until blended

Twice Baked Potatoes
Bake however many potatoes as people you will be serving.
Cut in half, scoop out insides and put in bowl. Set skins aside.
Add to taste: cheddar cheese, lo-fat cream cheese,  pepper, onion powder, chives, garlic powder
Blend with mixer and add a little milk if it is too thick
Spoon back into potato skins and bake until slightly browned

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

June 11: Back to Earth Gardening & Recycling Event in Palatine

*Now accepting vendors interested in selling plants, garden and earth friendly merchandise. If you are a garden expert and would like to share your knowledge, we'd love to feature you! Please call 847-524-9590 to reserve your FREE 8"x 12' space.

Wolff’s Flea Market Palatine
1775 N. Rand Rd.
Palatine, IL 60074
Saturday June 11, 2011
8am to 4pm
Community Electronics Recycling 9am to 2pm
Garden experts
Wormplicity-worm composting
Plant Sale-all day
Garden Décor Sale-all day
Earth Friendly Booths-all day
Freecycle of Palatine, Mt. Prospect, Rolling Meadows booths- 9am to 2pm

Com2 Recycling Solutions will accept the following items:
Cell phones, computers, monitors, televisions, laptops, copiers, modems, keyboards, PDA’s, telephones, answering machines, scanners, printers, fax machines, VHS players, other electronics

Not accepted: radioactive materials, hazardous materials, non-electronics, corrosives, batteries, compressed gas cylinders, flammable materials, oil filters, mercury switches, lead, airbags, refrigerants, Freon, PCBs, capacitators, transformers, ballast, explosives, fire arms, ammunition, shells