I currently write a column each Tuesday for the DeKalb
Daily Chronicle. The column will also appear on this website
each week and be added to the archives.
The Articles started December 2007.
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A good nickname that stuck
By Barry Schrader.................................July
Whats in a childhood nickname like Beanzie?
were common back in my school days and one of my classmates,
David Blank, created such tags for many of the boys. One of mine
that is mentionable was Shuns which was short for
Captions which was the answer I gave in English class
one day when the teacher asked What is the term for the
words used with a newspaper photo?So he shortened it to
Shuns and I was stuck with that for years. Of course we devised
a nickname for him: Kets. That was short for Blankets
which was an extension of his name.
Tony Xidis (Schrader photo)
So when a Kishwaukee Kiwanis Club member recently told me about
their annual bike marathon that used the name of one of their
members nicknamed Beanzie in the title I was curious
how this man got tagged. It turns out that five DeKalb men who
were avid bikers Jay Schneider, Marv Fogel, Dean Krutoff,
Bill Finucane, and Toney Xidis, met weekly for breakfast at the
Lincoln Inn before embarking on their spin around the county.
One morning the conversation drifted to childhood names and Toney
wouldnt admit to having one. This just piqued the curiosity
of the others who did some detective work to discover his moniker
through a family member. So he became Beanzie once
again to his buddies, after shedding the name some 40 years earlier.
Asking Toney how this name came about, he admitted
he didnt remember for a long time but then once day asked
his Aunt Martha how he got tagged with it. She explained that
when he was a youngster he was hyperactive, always jumping around,
so instead of Jumping Bean they just shortened it
to Beanzie. He had an older brother who was a bit
on the round side and so was called Butterbean. Then
a half brother was dubbed Taki but no one remembers
how that came about.
So when the Kiwanis wanted
a unique name for their annual fundraiser, a ride that runs from
23 to 101 miles around DeKalb County, Biking with Beanzie
caught on. Now in its 11th year, the ride attracted 530 bike
enthusiasts just two years ago. They hope to attract at least
500 this Sunday, so theyve ordered that many T-shirts with
the Beanzie design on them. Toney also told about the clever
roadside signs they would put up along the route with Burma Shave
jingles. Then came some artwork on posters that depicted such
scenes as Mt. Beanzie three U.S. presidents and Toney
just like the one in the Black Hills.
another quirky story about the route markers, the members who
paint arrows and numbers on the roadway to keep the riders on
course. It seems there was some road kill on the route where
they needed to paint a strip. So that year a painted line ran
right over the top of the road kill. Much easier than having
to find a scoop shovel and remove the critter from the pavement,
I guess. The ride is a scenic one, winding through the countryside
and stretching as far as Shabbona State Park and west of Paw
Paw where the wind farms can be viewed. (But be careful,
those big blades might whish you right off your bike.) There
are plenty of rest stops with drinks, and SAG wagons
to aid ailing pedalers or a crippled bike.
can sign up that morning at the DeKalb High School parking lot
from 6:30 to 10 a.m. or register earlier online at www.Active.com.
Its not only scenic and good exercise but the
funds they raise provide more pathways, green ways and other
community service projects undertaken by the club. And if you
look closely you will see Beanzie himself at the starting point.
In real life he was a clinical social worker in the Sycamore
School District for many years, now retired and still biking.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115