WBEZ | greater chicago http://www.wbez.org/tags/greater-chicago Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Palatine's deathly, intergalactic secrets http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/palatines-deathly-intergalactic-secrets-106723 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F88481381" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20palatine%20topper%202.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></p><p>The village of Palatine sits about 30 miles northwest of Chicago. It&rsquo;s marked with a water tower you can see from I-90.</p><p dir="ltr">Like a number of our suburbs here, Palatine was founded around the 1830s by settlers leaving Chicago&rsquo;s Fort Dearborn, who walked along various Indian trails until they found the right spot.</p><p dir="ltr">That spot, now Palatine, had its own trading post and railroad station by the 1850s. And the population kept growing. Now, Palatine is home to about 70,000 people. And it&rsquo;s also home to the state&rsquo;s largest space-themed roller rink, and a mini golf course located in the basement of a funeral home.</p><p dir="ltr">Sandra Levin bought <a href="http://www.orbitskate.net/">Orbit Skate Center</a> in 1992. In this audio clip, she talks about why she bought a skate center, of all places, and what that means to her:<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F88450687" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">We also meet Ryan Breede, an employee at the rink who&rsquo;s been skating for about 15 years. We convince him to teach us some skate tricks. Surprisingly (not), we&rsquo;re both pretty rusty. And yes, we do operate a camera on a tripod on roller skates. But Justin Bieber and disco lights keep us motivated. You should really just watch this whole ordeal on your own:<iframe align="middle" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" scrolling="no" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/QP5JIMg1soo" width="560"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">All of those new moves really work up our appetite. We want energy for the trek ahead: the journey into the basement of Ahlgrim Funeral Home.</p><p dir="ltr">So we get a bite at a place suggested by Sandra, our roller rink owner: <a href="http://www.thepalatineinn.com/">The Palatine Inn</a>. She adds there is a museum of the village&rsquo;s history in the restaurant, and that maybe we would find it useful for our story.</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20palatine%20inn.jpg" style="float: left;" title="The Palatine Inn (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></div><p dir="ltr">Turns out, the museum is more of a one-wall grid of framed pictures once used in a calendar featuring some of Palatine&rsquo;s memorable history. This includes a human pyramid of Palatine&rsquo;s Mens Athletic club from 1918, mustached men playing cards at a saloon in 1900, an aerial view of the village from 1929.</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image ">We stick around for the food. The Palatine Inn is the type of place where matzoh-ball soup, a BLT and rice pudding just seems like the right choice.</div><p dir="ltr">Around 2 p.m., we start heading to <a href="http://www.ahlgrim.com/">Ahlgrim Funeral Hom</a>e, but get sidetracked by <a href="http://www.spunkydunkers.com/">Spunky Dunkers</a> along the way. Spunky Dunkers is a doughnut shop owned by three sisters who have kept the place in its original everything. It&rsquo;s clean and cozy and lined with chrome bar stools under big windows. Newspaper clippings and photos of past employees are spaced evenly throughout the walls.</p><p dir="ltr">One of the workers, Doreen, has been there for about 10 years. She says she&rsquo;s not really a doughnut person, but she sticks around for the customers. Sometimes they go to brunch in a nearby town or play cards on weekends. She says her customers would kill her if she quit.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20ahlgrim%20hole.jpg" style="float: right;" title="Ahlgrim Acres is the mini golf course in the basement of Ahlgrim Funeral Home (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></p><p dir="ltr">We finally get to Ahlgrim Funeral Home. We were excited about coming here long before we even started our drive: It came up in a search of mini golf places one day, and we&rsquo;ve been scheming how to get here ever since.</p><p dir="ltr">The funeral home itself is familiar to people in Palatine - it&rsquo;s been around since the 1960s. But not everybody knows there&rsquo;s a death-themed mini golf course and arcade in the basement.</p><p dir="ltr">Bradford Hein, Ahlgrim&rsquo;s funeral director, explains how this whole thing got started and why it seemed a natural fit to open a golf course in the basement:<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F88451183" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">He goes on to explain the creative ways to bury people these days:<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F88451594" width="100%"></iframe></p><div id="PictoBrowser130418140311">Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer</div><script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser/swfobject.js"></script><script type="text/javascript"> var so = new SWFObject("http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser.swf", "PictoBrowser", "620", "470", "8", "#EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("source", "sets"); so.addVariable("names", "Palatine, IL: April 18, 2013"); so.addVariable("userName", "chicagopublicmedia"); so.addVariable("userId", "33876038@N00"); so.addVariable("ids", "72157633277356060"); so.addVariable("titles", "on"); so.addVariable("displayNotes", "on"); so.addVariable("thumbAutoHide", "off"); so.addVariable("imageSize", "medium"); so.addVariable("vAlign", "mid"); so.addVariable("vertOffset", "0"); so.addVariable("colorHexVar", "EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("initialScale", "off"); so.addVariable("bgAlpha", "90"); so.write("PictoBrowser130418140311"); </script><p><span id="cke_bm_202S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><i>Rob Wildeboer is the criminal and legal affairs reporter for WBEZ.&nbsp;Logan Jaffe is a web and multimedia producer for WBEZ and Curious City. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/loganjaffe" target="_blank">@loganjaffe</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZCuriousCity" target="_blank">@WBEZCuriousCity</a>.&nbsp;</i><span id="cke_bm_202E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p></p> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 13:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/palatines-deathly-intergalactic-secrets-106723