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May and June 1994, part two

A trip across the U.S. 15 years ago, part two.

Monday, May 30, 1994, Wisconsin

Right now we're on our way up to Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin where we might go on an amphibious boat ride around the "Dells". I'm not sure what a dell is, but maybe I'll find out in Wisconsin Dells.

Last night we stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Rockford, Ill.   Didn't quite make it to Wisconsin before konking out...

We stopped off at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo yesterday and saw the rainforest exhibit among other things. I like zoos.

We ate dinner in South Bend, Ind. yesterday evening. The whole thing came to 12 dollars... But you get what you pay for... The beef stroganoff was an odd orangish color...

We just stopped off at a cheese shop in Wisconsin. Got some cheese bit snacks and some postcards.

Later today, we'll make it up to Bloomington, Minn. to the largest mall in the U.S.   F is very excited about that...

Tuesday, May 31, 1994, South Dakota

Right now we're outside of Henry, S.D. which is west of Watertown, S.D.    South Dakota scenery is pretty uneventful so far. Farm after farm after farm after farm.   They're big on pheasants here, Pheasant Motel, large pheasant statues, etc.

The people are very friendly. We just stopped for gas and the guy cleaned our windshield and wished us a nice visit to South Dakota.

Yesterday we stopped off at Wisconsin Dells to ride the "Ducks".   That was pretty fun.   The Ducks are amphibious vehicles from WWII.

Up in the northwestern part of Wisconsin, we got caught in a tornado warning.   Hail came down the size of marbles and we had to pull off the highway to find some trees to park under.   Didn't see any actual tornadoes, tho.

We made it up to Minneapolis to the Mall of America, the largest mall in the U.S.   We rode the rollercoaster and log ride at Camp Snoopy, the largest indoor amusement park, which was in the center of the mall.

We ended up heading west a bit more after the mall. Found a place in Hitchinson, Minn. to sleep.

The Sad Tale of Anissa Jones

Anissa Jones (1958 - 1976) was an American child actress best remembered as "Buffy" on CBS's TV Sitcom Family Affair. She died of a drug overdose at the age of 18.

She was born in West Lafayette, Indiana while her parents were students at Purdue University. In 1964 when she was six her mother took her to an open audition for a cereal commercial which became her first television appearance.

Anissa was eight when her acting skills drew the attention of television producers and she was cast as Elizabeth "Buffy" Patterson-Davis on CBS's sitcom Family Affair (1966). Her character was one of three siblings sent to live with her Uncle Bill (Brian Keith) and his butler, Mr. French (Sebastian Cabot) after their parents died in a car accident. Jones soon became one of the most recognizable child actors in Hollywood.

Her Buffy character had a doll named "Mrs Beasley" which she claimed talked to her, often making funny comments. Later marketed by Mattel this became the best-selling doll in America at that time. When the show was cancelled in 1971 the then 13-year-old Jones expressed relief she would no longer need to be seen with the doll. Along with the Mrs Beasley doll Jones took part in several other lucrative Family Affair marketing campaigns including Buffy paper dolls, lunch boxes, a clothing line, coloring books and a 1971 cookbook featuring her picture on the cover.

Family Affair ended in 1971 after 138 episodes over a five-year run. Jones unsuccessfully auditioned for Regan MacNeil in the film The Exorcist and was unable to find any other work in films. After Family Affair was cancelled Brian Keith kept in touch with Jones through letters and offered her a young-adult role on his new television show The Brian Keith Show (1972-1974). Jones was told she would not have to audition if she wanted the part but she chose to stay retired from television work.

Jones' parents had gone through a bitter divorce in 1965 and continued to feud over custody of the children for some time afterward. In 1973 custody of Jones and her year-younger brother Paul was awarded to their father, who died shortly thereafter of heart disease. When her brother moved back in with her mother Anissa moved in with a friend and began skipping school. Anissa's mother reported her as a runaway and she was sent to juvenile hall for several months. After her release and return home Anissa began shoplifting and taking drugs. She dropped out of high school and briefly worked at a doughnut shop in 1975.

When she turned 18 Jones gained control of approximately USD$180,000 in the form of a trust fund and U.S. Savings Bonds that had been created with part of her earnings from Family Affair.

On August 28, 1976 after partying all night in the beach town of Oceanside, California Jones was found dead in the bedroom of a friend's house. The coroner's report listed her death as an accidental drug overdose. Cocaine, PCP, methaqualone and Seconal were found in her system during an autopsy. The coroner who examined Jones reported that she had died from one of the most severe drug overdoses he had ever seen.

(excerpted from Wikipedia)

U.S. politics 20 years ago

I used to have some old journal entries and other info on a website which is now defunct, so I wanted to now save it here... it's about the Democrats in 1987 and 1988...  bear with me, it's not all that interesting...


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