CubsBy Lisa Rodgers


CHICAGO-Chances are if your grandparents or parents were or still are Chicago Cubs fans you are as well. Chicago Cubs fans are known to be multi-generational. For decades, fans have been laughed at for staying loyal and been the brunt of many jokes.

“Well there’s always next year.” Chicago Cubs fans have loyally been waiting for the year where everything would change.

On the last day of the 1991 regular season, the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-3.  However, they finished the year below .500 and missed a pennant run.

WGN-TV Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray in his postgame report said, “Too bad we couldn’t have had a victory that meant a pennant. But that will come; sure as God made green apples. Someday the Chicago Cubs are going to be in the World Series.”

Caray encouraged fans that the Cubs may make it sooner than they think.

During the last part of this year’s regular season, the Cubs were hot and moving towards a wildcard spot. Cubs fans watched with baited breath. Could this be the year? With the loss of the San Francisco Giants, the Cubs found themselves in a one game “W” or go home with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On Oct. 7, the Cubs won their first postseason within 12 years winning 4-0. Onto the National League Division Series (NLDS) with the St. Louis Cardinals.

On Oct. 13, Chicago Cubs fans witnessed history with the very first postseason series victory in historic Wrigley Field built in 1914. Over a mile away after the “W” you could hear fans singing “Go Cubs Go, Go Cubs Go; Hey Chicago what do you say, the Cubs are gonna win today…” written by Steve Goodman.

“I told Richard Nelson and JoAnn Wienrank at the museum that if the Cubs beat the Pirates I was bringing up Ella “Cubs Lady” Mahan’s Chicago Cubs collection on Friday morning because this was her team, and it was her dream to see the Cubs win the World Series. I wanted to honor her memory,” said Registrar of the Boone County Historical Museum Lonna Bentley.

“After the Cubs won on Thursday night I went to find her son Wayne on Facebook, but couldn’t find him. I took a picture of the display and posted it in two locations on Facebook hoping one of her four children would see it,” explained Bentley.

Home for a weekend visit from Alabama, a friend of Gary Simon’s stopped at The Brick to see if he had any Hometown prints he could purchase. The Brick had already closed, but Gary opened the door for his friend and explained he needed to go to the museum.

“Due to a busy morning, I was not able to get Ella’s Cubs memorabilia into the case until a little after 2 p.m. Roughly 20 minutes after I had begun putting up her display I had to stop and help a customer who was looking to purchase Hometown prints. I had just finished putting Ella’s hats in the case when he arrived.

An unexpected stop at the museum while on a trip to visit home. A conversation that evolved with each saying something that triggered another response. And…then the responses that would make the light bulb go off!

“I told him as soon as the cubs win…I can’t remember if I got any more out or not because the gentleman told me, ‘Speaking of the cubs, my mom was a huge fan. Maybe you knew my mom Ella Mahan? I asked ‘Are you Wayne?’ He said ‘Yes I am.’ I responded ‘I searched on Facebook for you last night for two hours to tell you I was putting her items on display today. This is her Cubs collection (as I pointed to the case) I’ve been working on this afternoon. I just finished sorting it,’” continued Bentley.

“When Wayne and his family left after looking at his mom’s Cubs display, JoAnn and I looked at each other, and I said ‘now you tell me this isn’t our year!’ We talked about all the little things that had to take place leading up to Wayne walking into the museum when he did. What are the odds? We knew….it was Ella!” expressed Bentley whose blood also runs Cubs blue.

The museum is located at 314 S. State St. in Belvidere. For more information, please call (815) 544-8391. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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