All-star recalls glory days in women’s pro baseball


Programs from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Scheerer McCulloch Auctioneers, Inc.

MILLSTADT, Ill. (AP) – Barbara Hoffmann owns a DVD copy of A League of Their Own, but has yet to watch it from start to finish.

She played two seasons for the South Bend Blue Sox of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which inspired the 1992 movie, but even at age 87 still has too much competitive vigor to relive it as a spectator.

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Texas bluebonnet season means great time for painting

Julian Onderdonk (American, 1882-1922), ‘Texas Landscape with Bluebonnets,’ oil on canvas. Price realized: $437,000 in November 2015. Heritage Auctions image

HOUSTON (AP) – A sea of yellow wildflowers recently cast a magical glow upon the flat pastureland just east of the Brazos River at Highway 290, but a dose of reality awaited on the west side of the bridge, under the “Welcome to Washington County” sign that usually draws a crowd this time of year: no hill of bluebonnets.

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Nebraskan Aaron Gunn Pyle paintings hang in hometown library

Aaron Gunn Pyle (1903-1972), ‘The Horses,’ egg tempera on panel egg tempera on Masonite, 6.5 x 8.75 in. Price realized: $4,000 plus the buyer’s premium. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers and Soulis Auctions

CHAPPELL, Neb. (AP) — One of the Nebraska panhandle’s best-kept secrets isn’t a secret at all. It’s hanging in plain sight on the walls of the Chappell Memorial Library and Art Gallery. The red brick building is unassuming but it is no ordinary public library.

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Agatha Christie lived through pain on the Orient Express

‘Murder On The Orient Express’ 1974, British Quad movie poster, based on the murder mystery by Agatha Christie, EMI, folded 30 x 40 in. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers and Ewbank’s

PARIS (AP) — Luxury travel meets murder.

Aboard the original Orient Express for the first time, Agatha Christie’s great-grandson James Prichard reminisced on how the Queen of Crime became enchanted with the fabled locomotive, and how its legendary route to the exotic east not only inspired one of her most famous novels, Murder on the Orient Express, but it defined her.

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Pre-Hispanic pieces adorn the pyramid-shape tomb in the garden at the Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City. Photo by Anagoria, taken Dec. 22, 2013. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

On the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera art trail in Mexico City

Frida Kahlo, 'Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird,' Nikolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Center, the University of Texas. Accessed through Wikimedia Commons.

Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954) painting titled ‘Autorretrato con Collar de Espinas y Colibri’ (‘Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Humming-bird’) from the Nickolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. Fair use of low-resolution copyrighted image.

MEXICO CITY (AP) – With her unibrow, braided updo, colorful clothing and mustache, the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo has become an idiosyncratic cult figure in the United States.

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Female pulp fiction illustrator getting her due

Gloria Stoll Karn, cover illustration for ‘Rangeland Romances,’ June 1949. Image courtesy Norman Rockwell Museum

BOSTON (AP) — Gloria Stoll Karn nearly trashed her high school artwork back in the 1940s, figuring her art career was over before it even started. But thanks to a janitor with an artistic eye, she ended up smashing gender barriers instead.

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For winter doldrums: small decor changes wield big impact

NEW YORK – Holiday decorating season is long over, yet spring is still far off. It’s cold in much of the country, and still getting dark early. A lot of us could use some kind of visual pick-me-up.

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Wienermobile to be turned into a museum piece

The 1952 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile at the 2005 North American International Auto Show. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

DEERFIELD, Wis. (AP) – The grain trucks, school buses, cranes, trailers and semi-tractors are the first priority at the Truckstar Collision Center near this village’s downtown. But between the repair of dents, dings and gashes on the commercial vehicles that are the wheelhouse of this 20-year-old business, the work is focused on one of the most recognizable vehicles to ever cruise the country’s highways, byways and Interstate system.

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Hairstylist’s basement salon a shrine to Elvis Presley

Movie poster for the 1963 film ‘Fun in Acapulco,’ in which Elvis plays a lifeguard and entertainer. Image courtesy LiveAuctionees and Clars Auction Gallery

KNOXVILLE, Ill. (AP) – Jackie Wagher has a man cave. Better yet, call it a fan cave.

The man’s name is Elvis. As in, Elvis Presley. And Wagher is one of the King’s biggest fans.

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General store owner hangs up his apron after 30 years

Teago General Store in South Pomfret, Vermont. Photo by Robert Sutherland. Used with permission from

POMFRET, Vt. (AP) – A week after signing the store away, Chuck Gundersen sat in his blue apron at the butcher block near the dry goods shelves, describing how others viewed him during his 30-year tenure as proprietor of the Teago General Store.

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