For You Dick Tracy Fans – The Gravel Gertie State Park Idea

Speaking of the old Crystal Lake Dump, as I do in the post below, I once had a phone conversation with Dick Tracy cartoonist Chester Gould about Gravel Gertie. It was when I was state representative in the late 1970’s.

I had this wild idea that a non-traditional state park could be cobbled together from the gravel pits that lie between Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin and Cary. Maybe 4,000 to 5,000 contiguous acres might be possible, although there would have to be tunnels under some roads.

Mr. Gould told me he was driving along Virginia Street Road—in the 1940’s—when he got the idea for Gravel Gertie and B.O. Plenty. Neither were handsome, to put it mildly. They owned a gravel pit.

B.O. Plenty is described by as “a seedy, bewhiskered and smelly smalltime crook,” who was a friend of Dick Tracy. “B.O.’s cussing, spitting and toacco chewing endear him to the eccentric Gravel Gertie,” the source continues, and they were married in 1946. They had a daughter Sparkle Plenty.

My vision was to get the state to buy the property and convert it to untraditional parkland. I figured the alternative was that it would be covered with apartments or industry, both of which would make the traffic congestion worse.

Why a non-traditional park?

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