You remember that scene in the movie, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” where the characters played by John Candy and Steve Martin end up in a motel bed together?
It took place at the former Braidwood Inn in Braidwood, a half hour northwest of Kankakee.
In the film, when the men wake up, Candy’s Del asks, “Why are you holding my hand?”
Martin’s Neal responds, “Where’s your other hand?”
“Between two pillows,” Del says.
“Those aren’t pillows,” Neal shouts.
The two men bolt out of bed screaming.
That was so bad it was funny. These days, things have taken a serious turn at the inn, where ownership changed some years ago.
A couple weeks ago, Braidwood police arrested the motel’s owner, Vinny Patel, and the manager, Kenny Patel. The inn, now called the Sun Motel, has become the home of prostitution and drug use, police say.
The owner was arrested on a charge of promoting prostitution, and the manager faces an aggravated battery charge for allegedly fondling a guest at the motel.
“We’ve addressed the opioid epidemic in an aggressive manner, and this situation at the motel was contributing to that problem,” Braidwood Police Department Chief Nick Ficarello told WGN.
Whatever happens at the motel, it will forever be connected to the 1987 film. The movie website, IMDb, rates “Planes” as the 24th greatest comedy of all time. It’s in my top five.
CSL AND RIVERSIDE
Our reporting on CSL Behring’s effort to get another traffic light on Route 50 triggered a Facebook discussion about which company is Kankakee County’s biggest employer.
One woman said, “Give it to (CSL). They will soon be the largest employer in the county if not already! They already pay the best.”
Another woman noted that Riverside Healthcare is the county’s biggest employer.
She is right. Riverside employs 3,015 people, CSL Behring 1,600, according to the 2019 “top employers” survey by the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County.
With its planned expansion, CSL Behring, an Australian pharmaceutical company, could double its workforce, thus becoming the county’s largest employer.