I still remember when Mr. Benny returned to Chicago to dedicate the Jack Benny Middle School in Waukegan, IL (I've met at least 3 people who claim to have graduated from 'Benny School'). The town of Waukegan (not as funny sounding as Cucamonga) rolled out their best red carpet for the event. To this day I don't think anything more exciting ever happened in Waukegan since!
I was astonished to learn recently that Jack Benny visited Fort Collins three years after the school dedication and there is actually some sort of proof that he was indeed here in town.
As you can see from the picture, the plaque clearly says 'Jack Benny' and there is something that looks like a hand print. The hand print is somewhat of a mystery according to Lost Fort Collins
. Maybe the cement got screwed up and it's really some truck driver's hand immortalized in the sidewalk in FoCo. I don't know. To me the mystery is:
WHY IN FRONT OF A BANK?
Jack Benny, the entertainer, could have made his mark in old town center or in front of the Arts building or even any civic building, but no! He chose a bank. Is it possible that that miserly Benny had a secret vault in the basement of the bank building? Could there be stacks of silver certificates and gold bullion stored right in the middle of town?
It may be that one of Joseph (Ed) Kearns' relatives worked at the bank and made arrangements to have a section of the abandoned Fort Collins subway tunnel that was built in 1904 to be sealed off and fortified to Benny's personal specifications! This makes perfect sense because:
1) There is no known record of any of Joseph Kearns' relatives ever living in the Fort Collins area.
2) The idea of a 1904 subway in Fort Collins has been exposed as a hoax by 9 out of 10 FoCo historians.
3) If you ask anyone in the building, they will deny any notion of a vault in the basement.
…of course this is exactly what Jack Benny would want you to think!
Geraldo Rivera: Are you listening?