Our local psychic claim-to-fame Irene Hughes, who also enjoys worldwide acclaim, loves to tell the story of her big prediction about the Blizzard of 1967.
Even though she was the one who warned so many others with her premonition of record snowfall, she failed to heed her own advice, and ironically, says she got stuck snowbound with none-other than Chicago weatherman Harry Volkman.
"I knew it was coming, but got so busy with my own business matters and appointments, I didn't get out in time," Irene told me.
As I wrote last month, Irene, 92, who went from being a Chicago Heights housewife to Crete's claim-to-fame, lost her beloved husband of more than 66 years: Bill.
The couple have four children: William III, Karen, Patty and Kathleen.
After I wrote the mention in my column, I've been bombarded by calls and emails of readers and Irene's long-time clients asking about her predictions and if she will still do readings.
While Bill had long served as Irene's business manager, the couple's daughter Patty is now helping fill this role. For many years previously, Patty had served as her mother's personal secretary.
Irene is now semi-retired and has her secure residence at Beecher Manor, in Beecher, Ill.
According to Patty, Irene still does some readings by appointments, but on a limited basis. She even has a special telephone that allows her to receive calls, but there is no answering service.
Here's what Patty told me to advise those who have inquired:
"My Mom can give some readings, and usually the window between 1-3 p.m. in the afternoon is best," Patty said.
"For these telephone appointments, we just ask that they are arranged by mail first, and only by money order only, made out to Irene for her $50 fee."
The mailing address is:
1201 Dixie Hwy.
Room 408 B
Beecher, Ill. 60401
Patty said after mailing in payment, "appointments can then be followed up in about a week by calling Irene at (708) 946-9920."
"As long as she has received the payment, she then gives the reading," Patty said.
"For anyone wishing a reading in person, they can call the same number at (708) 946-9920 and make the appointment or try for a 'walk-in,' and if she is available, she will do it. She charges $50 cash for in person visits for these 20-minute readings."
In 2009, Irene finally published her autobiography called "Memoirs of a Psychic and Astrologer" ($12.95), taking readers to Irene's past and her Native American gift of prophecy - starting with her first psychic experience as a child in rural Tennessee and continuing through decades of amazingly accurate predictions about natural disasters, terrorism, economy and stock market, and death of political leaders.
The book was compiled and edited with help from Northwestern University professor Charles Loebbaka.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (219) 852-4327.