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Barry Schrader


I wrote a column for the DeKalb Daily Chronicle for 8 years starting in December 2007 and running until November 2015. Then I returned to column writing in August 2016, all of them archived here.


If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates to catch up.

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Atheists, forgers and divorced people

By Barry Schrader Senior Columnist...................Jan. 12, 2017

I should have heeded the old maxim: Never discuss politics or religion in a column or over dinner in a public place.

My first column of 2017 got some negative feedback from two readers. Unthinkingly, I had lumped forgers, thrice-married people and atheists all in one sentence as not desirable.

I won’t apologize to the forgers, but atheists and people who marry and divorce more than once don’t deserve my criticism.

One letter writer, who is an atheist, explained that I must not know any, and that they are not “bad, ashamed or vile.” She didn’t need to tell me. I had lunch with a young family friend Friday who mentioned she is an atheist, but did not comment on my column or any hurt that it may have caused. For her graciousness, I am thankful. And to those offended, I apologize.

The columnist likes getting letters, but some mail is unsolicited. For example, this pile came during the recent political campaign, all of it now in the landfill.
I have written about people of all religions and sexual preferences in the past, but not in an offensive manner. Except once, when I upset the LGBT community in the California city where we lived. My flippant remark not only upset some readers, but I learned the hard way that a close colleague in our newsroom was a lesbian, and it took a long time for us to become friends again.

More recently, I avoided commenting on the “deplorables,” as candidate Hillary Clinton characterized half the Donald Trump supporters. Sadly, I still receive Obama-bashing emails forwarded from who knows where, and the anti-Trump hate mail is flowing to my inbox even before he takes office.

Now I want to mention something on the lighter side. A letter was forwarded to me from a circuit court judge in the 60th Judicial District in Indiana last week. He had written the NIU campus newspaper as an alumnus from the 1960s, commenting he had recently come across a copy of the alumni publication, “Telescope.” He noted that the publication “contains a photograph of Barry Schrader. ... While Barry probably didn’t know me, everybody on campus knew Barry. It was rumored that if you had a cause that needed support, you could go to Barry; and if he agreed with your cause, he would support it.”

That was all well and good, but then he continued: “On the other hand, if you needed a cause to support but didn’t have one, Barry had a whole pocketful of causes from which you were welcome to choose. Barry may take issue with that rumor, but I suspect there is more than a kernel of truth here.” It was signed The Hon. David T. Ready.

I am befuddled why someone who has been out of college 55 years and hardly knew me could say such a thing about a fellow Huskie. I am trying to figure out who put him up to it, or whether it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.

I guess it could have had a “kernel of truth” to it, but only way back then ...

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Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115