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Barry Schrader
Columnist

 

I currently write a column each Tuesday for the DeKalb Daily Chronicle. The column will also appear on this website each week and be added to the archives.

The Articles started December 2007.

 

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

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Some resolutions worth pursuing

By Barry Schrader Senior Columnist...................December 17, 2012

Our pastor recently asked the congregation how many people made resolutions for the new year. Only a smattering of hands went up, including mine.
Three years ago, I tried to write a column about annual resolutions people thought about but never made, but the effort flopped miserably.


So I thought why not make three resolutions for 2012 publicly so people could encourage me, discourage me or forget about them (like most of us do in six weeks or so).
First on my list is health and accepting Gov. Pat Quinn’s challenge to walk 167 miles, or the width of the state, during the year as part of a fitness regimen. I have invited a friend to join me in a regular hike through the empty halls of a retirement complex before the rooster crows, so we will see what happens to this effort.

Barry Schrader (right) and the TransVac mechanic recently inspected this 36-foot-long recreational vehicle (Ford V10 chassis and a National RV Tropi-Cal motorhome) for sale in the DeKalb area that could be converted into a museum on wheels. (Clegg photo)


Second, I would like to find the residents of Oak Crest DeKalb Area Retirement Center a companion dog, much like those now inhabiting the corridors of Pine Acres Rehab & Living Center and the Alzheimer’s unit at the DeKalb County Rehab & Nursing Center. We had a taste of what a dog means to those in wheelchairs when the Rev. John Seraphine and his friend, Sandi Scott, brought a sheepdog and service dog as part of a program. I witnessed what a brief encounter with a friendly canine can do for someone’s spirits who doesn’thave much excitement in life. I believe this pet idea would work wonders with many elderly people in institutional situations.
Lastly is the big one, which I give a 50-50 chance of becoming a reality. Going back some 20 years when we lived in Livermore, Calif., I was heavily involved in local historical activities and helped form a new city historical society.

When I became president of that group I realized how few of the city’s 60,000 residents actually visited our museum or took our guided tours – maybe 15 percent and way too few young people. About the same time, I came across an old recreational vehicle that had been used by a school district for a mobile speech and hearing clinic. It was on the auction block and could be had for $2,500.
The board approved the purchase, concurring that a “museum on wheels” would enable the story of our heritage and the region’s history to be brought to every school in the district as well as to shopping centers and special celebrations.

We renovated it into a traveling exhibit. Two decades later, that community is just inaugurating its second “Historymobile” (a replacement) for use in conjunction with teaching local history in the schools, plus visiting retirement centers and reaching out to area wineries that dot the landscape around the Livermore Valley.

Five years after returning to our roots here, I brought up the possibility of a similar project to encompass all of DeKalb County. So far it has not met with a lot of enthusiasm, but I plan on finding a willing group to sponsor such a traveling exhibit – or mobile classroom, as I like to call it.

• Barry Schrader was editor of the Daily Chronicle from 1969-1972. He and his wife, Kay, are retired and live in DeKalb. He can be reached at barry815@sbcglobal.net or by mail at P.O. Box 851, DeKalb, IL 60115.

P.S. I have locked in on the perfect RV and found a non-profit sponsor, now all I need is the $18,000 !!!

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The columnist can be reached via email at :

barry815sbcglobal.net

or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115