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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Unfinished business left for 2011
By Barry Schrader.................................January
In the year-end issue of The MidWeek, Editor Bill Braksick
quoted me accurately as saying, Ive barely scratched
the surface. Im still looking for the greatest story out
of DeKalb County to ever unfold. Im sure its out
The quote reminds me of
stories not yet written that need readers help or a little
more research on my part. I am fascinated by the not-so-ordinary
and the unsung heroes in our midst.
I made a new
friend recently in Don Schoo, the World War II Army hero who
has so much to share, and I intend to make him a priority for
an oral history taping in 2011. There are other tapings that
didnt get done in 2010, and now its time to make
those appointments and follow through. So, for starters, Al Golden,
Joan Hardekopf and Ron Klein are on notice I will be calling
The former coffee business at Second Street and Lincoln Highway
in DeKalb in 2006 during the Corn Boil, but its history remains
a mystery. (Barry Schrader photo)
There is the mystery of the history of the coffee shack and popcorn
stand at the corner of Lincoln Highway and North Second Street
in DeKalb I have not yet researched. When I first returned to
Illinois in 2006, I photographed the little business but neglected
to ask the names of the two men in the photo. Will some reader
be able to fill in the blanks?
It is always rewarding
to find people from the past who moved on and for years remained
out of reach. I found a couple of them and hope to interview
them in this new year.
One is the former pastor
for the Wesley Foundation at Northern Illinois University, whose
name is Ron Russell. Another one is Brent Musburger, who began
his journalism career at the Daily Chronicle way back in the
1960s and is now a household name to many sports fans.
at a book signing what was my favorite column topic over the
past three years, I didnt hesitate to exclaim Old
Charley the heroic horse from the Civil War. That story
came from a tip by my good friend Ivan Williams, and it took
me more than a year to pursue it. Now I hope some historical
group will replace the faded plaque at the Wesson farm south
of Waterman so more generations of Civil War buffs can pay homage
to Old Charley.
By the way, this year is the 150th
anniversary of the start of the Civil War and there is a group
of historians from Lee collecting the history of all the Civil
War veterans from around the state. Maybe that will be published
in the coming year. Another major historical work on the life
of Abraham Lincoln and those from Illinois who were his greatest
influences is being written by author Bruce Ladd, an NIU alum
and former Northern Star staffer. I look forward to reading that
tome when it is finally released.
So I have all
my New Years resolutions on my desktop and wont need
to look for things to keep me occupied in the coming months.
Oh, I forgot to mention a resolution left over
from last year and the year before: Losing weight. Well, theres
always next year.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115