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Barry Schrader


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

The Articles started December 2007.


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Wilbur Bastian will be remembered in film

By Barry Schrader Senior Columnist...................April 2, 2013

Note to readers: Barry Schrader’s “DeKalb County Life” column will appear on the first Tuesday of each month.

When we returned to our roots here in 2006 we met a couple from Hinckley who knew my parents and we had lunch. Wilbur Bastian and wife Jane were very hospitable and took us to the Hinckley Café. It was then that Wilbur told me he was a milk tester in the 1930s and 40s and visited my folks on the dairy farm south of Waterman known as KirkLand (named after the owners Harry and Beebe Kirk).
He recalled staying at the farm overnight, how good my mother’s cooking was and how my father used to give me rides atop the milk cart when I was just a tyke. I found a photo in our family album that confirmed his recollection. So we had good times reminiscing about mutual acquaintances and life on the farm back then and became fast friends.

Jane and Wilbur Bastian pose with movie star Dennis Quaid, in center, during the filming of “At Any Price” on the two Kevin Herrmann farms in the summer of 2011. (Provided photo)

But then Wilbur died in March 2012 and we lost a friend. Wilbur and Jane had moved to the Oak Crest retirement complex by then so I got to visit him during his final weeks. He was thrilled to have been chosen to be in a motion picture in 2011 being filmed in DeKalb County starring Dennis Quaid and Zac Effron. I promised him I would write about that when the movie was to be released.
The movie will be released later this month with the title “At Any Price” and his wife Jane and family have already seen it. The movie was previewed at a film festival in Toronto, Canada last September and they went to the preview and once again reunited with Quaid and Effron. Then in March of this year the movie was aired at a film festival in Austin Texas and Jane’s granddaughters who attend the University of Texas went there as well.
Sorry to say that Wilbur’s speaking part was left on the cutting room floor but he does appear twice in the movie, once on the Kevin Herrmann farm near Leland, and close to the conclusion at a farm appreciation picnic on another Herrmann farm on Bastian Road near Hinckley. Jane is hopeful that the director Ramin Bahrini will permit a special showing at a theater in DeKalb County and that is being pursued with the film’s promoters at this time.
People will be able to identify friends who are extras and various parts of the county in the movie, including the Sycamore Speedway near Maple Park, a Shabbona cemetery, a church, and some businesses in DeKalb. But no one will be more thrilled to see it than Jane and her family, and Wilbur will be remembered for a long time, both on film and from his 90 years of real life. I can’t wait to see it.

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Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115