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Barry Schrader


I have been writing a column for the Chronicle most of the time since December 2007, with two breaks, one in 2016 and the other in 2017 when my wife Kay suffered a stroke. They are all archived here.


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

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Do something different before summer ends

By Barry Schrader Senior Columnist....................................July 19, 2019

The real summer (heat) has arrived.

On Monday they served hush puppies in our retirement center dining room and I could almost hear them barking. … The dog days of summer are here.

But only a month away is the start of school, and if you blink twice Labor Day weekend will be upon us. Then the last vestige of the season in DeKalb County is the Sandwich Fair, always the weekend after Labor Day.

Too often we procrastinate over what to do or where to go in the “lazy, hazy days of summer.” So sit right down and write yourself a letter: This is where I (we) would like to go and what I (we) want to do sometime before the end of summer.

Enjoy fishing on the lake at sunset. (Schrader photo for ShawMedia)

Wouldn’t it be fun to draw a circle on an old-style paper map about 100 miles around and see what you can find there to explore?

Have you ever been to the train museum at Union, the Platen Press Printing Museum at Zion (call 847-731-1945 for an appointment), or the fantastic Historic Auto Museum in Roscoe? Closer to home there are museums all around us. Just go online to dekalbcountyhistory.org to find a list.

If you like being outdoors, then consider these: fishing or a boat ride on Lake Shabbona, a dinner cruise on the Rock River near Oregon (Maxson Manor), all kinds of places to visit at Galena or a little farther to Wisconsin Dells (which may require an overnight stay), nearby state parks such as White Pines and Starved Rock, or even our county forest preserves, including the 1835 Miller log cabin between Genoa and Kingston (call 815-895-7191 for access hours).

You might prefer special events such as the Kishwaukee Fest on July 24 to 29, DeKalb Corn Fest, Waterman Summerfest, Antique Tractor and Truck Show and Soybean Adventure (this Saturday only), Hopkins Park band concerts, Ellwood House Music on the Porch, weekly famers markets, or the Sycamore Park summer concerts.

July 27 is Sycamore Cruise Night, then July 28 is the Turning Back Time Car Show. In August you can go to the Northern Illinois Steam Power Show off Plank Road north of Sycamore Aug. 8 to 11, or take the south county Barn Tour with the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association Aug. 10.

I apologize to the various Chambers of Commerce and special events coordinators for not mentioning all the other attractions available around the county, but they are too numerous to list here. Watch the calendar and articles in upcoming Daily Chronicles and The MidWeek for more complete information.

I hope to see you out and about during “dog daze.” Kay and I will be volunteering at the Soybean Adventure tent Saturday in Waterman, plus watching Max Armstrong and Mark Tuttle announce the noon tractor parade.

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Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115