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Barry Schrader


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.


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Seeing double: Military convoy passes by us twice

By Barry Schrader.................................July 21, 2009

We took our annual trek to California this month and did a double take.
First, back on June 20 we watched some 80 historical vehicles from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association parade down Lincoln Highway through DeKalb as part of the 90th anniversary observance of the first convoy that used the newly-built cross-continent highway from Washington, DC to San Francisco, California. Then on Wednesday, July 8 I stood along the original Lincoln Highway route in Livermore, California with 50 other spectators as the same convoy passed by on its way to San Francisco. The next day they ended their journey with a ceremony in the “City by the Bay” and a proclamation issued to them by the Lincoln Highway Association.
The event had special meaning for me because in 1980 I served as president of the Livermore (CA) Heritage Guild and our main project that year was restoring and repainting the front of the old Lincoln Highway Garage that had been built just prior to the 1919 convoy’s trip and stood witness yet this day to another convoy passing by its front door. The garage is now sort of a vehicle museum, used by the Lincoln Highway Association Sacramento area chapter for an annual outing, and contains three vintage city fire trucks, a Historymobile that is a converted RV turned into a museum on wheels, and lots of local memorabilia from days gone by in the Livermore area.

Lincoln Highway Garage still stands in Livermore, California along the route of the military convoy re-enactment

This General's staff car made it all the way across country but Dwight D. Eisenhower only made the trip in 1919

If you would like to view photos of the convoy as it passed through Livermore, go online to www.eLivermore.com and enjoy the slide show produced by a friend Bill Nale.
Of course this procession was only a small part of a very busy vacation. I did my usual stint as resident printer for the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, CA. using an 1888 Gordon hand-operated treadle press where I have demonstrated antique letterpress printing for 21 years now. That way I get to see the fair goers who amble through the Early Americana building and greet many old friends each year. Then Kay and I made our annual pilgrimage to Yosemite National Park where we have visited for 34 of the last 40 years each June. One never tires of witnessing nature in all its splendor in the form of giant redwoods, awe-inspiring waterfalls, and granite cliffs that shoot up thousands of feet from the valley floor.
We also managed a quick trip down to the Los Angeles suburb of North Hollywood to visit an elderly relative, but made sure we were out of there before the Michael Jackson funeral spectacle.
Now back home, I got my first chance to visit the new DeKalb Clinic building out in the hinterlands between Sycamore and DeKalb. Not only is it much larger and brighter than the Franklin Street location, but the layout is pleasing to the eye, so you don’t flinch quite as much when getting that “injection” or other lab tests. I was equally impressed with the lobby coffee shop where they only charge a dollar for the coffee flavor of your choice, plus a second cup free. Of course those of us with caffeine sensitivity had better pass on that second fillup.
But I must also offer a couple of itty-bitty complaints—first off, someone allowed the doctors to bring along their year-old, dog-eared magazines into the brand spanking new waiting rooms. Secondly, as you exit the parking lot onto the street, directly across from you is a pond with no guard railing. So if you happen to pass out at the wheel from an “injection reaction” and your car accelerates across the road into the pond, there might be an extra charge for towing….

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Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115