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
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Waterman tractor show like a reunion
By Barry Schrader Senior Columnist...................July 31, 2012
Even though Waterman has a reunion for all its high school
alumni each June, I found more hometown folks at the Summerfest/Antique
Tractor & Truck Show on July 21.
Spending a few hours wandering around the park, I got to talk
with some of the Waterman Lions who sponsor the show, as well
as see a lot of beautifully restored tractors, trucks and small
engines. I was told they had 135 vehicles on display this year,
up from 118 in 2011.
Lions President Steve Bock was upbeat about the show, even though
he has had a tough year at Honey Hill Orchard, losing about half
of the apple crop because of a late freeze and having to fight
the drought with lots of water for his trees, pumpkins
Indian Creek Future Farmers of America members Cody Suddeth
(left) and Brad Gustello display some of their animals at the
Waterman Summerfest petting zoo. (Barry Schrader photo)
and raspberries. He did say the bees like the dry weather so
the honey should be plentiful by fall.Likewise, Terry Tuntland
of the Waterman Winery told me his grapes do well in heat and
dryness because it stresses them, creating a better product.
Leonard Johnson and I sat listening to the young vocalist Mallory
Jean Wilson of Serena, a high school senior with lots of talent.
Leonard predicts she will reach the big time in the country,
pop and gospel field if she keeps at it. He added that she even
writes some of her own music.
The Fruit family from Kirkland was conducting the mini-tractor
pull for kids for ages 4 to 14, and Nicole Fruit explained the
rules to me. I recalled talking to her husbands father,
Wayne, at the Sycamore Steam Power Show last year about their
steam shovel that is a popular attraction there.
After a brief chat with Craig Rice, a fellow journalist from
the past, I ran across an old Waterman Grade School classmate,
Paul Dolder. He reminded me that he and his wife, Carol, had
operated Dolder Electric Supply from 1970 to 1977, buying the
business from the late Carl Larsen. The building now houses a
candle business next to Casey's on Route 30.
Paul and I also talked about our third-grade teacher, Bernice
Kirkus, who lives in the Oak Crest Health Center in DeKalb. I
believe she is the only teacher still alive today who taught
all the Waterman kids from the 1940s through the '60s.
My last stop was at the petting zoo, where the Indian Creek Future
Farmers of America members were showing their animals. Two of
the FFA members, Cody Suddeth and Brad Gustello, posed for a
photo with their projects, purebred Hampshire pigs and Dutch
and dwarf hotot rabbits.
Truck show and parade awards included Ben Anderson of Waterman
with his 1954 Allis-Chalmers WD-45 Peoples Choice;
Ken Perrin of Princeton and his Huber Super 4 Presidents
Choice; Jim Quinn of Clare with his 1958 IH Cub Speakers
Choice; Curtis Larson of Hinckley and his cutter sleigh
Oldest Entry Award; Harry Schoger of Big Rock with his 1921 Olds
truck and Jim Gavin of Somonauk and his 1929 Ford AA truck
Most Unusual or Unique awards.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
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PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115