done a terrific job after he inherited the baton from
his mentor the late Dee Palmer. I am always touched by his display
of respect for Dee when he stops during the last song each Tuesday
and salutes the statue that stands beside the bandshell.
Note to readers: Barry Schraders DeKalb
County Life column will appear every other Tuesday.
Summer is supposed to be the lazy season, smelling the
roses, sitting on the porch, watching the sun set over a field
of corn; but it wasnt to be for me this year.
Coming home just before July 4th from our trip out west
we immediately got into the Independence Day spirit, taking part
in the Kirkland parade riding the Ney Grange float. Then rushing
back to Genoa to help dismantle the float, I got to meet an Officer
Joe Chavez from the Genoa Police Department who handed me a $120
speeding ticket, which was deserved I must admit.
Then we resumed our tradition of attending the weekly Hopkins
Park municipal band concerts, now in their 160th season. Director
Kirk Lundbeck has
DeKalb Municipal Band Director Kirk Lundbeck pauses
during each Tuesday concert to pay tribute to his predecessor
the late Dee Palmer with a brief salute
(Photo by Barry Schrader)
On July 12 at the Chief Shabbona Forest Preserve a ceremony
to rededicate the historical marker to the Chief attracted a
sizable crowd thanks to the efforts of Terry Hannan and Denny
Sands. The lengthy text on the marker makes it more informative
than many small bronze plaques that dont explain the significance
of each historic spot. Next we enjoyed the Glidden Homestead
open house and a talk on antique tools by Roger Watson. Following
that was the Drum & Bugle Corps competition at Bob Brigham
Field. My favorite corps, the Concord, Calif. Blue Devils, took
first. We lived just 30 miles from that town for many years and
relished the opportunity to see them perform.
On July 16 we got to hear Genoa 7th grader Hunter Swanson
tell about his Regional History Fair display on the 1835 Miller-Ellwood
log cabin which earned him a Superior rating at NIUand a trip
to the state competition in Springfield. His exhibit will be
at the upcoming Steam Power Show later this month.
Soon after that was the Waterman Tractor Show where I always
meet old grade school classmates and spend time chatting with
friends like Craig Rice and Leonard Johnson. I had to leave early
for another event so missed the tractor parade announced this
year by Max Armstrong and DeKalb County Farm Bureau president
Mark Tuttle. I learned later that Mark Poss of Big Rock won the
Presidents Trophy with his 1932 Farmall F30 and 88-year-old
Ralph Johnson of Waterman took the Announcers Choice award
riding his 1939 John Deere H. Ill explain more about the
Waterman Library book sale there at end of this column.
The same day I headed up to Genoa for the 85th anniversary
picnic of the Ney Grange and then over to the Kingston Picnic
where the exciting cardboard boat race on the Kish is a big hit.
Everybody loves to see people capsize or sink in shallow water
so no one gets hurt, just a little wet.
Three sad events this month were the funeral of a distant
cousin Wayne Stryker down in Lee, a memorial gathering for my
Genoa classmate Linda Holder Williams, and a memorial service
for an Oak Crest friend Gordon Bird, longtime NIU bands director,
held on what would have been his hundredth birthday. Something
really special at Gordons service was a trumpet quartet
made up of Mark Baldwin, Garth Anderson, Michel Swope and Brian
Balika playing an arrangement written by the late Oscar Haugland,
also an NIU Music Department faculty member.
Then there were two area library groundbreakings, one in
Genoa led by Library Director Jen Barton, which I missed, and
one in DeKalb where Dee Coover was ecstatic to finally see her
dream of a major expansion become a reality.
Getting back to the Waterman library sale: I found a coffee
table book by renowned photographer Pete Souza who was Ronald
Reagans White House photographer and is now serving in
the same capacity for President Obama. I paid 50 cents for it,
then later showed it to Richard McKay who was visiting from Washington,
DC to take part in his father-in-law Gordon Birds memorial.
He offered to take it to the West Wing where he works with Souza
and get it autographed for me. Now that really made my day.
So I am looking forward to this month when I can just sit
in my rocker and watch the corn grow, and grow. Fat chance!