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
to catch up.
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Who would be your hero?
By Barry Schrader.................................September
Ask people who their hero is and the answer usually depends
on their age bracket. In the old days children used
to say Roy Rogers, Dale Evans or maybe even my dad.
Now they may answer with the name of a fictitious action hero
from the movies, or sometimes an older brother who is serving
in Iraq or Afghanistan..
I wonder how many kids
today would answer those killed on 9/11, a soldier
they know who is serving overseas, a major league sports figure,
American Airlines Capt. Sully Sullenberger, or even
It was seven years ago when Ken
Dubler and members of the Three Fires Council of Scouting decided
to initiate a recognition event for local heroes
in DeKalb County. Among the seven honorees that first year were
two posthumous awards, for 1st Lt. Brian Slavenas from Genoa,
a chopper pilot who was killed fighting in Iraq, and state Rep.
David Wirsing, who happens to be my wifes brother. So I
heard early on about this program and have been fortunate to
attend the ceremony each year since we moved back to DeKalb County
Scouting has always held a warm
spot in my heart, ever since the days when my buddy Dave Guse
and I joined Boy Scouts under troop leaders Earl Timmie
Frank, Sam Paterson and Phil Johnson in Genoa.We reminisce about
the good times up at Camp Rotary MacQueen near Kirkland where
we camped each summer, working in the mess hall for the camps
cook Ma Anderson.
My photo shown here of dusty jugs found in the Alameda
County Fair Early Americana building took a blue ribbon at the
Sandwich Fair in the Still Life category. The photo of the fallen corn dog found on the steps
of the grandstands at the Alameda County Fair did not place in
the Novelty category.
Dave went a lot farther than me up the ranks, all the way
to Life Scout, but after moving to California as an adult I had
a chance to become a District Chairman in the San Francisco Bay
Area Council and was even inducted into the Order of the Arrow,
a real honor, and I still possess my OA sash.
I commend the local council for coming up with this unique way
of recognizing adults who have spent their lives doing good deeds
for others and often with no recognition or fanfare until
they are singled out in this Tribute to Heroes. Three Fires Council
senior district executive Mary Beth Wilfong pointed out to me
recently that the Boy Scout movement turns 100 next year so we
can expect a surge in cubbing, scouting and venturing around
This seventh annual countywide awards
event coming up Oct. 1 at Kishwaukee College will highlight the
lives and good deeds of four (actually five, as one honoree is
a couple) local folks who have given a sizable part of their
lives helping others.
A couple of teasers
one woman taught at the Love one-room school at Barber Greene
and Sycamore roads; another was a Girl Scout and Campfire Girl
before becoming a nurse. One man at age 11 showed his first steer
at the Sandwich Fair and won the Grand Champion title. The couple
have raised some 37 foster children over the years and the husband
carries a badge and gun to work. Maybe you can already match
them using the teasers above. Their last names are Larsen, Johnson,
Scott and Stahl.
Each honoree will receive a special
U.S. flag that has been flown at the four corners of DeKalb County
and also over the courthouse. And I shouldnt forget to
mention that the appetizers and desserts will be catered by Nats
Whether they be role models or real
heroes, we can be thankful that the next generation will have
someone to emulate.
By the way: Last column I
mentioned entering some things in the Sandwich Fair. Well by
golly, one photo captured a ribbon in the Still Life category
so I will post it on my Web page for all who care to see. It
will also be a part of the photography exhibition at Oak Fest
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115