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The Current
Barry Schrader

The three valley papers welcomed back a former editor to their pages, when Barry Schrader began writing weekly columns entitled "Do You Remember?" and "Looking Back?" about historic events, places and people in the Tri-Valley's past.

Schrader served as editor of the Tri-Valley Herald from 1967-1969, then left California for his home state of Illinois. He returned to California to serve as editor of the Valley Times during 1972-73, and next became editor of the Herald again from late 1973-1980. After that to he pursued a career in public relations at Sandia National Labs/California and more recently at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He retired recently as oral historian and an archives specialist for LLNL.

During his tenure at the Times and Herald he wrote a weekly column about local people and events, so said he welcomed the opportunity to return to his first love-writing, after these many years.
His interest in history was first kindled during high school when he was hired to scour the back issues of his hometown weekly and prepare a collection of news from 25 and 50 years ago, turning it into a column called "Looking Back." Then in 1991 he wrote a book on Livermore historical trivia entitled "Will the Last Person Leaving Livermore Please Unscrew the Bulb in Fire Station One.

Throughout his life, Schrader has been active in historical groups. He was a co-founder of the DeKalb County (Ill.) Historical Society, the Livermore Heritage Guild, and charter member of the Dublin Historic Preservation Association. He also holds memberships in the Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society, the California Historical Society, the Oral History Association, the American Printing History Association, and The Fossils, an Ohio-based organization that preserves the history of journalism in the US.

Schrader claims to have more "historical stuff" stored in his home than a small museum, "although not as neatly displayed and not catalogued…." He relied on those files dating back nearly 40 years in the valley for some of his column topics. He and his wife Kay recently moved back to Illinois, but lived in the Tri-Valley most of the time since 1967, except for a four year return to their home state of Illinois, and have two grown sons-Darrin, a Congressional aide in Washington, DC, and Todd who now lives and works in DeKalb, Illinois.

"I was born as a child .." -Bill Cosby


Photo Gallery

(Please click to enlarge)

While most teenagers were idolizing Elvis Presly and Marilyn Monroe, Barry found his heroes in the political arena. Here he meets with his Illinois Senator Ev Dirksen in 1960.
Barry is shown at a young age when he first served as editor of the Herald from 1967-69. Note the typing machine in front of him--not even an electric one.

Barry worked on the 1980 Presidential campaign for Independent John B. Anderson, greeting him here during a campaign swing through the East Bay. Congressman Anderson knew Barry in Illinois since his weekly newspaper was in Anderson's district near Rockford, Ill.
While serving as president of the Livermore Heritage Guild, Barry
invited former world champion cowboy Johnie Schneider to speak at their annual meeting. Johnie had been a Livermore cowboy when he won the world title, then the Hawaii and Australian titles as well.

Barry can be found at the Alameda County Fair most summers showing fairgoers how to print money on an antique handplaten letterpress. So far the Feds haven't found out about his unusual hobby....

Barry is shown in his signature straw hat during the filming of Livermore--The Documentary which went nationwide on PBS television. Barry was one of five or six "local eccentrics" featured in the film about the lost time capsule and the famous light bulb.
Barry volunteered during the Arnold Schwarzenegger Gubernatorial campaign in 2003, meeting Arnold several times while he served as campaign photographer at area events. Here Arnold gives him the thumbs-up at a Blackhawk Auto Museum fundraiser which Barry covered.

Barry welcomed back to Illinois in 2007 by his local congressman Dennis Hastert

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The columnist can be reached by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 851
DeKalb, Ill 60115