After my column about the DeKalb City Clerk flap two weeks ago, I received mostly negative feedback for “trivializing a serious issue” and also was told that “one must be sure to announce that humor is involved, unless it is so outrageous that no sane person could construe it as a valid message.” I may have missed the mark last time, but my bruised ego compels me to take another crack at it. About three dozen people on social media castigated the DeKalb mayor, the city manager and even mentioned me for handling this poorly. Then about a dozen of them showed up to picket City Hall on Aug. 9 to express their opinions. The city fathers (and mothers) have gone to great lengths in exhaustive detail to explain to the citizenry why we need to change the system and appoint a city clerk. It is more than a little ridiculous that we have gone through seven clerks in the past decade, including a waitress, a supermarket worker and now a blogger. Before the last election, I … [Read more...] about Schrader: Aflred E. Newman for DeKalb City Clerk?
The real summer (heat) has arrived. But only a month away is the start of school, and if you blink twice Labor Day weekend will be upon us. Then the last vestige of the season in DeKalb County is the Sandwich Fair, always the weekend after Labor Day. Too often we procrastinate over what to do or where to go in the “lazy, hazy days of summer.” So sit right down and write yourself a letter: This is where I (we) would like to go and what I (we) want to do sometime before the end of summer. Wouldn’t it be fun to draw a circle on an old-style paper map about 100 miles around and see what you can find there to explore? Have you ever been to the train museum at Union, the letterpress printing museum at Zion (call 847-731-1945 for an appointment), or the fantastic Historic Auto Museum in Roscoe? Closer to home there are museums all around us. Just go online to dekalbcountyhistory.org to find a list. If you like being outdoors, then consider these: fishing or a boat ride on … [Read more...] about Schrader: Do something different this summer
You could say that DeKalb author Sally Walker is a prolific writer. She has produced close to 60 titles since she began writing children’s books in 1990. Written for different levels, they range from kindergarten through high school and even attract adults. Being released this month, her book “Deadly Aim – The Civil War Story of Michigan’s Anishinaabe Sharpshooters” is definitely one that can be enjoyed by everyone, but her intended audience is younger readers. Her latest effort took years of research, while some of her simpler subjects only took two months. This never-before-told story about Native American sharpshooters recruited by the Army of the Potomac follows their movements through major battles and details how one chief managed to shoot 30 rebel soldiers while being gravely wounded himself. Their group was an alliance of Odawa, Ojibwe and Potawatomi tribal members. Walker also shared that they had been subjected to broken treaties, loss of tribal … [Read more...] about Schrader: The most prolific author I have ever met
Hank Joesten is one of the ‘Greatest Generation.’ On Monday, he and I sat at the same table for the annual Mayors’ Memorial Day Breakfast in DeKalb. Hank turned out to be the only World War II veteran in the room. Then we found out it was also his 97th birthday, so a song followed. Hank is a quiet, reserved man but stood tall and waved as he was being applauded. His generation’s numbers are dwindling, as World War II ended just short of 75 years ago, and if a young soldier went in at 18, like Hank did, he would be in his mid-to-late nineties now. Over the years, I have interviewed a number of veterans about their upbringing, their war experiences and their life after discharge. Like many other boys, Hank was raised on a farm, this one outside Mount Morris, Illinois. He and his brother were only a year apart and helped their dad farm, mostly with six big draft horses. Both brothers were drafted. Hank was assigned to the G-2 Intelligence section of the 69th … [Read more...] about Schrader: Another story about one of the ‘Greatest Generation’
DeKalb County has needed a countywide history center for decades, and the dream finally became a reality with the opening of the new $1.5 million, 7,600-square-foot complex last weekend. More than 300 people attended the donors’ night preview and then the grand opening Saturday. “There is so much to see you can’t possibly do it in an hour,” said Michelle Donahoe, executive director and the driving force behind the project. She and County Historian Sue Breese, who heads the Joiner History Room that also relocated there, have spent countless hours over many months pulling this all together and the result is a dream come true. With so many small museums and local historical attractions disappearing because of economic reasons or lack of support, building this new center is a real boost for DeKalb County. Meshing the local history component with the Smithsonian traveling exhibit “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” provides the depth to the history of … [Read more...] about Schrader: New DeKalb County History Center is dream come true