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Emails for February 2004

Agrees with Sen. Rutherford'stance

Dave... In reading the Rutherford piece on Downstate priorities, it reminded me of what ever happened to the days when a person could turn on the TV and not be exposed to off color remarks and filth. What ever happened to the days when funding for communities, including roads, hospitals, and other public services didn't take a back seat to gays and lesbians, to same sex marriages and the other sick legislation that seems to be passing in our so called "political correct" world. Where'd they go, those days of security and the feeling of well being? Those days when you could leave your house un-locked and go out, and have everything in the house as it was when you left? Or build a nice community park and not have it destroyed by vandals, as it was down here some months ago. I'm backing President Bush on his recent amendment to the Constitution in keeping marriage between a man and a woman a sacred event. It's the glue that holds the country together, along with the family. So where did these days go? They're slowly fading away in the wave of the new morality that isn't morality at all..just a trigger attached to a big gun that soon will explode and make people wonder what ever happened to those days when..? Sorry, folks, they're about gone...fading away and giving way to "a brave new world" of uncertainty. It's a comfort to know that you have a man like Mr. Rutherford who will defend some of these principals, and is not afraid to speak up. I wish we had more State Senators down here like him.

Best wishes...

Art Kettelhut
Round Rock, Texas

Senior meals and food pantry need space now

There are good reasons for the community to consider the south side building as a site for the Senior Meals and the Food Pantry. It's available now. It's large enough to accommodate both functions. It can be put into serviceable condition quickly. The meals program needs to get going now. Because the pantry lost its overflow storage space offsite, it desperately needs proper room now.

Leaders of the Millennium Committee have told me that they doubt they will be ready to begin construction on their building in two or three years. Nor are they willing, at this point, to commit adequate space in that building for the meals or the pantry whenever it is constructed. Given the vagueness of that situation, the south side building makes sense.

That is why the Meals board and the Pantry board have asked the city and the township to work toward making the south side site available. As a member of both boards, I appreciate their cooperation to date, and I urge citizens to support this worthy attempt.

Dan Gansch-Boythe

Cub Scouts looking for help

A group of us are raising funds to purchase a new aluminum Pinewood Derby Track for the Cubs Scouts. The price of the track including shipping and finish line is approximately $1600. This is a six lane track 42 feet long. The existing track is approximately 30 feet and is over 25 years old. A plaque will be made listing all that help with this project. If interested in helping please contact Ed Renken at 432-3044 or Todd Cremer at todd_cremer@smf-inc.com. The track can be seen at http://www.besttrack.com.

Thanks for your support
Cub Scout Pack 78

Cheap cokes at McKeon's Produce


Enjoyed the story on butchering chickens. You caught the experience pretty well, including the unique smell you get from burning off the pin feathers.

The thing that I remember about McKeon's store was that during the mid to late 1950's he had the only 5-cent coke machine that I knew about. (All of the machines at the gas stations were up to a dime by then.) The store was on 5th street, right on our way home from the Minonk grade school. He did quite a little business there in warm weather, selling the little 6 ounce cokes. The only rules were that you had to leave the bottle in a rack or pay a deposit of 2-cents on it.

Joe Vallow
Grafton, VA

Memories of raising chickens

This editorial describes the chicken rearing business in the 50s....we had 500 layers at home and Mom and Dad spent much time cleaning eggs in our basement. This flock's life cycle was 12 to 15 months and then they were replaced by the next generation of pullets that became hens. These Leghorn hens were fertilized by the correct ratio of Leghorn roosters so the the fertilized eggs could be sold to the Gardners Hatchery for the life cycle to continue. Those young roosters not needed for the "correct ratio" became Mrs. Schmidt's very tasty spring chicken....skillfullly fried, sometimes after residing in the back porch home freezer for several months before being consumed.

I worked at Gardner's Hatchery for several years on Saturdays and after school setting eggs for the incubators and helping to deliver chicken feed. During this period flocks of hens were cannibalizing one another and for a time we were hired to place little red spectacles onto chickens noses to keep them from seeing straight ahead which made their pecking at one another more difficult if not impossible. Susan Gardner, Dean Barth, Glenn Dunham and others were among several who worked part time at the hatchery during the hatching season...winter and early spring.

We also had baby chicks (about 24 to 36 hrs old) come to our farm's "brooder house" every early spring...these chicks were very delicate for the first month of their lives and were kept warm under a "brooder"....a tent like device that was made of sheet metal and held heat down on the floor of the brooder house. The brooder was about 4 X 8 feet in size and was electrically driven...if electricity went out due to bad weather then chicks would freeze if not provided alternate sources of heat...like taking them into the basement of the house. On one occasion high winds with sub-freezing temperatures caused drafts in the brooder house that "drove" the chicks out from under the brooder and into a corner where a number of them smothered.

Yes, this way of life is probably gone but the realities provided lessons that were long lasting.

Dave, thanks for the great write up and the memories that it created.

Gerry Schmidt

A successful birthday

Dave, This is a big thank you for helping get the word out about Dad's (Don Meils) birthday. It was such a success. He received many cards from all over Central Illinois and the Eastern US. I didn't know so many folks were connected by Minonk Talk. Thanks again.

Donaleen R. Ullman

German looking for info on Broers family

Dear Friend in Minonk,

While investigating who is filling my mailbox with scam-spam I came across your site and on the graveyard online listings of Minonk I was able to locate a number of my ancestors who have migrated to Illinois. I am not so much into genealogy but I am highly interested in the conditions of living the immigrants had to face. I have good records of the Broers folks that went to live in Illinois and I am quite willing to share authentic copies of documents dating back to 1723. I have always wanted to visit the area where some of my ancestors migrated to and I intend to do that fairly soon.


Harm-H. Broers


Link to Ostfriesland web page.

Nutrition Center building site questioned


Why would the city even consider purchasing the old south end restaurant for a food pantry? I thought that the new millennium center was supposed to have a kitchen and food pantry? It seems like some type of temporary solution could be reached until the millennium center opens without the city having to buy a building for $30,000 and then sink another $5,000 into it.

Keith Paris

Another chicken story

Your editorial about chickens brought back memories when I was in the 6th or 7th grade. Your method of using a tree stump and 2 nails was the same method my father used. My mother one day asked me and my brother who was 2 yrs. younger than me to kill a chicken as my father was not at home at that time. We could not find the hatchet so I got a knife and hammer and had my brother hold the chicken's head between the 2 nails . I put the knife on its neck and hit it with the hammer thinking it would cut the neck off. The chicken let out a loud cackle which scared my brother and he let loose of the chicken which took off running thru the neighborhood and us chasing it. We never did catch it. When my father got home and we told him what happened, he laughed about it until we told him we did not catch the chicken. Now it is something to laugh about.

Bob Cufaude

Editorial rekindles memory of egg fight

Hi Dave,

I just finished reading your editorial"editorial" on your entry into the field of commerce. I also found Gerry Schmidt's letter very interesting.

I grew up less that a half a block from the hatchery and have many fond memories of playing in the general area. Allow me to share with you one of my experiences. Apparently, if the eggs are not incubated properly, or if any number of criteria are not met, the eggs cannot be used and were put out behind the building to be picked up and disposed of. It seems that, as I can recall, brother Andy, cousin Andy, Dean Stalter, and I found a bunch of these rotten eggs and we proceeded to get into the darnest egg fight that you can imagine. By the time we finished, we were all completely covered with rotten eggs and probabaly smelled to high heaven. I can't recall how Aunt Georgia, or Mrs. Stalter reacted to their son's coming home covered in rotten eggs, but I do remember my mother's reaction. I think it is safe to say that none of us ever felt that we wanted to involve ourselves in that particular activity again.

Herc Paloumpis

Planning Lewis & Clark camporee

Greetings from snowy Omaha today. Hope you and 'Minonkites' are doing well this winter.

I'm in the process of planning a spring scout camporee in the Omaha area that has a Lewis and Clark Theme. As I'm getting into the later stages of planning for exhibits and events, I thought I'd share a few of the scores of websites on theme of Lewis and Clark and this the 200th anniversary of their expedition.

The National Park Service website is www.nps.gov/lecl. From there you can find a junior ranger book for kids to download, complete, and submit for a junior ranger badge. There are links to a calendar of events as well. The 'expedition' will leave the St. Louis area after winter camp in April 2004 and begin their journey up the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. There will be 'several major events at historic spots along the journey and many communities along the way will be having their own celebrations.

A web site associated with the National Park Service site, contracted for by the Park Service is: http://www.lewisandclarkgnet.org/. This is from the Peter Kiewit Institute at Univ of Nebraska-Omaha for access to journal entries, interactive maps and videos associated with Lewis and Clark related themes. Great passtime for a cold winter afternoon for history buffs.

Cheers and keep up the great work!

Steve Cinnamon


Update on Phoenix reunion


Well, we'll actually be staying Scottsdale, but why split hairs.

We will stay at the Fairfield Inn (a Marriott property) at 5101 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85250 in downtown Scottsdale. Barth has been there and has given it a thumbs up. It is a two story facility with 218 rooms, an oversize heated pool and spa, a full-service restaurant, and a bar. A complimentary deluxe continental breakfast is included with the room. There are on-site coin laundry facilities and each room has, among other things, an iron and ironing board. Other amenities include coffee and tea available 24 hours, free USA Today paper, and free parking. The location is great for our needs.

Best news is the rate-The normal rate is $99 per night. Since we are coming as a group, we can have the rooms on April 15, 16, and 17 for $69 per night (singles and double are same rate). Further, if you stay AFTER the 17th, the rate will be the same. Unfortunately, April 15 is the date when rates go down at this particular motel. We get the reduced rate on the 15th but anyone coming in a day or two BEFORE the 15th will not get the lower rate for the extra nights prior to Thursday. Of course, adding days is subject to availability.

Now, please call the Fairfield at 1-480-945-4392 to make a reservation. Please tell them you are part of the Minonk group so that you get the $69/night rate. They are currently holding ten rooms for us (and would be glad to add more) but can hold these first ten only until March 15 �.so call now. If we need additional rooms and know it soon enough, we will get them.

Cancellation policy: No charge if you cancel 24 hours prior to expected arrival date.

On a separate sheet, I have listed some activities that are available. Please mark those that are of interest to you and we'll try to fit in as many of them as possible. Because you and your spouse might be interested in seeing different attractions, mark how many people want to go to each attraction you mark.

Here's some of what we will be doing Thursday late afternoon we head to Rawhide, an authentic Arizona 1880's town for a trip back in time. We will eat at the Rawhide Steakhouse and Saloon, a very casual (yes, you can wear jeans) sort of place. The 160 acre complex has free admission and includes such activities as stagecoach rides, old time photos taken in western costumes, stunt shows, a variety of shops with different Western gear, a chance to pan gold, and what their own brochure describes as "plenty of rootin', tootin' excitement for folks of all ages." The AAA book says dinner here ranges from $10 to $23.

Martha Owens

Appreciates photo of father

As I was just sitting here browsing through the Minonk news, I decided to open the above article. What a joy to see the picture of my father, Joe Kasha, sitting at the linotype.

He was a linotype operator for the Minonk News Dispatch for over 40 years. He was a dedicated worker and did a great job all of that time.

Just thought I would let you know how much I appreciate the picture of my dad.


Diane Kasha Williams