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Emails for July 2006
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Fieldcrest Youth Football Equipment Handout Reminder | Minonk Ambulance Association sells cook book | Does Minonk have a community cookbook? | Agrees on the importance of writing skills | Rembering Prod Schneider | Comment on Bob's story | Remembering Bob | Sen. Rutherford on WEEK TV Tuesday | Comment on good things in Minonk | Just one of eleven fireworks volunteers | Comment on MDR teachers | Response on rigidity of China's education system | Explanation of white fuzzy bugs | Comment on editorial: China, sleeping giant awakening | Enjoyed July 4th avtivities | Need volunteers for Fourth of July | Message from Fourth of July Chairman | Comments on Mr. Samuelson and Mr. Good | California viewer appreciates reading about Minonk | Kudo's to 4th of July committee | Bug questions |

Minonk Ambulance Association sells cook book

This letter is in reference to Terri's about the community cookbook. I do know that you can purchase a cook book from the Minonk Ambulance Association. They are asking for $1.00 donation per each one. There are lots of great recipes in this cookbook, as I have one. You can contact Deb West through the city hall at 432-2558.

Kelly Lane

Agrees on the importance of writing skills

Dave: I agree with Michael Stagliano's editorial thesis. I always had a saying with my staff: "What comes out through the pencil (pen) sticks to the brain." I used to tell my staff another saying: "Writing, writing and writing were probably the three best ways to learn for a student. But not writing the same word a hundred times."

Gerald Buckner
Retired School Superintendent

Comment on Bob's story

Surely others have more neat stories such as you Mark Vogel gave us on Minonktalk. Really great work Mark, or better yet "OURSTANDING".

Albie J. class of 1948

Sen. Rutherford on WEEK TV Tuesday

Dear Dave,

I am running for Secretary of State because I believe, in my heart, I can do a better job managing the operation. I have 20 years experience in the private service sector as an executive of a Fortune 500 Company. When elected I will show that government services can be responsive and the citizens of Illinoiswill be treated as valued customers. I intend to make a difference.

I do not believe it is appropriate to criticize an incumbent office holder's performance without offering one's own solutions. For that reason, I am issuing my 'Service Commitment' White Paper, where I lay out a positive plan for
reforming the Driver Services Facilities. I am offering the people of Illinois solutions to the routine frustrations of poor service from their Secretary of State's office: long lines, snafus, lost records and wasted time and money.

On Tuesday, July 18, 2006, I will be on 'Live at Five' at 5:00 pm on WEEK-TV Ch 25, Peoria, to detail the 'Service Commitment". Please tune in.

Technology exists today to move the Illinois Secretary of State's Office into a customer responsive, efficient operation. It will take a leader with vision,service passion and drive to get it done. I am that leader.

This will be the first in a series of White Papers I will be providing the public regarding my vision for the office of Secretary of State.

I will keep you informed!

Dan Rutherford
State Senator
Republican Nominee for
Secretary of State
Ph: 815-842-2475

Just one of eleven fireworks volunteers

I hope everyone enjoyed this years fireworks display.I just wanted to let everyone know that I am just one of eleven people that work on your fireworks display.We put in many hours over the year to set up a safe and legal show. Without the help of Steve Allen,Roger Gaspardo,Mike Gerdes,Jerry Harms,Kevin Harms,Todd Janssen,Chris Mckay,Don Ragusa,Joe Schmillen and Chuck Stephens it would not be possible ! It would also not be possible without the many benefits we have thoughout the year and the donations from many of Minonk's businesses. Please support them by doing your business in town ! The Minonk 4th of July Committee is trying to raise money to buy a new electric firing panel to safely fire next years show. The panel would also be used for the Christmas Parade and will be used for many years. All donations will be used for the new panel only and would be greatly appreciated ! The donations can be made at the Alpha Community Bank, Minonk.
Thank You,
Pat Copp, Minonk 4th of July Committee

Response on rigidity of China's education system

Albin Johnson makes some very good points and no one denies the rigidity of China's system from the crib to the grave. That being said, there is plenty of merit for standardization in the educational realm. China is not alone in this regard. India is well on its way to challenging China on all fronts. In America one cannot become president unless one has deep pockets. Our current administration is driving privatization of education at the expense of public schooling. However, that is another topic I will explore in the near future. Perhaps trying another way is the way to go. However, one thing is abundantly clear, our [educational] system is not perfect. One has only to tour inner city schools in Detroit and New York and wonder who dropped the ball. On the same note, there is much disparity between rural and suburban schools too right under our noses in Illinois. It comes down to fair allocation of resources and a concerted grass roots effort sans politics. A far more in depth discourse on this debate can be found in the report: "Math and Science Education in a Global Age"., a report by the Asian Society (located in NYC) which is a non-profit organization that supports international cooperation.

Michael Stagliano, Ph.D.

Comment on editorial: China, sleeping giant awakening

China is one of, if not the oldest human populations in the world and is second only to India in population (1.2 billion which may include Taiwan) Somehow throughout their long history they have learned how to "direct" their population toward hard work and discipline. Perhaps it was done through forced educational doctrine, more likely through governmental dictatorship such as Communism. or older Princely rule. In 1986, I spent almost a month in several parts of China trying to understand their desire to let the world know they were for peace and progress. Hotels and many shops were still divided into 3 categories, Americans, Chinese Americans and then the rest of China. Americans sold new devices such as radio, TVs, electric fans, and wash machines. But few cars!!! Bicycles ruled. 20 years later China has a population upwards of 1.2 billion folks even with population controls in force. In the US, it is said "anyone" can become president. In today's China, "everyone" is subjected to an educational selective system that controls and directs the future development of each child. Are the parents of our children willing to support this governmental control over what, where, or how their offspring will be educated to fit into some political party's utopian society? By China's standards, if we want better teachers and administrators we would let our "friends" in Washington do the selection with the hope that they are smart enough to understand what is "best" for their future. That might be easier because we only have about 300 million folks. Oops, there goes our individual differences!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Albin Johnson

Need volunteers for Fourth of July


The Minonk 4th of July Committee needs volunteers and this would be a perfect time to join. The commitment is initially to attend meetings – this group meets usually in Oct/Nov 1 time and then once a month from January until the event. You would be learning how this committee functions as a group, could decide where your talents could be best used and let the committee know what you would be interested in doing.

Now is a good time for new comers to join, as they can learn hands-on about the current year, which will help prepare them for the coming years. It is never too late to add attractions to the celebration, as the group is always looking to round out the event, and provide "something for everyone".

If you have an interest, or know of someone that does, please contact Cathy McKay.

Comments on Mr. Samuelson and Mr. Good

I am sorry to learn of the passing of Mr. Samuelson ,my English teacher for most of high school except freshman year. I knew he was in the Pacific Theater in WWII but I didn't know he was a underwater demolition man before. I am also somewhat surprised that his teaching career survived the summer 1969 "riot" by some of the youth over the shooting of a member of the Arapahoe motorcycle gang.

Mr. Good, who taught high school biology from my sophomore year on, had discovered 2 new species of crinoids. He told me the species part of the names, americanusand goodus, but does anyone know the genus name? I am fairly sure that the 2 species both belonged to the same genus.

Bill Warren still stuck in Urbana and therefore in the same
craton basin as Minonk.

Kudo's to 4th of July committee


Kudo's to the 4th of July committee this year! The Fun on the Run inflatables were a huge hit with all of the kids and much more reasonably priced than a carnival for the parents! It was also nice having the kids games and the tractor pulls all on the same day at the same location. The chicken dinner was great and the fireworks get bigger and better every year! It takes a lot of work and a huge committment from the people that volunteer their time to make this day a success - thank you to all of them!

Jerry and Kim McGough

Does Minonk have a community cookbook?

Does Minonk have a community cookbook, past or present? I would be interested in purchasing one.


Terri Hoffacker

Rembering Prof Schneider

I'm over 75 and full of memories. I was inclined to add these musings about "educating" old MHS students. When starting "my" high school, it meant an introduction talk by the Principal, James Schneider. It was a banner day for a "smarty pants" like me. As Prof Schneider labored on about tradition and school rules, I waited for a pause and then asked, "When can we leave?" Not missing a beat, Prof said, "Albin, you can leave any time!" How did he know my name??? Later I came to realize he knew everyone under his umbrella, but continuing on with my antics, I chose to engrave my pet name ALBIE into all the desks I sat at. Of course, HE knew that name too and had me sanding desktops after school. I soon realized he knew every student and teacher in his school, and magically he knew how to handle each rebel without first involving their parents. That lesson stayed with me throughout my 20 some years of teaching by taking care of problems "in room" and NEVER backing an offender into a corner so he or she couldn't feel free to listen or talk about problems. Apologies were not expected and only once did I send the offender onto the Principal.

Just a couple more notes. Our last High School basketball game was lost to Henry in what appeared to be poor officiating, Prof Schneider took up the banner and chastised those officials publicly. James Schneider then must have decided his "educating Albie" was over because as I went away to College, he took a job as Principal of Monticello High School and ironically began educating my future wife Marilyn who was a senior there. About 3 years later at the Presbyterian Church in Monticello, Illinois, Who but James Schneider "Prof Extroardinaire" appeared in the reception line and putting a hand on my uniformed shoulder and his other grasping my hand, softly whispered, " I really didn't expect this from you!". Rest in peace, you really were a PrinciPAL.

Albie Johnson

Remembering Bob

Dear Dave,

I wanted to share some of my memories of Bob Samuelson. He was not only a great teacher, but a solid individual who taught students not only a class, but a lot about life.

I had Bob for Speech Class, and also he was my bus driver for 9 years. Since our farm is at the end of the district, I had the pleasure of being with Bob every morning and afternoon for the full ride...first on and last off. I learned more about politics riding that bus than I learned in Political Science class in college.

As most know, Bob had both a great sense of humor and a bit of a temper. He had a great sarcastic view of life. Whenever a student would accidently drop their books or being caught acting real stupid, Bob would summarize the event by saying sarcastically, "Outstanding." It nearly became of badge of honor on the bus if you received several "Outstandings" from Bob in a given week.

One cold February morning the weather was not cooperating with Bob in his daily bus chore. The rain turned to sleet. He was having problems seeing out the bus window and the windshield wipers were no help at all. Finally, with a busload of kids -- just a couple of miles out of town, Bob's frustration with the windshield wipers became obvious. Though a cold morning, you could almost see the steam coming from under his collar and his face was turning beet red. He came to a country road stop sign, put on the parking brake, opened the bus door and rushed out to the front of the bus. To the children's amazement, Bob climbed up on the hood of the bus, tore each windshield wiper from the bus and heaved them far into the adjoining corn field.

Bob came back on the bus huffing and puffing. There was dead silence on the bus since everyone knew that it was best to be quiet and to behave when Mr. Samuelson was upset. At the front of the bus Bob stood there, attempting to regain his composure. Then, out of the morning silence came the little voice of Randy Lutjen, a kindergartner sitting in the front row. "Outstanding, Mr. Samuelson. Outstanding". The bus burst into laughter and that knowing smile came across Bob's face. From that day forward, Bob never used the term again on the bus.

As a philosopher, Bob taught some life-long rules. One, I still use today: "It's not what you want that makes you fat, it's what you eat."

Bob was one dear friend that taught me so much -- he will be remembered and missed.

Mark Vogel
St. Louis, Missouri

Comment on good things in Minonk

Now that the Fourth of July is over, I would like to comment on a few good things going on in the community.

1. The ESDA chicken Supper had a very good turn out. The food was excellent and well attended. Too bad the city council members couldn't attend.
2. The Third Street extension is great! I know progress turns slow, but this will be a benefit for the people at the nursing home and that neighbor for the emergency support.
3. The sidewalk across from Casey's is a plus for that area. It was in bad repair and needed the attention.
4. The Fourth of July Committee put on another very good parade. Looking forward to next year's.
Better get off here to let others have a chance to enjoy the benefits of living in a "GOOD PLACE", Minonk.

Jerry and Tina Welch

Comment on MDR teachers

Just read Bill Warren's email commenting on Mr. Samuelson and Mr. Good, teachers at MDR. Both great educators! Vastly different fields. William Warren, always a brilliant commentator/observer, got it right.

We were all very lucky ... MDR was blessed with some wonderful teachers. I was amazed when I went away to college how clearly superior our little town, basic education was compared to some huge and well-heeled school disctricts in larger communities. And, beyond university? Same thing ...

But, hey, if Sammy shot that guy? He needed shootin' and that's that. At the very least, a swift kick in the backside was called for. Sammy was a man's man in the old-time, positive sense of the expression ... none that broke-back whatever junk.

Lynn Tweedt-Rabinowe
Deer Island, Oregon
MDR Class of 1970

Explanation of white fuzzy bugs

Sarah Prosser asked about the white fuzzy bugs flying around this year. I believe they are the Wooly Alder Aphid. They live in silver maple and alder trees, and are generally harmless. This link will explain them in detail.

Duane Knepp

Enjoyed July 4th avtivities


We also enjoyed all the July 4th activities and think
the Committee did a terrific job. The parade seems
to be getting better every year. The chicken dinner
was very good, it was to bad that some people had
to be turned away when they ran out of chicken.
Remember to get your tickets early next year. The
kids had a ball with the Fun On the Run and games
at the park. It was such a relaxed atmosphere compared
to a carnival. Pat Copp and those lighting the fireworks
could not have done better. I believe our fireworks are
better than any big city's. I know the Committee works
very hard to finance all of the days activities. If everyone
who enjoyed them as much as we did would put a check
$5-$10-$20 in the mail to Kathy McKay, 4th of July
Committee, 626 Locust St, Minonk, Il 61760 it would
make their job easier next year. Keep up the good
work Cathy and Committee.

Rodney & JoAnn Ruestman

Message from Fourth of July Chairman


Just a note to let everyone know that the Minonk 4th of July Committee truly appreciates all of the support of the many individuals and businesses that have assisted us as we put together the 4th of July Celebration this year. Without your help this event could not happen.

I would also like to take this time to THANK the committee as they put in a lot of time and effort to make this event a success. Without these folks this event would not have occurred. I can't thank them enough for the many meetings, the endless phone calls, all of the organizing, purchasing, finding volunteers to assist and the many, many other things that they did.

Let me take this time to mention their names: Bruce Tjaden, Billie Stokowski, Pat Copp, Sue Park, Scott and Mindy Johnson, Ron Redenius, Bob and Kathy Jackson, Mark Spencer, Brenda Weber, Jack Jochums, Tracy and Dave Harsted, Corey Ruestman, and myself, Cathy McKay. If you should see these folks please let them know how much you appreciated their efforts on your behalf, they don't hear it nearly often enough. THANK YOU!!!

Another group of individuals that need a THANK YOU are the city employees who assist us tremendously with all of the many tasks that they perform – please let them receive your thanks as well.

The last group that deserves a big thank you is the many volunteers that the committee relies on to assist us as we attempt to organize each event. These events would not be possible without all of your help – thank you as well.

One such group that I need to thank publicly is the many, many volunteers that have assisted me through the years with the parade. Let me mention this years volunteers for you to thank as well: Sue Park, Billie Stokowski, Glennda Weers, Kim and Dwayne Sullivan, Judy Kalkwarf, Howard Harms, Bob and Kathy Jackson, Jack Jochums, and Joel Jochums. This is just a few of the many volunteers through the years - THANK YOU!!


Cathy McKay
Chair – 4th of July Committee

California viewer appreciates reading about Minonk

My Grandfather was born in Minonk in 1898. His family were polish immigrants and his father was a coal miner. Unfortunately, his father died in a coal mining accident in Minonk a few months before he was born. His name was Peter Serak and he spent his boyhood in Minonk before his family moved away to Decatur. Eventually, my Grandfather and Grandmother moved to Calif. and that's where I was raised and have lived my adult life. I want to tell you how much I appreciate your wonderful web site! I visit it often and love the history section and the great old photo's! I also enjoy reading the current news and recipes. My Grandfather passed a long time ago but I feel his presence every time I sit down and visit Minonk! Thanks to all involved in making this web site available!!!

Peggy Conner

Bug questions

May I throw out a couple of questions that hopefully someone will know the answer to? My first is if you or anyone else happens to know what these new little bugs that are flying around are? They are the little tiny things that look like a white peice of fuzz and have two wings. They're real cute too. My next bug question is the little black bugs that jump up out of the grass and attack you. I heard of many people having them in their yards last year, as I did too. This year I've got them again, and I'm wondering if anyone knows how to get rid of them?
Thanks Much,

Sarah Prosser