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Remembering milestones, honoring veterans

The next event on the national calendar is Veterans Day. There’s no need for negative ads, just a few reminders about various community observances and some imaging of the sacrifices, then and now, of so many that have defended and preserved our freedoms.

We have already been to one such event already. Last Sunday, American Legion Post 324 comrades and families gathered for dinner at their facility on North Fifth Avenue. Some really good food, storytelling and a spirit of remembrance was topped off with an unusual raffle by and for the women’s auxiliary.

Doris Van Whye applied her no-pressure technique to sell the tickets. Joann Surrat and Beverly Few operated the calling of the numbers and distribution of the donated prizes. 

Then, the usual process took a turn. The ladies would pick the prize to be brought to the announced winner. Not all of the items were desirable prizes, nevertheless, the distribution was mandatory and no one challenged the multiples won by Andy Surrat and Guy Few.

  From the get-go, Mister Z had his eye on a wicker picnic basket with a closed cover that he proclaimed would be good for his captured snakes. No one was pulling for him to win.

However, when the last number was called and Nancy McFarland was designated, she promptly turned it over to him.  Thanks, Nancy, I think.

There are other commemorative events in cities and schools. St. Charles North High School is having a concert to honor veterans on Sunday afternoon. Friday, as you read this, Richmond Intermediate School is recognizing invited veterans. It used to be fun to have the day off, but most agree the schools have found a way to give meaning by staying in session and marking the day with personal interaction.

Lucky for school kids there are no live veterans of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.

The customary event at the Freedom Shrine behind the St. Charles Municipal Building begins at 10:40 a.m., just before the Eleventh Hour which commemorates the signing of the Armistice which ended World War I.  Join in for the good patriotic feeling and a chance to shake the hand of a veteran and say thanks.

Nov. 11 also marks our wedding anniversary, similarly at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,  We said our vows in Madison, Wis., and then headed for the football game, which ended in a tie. It can be said we had 80,000 people at our reception. Carl and Sharon Bergquist: Do you remember that day 34 years ago?

There’s good news for those who remember reading about the Rev. Bromleigh McCleneghan: writing a book about Christian parenting.  She and co-author, Lee Moses, announced that the book is now in print.

It’s a good read, in my opinion, that has the feel of a dialogue, candid and amusing, and with the promised spiritual underpinning. The suggestions and links to helpful materials make for a choice to get a print version.

David Hunt at Town House Books says he will have the book available.  Here’s a suggestion: Grandmas take their daughters to lunch and treat them to a book, too. Sounds like excellent parenting.

Condolences to the family of William Klinkey Jr. He was known as “Bill” to those who knew him as a respected local businessman and friend.

He was a welcomed visitor from his retirement home in North Carolina when he dropped in to the Class of ’56 monthly reunion breakfasts, particularly those of us who had Bill as a friend starting in Miss Brandenburger’s first-grade class at Shelby School.
In this, and all things, peace.

• Joan Arteberry is a long-time resident of St. Charles. Her columns are featured in the Kane County Chronicle’s Neighbors section every other Friday. Write to her at

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