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Joan Knows: Summer a happening time for St. Charles

When the irrepressible leader of the St. Charles Historical Society, Kathy Brens, got in touch to remind me that it is Pig Roast time again, it was clear that this opening paragraph was to be reserved.

So, in a long tale of worthy causes, put Pig Roast on your calendar and circle the date – Saturday, June 28. The event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. at the St. Charles Heritage Center, 215 E. Main St., St Charles. Prepare yourself for a call from Kathy or her enthusiastic fellow board members such as Kathy Oakes Fleming, from whom we purchase the all important raffle tickets.

Raffle tickets and event tickets will be on sale at the center and during the prior week at the Blue Goose Market, 300 S. 2nd St., St. Charles.

Speaking of heritage, Brens announced that our centenarian John Wredling will be their special guest. 
There in spirit will be Kathy’s late husband, Jack (my Badger Buddy), as we remember his many contributions to a better life in St. Charles.

History of St. Charles? Lend me your ear.

As many know, the museum and collection was moved from a longtime nook of the Municipal Building to the current location – a former gas station at East Main Street and Third Avenue.

Our family album has many photographs of Harold Arteberry in his Texaco uniform, driving an oil delivery truck for the station’s original owner, Charles McCornack.

It was a steamy Friday night in early June, 1952, at the graduation ceremony for the Haines Junior High School, the only gateway to the only high school. The Haines building, an imposing yet decaying red fortress,  was finally destroyed and the high school building on West Main Street – now George Thompson (think shoulder crunch) – was wiped off the high school map.

Zoom in on the stage (also doubled for a basketball court) with all the girls wearing hand-made pastel dresses (same pattern as directed by Miss Finske). No air conditioning and an audience of let’s-get-this-over-with parents.

Three graduates went up to the microphone. Each had been assigned to memorize and deliver a long portion of the already-on-file “History of St. Charles Illinois.” The notorious and unyielding pair, Munhall and Finske were not only autocratic, they were scary.

So, we accepted the mandate.

So, Marlene Goetze Black, yours truly and a third, who goes unrecognized since I cannot remember his name, managed to make the pride of the fox totally boring, physically uncomfortable and had no role whatsoever in stimulating others to pursue that history and contribute to the cause with cash, artifacts and participation. 

Thank the Lord for what the Historical Society does for all of us, and for erasing the Haines incident from recorded history.

Meanwhile, circle the date and call TriCities Family Services at 630-232-1070 to reserve your lobster and other delicious items delivered at their annual Lobster Fly In. Those interested should order by Monday, June 9, for delivery at the old courthouse Saturday, June 14.

In the mood for some fresh farm products, breads, cheeses and who knows what else as Rob Murphy opens the Friday morning Farmers Market at Baker Memorial UMC – just across Main Street from the Historical Society in St. Charles?

In the last month, my Class of ’56 buddies have lost three classmates: Corey Christiansen, Paul Hoffman and Keith Anderson.

Much love to Mariellen Anderson, who stayed by Keith’s side through so many, many months and did so with such visible love and strength.

My table mate Margaret at Rancho Double C passed on last week, leaving a void in our conversations and in our hearts.

Thanks to all who responded to Mister Z’s surgery this week. He was zipped back up and will soon be “On he Road Again.”

Alert the critters.

Finally, “Lest we forget,” we honor the brave and the fallen who landed at Normandy on D-Day. June 6, 1944.

• Joan Arteberry is a longtime 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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