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Columns

Column: Store room treasures make for grins on a cloudy winter's day

SANDWICH--Trying to clean out store rooms is a chore, but it's also where treasures are found that we most enjoy.

One of the photos we discovered was of my Dad, Frankie Mall, driving my Grandpa, Louis Klotz, in a golf cart throughout the Sandwich Fair in 1967. My Dad was Superintendent of the Dairy Cattle and Grandpa, who was close to 90 in this photo, sold tickets and directed traffic at the Horse Barn Entrance during the bustling annual event.

One of the most amazing things about the Sandwich Fair, is that everyone in the area is involved in some way. People who work all year to get a two week vacation, often use one of those weeks working at the hometown Sandwich Fair. Some spend every day or evening directing cars in the parking lots, some stay up all night working security, others sell tickets at the gates and for the shows. They greet fairgoers in the Hospitality Building, answer questions at the Round Office, and handle the sales of Sandwich Fair collectibles at the Gazebo.

It takes even more folks from the area to operate the Antique and Collectible Building, The Arts, Crafts and Photography Building, the Home Arts Building and the Horticulture Building where there's competition and judging of all sorts.

Many start as youngsters working at church food stands, waiting on customers after school and on weekends. It's a great training ground for future fair-workers.

The store room's "precious riches" included compositions written by our children on three-ring notebook paper when they were in third and fourth grades; boxes of paintings and wall art from the avocado and orange colored era; cedar chests filled with hand-embroidered pillowcases and aprons; and family memorabilia.

Some of my favorite findings were two clear glass kerosene lamps with chimneys our grandparents used on their farm before "rural electrification" in the late 1930's and early 1940's. I fondly remember my Grandpa Louie Klotz teaching me to play euchre on a small end able with leaves on each side to give us extra room to play. There was a drawer in it to hold the decks of cards, note paper and pencils, too. The table, that I still hold dear, was made by one of Grandma Klotz's brothers.

The walnut table top was lighted by the glass kerosene lamp with a handle on the side, just big enough for your finger. We often used it to play games on the table,even after my grandparents had electricity, because snow, rain and wind could easily knock down the wires in the country.  

It just occurred to me that these memories could be the impetus for others to clean their store rooms. It's been quite a week for me and lots of other folks can get some grins on these cloudy days.

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