Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends

Friday, March 26, 2021

Happy 48th Wedding Anniversary, Paul and Kris Streed Crawford

Happy Anniversary and God's Blessings, Paul and Kris!

Kris with Kris Kringle

Is it possible that Kris posed for this ad? 
Ovaltine has helped them through many a brutal Denver winter storm.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Remembering Mr. Etzel at Coolidge - "Safety Sam" - Loved and Respected

Here are memories from the Coolidge Facebook page, posted with the family's permission -

Greg Etzel

Hello all. I am new to this group. While I am not an alumnus of the school, my grandfather taught there. Sam Etzel. My family and I enjoy hearing various stories about Sam. I will pass them on to all of us around the nation. Also I saw my aunt, Linda, mentioned. My dad is Gerald. I do want to thank a family friend for introducing me to your group. 

I can even offer a story of my own. While Sam did not formally teach me in the classroom, I did have a variety of teachers who had him or worked with him. One particular industrial arts teacher observed some of my behavior in his classroom. He called me over and said, "If your grandpa Sam was teaching this class, he would have kicked you out a while ago." There you have it.

Rod Peterson

Sam was a very nice man and our neighbor, he introduced me to kohlrabi and when I liked it, he always left several on our porch for me to eat from his very large garden.

Guy Johnson

I watched Sam grab a kid by the collar and throw him out the door and bounced him off the far side hallway lockers. He was an excellent teacher who would not tolerate any foolishness...he knew his job and did it well...I liked him a lot....taught me many skills I still use to this day. His daughter Linda was a classmate, really sweet gal.

Jan Randall

Greg, I knew your Dad as a teen. We were in the same youth group at ALDERSGATE Methodist church on 41 st street across from MHS.

Also knew your grandfather Sam. Two of my brothers worked for him when he built a couple of houses on 26th Ave. behind MHS. He taught them in his classes but also taught them a great deal as his helpers. One of those brothers built a home of his own years later and had skills the average man didn’t thanks to his time with Sam Ethel. He was a tough teacher in both class and on the job but was liked by his students.

Greg Etzel


Jan Randall you obviously know I come from a line of trouble makers. Lol.

Jan Randall

I think that’s why Sam Etzel hired my two brothers as they seemed to always find trouble.

Russ Minard

I was in Sam's class in the mid 50's

Don Schneider

Russ Minard so was I

Craig Sanders

My uncle was a carpenter from the late 30s ( I think) to the mid 60s. I told him about my wood shop class with Sam Etzel. He smiled and said, “Oh, Safety Sam.”

I’ve always wondered, was Sam a journeyman carpenter who trained apprentices? Or was he a shop teacher way back in the 30s when my uncle would have taken a shop course at the old Manual Arts building near the old high school?

Greg Etzel


Craig Sanders good question. I would need to check on that. I know he taught a long time. Hopefully I can get you some better feedback when I talk to my dad.

Greg Etzel


Craig Sanders my grandpa earned a Master's degree in Industrial Arts from Iowa State. So he was most likely and journeyman carpenter. And he taught it as well.

Craig Sanders

Greg Etzel wow! Sam had some impressive credentials. I’m thinking his students numbered in the thousands.

Greg Etzel


Craig Sanders from what I understand he earned the Masters and ended up with nearly enough for a terminal degree. He and my dad built several homes in the QC area. Two of them are in the family still. He would have been about 113 years old now.

Jan McKenzie

Tell Linda that I said hi. In about 7th grade, her dad, Sam, made a lucite pin, with a rose cut into it, and Linda brought it for me. Tell her that I still have it. I always thought it was wonderful.

Gregory L. Jackson


When I saw your last name, I thought, "Has to be Etzel's kin." I remember him especially. No teacher in shop had any hope for my future in their craft, but I have employed many of their star pupils.

Michael Collins

We built footstools and upholstered them. I still have the stool and have been an upholsterer for 47 years.

Rock Johnson

Michael Collins I still have my pencil holder. The rest i have no idea what happened..

Ronald Herstedt

I had him back in the 50s for woodworking and I think also drafting. Remember his " gather around for a demonstration "

Roger Reinke-Musician

Sam was my woodshop teacher there 1964- 1966

Richard Rose

I really enjoyed shop classes at Coolidge, and use those skills to this day. Sam was my teacher around 1963 or 64. I still have a lamp I made in his class. I remember trying to work with very used sand paper. He made me keep sanding until the pine had a sheen, even without varnish. He was a stickler for taking care of our tools. I’m grateful for what I learned from him.

Betty Spore Boon

Did he, also teach drivers ed??

Greg Etzel


Betty Spore Boon my dad says Sam may have taught driver's Ed a little. Maybe more of a sub.

Thomas Marckese Jr

Safety Sam...saved my fingers many times..

Donavon Hardesty

I had him for wood shop. I was in 10th grade and the class was so full that half was sent over to Coolidge.

Donavon Hardesty my dad is only 19 years older than me so he had Sam at Coolidge too.

Rob Harrington

I still have my pump handle lamp that I made in Sam's woodshop class in1962.

Craig Sanders - Etzel lamp.

Doug Dailing
Craig Sanders I still have mine and will be refinishing it soon.

Greg Etzel
Looks nice!!

Todd Sanders
I remember that lamp!!!

Craig Sanders
Todd Sanders it was an integral part of our clubhouse furniture.

Craig Sanders
As was this bookcase that Dad made. Handmade family items are treasures.

Todd Sanders

Craig Sanders Wasn’t that in our bedroom?

Craig Sanders

Todd Sanders yep and the clubhouse.

Michael Collins - My footstool

Craig Sanders

Michael Collins those stools must have been for the 9th graders who took a semester-long class. Nice heirloom and memory.

Michael Collins

Craig Sanders made mine in 8th grade. Had no shop classes after that!

Doug Dailing

I remember your Aunt Linda from orchestra 64-65. I was in 7th grade and played cello.

Greg Etzel


Doug Dailing there is a lot of music in our family. Linda, her husband and their kids. Sam did a lot with music. My mom and dad to an extent. I earned multiple degrees in music and my children are all very musical. I married into a musical family.

Richard Engstrom

I got sent "up to the office" a favorite saying of his a few times!

Jim Benson

One time, in woodshop class, cut a board to short, checked with SAM, FIND wood stretcher machine, NEVER found machine.

Craig Sanders

I remember a pencil holder. Is this very quick sketch familiar to anyone? I remember learning how to use a chisel and saw to make a mortise and tenon joint to hold the vertical piece in place. I thought that was so ingenious.

Craig Sanders - sketch of the pencil holder made in the shop.

Jan Randall

Craig Sanders my brothers made those in the 50’s.

Katherine Kay Polito

Mike that’s cool that you still have your foot stool, it really meant something to you 👍 I still have my dresser hope chest that all the girls got. I will have it until the day I die. I also have and display the piece of pottery that had to be completed by 2 o’clock for my son to graduate I will also have that til the day I die and hope he will take it from there and appreciate and enjoy the meaning of it.

Nancy Russell

Katherine Kay Polito I still have my hope chest too. I found it when I was packing to move and my boys wanted to know what was in it. Luckily I couldn't find the key at that time. Later, when I found the key, I found my diary about my college boyfriends. I haven't shown it to them yet!

Katherine Kay Polito

Nancy Russell Fun to find stuff like that. To take us back to those wonderful days . Oh what fun! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Kent Service

I remember Sam 2 other arts teachers. They were characters. Sam once asked the Boys during class. OK Boys. “Who just cut the cheese”. Class laughter followed!!!

Michael Collins

Kent Service Mr Klier, Mr. Case

Todd Sanders


Terry Reeder

I always enjoyed his class.Fun

Randy Komadino
He always took 5 minutes to tell a life story or experience! He was an ex boxer so little challenges were always in the game.... once he was shaking his foot and told me look at this... I looked down and POW.... slap to my head ! He told me never look anywhere except their eyes! RIP SAM ETZEL my lifelong friend and mentor!

Greg Etzel
Randy Komadino I definitely heard about him boxing.

Kathy Colberg-Holmgren
Hi Greg, I was never a student of Sam Etzel but he was my neighbor on 26 Av. The house I grew up in was torn down & is now rebuilt for citizens for disabilities. I remember playing With Linda. In the winter your Grandpa Would give us a ride to School.

Craig Sanders
Mr. Etzel also taught Mechanical Drawing in the “Electricity” room across the hall from the wood shop. I loved that class.
My dad was an engineer/draftsman for John Deere, so I put maximum care into the class. I realized how hard my dad’s job was when I compared his excellent work to mine.
We made a booklet in Sam’s class, and I finally found it in my attic.

Randy Komadino

I made the same book and still have it ... that Drafting and Design class was AWESOME.... Mr Etzel at Coolidge Jr. High!

Michael Riddle

He was a great wood shop teacher. If you brought up a project to him you thought was ‘done’, and he thought you could make it better, he would critique it and give it back to you to work on it more. If it was truly finished in his eyes, he would give you an ‘A’. My mom used the wooden salad tools I made in Mr. Etzel’s class for years! I learned a lot from him.

Mayor Debbie Gahan

Glad to have you join us. You are very welcome.

Greg Etzel


I was able to talk a little bit with my mom and dad about these memories and questions. They can see them. So hoping to get some more info on here. There are various items around our homes that are those projects. If I am really ambitious I can post some pictures of those things as well as others Sam made.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Rush Limbaugh

My home town was conservative - or at least Republican. All the schools were named after Republicans, except for Wilson Junior High, the newest of the three. One junior high was John Deere, and the other was Calvin Coolidge. When the class of 1966 graduated, we scattered all over for college. Our generation was the first to be lobotomized by Left-wing propaganda, and the effect was permanent, as I can see on many Facebook discussions.

Deep into the last century I was struck by the way the word "conservative" was used and often avoided. Without evidence, anything bad was conservative or Right wing. Everything good was liberal and nothing was Left-wing. The English language death squads were already patrolling American speech patterns and telling people which words to use and avoid. 

Rush Limbaugh established a beachhead in the midst of America's death-by-a-thousand-cuts socialism. He spoke in favor of common sense, conservatism, and the US Constitution. He favored individual accomplishment rather than socialistic solutions.

Oddly enough, Jay Webber, OJ Stormtrooper - whose first call was in Cape Girardeau, Missouri (Limbaugh's home town) - introduced me to the Limbaugh show. From that point I enjoyed many people telling me they found this new radio show, had I ever heard of it? They were overwhelmed by the different style and humor of the Rush Limbaugh show.

Growing up in Moline was a history lesson, because my mother and father were at least 10 years older than my friends' parents. My parents became adults during the Great Depression, when work was dear and wages were in pennies. Dad said, "I was a pin-setter at the bowling alley for 2 cents a game, later raised 3 cents." During WWII, he legally piled up bakery supplies but he also shared them with his competitors. My mother taught in one-room country schools and opposed the consolidation of school districts and the loss of those rural schools. She seldom liked what the system imposed on her for textbooks but knew she could not complain too much.

Rush Limbaugh, about the same age as I am, echoed the training of his parents, and questioned the improvements being foisted upon America in the name of a better society for all. He did such a good job in the midst of opposition and slander that the word conservative began to have some luster - and meaning - again. The Left fought back. After Reagan's terms were up, the two political parties served up 28 years of American-Socialist-Party, or ASP. The presidential candidate's party did not matter, because each opposition pair represented the same ideology of war, higher taxes, and *gubmint meddling -

  • GHW Bush versus Carter
  • GHW Bush versus Clinton
  • Clinton versus Dole
  • George W. Bush versus Gore
  • George W. Bush versus Kerry
  • Obama versus McCain
  • Obama versus Romney

Suddenly in 2015 - for most of us - a candidate appeared without a terminal case of MeTooism. FDR made fun of Republicans who parroted his ideas with "Me Too!" Candidate Trump spoke directly to the people, as Reagan did, and overwhelmed all opposition. 

Even with Trump's long history of success in the midst of opposition - often obscured by his bouts of self-praise - The Donald would be the first to concede that Limbaugh opened up and secured a place for Constitutional conservatives to occupy.

I remain confident that America will renew itself with the help of a much larger group of Constitutional Conservatives, no matter what their label may be. Whatever has been set in motion will complete the work that needs to be done. Long ago, Aristotle write, "Patience and courage are so close to each other than one is either the mother or the sister of the other." For an old guy, barely remembered, Aristotle was pretty smart - and still is.

Here is one more Greek.

"Give me a lever and I can move the world." Archimedes.
That lever is the Word of God.

* Reagan always said gubmint with intent, since he had perfect diction.


From Rush Limbaugh's Father

RUSH INTRODUCTION: My father, Rush H. Limbaugh, Jr., delivered this oft-requested address locally a number of times, but it had never before appeared in print until it was published in The Limbaugh Letter. My dad was renowned for his oratory skills and for his original mind; this speech is, I think, a superb demonstration of both. I will always be grateful to him for instilling in me a passion for the ideas and lives of America's Founders, as well as a deep appreciation for the inspirational power of words, which you will see evidenced here:

"Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor"

It was a glorious morning. The sun was shining and the wind was from the Southeast. Up especially early, a tall bony, redheaded young Virginian found time to buy a new thermometer, for which he paid three pounds, fifteen shillings. He also bought gloves for Martha, his wife, who was ill at home.

Thomas Jefferson arrived early at the statehouse. The temperature was 72.5 degrees and the horseflies weren't nearly so bad at that hour. It was a lovely room, very large, with gleaming white walls. The chairs were comfortable. Facing the single door were two brass fireplaces, but they would not be used today.

The moment the door was shut, and it was always kept locked, the room became an oven. The tall windows were shut, so that loud quarreling voices could not be heard by passersby. Small openings atop the windows allowed a slight stir of air, and also a large number of horseflies. Jefferson records that "the horseflies were dexterous in finding necks, and the silk of stockings was nothing to them." All discussing was punctuated by the slap of hands on necks.

On the wall at the back, facing the president's desk, was a panoply -- consisting of a drum, swords, and banners seized from Fort Ticonderoga the previous year. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had captured the place, shouting that they were taking it "in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"

Now Congress got to work, promptly taking up an emergency measure about which there was discussion but no dissension. "Resolved: That an application be made to the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania for a supply of flints for the troops at New York."

Then Congress transformed itself into a committee of the whole. The Declaration of Independence was read aloud once more, and debate resumed. Though Jefferson was the best writer of all of them, he had been somewhat verbose. Congress hacked the excess away. They did a good job, as a side-by-side comparison of the rough draft and the final text shows. They cut the phrase "by a self-assumed power." "Climb" was replaced by "must read," then "must" was eliminated, then the whole sentence, and soon the whole paragraph was cut. Jefferson groaned as they continued what he later called "their depredations." "Inherent and inalienable rights" came out "certain unalienable rights," and to this day no one knows who suggested the elegant change.

A total of 86 alterations were made. Almost 500 words were eliminated, leaving 1,337. At last, after three days of wrangling, the document was put to a vote.

Here in this hall Patrick Henry had once thundered: "I am no longer a Virginian, sir, but an American." But today the loud, sometimes bitter argument stilled, and without fanfare the vote was taken from north to south by colonies, as was the custom. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

There were no trumpets blown. No one stood on his chair and cheered. The afternoon was waning and Congress had no thought of delaying the full calendar of routine business on its hands. For several hours they worked on many other problems before adjourning for the day.

Much To Lose

What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the crown? To each of you, the names Franklin, Adams, Hancock and Jefferson are almost as familiar as household words. Most of us, however, know nothing of the other signers. Who were they? What happened to them?

I imagine that many of you are somewhat surprised at the names not there: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry. All were elsewhere.

Ben Franklin was the only really old man. Eighteen were under 40; three were in their 20s. Of the 56 almost half - 24 - were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, nine were landowners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers, and politicians.

With only a few exceptions, such as Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, these were men of substantial property. All but two had families. The vast majority were men of education and standing in their communities. They had economic security as few men had in the 18th Century.

Each had more to lose from revolution than he had to gain by it. John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a price of 500 pounds on his head. He signed in enormous letters so that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward. Ben Franklin wryly noted: "Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately."

Fat Benjamin Harrison of Virginia told tiny Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: "With me it will all be over in a minute, but you, you will be dancing on air an hour after I am gone."

These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember, a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.

They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.

It was principle, not property, that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United States. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as vice president of the United States. Several would go on to be US Senators. One, the richest man in America, in 1828 founded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. One, a delegate from Philadelphia, was the only real poet, musician and philosopher of the signers. (It was he, Francis Hopkinson not Betsy Ross who designed the United States flag.)

Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, had introduced the resolution to adopt the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776. He was prophetic in his concluding remarks: "Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to devastate and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law.

"The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repost.

"If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American Legislatures of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens."

Though the resolution was formally adopted July 4, it was not until July 8 that two of the states authorized their delegates to sign, and it was not until August 2 that the signers met at Philadelphia to actually put their names to the Declaration.

William Ellery, delegate from Rhode Island, was curious to see the signers' faces as they committed this supreme act of personal courage. He saw some men sign quickly, "but in no face was he able to discern real fear." Stephan Hopkins, Ellery's colleague from Rhode Island, was a man past 60. As he signed with a shaking pen, he declared: "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."

"Most Glorious Service"

Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered.

  • Francis Lewis, New York delegate saw his home plundered -- and his estates in what is now Harlem -- completely destroyed by British Soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.
  • William Floyd, another New York delegate, was able to escape with his wife and children across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees without income for seven years. When they came home they found a devastated ruin.
  • Philips Livingstone had all his great holdings in New York confiscated and his family driven out of their home. Livingstone died in 1778 still working in Congress for the cause.
  • Louis Morris, the fourth New York delegate, saw all his timber, crops, and livestock taken. For seven years he was barred from his home and family.
  • John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family.
  • Dr. John Witherspoon, signer, was president of the College of New Jersey, later called Princeton. The British occupied the town of Princeton, and billeted troops in the college. They trampled and burned the finest college library in the country.
  • Judge Richard Stockton, another New Jersey delegate signer, had rushed back to his estate in an effort to evacuate his wife and children. The family found refuge with friends, but a Tory sympathizer betrayed them. Judge Stockton was pulled from bed in the night and brutally beaten by the arresting soldiers. Thrown into a common jail, he was deliberately starved. Congress finally arranged for Stockton's parole, but his health was ruined. The judge was released as an invalid, when he could no longer harm the British cause.He returned home to find his estate looted and did not live to see the triumph of the Revolution. His family was forced to live off charity.
  • Robert Morris, merchant prince of Philadelphia, delegate and signer, met Washington's appeals and pleas for money year after year. He made and raised arms and provisions which made it possible for Washington to cross the Delaware at Trenton. In the process he lost 150 ships at sea, bleeding his own fortune and credit almost dry.
  • George Clymer, Pennsylvania signer, escaped with his family from their home, but their property was completely destroyed by the British in the Germantown and Brandywine campaigns.
  • Dr. Benjamin Rush, also from Pennsylvania, was forced to flee to Maryland. As a heroic surgeon with the army, Rush had several narrow escapes.
  • John Martin, a Tory in his views previous to the debate, lived in a strongly loyalist area of Pennsylvania. When he came out for independence, most of his neighbors and even some of his relatives ostracized him. He was a sensitive and troubled man, and many believed this action killed him. When he died in 1777, his last words to his tormentors were: "Tell them that they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it [the signing] to have been the most glorious service that I have ever rendered to my country."
  • William Ellery, Rhode Island delegate, saw his property and home burned to the ground.
  • Thomas Lynch, Jr., South Carolina delegate, had his health broken from privation and exposures while serving as a company commander in the military. His doctors ordered him to seek a cure in the West Indies and on the voyage, he and his young bride were drowned at sea.
  • Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., the other three South Carolina signers, were taken by the British in the siege of Charleston. They were carried as prisoners of war to St. Augustine, Florida, where they were singled out for indignities. They were exchanged at the end of the war, the British in the meantime having completely devastated their large landholdings and estates.
  • Thomas Nelson, signer of Virginia, was at the front in command of the Virginia military forces. With British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, fire from 70 heavy American guns began to destroy Yorktown piece by piece. Lord Cornwallis and his staff moved their headquarters into Nelson's palatial home. While American cannonballs were making a shambles of the town, the house of Governor Nelson remained untouched. Nelson turned in rage to the American gunners and asked, "Why do you spare my home?"They replied, "Sir, out of respect to you." Nelson cried, "Give me the cannon!" and fired on his magnificent home himself, smashing it to bits. But Nelson's sacrifice was not quite over. He had raised $2 million for the Revolutionary cause by pledging his own estates. When the loans came due, a newer peacetime Congress refused to honor them, and Nelson's property was forfeited. He was never reimbursed. He died, impoverished, a few years later at the age of 50.

Lives, Fortunes, Honor

Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.

And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark.

He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship Jersey, where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons' lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man's heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: "No."

The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

RUSH EPILOGUE: My friends, I know you have a copy of the Declaration of Independence somewhere around the house - in an old history book (newer ones may well omit it), an encyclopedia, or one of those artificially aged "parchments" we all got in school years ago. I suggest that each of you take the time this month to read through the text of the Declaration, one of the most noble and beautiful political documents in human history.

There is no more profound sentence than this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness..."

These are far more than mere poetic words. The underlying ideas that infuse every sentence of this treatise have sustained this nation for more than two centuries. They were forged in the crucible of great sacrifice. They are living words that spring from and satisfy the deepest cries for liberty in the human spirit.

"Sacred honor" isn't a phrase we use much these days, but every American life is touched by the bounty of this, the Founders' legacy. It is freedom, tested by blood, and watered with tears.

Monday, December 28, 2020

MHS 66 at Yale University

Yale Divinity School - Lawrence Eyre and I went there. Lawrence is a Whiffenpoof, the famous singing fraternity for undergraduates. I did eat lunch at Morey's once, the closest I got to being in a singing group.

Roland Bainton, author of Here I Stand, A Life of Martin Luther.

Yale Library - Roland Bainton had an office there. We went to meet him some years after finishing an STM. He helped me with my dissertation and offered to do some xeroxing for me! Anne Johnson-Zander earned a master's degree in music at Yale, so three of us from the Garfield Elementary School, MHS 66, earned degrees there.

Campanologists love the Harkins bell tower.

National Review has a report on universities, which prompted the nostalgia above. Yale College costs $57,000 for tuition and fees. Add on room and board! The top rated universities were in the same category, $50,000+ for tuition and fees.

Every college and university (with rare exceptions - like Purdue) raised prices as if the debt engine would never run out of gas.

Anton Boisen studied forestry at Yale. No, I am not kidding. Now it is the School of Environmental Studies, though forestry is easier to spell.  Boisen made his mark by championing chaplains at hospitals and similar institutions. The idea was to help people by integrating their illness with Christian care, an idea similar to the Inner Mission, which promoted nursing care and hospitals. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

Rest in Peace - Sherry Kay Johnsen

Sherry Kay Johnsen, MHS 66

Sherry Kay Johnsen

July 15, 1948-December 17, 2020

PORT BYRON-Sherry Kay Johnsen, 72, of Port Byron, Illinois, died Thursday, December 17, 2020 at RML Specialty Hospital, Hinsdale, Illinois. A public visitation will be from 4-7pm on Monday, December 21st at Gibson-Bode Funeral Home, Port Byron. Masks and social distancing required. Services and burial in the Fairfield Cemetery will be private. The service may be viewed on Wednesday by going to her obituary at Memorials may be made to Fairfield United Methodist Church or to the family for a fund to be established.

Sherry was born July 15, 1948, the daughter of Ray and Ruby (Hiler) Kelley. She graduated from Moline High School in 1966, then Black Hawk College nursing program as a registered nurse. She married Ken Johnsen on July 17, 1971 at First Presbyterian Church, East Moline. He passed away March 8, 2014. She worked for a doctor's office and hospital, became a stay-at-home mom, helped on the farm, then became the school nurse for Riverdale Schools, retiring in 2013. She continued to substitute until this year, caring for many students through the years. She was a member of Fairfield United Methodist Church.

As a dance mom, she traveled with her daughter, Kelley, to shows and competitions. She never missed an event for her daughter and helped her daughter out in later years with Jr. Rams, Boosters, and River Cities Rotary events. Her grandchildren were her pride and joy and she was their #1 fan.

Sherry is survived by her daughter, Kelley (Ted) Doty, Port Byron; grandchildren, Kelsey and Trent; brother- and sister-in-laws, Larry & Bonnie Johnsen, Fred & Dorothy Johnsen; several nieces and nephews; and her loyal cat, Charlie. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Ken, brother at birth, and sister, Terry. Share a memory or condolence at

Rest in Peace, Louis Nachbauer, Coolidge Gym Teacher and John Deere Principal

Louis Nachbauer, Gym Teacher and John Deere Principal


        Louis (Lou) Joseph Nachbauer, 93, formerly of Rock Island, passed away November 13th, 2020, in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Lou was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Janice (Brotman) Nachbauer.  He was the son of Ludwig Franz Nachbauer and Anna Klara Essig Nachbauer.  He is survived by daughters Rebecca (Robin) Drechsel of Charlotte, NC. and Roberta (Len) Kelinson of Le Claire, Ia., granddaughters, Rachael (Colleen) Drechsel, Rena (Peder) Skoog, Hannah Stutts and Hannah’s former husband but always Lou’s son-in-law, Jack Stutts, as well as two great-grandchildren, Cora and Erik Skoog. 

        Lou loved his family and was so proud of all that his grandchildren and great-grandchildren accomplished in their lives.  Lou and Janice were there through many softball games, dance recitals and swim meets.

        Lou was born in Weil der Stadt, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in November 1928 as a one-year-old with his parents, entering the United States thru Ellis Island.  He became a citizen when as a minor child his parents were naturalized as United States citizens in Chicago, 1935.

        Lou was a proud veteran of WWII, enlisting in 1945, where he served his country as a Merchant Marine aboard the U.S. Army Hospital Ship, “Seminole”, which traveled in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.  He was then drafted and served with the U.S. Army Air Corps. until 1948, including one year in occupation duty in Japan.  All of his adult life Lou carried a memento of his military service, a Japanese yen covered with signatures of those men he served with.

        After completing his military service and finishing high school, Lou enrolled at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.  It was while attending college that he took an evening walk to a local movie theatre, The Ritz, where he met Janice.  Only months after their first meeting, they eloped and subsequently enjoyed 55 years of marriage.

        Mr. Nachbauer dedicated his life to Junior High School education in Moline, Il. influencing many young lives over his 35 years of employment there.  Lou was hired by the Moline Board of Education in 1953, first serving as a teacher, coach, and assistant Principal at Coolidge Junior High for 17 years followed by 18 years as Principal at John Deere Junior High - Middle School, retiring in 1988. Upon his retirement, John Deere Middle School created a yearly award given to a student who excels in academics and sports, named The Lou Nachbauer Achievement Award.

        Over the years as an educator, he received many awards and honors, including Illinois Congress of Parents and Teachers Honorary Life Membership award 1970, Book of Recognition award 1977, National Congress of Parents and Teachers Honorary Life Membership award 1988, Secondary School Teacher of the Year award presented by the Moline American Legion 1969, with his biography published in “Who’s Who in the Midwest, 20th and 21st Editions, 1986 and 1987.

        Lou became an avid golfer following his introduction to the game as a caddy during his elementary school years in Morton Grove, Il.  He was a founding, charter member of Mill Creek Country Club in Milan, IL, one of many men that physically built the course, which is now Pinnacle Country Club.  He had two holes-in-one as a golfer.  The first at Saukie Golf Course in Rock Island on hole #5 in 1952, and the second at Port Byron’s Byron Hills Golf Course, on hole #7 in 1999 at the age of 72.

        An avid Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears fan all of his life, Lou was over the top when his Cubbies finally won the World Series when he was 89.

        Private family services for Mr. Nachbauer may be viewed via livestream broadcast at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 18, from Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, Rock Island, ( island). Burial following services will be at Rock Island National Cemetery on Arsenal Island, with full military honors presented by Moline American Legion, Post 246.  Condolence messages can be sent to the family by visiting  In lieu of flowers the family asks that any donations be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation, an organization that honors and supports our veterans, or the Alzheimer’s Association.  The family would like to thank the staff at Brookdale South Clare Bridge Memory Care unit and Levine and Dickson Hospice & Palliative Care (both in Charlotte) for their loving care.  Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home of Rock Island, Il. is serving the family of Mr. Nachbauer.