As I walked into the Glob-Bowl Party room on Saturday, September 22, a little girl was standing near the door, her eyes wide. “I’m waiting for Nona,” she told me, pointing to a lovely gray-haired lady. “She’s my great-grandmother,” the child explained proudly.

I asked her if she knew what all these people were doing here in the party room. She knew it was a class reunion, but wasn’t clear on the particulars. She told me she’s in fourth grade and is definitely going to graduate from high school and college and then become a doctor.

“Well think about the other kids in your fourth-grade class today,” I remarked. “Can you imagine all of you coming back to see each other 65 years after you leave high school?”

“We’ll be really old,” she said thoughtfully.

What I can tell her and all of us after spending some time with these twenty remarkable people is that they may be “really old,” but they are all really happy to be celebrating another milestone anniversary. Unlike most classes that mark ten, twenty-five and fifty years, the class of 1953 began holding reunions in 1958 and have continued to hold one every five years.

Of course, everyone has not been able to attend every year. Since 1953, 40 class members have died. This year, several sent regrets due to poor health or other commitments. 14 did not respond at all. Leaving these twenty to enjoy a few hours and a dinner together.

I asked them, “Who was the smartest?” and they all pointed to Florence Danielson Gray, who was Valedictorian of the Class of 1953. Did she remember anything she said in her speech? “Not a word,” she laughed. No one else did either (a lesson to all who will agonize over their speeces in 2019), but one classmate announced, “She probably told us all to get out there and get to work!”

And that’s what they all did.


Pictured left to right: Christine Conkling, Superintendent of Riley School, David Engelbrecht, Superintendent of Marengo Community High School and Lea Damisch, Superintendent of Marengo-Union Elementary School

Recognition was given to the Marengo School Districts for exemplary intergovernmental cooperation in the state of Illinois for their successful shared service achievements. The core of this effort is the firm belief to help provide more effective and efficient services while saving taxpayer dollars. The area school districts share personnel in areas of high demand, including professionals such as speech pathologists, school psychologists, IT coordinators, bus drivers and custodial personnel. Because of the location of the three districts, they share facilities, including the gym, auditorium, buses and personnel as needed, to ensure cost effectiveness for all three districts. Despite the small sizes of these districts and their other partners, they offer a full range of services to students.

Ever leave soul cakes on your doorstep, during Allhallowtide? They’re offerings for the dead, the only thing they can eat …a partial forerunner to our own “Trick n’ Treat” traditions. While the interest in things going bump in the night elevates during All Hallow’s Eve, or “Hallowe’en,” the Oct. 31 date has its share of scary stories, many with no logical explanation. Both McHenry and Lake counties offer no shortage of places associated with paranormal activity year round.

Those incidents bear investigation. The McHenry County Paranormal Research Group has a mission to identify paranormal issues in attempting a resolution of conflict between spirits and living persons by helping those spirits cross over to the light. Its founder is Tony Olszewski, a beloved figure in the local law enforcement community with 21-year tenure including stints as a McHenry County Sheriff ’s Department detective and Holiday Hills police department chief.

“As I’ve said in many instances, our group is here to help those who have passed, and those who are still here,” said Olszewski. “It’s not a sport, so our focus is different from other groups, making us somewhat unique. Spirits are all around us, everywhere. It becomes a haunting when they interact, or bother, the client, and the term ‘ghost’ is by connecting with a person, place, or thing. Most spirits want to be undetected and unnoticed.”

Olszewski provided a thumbnail index for the three types of contact: intelligent (active interaction), poltergeist (noisy and purposely disruptive), and residual (a repeating imprint, similar to a tape loop.) Spirits also require energy to “feed” on, and interact, whether from electrical sources or individuals.

Those forms of energy manifest themselves as orbs (luminous and non-luminous with their own energy source), ectoplasm (a visible mist, or fluid form), shadow people, partial or full-body apparitions, rods (streaks of light), and psychic blur (energy between the object and a camera.)

“Spirits know your heart and intent…our group has learned much, and come far since starting in 2006,” he said. “We’ve always had a revolving group of people that are empaths, investigators, mediums, and empirical data researchers. We use multiple forms of evidence-gathering data that’s layered, and time-coded for a specific point referral in the investigation. We use a single-blind approach, where the investigators aren’t aware of what’s there, or the historical narrative.”

Olszewski related one incident, from his sheriff ’s deputy tenure involving the Stickney Mansion in Bull Valley. George and Sylvia Stickney built the two-story home in the secluded rural area in the mid-1800s, and the house itself was designed to have rounded corners in place of traditional 90-degree angles to prevent spirits from becoming trapped. Both were spirtualists.

A second-floor ballroom was used for spiritualist gatherings and séances. George Stickney died in a corner of the second-floor. His wife continued with her spiritualist activities until her death and the dwelling came into the possession of residential owners. Stories began to circulate about disembodied sounds, voices, moved furniture, and apparitions.

“We were told the owner hung himself,” said Olszewski. “The couple that lived there had complained of vandalism on the second floor, moved furniture, part of the tin ceiling pulled back. So, we staked it out one night, with four detectives. The couple went out to dinner, and we checked everything, before they left. When they returned a few hours later, they showed us where the ceiling had been peeled back again.

“No one could have gotten in, or gotten out. This is one of those things unexplained conventionally.” The home is now owned bythe Stickney House Foundation, which is attempting to restore the house to its original state. The basement area is occupied by the Bull Valley Police Department, and they will not discuss the matter of hauntings.

Another unconventional explanation suited the former Grant Township Hall on Washington Street in Ingleside. It was also home to Joe Tancl, a retired member of the Fox Lake Fire Protection District, who lived upstairs and acted as the building’s caretaker until his passing in Dec. 1968.

“He was a well-liked man, a well-respected man, and was the caretaker for the place,” said the district’s current chief, Ron Hoehne. “We lived in Ingleside for a long time, and I knew him, when I was young. He had served under the previous chief, and my father, Stu, took over from him in 1981. I heard the stories about the hall, and you wonder.”

Stories about noises and bumps being heard in the upstairs areas during township meetings were common, along with other occurrences. In 2009, the current occupants, the Fox Lake-Grant Township Historical Society, invited Olszewski’s group to investigate, and see what they could find. Meters, used for temperature readings, indicated cold drops in certain areas precisely where magnetic meters honed in on a presence.

The most startling piece was delivered during a reveal to the society. “Remember, when you take a digital picture, that’s it,” he said. “You can’t double-expose it, or alter the original results. We had detected a presence, and a team member snapped a picture of me. It showed another individual somewhat superimposed. One society member said, ‘That’s Joe!’ He produced a photo of Mr. Tancl… amazing. Not a harmful spirit, either.”

The group continues with site investigations and remote readings, still seeking to help resolve conflict between the departed and the inhabitants living with them.

“Spirits are all around us, getting them to cross over and go to the light can be difficult,’ said Olszewski. “In 2017, we had sixteen investigations, and in all, but three cases, we got everyone to cross over. Many times spirits are fearful of leaving, or have done something they feel God will not forgive them for. We want to help them get to the light, and it’s a way to find peace.

“After they’ve crossed over…they can still come back.”  


It is time to think about fall garden tasks and preparing the vegetable garden for winter. A thorough clean-up is essential to the long-term health of garden soil.

A good place to begin is by removing cages, trellises and other plant supports from the garden and clean and disinfect them. Cleaning and disinfecting are two distinct steps. Cleaning involves physically removing soil and debris and is the first step prior to applying a disinfectant. Soil and other organic residues reduce the effectiveness of disinfectants. Some disinfecting agents can be caustic and need to be rinsed from surfaces.

The garden area should be cleared of all plant material, especially any diseased debris, old fruit and vegetables. The best time to do this is before the ground hardens. Remove any weeds to eliminate overwintering sites for insects and disease. Healthy material can be composted but diseased plants should be disposed of to avoid contaminating the compost pile, thus re-infecting the garden with the same disease next season.

After the garden area is cleaned up, organic amendments may be added. Leaves are an excellent amendment and in abundant supply this time of year. Rather than disposing of all of them, apply a layer to the garden and lightly till into the soil. This lightens heavy soils, helps sandy soils retain moisture and adds trace minerals and food for beneficial organisms.

Do not forget to pick up all the hoses, drain them of water and store in a dry place. Store emptied outdoor containers upside down to avoid cracking. Cover the compost pile with plastic or a thick layer of straw. If there are hopelessly weedy areas, they can be covered with plastic or cardboard left in place over the winter to kill sprouting spring weeds. This is also an excellent method to prepare a new bed for the next season.

As tempting as it may be to forego the effort to do a fall garden cleanup and defer the job until spring, it is a good idea to start on this work effort now. Our hope is that these tips will help your garden survive winter and thrive next spring

Varsity Girls Volleyball Team

It may have been a cold, damp evening for football, but the Marengo Indians kept the “Homecoming” weekend warm and alive at Rod Poppe Field with a last-minute 29-22 victory over Woodstock North. The victory keeps the Indians (4-2 Overall, 3-0 Kishwaukee River Conference) in first place, tied with the Johnsburg Skyhawks.

With the game tied 22-22, Marengo quarterback Travis Knaak (16-31, 193 passing yards, 1 Touchdown pass, 3 TD runs) watched four consecutive tosses fall incomplete, before turning the ball over to the Thunder (2-4, 1-3), halfway through the fourth quarter. With 2:26 left in the game, Marengo got possession of the ball.

Knaak heaved a sideline pass on third down, from the Indians’ 47-yard line, to Aaron Shepard, who powered down to the Wood- stock North 1-yard line. Knaak then backpedaled into the end zone with 0:35 seconds left, on a sneak play for the score, followed by Shepard’s one-point conversion kick.

Marengo’s Cole Davis intercepted a Ryan Zinnen pass to close out WN’s last hopes for a tying touchdown.

WN grabbed opened the game’s scoring, when running back Ed Flores ran it in from 22 yards out, and a 2-point conversion pass for an 8-0 lead. WN’s Finn Schirmer, who had amassed 618 rushing yards this season, was removed in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. The second quarter started with Knaak tossing to Davis for a 6-yard pass, but the conversion run was stopped.

WN scored on an Austin Zie- man catch for a 6-yard TD pass, and the Indians’ Shepard kicked a 27-yard field goal at the 0:09-sec- ond mark to end the first half, with WN leading 15-9.

Marengo’s offense began churning out the ground yardage behind Knaak, who scored on 1-yard and 9-yard runs, for a 22-15 third quarter lead. The Thunder drove the ball into the Indians’ red zone, eventually clicking for a 3-yard TD pass, from Zinnen to Carter Coalson, on a fourth down play, and knot the score 22-22.

Another WN score was averted when linebacker Blake Heinberg took the ball away from Flores at the Marengo 1-yard line. Knaak totaled 314 yards for the game. He also went 21- 121 rushing, with Finnigan Schirmer (6-33), Cade Nolen (1-4), and Nikolas San Miguel (4-8).

Marengo receivers were led by Shepard (5-74), Davis (6-66), Colton Lohff ( 2-37), Schirmer (1-10), Nolen (1-5), and San Mi- guel (1-1). The offense totaled 358 yards. The Indians go head-to-head with Johnsburg for first place in the KRC, in an Oct. 5 away game.


The Indians beat the Harvard Hornets in straight matches 25- 13 and 25-9 in a Sept. 26 KRC tilt. Hannah Ritter, Lillie Simons, and Bailey Bertrand each had six kills.


The Sept. 24 Kishwaukee River Tournament, played at the Blackstone Golf Club, ended with the Burlington Rockets taking first place, followed by the Harvard Hornets in second place, and Johnsburg taking the third place slot. The Indians’ Carlie Seeman shot a 101, and led the Marengo golfers























The Marengo-Union Chamber of Commerce is holding a Voter Forum on Monday, October 22 at Marengo Community High School Auditorium from 6:30- 8:30 pm. The candidates will include McHenry County Board District 6 candidates, as well as Illinois Senate District 32 candidates. The Forum is held as a community service by the chamber in advance of the November 6 General Election. XXXXCounty District 6 encompasses more than 50% of the land in the county. Since the map is drawn based on population, the rural character of District 6 is unlike the rest of the county. Because of this, the population of Harvard, Marengo, Union and northern Woodstock have different concerns than the rest of the county. Parts of Sun City in Huntley are also included in D6. The District 6 candidates who are on the ballot are Michele Aavang, Buffy Brasile, Larry W Smith and Larry Spaeth.XXXX Illinois Senate District 32 has been represented by Pam Althoff for 16 years. She has decided to retire. District 32 runs from the WI state line on the north, to IL 90 tollway on the south including Harvard, Marengo, Union and all of Woodstock, east past McHenry. The candidates running for that seat are Mary Mahady and Craig Wilcox. All the candidates are invited to meet and greet the Forum voters from 6- 6:30 in the auditorium. During the Forum the audience may write down questions that the moderator will direct to the candidates. Learning about the candidates on the ballot is important to be an informed voter. XXXXVoting may be completed at home by requesting a Vote at Home ballot from the County:XXXX county-government/departments-a-i/ county-clerk/elections/voter-services. This may be requested any time up to Nov 1. Using the same link, you can check to be sure you are a registered voter. XXXXXAny resident can register to vote by using the same link. Early voting is another option. Marengo City Hall upstairs is open Monday Oct 22 through Monday Nov 5 from 9 am to 2 pm for early voting. Mark your calendars for October 22 at MCHS to learn more about these candidates who will represent you in Woodstock and Springfield.


Brett Herold, 26, of Marengo, was charged with failure to reduce speed (Misdemeanor) and fleeing the scene of an accident (Class 4 Felony) in a Sept. 22 vehicle crash that took the life of an Elgin woman on River Road. The woman, whose name has been withheld, was taken to Woodstock Northwestern Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Tim Creighton, of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department, said, “The investigation is ongoing, and as of now, no other charges have been filed against the defendant in the incident.”

The accident occurred at approximately 10:00 p.m., when Herold and the woman were both traveling westbound in the area of 22200-block of River Road. Preliminary reports indicate the woman was driving a Manco go-cart, when Herold struck her vehicle from behind. The McHenry and Boone county sheriff’s departments responded to the scene, as did the Marengo conservation Police and the Marengo Fire Protection District.

“We arrived to find the gokart off to the side of the road, with the victim pulled out of it, and CPR had already been initiated,” said John Kimmel, the district’s Assistant Fire Chief. “We continued CPR, and then, transported the victim to the hospital.”

The investigation is being conducted by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Major Crash Investigation Unit, and the McHenry County Coroners’ Office.


Approval for a petition seeking to build a solar farm on a 41-acre parcel near the intersection of Pleasant Grove and Meyer roads in Riley Township was continued until Oct. 10, following the Sept. 19 Riley School District 18 Board meeting. Seattle-based OneEnergy Renewables, Inc. filed the document. Board members delayed their action to review taxing procedures for the operation as a general commercial business concern or on an energy-produced income basis.

The company had received approval Sept. 19 from the county’s Zoning Board of Appeals to construct a solar farm on a 48-acre parcel near Charles and Raffel roads in Greenwood Township. The 36-year term limit conditional use permit was approved by a unanimous 7-0 vote, and now moves to the full Mc Henry County Board for disposition. The agricultural zoning designation will remain for the parcel for future use.


The civil suit filed by the Fraternite Notre Dame in Mar. 2015 against the Mc Henry County Board over the denial of a special use permit remains on hold, as settlement discussions were halted with the filing of a separate petition to intervene by Coral Township, and its supervisor, Roger Naylor. The initial litigation was based on the county board’s abridgement and denial of constitutional rights, throughout the zoning process and final determination. The new petition seeks to intervene in the civil process.

James C. Geoly, of the Chicago-based law firm of Burke, Warren, Mac Kay, & Serritella, P.C., is representing the Order, and stated, “The settlement talks were very productive and appeared to be arriving at a conclusion, when the intervention petition was filed. They are seeking to intervene in the negotiations. In this filing, the defendants are the county and the Fraternite, with an Oct. 22 deadline to file the replies with the court.”

The Coral Township petitioners will then have until Nov. 19 to file their response, and a tentative Dec. 20 date has been set for a status hearing, before Magistrate Judge Ian Johnston.

The Order had sought a conditional use permit to expand its operations and initiate new construction at its rural site on Harmony Hills Road, outside of Marengo. It petitioned the McHenry County Zoning Board of Appeals in Apr. 2015, with several contentious meetings that were attended by neighboring residents opposed to the potential construction. ZBA members forwarded the matter to the county board that July, on a 4-3 vote with no recommendation.

The county board denied the request by a 21-2 vote, two months later, sparking the lawsuit as available recourse. The special use permit would have allowed the construction of a barn with a commercial kitchen, a winery, and a brewery. The permit also sought to allow the construction and operation of a school with a dormitory for kindergarten through twelfth grades, a nursing home with hospice services, a gift shop, as well as an on-site winery and tasting area.


Attorneys for Arnold Magnetic Engineering, Inc., and its parent property owner, 300 West LLC, filed a motion Aug. 15 requesting deadline extensions for hook-ups to the new water main on Railroad Street, citing ongoing negotiations with third-party entities and easement access grants. The filing was subsequent to a June 27 Chancery Division court order with an Aug. 14 date for hook-up completion between impacted residents and the city of Marengo water main. The companies have stated “all easement plats/subordination agreements have been forwarded to the applicable property owners.”

“The motion to extend deadlines, that was submitted by the defense…explains the outstanding issues and third parties involved,” said Annie Thompson, press secretary of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. “We are trying to work with the third parties involved to reach a resolution that will enable the remainder of the hook-up project to move forward.”

The third parties have been identified as the city of Marengo, five property owners represented by counsel, and five property owners not represented by counsel. Attorneys for the 300 West LLC and their engineers also met with city officials Aug. 2 to “review all easements and ensure that everything was in order.” City Manager Josh Blakemore said, “Basically, it’s now down to easement access for the property owners, and negotiating for the hook-ups with them. The water main connects to the city works for the water supply. The property owners that do connect, it still goes that they will be charged the ‘in-town’ rate, and will not be required to annex into the municipal boundaries.”

 In May 2010, Arnold retained a consultant group with monitoring wells to produce on-site samples, and the findings confirmed the presence of toxic chemicals. A subsequent 2013 civil lawsuit was filed by the state attorney general’s office against Arnold and 300 West LLC, on behalf of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, seeking to enforce testing regimens, and punitive damages.

An estimated seventeen private and commercial water wells located within a onemile proximity of the 300 West site showed concentrations of substances including vinyl chloride, PCE, TCE, and other carcinogens. The factory manufactured magnets and the substances were used in their production. They subsequently entered the water table.

An impressive trophy is currently visiting various businesses around town. These establishments are sponsors for the Settlers’ Days Car Show coming up on Oct. 6 and the travelling trophy is starting to generate excitement about the event.

It is also beginning to raise funds for the automotive program at the Marengo Community High School. As it travels from business to business, customers are tossing cash into the beautiful trophy. This money is being collected by Abby Laudato and Gas & Diesel, 154 N. State St. Marengo, who is promoting the show.

The trophy, along with the other car show trophies, was provided by Your Supply Depot and Thomas Stewart, 207 E. Grant Highway. This trophy is three feet tall and the base is of mahogany. It will be presented to the Best of Show winner during Settlers Days.

Vincent Long and Dan Schirmer teach the automotive program at MCHS. “Abby volunteers with us on a daily basis,” Long said.

“The Auto Refinishing (third year) class is bodywork on the vehicles. During Auto 2, the students go out to learn to work on the school buses and heavy machinery. The first semester of Auto 1 is basic hands-on learning. During their second semester, the students actually work on cars - mostly family, friends, and teachers. They charge $10 per hour, not to steal business from local businesses, but to gain real world experience and to raise money to participate in the SkillsUSA contest. In fact, the funds raised by the car shows at Joe’s Place and other donations to the Auto programs go for the same purpose,” he said. “The school pays for everything we need in class.

“The contest theme this year is ‘SkillsUSA: Champions at Work, Career-Ready Starts Here.’ SkillsUSA is the only organization that defines, implements, and measures career-readiness of students based on the demands set by business and industry today.

“This contest is strongly supported by Mike Rowe of ‘Dirty Jobs’ on the Discovery channel. MCHS has sent students to compete in SkillsUSA for several years. In 2013 a MCHS student finished fourth in the nation in Refinishing. We have had students place well in the Diesel and Refinishing categories. We had a student do well in the Culinary category also. SkillsUSA covers far more than just the automotive arena.

“I have only had one female student in Automotive. I would love to have more. She has been published in ‘SkillsUSA Champions’ magazine and, in college, she was published in ‘Auto Body News.’ “Our students have been in five or six contests this year and hotels, food, and other needs can get expensive. Donations to our department cover the gap between what the school funds and what we actually spend. We do not want the students to have to pay for anything.”

If you do not see the trophy around town before Settlers Days, the car show will be held in Spencer Park on Oct. 6. ByAnne Eickstadt Correspondent Travelling trophy benefits high school’s auto program 

Indians Drop Home Opener 48-6 Against Sterling

The Marengo Indians were unable to mount a sustained offense and the defense was unable to hold down the Sterling Golden Warriors, from the second quarter on through the rest of the game, resulting in a 48-6 non-conference loss for the Aug. 24 home- and season-opener at Rod Poppe Field.

Sterling (1-0) muffed a fourth-down punt try at the outset, and Marengo (0-1) was stopped cold on its first possession. With the Golden Warriors alternating its quarterbacks on each series, they eventually broke through on a 25-yard touchdown pass, from Cooper Willman to Weston Sisson, at the 3:32 mark of the first quarter, missing the extra point. 0:07-seconds into the second quarter, Camden Bailey took the snap and ran the ball in from the 7-yard line, and a 13-0 lead.

Two running TDs by Marquez Williams, one on a fumbled kickoff return by the Indians, and two rushing TD’s by Nigel Bruce, put the game out of reach at 40-0 before the half ended, and started the continuous clock running. The Indians fumbled two kickoff returns on the night.

Marengo scored twice in the fourth quarter, with quarterback Travis Knaak keeping the ball and running it into the end zone at the 7:32 mark, and another Sterling scored on a 4-yard run with 7:32 left in the game, and a 2-point safety when Sterling muffed another punt attempt in the end zone.

The Indians next square off against the Plano Reapers in an Aug. 31 non-conference away game.

Approach and Fundamentals Highlight Middle School Co-op Softball Team

This summer, a new program was initiated for middle school girls (grades 6-8) attending Marengo Community and Riley School to get involved with the game of softball. Not only offering a hands-on guide to the basic fundamentals for the athletes, it also opens the door and strengthens their approach to the game’s critical thinking aspects such as anticipation of the play, and different scenarios.

Marengo Community High School head varsity softball coach, Dwain Nance, serves as an assistant coach. However, the head coach is a name familiar to MCHS sports…Susan Orozco (Anthony), who played for the 2010- 13 Indians. When she heard about the team forming, she promptly jumped at the chance and knew that she, and Nance, would be on the same page in how to go about running the program.

“We are using this program to teach players the game, to realize softball is more than just catching, throwing, and swinging a bat,’ said Orozco. “The mental side of the game is so important, along with developing the abil- ity to anticipate the next play, and at a young age, will only help them become a better play- er when they reach the varsity level in high school. This opportunity to impact the youth of Marengo softball is an honor.”

34 girls signed up for the team. They are being taught a skill-set of catching, throwing, base running, hitting form, and defensive po- sitioning. Deemed equally as important are leadership, commitment, sportsmanship, and responsibility since those traits will follow them off the field and into their lives.

“We have only been working with these girls for four short weeks, and the improvement we have seen is incredible,” said Orozco. “Yes, winning and being successful is exciting, but seeing the girls transform is what makes it fulfilling for me. I believe each girl has gotten better from being on the Marengo Middle School Softball team, and we will continue to work hard to make sure these girls are successful in all aspects of their life. For me, the most rewarding part of coaching is seeing the girls grow and improve.”

The program will also bring dividends in another way by preparing the athletes for high school softball competition. “This is an awesome opportunity for our program, this will only enhance it,” said Nance. “The girls and coaches have been working really hard on improving their skills and knowledge of the game. We have seen some major improvements in those areas already.

“The middle school program allows more kids to learn the expectations, procedures and success of our program at a younger age,’ he said. “Coach Orozco has done an excellent job of organizing and getting this program off running.

McHenry County Independents Close Out Vintage Base Ball Season.

With a runner on third base, and one out in top of the ninth inning, a ground ball by a conscripted player resulted in a double-play. The Grayslake Athletics, thus came from behind in sealing a 7-6 win over the noble Mc Henry County Independents in an Aug. 25 away game at Central Park, during the annual Grayslake Color Aloft Balloon Festival.

Leading 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Independents were unable to contain the strikers of Grayslake. After several scores, a collision occurred in the outfield between “The Tiger” and “Breadman,” leading to tense moments, injury, and another run for the Athletics.

The Independents were not victorious in their three games this season, but their efforts were gentlemanly in keeping with the theme of the contests. Always remember, when it comes to Civil War-era contests, it is two words: Base Ball. Huzzah!

“Someday, I will have to look through the files to see if it was intentionally spelled as the ‘Independents,’ or really a typo,’ said Kurt Begalka, the team’s manager, and administrator for the Union-based Mc Henry County Historical Society and Museum.

Fall is a terrific time for gardeners to begin planting lettuce, arugula, endive, or other leafy greens for salads. These plants are easy to grow, grow quickly and also add a significant source of nutrients to your diet.

When growing salad greens, transplants are not as easy to come by in the fall as they are in the spring. The best option may be to plant seed directly into the garden bed. Transplants can be set into the ground in early to mid-September and seeds should be planted in late-August to early-September. Many salad greens go from seed to harvest in less than 45 days making direct seeding a great option. Another option is to start seeds in containers on the patio.

Whether planting seeds or transplants, loosen the soil first, add all-purpose granulated organic or synthetic (10-10-10) fertilizer, plant, and water. When planting seed, dig a shallow trench, add a pinch of seed along the row, and lightly cover it. Be sure not to plant seed too deep. A general rule of thumb is to plant a seed two times its thickness underground. Keep seeds evenly moist with a light sprinkle of water about every other day until they germinate, usually in about a week. Typically, most direct-seeded salad greens will not need to be thinned out.

Provide plants with necessary water – at least one inch per week. Plants should not need another round of fertilizer with good quality soil. Remove weeds and consider mulching the soil with straw or untreated grass clippings. Monitor plants and harvest them as leaves mature or as needed.

For continued harvest, cut the outer leaves first and keep the central point growing. Leaves can be rinsed in very cold water just before serving. Pat dry with a clean towel. If a large supply of greens is ready to harvest, cut and store them in the refrigerator rather than letting them over-mature. Lastly, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor, as these nutritious salad greens will make a wonderful addition to the garden and your plate.


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