April, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the tornado that struck Belvidere, IL. At that time, Marengo resident Dorothy Johnson whose family owned and operated the Tastee Freez wrote this amazing memoir we are printing here:

Well, it really started out like a normal week in Marengo.

We opened the Tastee Freez on a Wednesday afternoon, April 19th, at about 2 P.M. Business was real good. It seemed quite normal, being back to work. Thursday was a pretty normal day, too, and it was sorta good seeing all the school kids again. Then came Friday and all pretense of normal was shot!

Alfonso Graceffa 1918—2017

Alfonso "Al Grace" Graceffa, 98 of Rockford, passed away on Monday, April 3, 2017. Born December 4, 1918 in Aragona, Sicily, the son of Louis & Rosalia Graceffa. He lived most of his life in Rockford, coming here from Sicily. Al married Marie Kronaizl in Rockford on September 28, 1947. She predeceased him in 2004. He owned Al Grace Appliance since 1962. He was a veteran of WWII serving in the United States Army. He was first stationed at Camp Grant, where he did basic training and played the bugle. He then transferred to Ft. Louis Washington, where he was the leader of the USO Medical Division – entertaining the troops returning from the Pacific. Al was a member of Holy Family Church. He was leader of Al Grace and his Orchestra, playing before and after the war, until 1960. He played high school dances and weddings, among other events. Special thanks to Transitions Hospice and East Bank Rehabilitation Center for their loving care. Survivors include: children Lou (Joan) Graceffa, Sue (Brad) Born, Randy Graceffa; grandchildren Erica (Jason) Butz, Aaron, Graceffa, Casey (Matt) Lepley, Derek (Sheri) Born; and 7 great-grandchildren. - See more at: http:// www.legacy.com/obituaries/ rrstar/obituary.aspx?n=alfonso- graceffa&pid=184820105&fhid= 24711#sthash.iUDldfgO. dpuf

Dear Residents:

The Board of Commissioners of the Marengo Park District is aware of the recent media coverage concerning Joe Vallez, Manager of Park Operations. As a governing body committed to providing outstanding services to our community, the Marengo Park District and Joe Vallez both have been equally transparent in all discussions about the professional relationships he has with other park districts.

MOREHere at the M.O.R.E. Center, we have an award that we give to individuals, groups and businesses called “Friend of MORE.” It’s a certificate indicating our appreciation for outstanding service to us and, over the years, we have given out over 50 of these. It would be nice for everyone to get one of these, but that isn’t practical. So, we look for those who shine a little brighter.

Mcgills changesResidents of Marengo may have noticed that there is now an empty lot where the one story portion of the McGills factory used to be.

“The one story section was razed,” says Pastor Doc of the Marengo United Methodist Church which owns the property. “We plan to install a parking lot. We are unsure when yet because we are still raising the funds. The goal is to put a parking lot there that the city can use as well as the parishioners.”

Boys BowlingThe Marengo boys basketball team (16-5 Overall, 4-1 Kishwaukee River Conference) showered the Harvard Hornets with a dozen three-pointers at home, en route to a 65-40 win. The Jan. 28 tilt had the three-point basket parade led by Michael Volkening (23 points) collecting four, Connor Wascher (10) picking up two, and Blaine Borhart (11) with three.

BumblebeeOver 75% of our crops and flowering plants must be pollinated. Yet, there is clear evidence that pollinators are in perilous decline. Among pollinators are hummingbirds, flies, bats, butterflies, beetles, bats, moths and bees. They all play an important role in flowering plant reproduction and production of most vegetables and fruits.

Boy collects coatsWhen 5-year-old Brayden Jenkins feels cold sitting in a car, he thinks about homeless people who have no car or home to sit in. Brayden worries people without coats will get sick. That’s why he started a coat drive in December. He partnered with Roc’s Barber Shop in DeKalb. Although Brayden lives in Marengo, he frequents Roc’s regularly.

City Hall 1Marengo’s first city hall was a very unassuming building located in the northwest portion of today’s Municipal Lot. In the history column Ruminations by Rudy, which appeared in the August 3, 1978, edition of the Marengo Beacon News, Rudy Husfeldt described this ancient center of Marengo’s seat of government as an “18 x 20 ft., two room, clapboard, unpainted, tinroofed structure sporting two small windows.” The location wasn’t that great either. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for the years 1885, 1893, and 1905 place the building immediately adjacent to a railroad track siding and just west of the alley that runs along the west side of the Marengo Fire Protection District Station. This building was constructed sometime after 1859 when Marengo was first incorporated as a town.

News

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Marengo Area News Briefs

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