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Fall Membership Meeting, September 10, 2005
Dixon, IL

The fall meeting's program was a spectacular event, thanks to the planning and hard work of board member Everett Kraft and his "old car buddies"!! Approximately 30 people attended, with members and guests driving 10 old time cars to the event, ranging from 1920 to 1957 with most of them in the 1930s.

The group met at the Midway Drive-In Theater in Prairieville, which is one of ten such theaters still operating in Illinois. The staff of the theater provided the group with items for lunch which they serve when the theater is showing movies.

The day began with registering and parking the old cars. Thanks to the Veterans Car Club of America. This was followed by members and guests registering and getting their meal tickets. Thanks to Esther and Wayne Silvius, Laura Nekola and Elsie Kraft. After the people were assembled, M.C. Everett Kraft kept up a lively chatter greeting the people and enthusiastically talking about the old cars and their drivers. He introduced the IL Chapter president, Wayne Silvius, who welcomed all in attendance.

All those present had an opportunity to ride in one of the antique cars to the 1920 re-enactment/ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the paving completion of the LH between Dixon and Sterling. Wayne Silvius, chapter president and Laura Nekola, IL State Director, preformed the ribbon cutting.

The group then boaded the antique cars and returned to the Midway Drive-In Theater for lunch, which consisted of a choice of a cheeseburger, hamburger, hot dog, chicken sandwich or chicken strips. These were accompanied with french fries and a COOL drink! The temperature by this time had reached 90 degrees.

After the satisfying lunch, Everett Kraft explained the car games . The first one was a tube patching contest between Wayne and Esther Silvius (LHA) against Harold Vail, president of the auto club and Merel Deets IL LHA member. After much huffing and puffing with the hand pump, a draw was determined

The next game was "Lost My Wheel" and lug nuts. A search turned up the tire and lug nuts, with the moral of the incident being....carry an extra set of lug nuts!!

This activity was followed by the "Economy Run". The cars had to shut off the gas, and see how far they could go on only the gas in the carboratuer, The winner was Harold Vail. Thanks to Merril and Donna Henrichs for monitoring this fun event!

The "Slow Race" involved how far the cars could go idling, before they stalled. The winner was Harold Vail. Thanks to Jim and Pat Balcom for managing this suspense filled event! Jim was also the starter of all the races! Thanks to the flagman!!

Any age car could participate in "Back Car into Garage". The driver of the auto was blindfolded and with the aid of a "helper" had to back the car between a lane of cone markers without hitting a cone. This turned out to be quite an amusing feat!! All the participants received a prize.

The next "Blind Man's Bluff" was much the same as the above, except, the driver had to drive between the lane of cones without hitting a cone...blind-folded and with no help!! This too, was a very entertaining event!! The winner was "Hub" Hubbel. He did this in a remarkable 54 inches!!

The Fan Belt Toss proved to be quite popular with many. A participant had four fan belts that were tossed over a four blade fan mounted on a post. This too, created the interest and amusement of many. This was a fun event with no specific winner!

The youngest driver was Ben Kraft and the oldest, Wayne Silvius. Thanks to them and all other drivers who participated.

Prizes were donated by the Krafts and photo placemats were from the IL Chapter. Watch for a group photo in the next newsletter!

After the "heat" of the car games, the group opted to have the meeting in the AC refreshment area where Farming Heritage Historian and LH member Duane Paulson gave an informative and interesting historical account of the 12 mile stretch of the LH by the theater and into Dixon. He highlighted his presentation by describing points of interest along the way..historical buildings, markers, silos and restored buildings. A very intriguing account of the area on the Lincoln Highway. Thanks, Duane! To enhance this presentation, Everett had mounted pictures and photos showing the LH route stretch discussed by Duane. Guy Lombardo and his band performed in the area in the 1920s, so it was appropriate that one of his records was played, on an early hand-cranked Victrola, throughout the presentations!

Ron Colson, our Lincoln Highway Coalition representative, again explained the latest display panels the coalition has produced for use at various events and places. The three panels depict information about the Lincoln Highway and are very appealing as visual aids in promoting the Lincoln Highway.

Everett then reintroduced Wayne Silvius, president of the IL Chapter LHA, who conducted the business meeting.

CALL TO ORDER: 2:40 by President Wayne Silvius

MINUTES: The minutes had been distributed to the members present. Laura Nekola made the motion to accept the minutes, seconded by Merle Deets; carried

TREASURER'S REPORT: The treasurer's report was distributed by Carl Jacobson, He reported expenses of $1680.40; Income $2743.82; Balance $1063.42; Money Market; $5151.53. Duane Paulson made the motion to accept the report, seconded by Merle Deets; carried.

ILLINOIS DIRECTOR: Laura Nekola reported the National LHA received an anonymous donation of $100,000. A committee has been formed to determine the investment/use of the donation.

She urged the members to attend the national conference next year in Cedar Rapids, IA, in June, which will be held at her alma mater Coe College. She will be unable to attend due to her school still being in session until June 15th. She told the group she had just returned from a summer's employment at the library of the Grand Canyon's South Rim. She reported it was a very educational, informational and exciting experience.

John and Kathy Morley, who are active in a garden club, have a piece of property on the LH which they are cleaning up for roadside beautification. They will keep us posted on the progress.

COALITION: Ron Colson brought retractable banners which the Lincoln Highway Coalition group which he had shown previously. They are compact, roll-up displays that are easily transported and set up for use by schools, libraries, civic groups, etc. He also reported the group has a plan for a Gazebo for any interested community to erect and use for informational brochures and other pertinent historical/tourism literature. They can be constructed for $7000. Bonnie Heimbach, tourism official, has reported 7 communities are interested.

MEMBERSHIP: Ruth Frantz, retiring membership secretary, reported there 1150 National LHA members and 204 IL members.

She also told the group the Plainfield Congregational Church, on the LH was having a 100th Anniversary celebration Sept. 25th. She, Laura and Sue hope to attend.

OLD BUSINESS: Headquarters has had a number of people stopping in; two motorcycle riders; one bicycle rider riding on the LH; many Volkswalk participants since the H.I.Lincoln Building is their headquarters/starting point on weekends; sales are down due to National having merchandise in their catalog of the same items.

FUND RAISERS: Garage Sale at Franklin Grove's Festival netted $30.55. Wayne told the group any ideas for fund raisers would be greatly appreciated. Possible car tour with Lt. Governor will be discussed by board.

NEWSLETTER: Kay couldn't be at the meeting. Sue reported Kay said the Web Site is updated at: http://www.lhaillinois.rochelle.net/ She thanked everyone for the stories, pictures, etc that have been sent to her and wants these items to keep being sent! She has finished her portion of the map pack. The book designer has to work on it next. She voted we do something about getting a road trip organized next fall on the Lt. Governor's schedule. She has a prospect for our spring membership meeting. The board will handle this issue.

NATIONAL LHA PRESENTATION: Ruth was unable to attend the 2005 LHA Conference in Ely, NV where she was to be presented with the organization's highest award for her outstanding service to the LHA as membership secretary for 10 years. National Secretary Sue Jacobson, accepted the award, with the intent she would present it to Ruth at a state meeting on behalf of the NLHA. Ruth was given the beautiful, engraved crystal vase much to her surprise and gratitude!! A photo of the presentation will be in our state newsletter as well as in the LHA's national magazine THE FORUM.

FESTIVALS: Wayne and Esther Silvius drove their old car in the Franklin Grove and Rochelle parades. They received a plaque and a trophey from the Rochelle car show, being in the Top 60. Ron Colson asked if they could be in the Oregon parade, but they will be on a European trip. Ron will try to find someone to drive an old car with a LH sign in the Oregon parade.

John and Kathy Morley invited the group to have a meeting at their home in Dixon. It was agreed the board would have their Nov. 12th meeting there, and all those in attendance today would be invited to the meeting and a lunch prepared by the Morleys, plus a viewing of their numerous antique collections. Sue will be in contact with Kathy for final arrangements. The next membership meeting dates would be determined at this time by the board.

ADJOURNMENT: The president adjourned the meeting at 3:20. --------------------------------------------------------------

Sue Jacobson, secretary