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Emails for April 2006
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Food available at St. Paul's Church on Saturday | 1 Elder 2 Another | Why no class of 2000 reunion? | Thanks to supporters of fund raiser | Reminder: Cub Scouts bake sale this weekend | A Special Thank You From Chief of Police Bill Butler | Pitching record set by son of former resident | Eurasian doves not uncommon anymore | Clarification on firemen response time | Comment on boredom | Trip planned for Presidential Library | Town-wide garage sale reminder | Looking for MDR recipe | Response to Eric's editorial | Part time help needed | Sorry about the loss | Clarification on parsonage fire | Results and progress in Iraq | Tougher immigration laws | Immigration reform | Busting drugs in Minonk in 1973 | Let it Rest | My 2 cents worth | Thanks to Richard Olson | What's wrong with intelligent conversation? | Homosexuality is an abomination | Appropriate topics | Is it over yet? | On homesexual marriage controversy | A Christian Perspective | Casting stones! | Looking for German potato salad recipe | Why vote on something illegal in most states | Why such an uproar over gay marriage? | What's wrong is wrong |

Thanks to supporters of fund raiser

We would like to thank everyone who came to our chili/hotdog fundraiser and made it such a great success. We would also like to thank all the businesses and people who donated to this event and or made personal donations, and to everyone who came and to help and to the kids from the El Paso and Peoria classes who did a demonstration with Mikalie. A special thank you to Julie Schmitt and Barb Hahn for all the time and hard work they put into the fundraiser, without them none of it would have happened.

All of you have made it possible for Mikalie to take advantage of this great opportunity to spend time in China and train with Master WuBin.

Thank you so much.

Mikalie Stalter & Sis Hovey

A Special Thank You From Chief of Police Bill Butler

On June 3, 2006 I will be retiring after thirty years of service as a police officer with the City of Minonk. The last twenty-two of these years has been as your Chief of Police. It saddens me to be leaving at this time. I have many friends and supporters in the community. I am now pursing a new career as a salesman for Heller Ford, in El Paso. I am really excited about working for Heller Ford. I enjoy selling. Prior to me working for the City of Minonk I worked for Sears Roebuck and Company as a salesman in Springfield, Champaign and Bloomington, Illinois.

As the Chief of Police for the City of Minonk, I have worked for seven mayors. I have worked for Mayors Nick Butera (deceased), Dave Shirley who also was a past City Council Member and City Administrator, Ron (Corky) Marshall, Bill Herman Sr., Earl Anderson, Mark Spencer and Bill Koos. I enjoyed working for and wish to thank past Mayors Shirley, Marshall, Herman, Anderson and Spencer for their help, support, encouragement, leadership, kindness and friendship. I also wish to thank City Council member Sean Cunningham and past council members Steve Mattox and Sherry Stalter for their help, support, leadership, encouragement, and kindness.

I also wish to thank Administrative Assistant Bobbie Evans, City of Minonk Public Works, Ambulance, ESDA, Minonk Fire Protection District, Minonk Township, Fieldcrest School District personnel, Minonk Businessmen's Association, Sheriff Jim Pierceall and the Woodford County Sheriff's Department, and my friends for their help support, friendship, encouragement and assistance.

I especially wish to thank my wife Shelly and my kids, Stephanie, Rick Katelyn, Madison and other immediate family member for their strength, encouragement and support. It has not been easy for them to be related to a police officer in Minonk. Their support and love has been very important to me.

Bill Butler

Eurasian doves not uncommon anymore

I read the photo caption on the Eurasian banded doves. They are actually called Eurasian Collared doves, originally from India, and they are not that rare in this area anymore. They arrived in the southeastern U.S. in the late '70s or early '80s, and have been spreading since then. I have had at least one resident pair, at my home in Rutland, for the last three years. We feed birds, and they seem to be here year round. There have been several more
sighted in the Rutland area. There have been documented nested pairs in Nebraska (1998), and Indiana (2002). This link discusses the Indiana birds in detail;

Duane Knepp
Rutland, IL

Comment on boredom

In a recent letter it was telling about boredom in early teenagers. This is not a new condition, and I've got news for you, it will always be there. I have lived over three quarters of a century, and this is not something that has just been revealed. There have been youth 'hangouts' started in almost every community, and they eventually close down due to the lack of funds, people that try to run them get fed up with the abuse shown by the youth. And, for various other reasons, they run their gamut.

So, back to what can be done. Motivation is the word we are looking for. Instead of poor me, and nothing to do. Think of others that you might do for. It's called volunteering. I spend several months a year in a community that is called a city of volunteers. Thousands of dollars are saved each year by volunteers. Maybe that person living alone up the street or your grandparents would love to have someone call on them and just talk. You could asked them what they do, when they get bored. Play games with them, help them clean out the garage, or the yard. You don't need to be paid for it in cash. It will sure make you feel good inside, what a report on your resume someday down the road.

Go to the nursing home, and play games with lonely people there. ( And, there are some there.) We have a 102 year old aunt in a senior living home, and she loves it when teenage girls come, and they talk, do their nails, fix their hair. What an education these girls are getting to hear about teenagers, 100 yrs. ago.

Minonk has one of the nicest libraries is the country. What a resource of information it contains. Take up a hobby, learn about it at the library, or on the internet. Join a scout troop, 4H club, or start a club for 'bored' kids. Take up a new sport and spend this time practicing new skills. Go to the fitness center, and work off some of the built up energy. Come to my house, and I'll find something for you to do.

Last but least, clean your room. I've seen a few teenage rooms, and there is always something to be picked up, and rearranged. Learn to cook, help your mother out. But, you have to be motivated, and this is done by a spark of encouragement from a parent, or friend.

Boredom is built up energy directed in the wrong direction.

Emily Zivney

Town-wide garage sale reminder

A town-wide garage sale is being planned for Saturday, April 29, 2006 from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

If anyone is interested in participating sign up forms are available at Pop's Sweet Shop, Visions Video, or downloading the form from this website.

To have your sale advertised in the map you must fill out the form with the $4 for advertising, etc and return both to Cathy McKay, 626 Locust, Minonk no later than April 23rd.

The final garage sale map will be available at Pop's Sweet Shop, garage sale participants and on www.minonktalk .

If anyone has any questions please feel free to contact Cathy McKay.

Thanks very much.

Response to Eric's editorial

Great Editorial! Unfortunately, I'm not surprised by Minonk's above average crime rate. I would like to add something that was not mentioned. Much of this vandalism is done out of boredom (in addition to what was mentioned in the editorial). I have a 15 year old son and he is constantly complaining that there is nothing to do here. So, it got me thinking, what is there for teenagers to do? Some go uptown to play pool and go bowling. Unfortunately those are in bar environments…is that where we want our kids going to get off the street? When the weather permits, there's the skate park for those that are into that. What else is there here? I'm drawing a blank! Does anyone else know? Many are excited for the race track. It doesn't look like that's happening in the time frame we were told and many are beginning to think that it's not even going to happen!

What may help is a game room. A place for kids to play video games, shoot pool and internet gaming. What also may help is jobs other than fast food that these kids can to do.

Don't get me wrong, the vandalism and theft needs to stop. I'm trying to offer some ideas and other causes. We live across from the park. We call the police every time we witness suspicious activity although we don't see and hear everything that's going on. We urge everyone else around the park to do so. We cannot ignore it. We do get frequent patrol car coverage, but unfortunately, nothing is occurring during those times.

Sherry Willis

Sorry about the loss

Mr. Foster, on Wednesday my son and I were outside working in the yard. We are just 1 block away from where your son lived. We were very sorry to see that the house was on fire. It is such a sad feeling standing there watching and knowing nothing could be done by us. It was so windy that each time the wind gust it just billowed black smoke and fed the flames.

I am so glad your son was not injured, nor any of the firemen from all the departments that came, as I am sure you are.
I am very proud of our Fire Department we have here in this town. We just spent last Sunday morning after church enjoying breakfast at their annual Fireman's Breakfast, and visiting with all the volunteer Firemen. Thanks guys, you are all so courageous and we tip our hats to you. It's nice to have you as our neighbors.

Lisa Zimmerman

Results and progress in Iraq


Here is the results from Iraq that I was telling you about. I want to thank you for allowing me to share these results with everyone on this website. Its good to hear the awesome progress and work of the armed forces instead of the media portraying the negative things. Hopefully anyone reading this that does not feel we should be over there will understand the good that is coming out this conflict. Although, I know everyone has freedom of speech guarenteed by the Bill of Rights, I know from experience that there is nothing worse than being a soldier, deployed to Iraq, and seeing our own people protest and talk negatively about the war. But no matter what is seen on T.V. soldiers like me and every other branch of the armed forces will still fight for their right to talk bad about us. So if you could pass this on, I would greatly appreciate it.

Rick Butler

Our Results You Don't Hear About in the Media About Iraq!

Did you know that 47 countries have reestablished their embassies in Iraq ?

Did you know that the Iraqi current government employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?

Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 schools are now under construction and 38 new schools have been built in Iraq ?

Did you know that Iraq 's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?

Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2005 for the reestablished Fulbright program?

Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational? They have 5- 100 foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.

Did you know that Iraq's Air Force consists of three operation l squadrons, which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 bell jet rangers?

Did you know that Iraq has a counter terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?

Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?

Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers each 8 weeks?

Did you know There! ere are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq ? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.

Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?

Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?

Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?

Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consist of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?

Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?

Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a recent televised debate recently?

All of the above facts are verifiable on the Department of Defense web site.

Immigration reform


In response to your Immigration comment;

IMHO, the immigrant subject is a touchy one mostly because of the media's play on words. They began by using 'illegal immigrants' then dropped the word 'illegal' once they had fired up a controversy. Many I talk to are now confusing immigration with border jumping.

The issue is multi-pronged and is much more complicated than a simple bill is going to fix.

First off, the issue is with drug smuggling and coyote traffickers. Swarms of border jumpers are crossing over to take advantage of jobs and social programs and don't pay a dime in taxes to support them. The border needs to be closed but for legal checkpoints.

Missing in the prime time news is the property damage and thefts happening on the US side of the border. Cut fences on ranches, butchered animals, gardens raided, clothes and money stolen, groups defecating in peoples yards, stolen cars...the list is endless.

Then there are the fights and rape cases to contend with. Sure, most might be poor people looking for the proverbial streets paved with gold, but there's a large enough percentage coming across who are scumbags.

Then consider the fact they are here illegally which in itself makes them criminals the second they set foot on US soil. Why should they be given 'rights' to become citizens when those who came legally had to wait for years? Try crossing into any other country that way and you'll see what their prisons are like if you live long enough.

Guest workers programs are in effect already. All the US Government has to do is own up to it. Passing new laws to cover old laws which aren't enforced is ludicrous.
Notice the new laws proposed are lacking in varying degrees in provisions for enforcement. So what good are they? They sound good in an election year.

Another thing that pisses me off is when they catch a border jumper committing a crime, they get deported. Gee, I wish I could have been sent home instead of being locked up and hiring an attorney. They should have sent me home for a week until I had a chance to sneak back out on the corner.

First I would lock down the border. Perhaps open a few more crossings for those who do things the right way to come over. Build a fence, electrify it, monitor it, and triple the budget for Border Patrol Canine Units. Then construct a few prison camps to detain those who try and get caught.

Work visas could then be reformed to always allow enough migrant workers across when needed. Those who have a history of migrant labor would get priority. They must check in on a regular basis the same as being on probation. Penalties imposed for violations.

Make illegal immigration a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
Offer an amnesty period to register as a non-resident alien, but having to wait longer than the rest to qualify for resident status and/or citizenship. Once the amnesty period expires, those caught thereafter should have their property confiscated the same as a drug dealer or poacher. Jail time and then deportation.

No social handouts for illegals and no free education at our expense. If a woman crosses to give birth, send her and her kid back. The kid can re-enter on his 18th birthday legally as a natural born citizen.

While most states are strict concerning the issue of drivers licenses, a few aren't. No DL should be issued unless they can prove beyond any doubt they are here legally. Leasing, renting, or selling property to a known illegal should also be a crime. If they want to live here, they can prove they belong here.

Make it tough to be here illegally and things will get under control in short order.


John Novak

Let it Rest


It's been almost a year since legislation was passed allowing marriages for same-sex couples. It's been much longer that same-sex people have been getting married in Canada. Has the sky fallen? Has the meaning of marriage become any less for heterosexuals? No. The reintroduction of the same-sex marriage question can only be a homophobic response to something that is so clearly benign. I just don't get why people care so much about other people sharing their lives together. It has nothing to do with you or your marriage and it truly is sad to see us debating over the right people have to share their love when there are so many more important issues in this world that need our attention. Stop hating what you don't understand or what is different from you. We're all human beings and none of us can claim superiority over another. There is no reason why a homosexual couple who wish to be married should not receive the same benefits and rights that heterosexual married couples receive from the government. Also, a legal marriage is not necessarily a Christian marriage. Churches still reserve the right to choose not to a marry a couple, for many reasons. Same-Sex marriage is a dead issue, let it rest in peace.

John Novak

Thanks to Richard Olson

Just a simple thank you to Richard Olson for his remarks about Dave and his website. You worded my exact feelings probably much better than I could have. I will take this opportunity to thank you also Dave.

D.J. Sweeney

Homosexuality is an abomination

The family has been God's primary vehicle for evangelism since the beginning. Its most important assignment has been the propagation of the human race and the handing down of the faith to our children. Malachi 2:15 reads, referring to husbands and wives, "Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth." That responsibility to teach the next generation will never recover from the loss of committed, God-fearing families. The younger generation and those yet to come will be deprived of the Good News, as has already occurred in France, Germany, and other European countries. Instead of providing for a father and mother, the advent of homosexual marriage will create millions of motherless children and fatherless kids. Are we now going to join the Netherlands and Belgium to become the third country in the history of the world to "normalize" and legalize behavior that has been prohibited by God himself? Heaven help us if we do!

Have a Great Day!
~*Kelly Lane*~

Is it over yet?

I usually enjoy logging on to your website to find out what is happening in Minonk. However, ever since you wrote the editorial regarding St. Paul's UCC the website has been filled with nothing but people bickering and using the website as a forum for their sermon. It's really getting old and I keep wondering how long people are going to drag the subject out. Do half of the people who keep writing in even go to St. Paul's UCC? If not, then what are they worried about and how does it affect them? If they do go to the church, then I think their issues should be taken up with the church directly and not addressed on a website such as Minonk Talk. I think the intended purpose of the website it to keep the community abreast of what is going on not to serve as a place for people to stand on their high horse and preach. Is there really nothing else that is going on in the community that is newsworthy?

Lacy Orabutt

A Christian Perspective

On Easter Christians celebrate the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ who gave His life that we may have eternal life. All we have to do as stated in Romans 10:9 is "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." We then want to live our lives to please God. We are all sinners but the Lord's Prayer says forgive us our trespasses, debts or sins as we forgive others. Jesus said "Go and sin no more." We should not keep repeating the same sins over and over. Will God ever quit forgiving?

We should believe what God and His disciples said about sin as written in the Bible. We all know that God loves the sinner but hates the sin. He hasn't changed his mind to fit the times.

In I Corinthians 5 it says that if a member of a church continues to sin (here it is a sexual sin) he should be expelled in hopes that he may repent and be saved so that the church will remain pure, filled with the Holy Spirit and be a viable witness for Jesus Christ.

Jari Lynn Oncken

Looking for German potato salad recipe

Dear Sir;
My name is Lisa Proffitt and I live in California.  My maiden name was Lisa Konwinski and I grew up in Minonk, perhaps now you recognize the name now. I am residing in California with my husband who is active duty military. (Navy) I have lived in California for nearly 20 years now. (too long)

We are getting close to retirement from the Navy and plan to move closer to Illinois in the next 24 months. To make a long story short, I have been craving some German potato salad like they make back home . I have asked everyone here if they know what it is and the silly Californians just give me that "deer in the headlights look" and say what is that? If you would be so kind to put a request for the recipe on the Minonk website I would be very thankful. Please feel free to include my email address in case they want to drop me a line. I always enjoy hearing from home and it sure helps to make those 6 month deployments with my hubby away, go so much faster if I have emails from home. Thanks for all you are doing back there in Minonk.

May God Bless you,
Lisa "Konwinski" Proffitt

Why such an uproar over gay marriage?

Dear Dave,

Why is there such an uproar over same sex marriage? Lets take a look at some other events that caused uproar in our society. Women the right to vote, civil rights movement, Copernicus theory on earth revolving around the sun. These are just a few that caused us uncertainty when they were introduced to us. To this day I believe these were all for the good of our nation. As will same sex marriage, two people in love should be allowed to join in the union of marriage. Are we taking away freedoms from the homosexuals? Are hetrosexuals afraid the homosexuals will have a better success rate at marriage? My God loves all and created us as we are.

David Dunham

Food available at St. Paul's Church on Saturday

Just wanted to let everyone know that on Saturday the 29th we are not only having our fried chicken dinner from 4:30-8:30 at St. Paul's UCC with carry-outs available, but we are also having food available during the garage sales. Cinnamon rolls, coffee, BBQ, Hot dogs, chips etc. St. Paul's is located at 326 W. 5th in Minonk. All proceeds from this weekend will go towards our Sr. High Youth trip to Philadelphia in June. Thanks so much for your help.

Suzie Schertz

Why no class of 2000 reunion?

I was wondering if anyone knew why the class of 2000 has not had a reunion. If anyone knows whats going on with that feel free to email me at Thank you!

Heather Amigoni Peiffer

Reminder: Cub Scouts bake sale this weekend

Hello! I was wondering if I could send in an email to remind everyone that the Cub Scouts will be having a bake sale during the town-wide garage sale time. This is very important to them, as the funds they raise are being used to purchase and plant 4 White Oak trees in the town of Minonk. They hope to also place some sort of plaque by one of the trees in dedication to our town. This is all part of a national program through BSA (Boy Scouts of America) to "do a good turn" for America. We hope to recieve support in any form from our community. Our bake sale will be located in the parking lot between the Dollar General and the old antique mall.

Sarah Prosser
Committee Chair for Pack 78

Pitching record set by son of former resident

Hi everyone in Minonk!

Here's a little bit of information from the southern part of the state.

Kyle Jones of New Baden, Illinois broke the NCAA II pitching record for the most consecutive innings of not scoring a run in 54 innings. Kyle is a senior pitcher at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. He came within five innings of the longest documented scoreless innings streak in baseball at any level.(59 for Orel Hershiser in 1988 and Irvin Wilhelm in 1907). His streak ended Saturday, April 22 in the first inning, at a home game in front of friends and family. Kyle is a graduate of Wesclin High School in Trenton, Illinois. He is the son of Randy (MDR-1975) and Jean Jones of New Baden and the grandson of former MDR superintendent Don and Joan Jones of Trenton. (And I was his music teacher for all of his grade school years at Wesclin!)

We are all excited down here for Kyle and his family!

Bonnie Janssen Arentsen (MDR 1974)

Clarification on firemen response time

In reply to Mr. Foster's letter in which he stated that the Minonk Fire Department arrived at the Methodist parsonage fire at 1:10 p.m. I would like to give the times recorded by the Minonk Fire Department.

We received a call from Wood Comm at 12:49, we were dispatched at 12:51, Minonk firemen were enroute at 12:53 and the first firemen arrived at the scene at 12:54. The fire department cleared from the scene at 3:17.

Minonk Fire Chief
Bill Herman, Jr.

Trip planned for Presidential Library

I am writing in regards to a bus trip I have planned for Saturday June 3, 2006 We will leave from Fieldcrest East Wenona @ 7:15 am.

We will be going to the Presidential Library in Springfield, along with New Salem, Lincolns Home & Lincolns Tomb. The cost is $48.00 includes bus transportation, Admissions to everything and lunch. If you have, any questions please feel free to call Sheila Healy at 815-853-4606.

Sheila Healy

Looking for MDR recipe

Hi Dave;

To begin I really enjoy coming to Minonk Talk to catch up with the news and see who is doing what since I can't get home very often.

I enjoy the different views also, hey, that's what Minonk always had, various opinions on everything. It has been a great place to live and I do miss it a lot.

I am hoping someone might help me find a recipe from our "good ole" school system. Does anyone have the recipe for the "Peanut Butter Balls"? Those were real treats when going to the grade school and I do hope someone has that recipe to share.

My email address is

Thanks so much and keep up the great work here.

Sincerely Barb (Lambert) Pitcock Bowling Green, Ky

Part time help needed

Stoller International in Minonk is looking for a part time high school student to do yard work and other odd jobs. Must have own transportation.

Apply at:
Stoller International
1451 Industrial Park Rd
Minonk, IL

Clarification on parsonage fire

Just to clarify a couple points on Wednesday's fire (not Thursday):

First of all, I don't believe the fire could have started in an upstairs bathroom. I believe it started in the garage, or in the wall between the house and garage. (Look at the picture -- if it started upstairs, it would have burned up and through the roof before descending down to the garage.

Secondly, one of the renters (my son) WAS at home, watching the White Sox game on TV. He called 911 at 12:48 PM. The fire department arrived at around 1:10 PM, and the garage was already engulfed.


Jim Foster
Dixon, IL

Tougher immigration laws

If the people coming across the border were not able to get employment, the immigration would stop. So let's not belittle the Mexicans who make the decision to sneak across the border but penalize the people who hire them. Not just fines, prison terms...long ones. Wal-Mart has been hiring undocumented Mexicans, so if you believe this anti-Mexican bunk, perhaps you should quit shopping at Wal-Mart and anywhere else that employs people here that do not contribute to the health and welfare of this country.

Lisa Zimmerman

Busting drugs in Minonk in 1973

Hi, Dave;

Do I ever have some stories about Minonk, Illinois! I was retelling a couple of them this evening in an email addressed to a relatively new, strictly Internet acquaintance in Decatur.

After that correspondence, for old-time sake, I Googled Minonk and found your blog.

I rolled into Minonk in the summer of 1973, fresh out of rural Missouri.
I was 18-years old and was working on what was called a summer "extra gang" (aka "gandydancers") for the Santa Fe Railway. The first week in town, the police chief came to our bunk cars for a meeting that lead us to believe the last man he'd ever shot was a railroad worker.

The chief's pep rally sent me scurrying back to my hometown, where my father was county chief corrections officer, to retrieve one of my firearms. I literally went back to MO in order to bring back to Minonk my Marlin .44 magnum lever-action rifle to potentially protect myself from your police chief.

Fortunately nothing but intellectual shots were ever fired. I allowed the chief to "nab" me with "pot" one evening in the park/town square area. Sitting on a bench and using bright strawberry pink cigarette papers, I rolled a "joint" not more than 50 feet from the chief; he strolled up and said "Give me the joint."

Breaking open the so-called joint, the chief discovered it was mere pipe tobacco (Borkum Rifff, Whiskey flavored). He said: "You think you're clever."

After that incident a senior railroad worker advised me that the chief had confided to him that he would see me do five years in prison. I'm not certain the chief wasn't kidding.

There was a drug bust in Minonk that summer, at a small house alongside the railroad track, at the outskirts of town, and I was at that party the very minute police came rushing in. The bust was reported in the local paper. I think it was July or August.

The day of the party/bust our gang was working on the track next to that small house. During the morning hours a guy in his 20s, apparently the man of the house, brought his young daughter and several chicken cages within 50 feet of us. The girl danced and whirled and clapped as dear old dad decapitated the birds... and not with an ax. He'd grab a chicken by its feet and laying it on the ground, with his boot on the bird's neck he'd give a hardy yank... a bird would flail; a girl would whirl.

We (mostly college summertime workers) joked about the little girl's future as a homicidal maniac. We were confident that although dear old dad appeared very angry, a display apparently directed at us, he didn't stand a chance against any of us, for we were Mighty Gandydancers. We weren't concerned so much about our safety--- but the Children of the Corn factor was admittedly spooky.

Later that afternoon, the lady of the house came out and offered us lemonade and we profoundly thanked her. She also invited me to a party at her house that very evening. She asked me to bring something special to the party.

The Party.

I was seated on a lounger in the living room, the front door was to my left and the kitchen was to my right. There were a lot of partygoers, many drinking beer, but as far as I could see none were doing drugs. The lady of the house walked up to me and asked if I'd brought pot.

I pulled my baggy (the same Borkum-Rifff pipe tobacco) from my front pocket and patted it, and then I watched her walk a beeline to her bedroom and pick up a phone. A moment later Minonk's Best came blowing in the front door. I ran out the back door and, as they say, "Never looked back."

But still fond feelings: I wish Minonk and its citizens well.

Lee Mathews

Editor's note: I did check the Minonk News-Dispatch and verified that there was a drug bust in Minonk in August 1973.

My 2 cents worth

In response to Lacy Orabutt. Did you not read Mr. Olson's letter? If you don't like what is published on the website, look away! Your letter was published and your opinion was heard. Just maybe we don't want to read what you have to say, so does that mean that we can censor you.

You have to realize that this is a NON-profit website, maintained by Dave, for the community, which you are a part of. He makes every effort to be fair, though he doesn't have to. He publishes any letter that is signed, even though he doesn't have to. He makes every effort to keep the community updated and informed, though he doesn't have to. Bottom line is-when you decide to devote the many expenses, and the many, many hours of your time, pro-bono, then you can dictate what will be discussed on this website.

If you don't like this letter, skip to the next one, but remember, I have a right to voice my opinion, just like you!

Judy Olson

What's wrong with intelligent conversation?

I am sorry to hear that a few people find the subject of the Bible and other peoples beliefs and feelings as bickering.
I am grateful to the people who have responded to the editorial and, sharing their knowledge and giving us the opportunity to educate ourselves even more on whatever the topic. I know you had to know Dave, when talking religion or politics, that you were going to receive a lot of attention. I have enjoyed coming home everyday from work and reading the educating emails. I just don't want to see a division because one person believes differently then another. We all have a right to our opinion and I will respect them enough to listen, as I would expect them to do the same for me.

I do not know the Bible as well as some of the people who have written responses, but I have learned some things since your editorial, have done some research of my own, and want to thank you for a reason to educate myself even more. I am always willing to learn and broaden my horizons. Education is a wonderful thing.

Lisa Zimmerman

Appropriate topics

Dear Dave,

I have been following the conversations regarding same-sex marriage in your website. I am not surprised by the number or variety of responses you have received. I am surprised by those who want to tell you what you should or should not publish, or what the rest of us should or should not talk about. Your website is your website. If you want to publish information about fundraisers and community events you may do so. If you want to keep the community abreast of non-controversial newsworthy items you may do so. If you want to give people a chance to discuss important local, national, religious and social concerns (such as same-sex marriages) you may do so. You have chosen to exercise your first amendment rights of freedom of speech, press, worship and assembly by creating and maintaining this site. If you publish something I'm not interested in, then I exercise my first amendment rights in skipping that letter or item. Personally, I thank you for creating a website that is the envy of cities much larger than ours.

Richard Olson

Editor's reply: Thanks! I needed that. My intentions are always well meaning, but the outcome is usually subject to debate.

On homesexual marriage controversy

Dear Dave,

I can't believe some of the things I'm reading in these e-mails concerning the split of the U.C.C. What Bible can you preach from that would not make a vote to allow gay marriages a moot point?
One person writing in said this:

"Now I read where many devout Christians are disturbed about gay unions. Are these "abominators" (the biblical term) in need of our concerns and forgiveness any less than others who miss use those 10 biblical no no's such as theft, coveting, or any of the other Commandments we seek redemption for?"

First of all, the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy cover MANY more "no no's" than the 10 commandments. Not the least of which is homosexuality which is VERY clearly defined as an abomination before the Lord:
Leviticus 18:22
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Secondly, of course the individual homosexual who is cognizant of his sin and is repentant should be forgiven his sin by the church just as he would be by God. Just as the repentant thief or coveter would be. Why muddy the waters with questions that are not the issue?
The issue is not whether the church should welcome repentant sinners or not. The issue is whether or not the church should condone sin, (as defined by God, see above) by conducting ceremonies to encourage a sinful lifestyle or not. Will we also have car-stripping seminars in the church to encourage the thief in his chosen lifestyle? Will we conduct adultery-101 courses on the alter so we don't offend those who do not wish to repent of their adultery? Of course not, it is sin. As is homosexuality. Sin is defined by God. Not you and I.

1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals1, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

This clearly puts homosexuality right along with all the other sins, so lets not muddy the water with irrelevant side stepping.

Another respondent had this to say:

Why is there such an uproar over same sex marriage? Lets take a look at some other events that caused uproar in our society. Women the right to vote, civil rights movement, Copernicus theory on earth revolving around the sun. These are just a few that caused us uncertainty when they were introduced to us. To this day I believe these were all for the good of our nation. As will same sex marriage, two people in love should be allowed to join in the union of marriage. Are we taking away freedoms from the homosexuals? Are hetrosexuals afraid the homosexuals will have a better success rate at marriage? My God loves all and created us as we are.

Again, more sidestepping. These other "uproarious events" were not issues that were condoning sin as defined by our Lord. They were also not issues decided by the church. This is an issue of where the church stands with the Word of God. As far as the Copernicus theory goes ... God was trying to tell us what Copernicus "discovered" centuries before Copernicus ever looked up to the stars. Long before all the "brightest minds" on Earth thought the Earth was flat and rested on the back of a giant tortoise, God was revealing the truth:

Isaiah 40:22
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

Job 26:7
He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing.

The above responder referred to his God as one who loves all and created us as we are. That is only ½ true. I don't want to presume who his god is, but the one true Creator, the One who calls the Bible His word says He does love us all. But He created us sinless. Our current situation is due to our own fall from that creational perfection. If He intended to "create us as we are" why would he spend 66 books in the Bible asking/commanding us to change to His liking?

This is all really very easy to settle. It is simply a matter of whether or not you believe God. Many claim to believe in God ... but do you believe God or not. God says the Bible is His word. You can argue all day, if you wish, that "men wrote the Bible". God says those are His words. The first responder I referred to above put quotes around the word abominator then gave the disclaimer that this was the Bible's term, implying it is not his belief. I was puzzled by this. Abomination IS what God called it. If you don't believe God why does this argument even interest you? Why would the collapse of any church concern anyone who does not believe God?
On the other hand, if you DO claim to believe God... the potential collapse of any Christian church should break your heart.

Leviticus 18:26
Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you.

Rom. 1:26-28, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper." (emphasis mine)

I must also say shame on you Dave for suggesting that holding the church together for the sake of it's rich heritage and history in Minonk was more important than the real issue here. This is more side stepping. You implied that the people who were leaving the church were simply rebelling against "symbolic doctrine". This is not symbolic doctrine, Dave. This is a matter of standing on the very Word of God ... or not.

Rather than shaping Christian values, as you stated, this Church, and others, are warping Christian values. If someone suggested to you that America, ...shaped and defined by the idea of democracy from the very beginning, should now embrace socialism ... would you then say,

 " Consider the contribution of your parents and grandparents to the country. Would they leave the country over such an issue or would they seek other methods to resolve the issue? Is the survival of a country that shaped your American values, united you in holy matrimony, raised your children and paid final respects to your loved ones more important than rebelling against the symbolic doctrine of a national organization like socialism that really has little influence on your daily lives other than the taxes you pay to them each year?"
   I don't see why this would concern anyone who does not believe God. If you DO believe God, studying His Word makes this a very simple argument.
Luke 9:26
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (underline mine)
I call on the U.C.C. to "see fit to acknowledge God" and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. God will not bless a church that will compromise with the world. You bring shame and dishonor to your Master by not honoring His Word. Our beloved Jesus was tortured to death to save us from our sins, not so we could make a mockery of Him by condoning those very sins.
   I will pray, with love for you as Christians, for God's will to be carried out on your church.
                                                                                                                      D.J. Sweeney

Casting stones!

A while back I had a story about SIN published on MinonkTalk. It was mostly about the "7 deadly sins". Now I read where many devout Christians are disturbed about gay unions. Are these "abominators" (the biblical term) in need of our concerns and forgiveness any less than others who miss use those 10 biblical no no's such as theft, coveting, or any of the other Commandments we seek redemption for?

Albin Johnson

Why vote on something illegal in most states

I would like to understand why the large church conferences (not our local churches) are trying to vote something in that isn't even legal in most states.

Marcia Stolt

What's wrong is wrong


In response to the controversy that has erupted in the UCC, I decided to go back to what I was taught to be the source of ethics and morals: the Holy Bible. I combed through the Old Testament and found a couple of verses to which many people have referred.

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination". Leviticus 18:22

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them". Leviticus 20:13

I am admittedly a pretty staunch conservative, a Republican, and a Catholic, but the two quoted verses seem rather clear and concise to me. There really doesn't seem to be much open for debate or interpretation. I don't see why any religion that believes the Old Testament would even consider a vote of any type. What's wrong is wrong – period.

Eric Olson