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Riding It Out
By Chris Strong
It was late August, 1954, when Hurricane Carol
worked its way from the Carolinas to Connecticut,
gaining power along the way.
My dad's mother, whom we saw too infrequently,
lived in a small cottage in Harborview, an island
community attached to South Norwalk. The house
was (and according to Google Earth, remains)
three houses in from the seawall.
Hurricanes didn't scare my Mimi. They just forced
her insurance company to buy her new cars. Since
she barely topped 4'10", she couldn't see over the
wheel of most cars. Her '49 DeSoto survived
Hurricane Carol, but a late 1950s storm destroyed
it, and she found a '59 T-Bird with the appropriate
seat height. That car was flooded out the following
season, and her replacement was a T-Bird from '60.
I can't say for certain whether Mimi's usual
hurricane procedure was to evacuate Harborview
or to "ride them out." I'm betting her practice was
the one she used in 1954.
We rode it out. See, I was there, too. Just short of
ten years old, I had no idea what it meant to be in a
hurricane with Long Island Sound about fifty yards
away. Candace Strong McLaughlin was barely
eight. Dad had decided we'd do a quick visit before
the start of school. Mom stayed in Illinois and
I don’t remember if Mimi had television—in 1954,
only thirty-five million households did—but if she
did, we weren’t seeing split-screens of swirling
colors, constantly changing statistics, and reporters
shouting through the wind and rain and debris.
Who would send Walter Cronkite out into Hurricane
What I remember with cinematic clarity was looking
through the window toward the Sound and seeing
surge waves coming over the top of the two-story
houses behind the seawall, and splashing down in
Mimi's yard. The fact that the adults let me stand
near a seaside window suggests that they were
feigning calmness and forgetting common sense.
The next morning, we borrowed someone's
rowboat for a grocery run. The street was under
four feet of water. I don’t know where all the cars
were, but we were eventually able to drive home, a
couple of days late for school. My sister remembers
“seeing shoes and a teddy bear floating in the
marshes behind Mimi’s house...from flooded stores
So as the Carolinas get whacked by Hurricane
Florence, I have three thoughts: 1) Riding it out is
foolish, but exciting, 2) When your parents and
grandparents and aunts and uncles are gone, you
can’t ask them anything, and 3) Some weather
reporter is going to get guillotined by a stop sign.
Support our local theatre!
For Road Commissioner:
Ronnie K. Widger
Independent Candidate Putman Township Road Commissioner
23302 N. Oswego Dr.
Wee Ma Tuk Friends and Neighbors
My name is Ronnie Widger and I am running as an independent candidate for Putman Township Road Commissioner on the April 4th
LeighAnn and I have lived in Wee Ma Tuk for nearly four years and have been life-long residents of Fulton County.
I have witnessed continuing deterioration of the roads while living in this community. I am a member of the homeowners association,
I/we dedicate time to assist with the improvements of the golf course and try to attend events and meetings pertaining to Wee Ma Tuk.
I am currently employed at Caterpillar Inc consisting of a 4 day flexible work schedule. I have experience running all types and sizes of
heavy equipment. This flexible work schedule will allow me additional opportunities to work on the township roads, which are in
desperate need of repair and maintenance. I am not opposed to working long/extended hours to ensure the “work” is done!
I was previously employed at Banner Township where I had responsibility of running the road grader, backhoe, snow removal, large
brush/tree trimmers, road maintenance and a host of other equipment and work-related tasks.
I also have management experience through my position as Service Manager at Coleman Ford in Canton. This position had
responsibility for maintaining service schedules, car repair maintenance, technician supervision, collaboration with Ford Motor
Company representatives, as well as hiring and performance management of my staff.
I am well aware that the road commissioner position is a “working” position and that is what I intend to do. My goal is to improve and
maintain the roads of Putman Township to the best of my ability and utilize my knowledge and experience to enhance and improve our
I will do my best to respond to the needs of the citizens of the township and fulfil the duties of the road commissioner, should I be
elected to serve.
Please consider me when placing your vote for the Putman Township Road Commissioner. If you are unable to vote in person, you may
contact the Fulton County Clerk by letter, email or phone at 309-547-3041 extension 120 or 121 to request an application to vote by mail.
Simply complete the application and return to the Fulton County Clerk’s office at 100 N. Main Street, Lewistown, Il 61542.
Note: The application will not be mailed until AFTER February 23rd and the ballots must be returned/postmarked by Midnight, April 4th. If
you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 309-789-8745.
Ronnie K. Widger
Independent Candidate Putman Township Road Commissioner
I am Kendall Tucker and I am running for Putman Township Road Commissioner.
I’ve lived in Fulton County for over 35 years with my wife, Cheryl and my daughter, Lindsay, who currently lives in Florida. My wife and I
lived in WeeMaTuk for twenty-eight years.
I am a retired school teacher, so I have flexible work hours. I’ve worked construction for several decades so I am familiar with big
equipment maintenance and operation.
I’ve seen firsthand the deterioration and poor maintenance of our roads. I hope to improve road conditions and keep the roadways
clear and drivable during inclement weather.
Please remember to vote for Kendall Tucker April 4th, 2017
12191 East Country Mile Road
Cuba, Illinois 61427
Dear Putman Township Voters,
My name is Gregory Rowe, most know me as Greg. I am running as the Democratic Nominee for Putman Township Road Commissioner
on the April 4th election ballot.
My family has lived and farmed in Putman Township, up until 1990, when my grandfather, Richard Henderson, quit farming due to health
issues. My family actually originated from Wee-ma-tuk. I bought my grandparents’ house in 2004 in Cuba, where my family and I now
I was married to my first wife for 20 years before she passed away from cancer. I then met my wife Melinda two years later, and we have
been married for almost 4 years. We have two children, Abigail and Timothy. I consider myself a dedicated family man. Family means
everything to me.
I am a member of Cuba ESDA, which involves the spring and fall Ham Cook, and also involved Disaster Relief. I am in excellent health
and currently work for Putman Township. I have been with Putman Township since 2010. I have been a heavy equipment operator for
over 20 years. I maintain all service schedules; I repair most of the equipment for Putman Township, which cuts costs drastically.
I also have Office Management experience when I was a dispatcher for Curry Ice and Coal, which was prior to my position with Putman
Township. I hold a class A CDL license, which is in good standing.
I am currently on-call for Putman Township 24/7 and will continue to do the same if elected. I am a man of my word and I treat everyone
fairly. I have a current plan in place to fix all the deteriorating roads in all of Putman Township. That includes all blacktop and gravel
roads. I also have a plan in place to maintain all roads during inclement weather because I care about everyone’s safety. There are
new products out to help with ice melt that I will be implementing if elected.
My main goal is to improve Putman Township roads so they are safer to drive on, by resurfacing the blacktop roads, maintaining the
gravel roads, maintain all culverts and cutting back the brush. That’s just a few issues I plan on resolving and maintaining.
I do and will continue to respond to all the needs of Putman Township Residents. I look forward to serving you as your Road
Commissioner, if newly elected.
For Township Commissioner:
Dear Putman Township Voters:
The consolidated election is set for April 4, 2017.
I am a candidate for Putman Township Supervisor, the position I presently hold.
I would appreciate your taking a minute of your time to read this letter. I want to tell you a bit about my qualifications.
I worked in Fulton County government for 33 years in the Supervisor of Assessments Office. In 1999 I was appointed Supervisor
of Assessments and also Fulton County Zoning Officer. I held those positions until retirement in 2006.
That time in county government taught me a great deal about what it takes to run an office and assist the public. My first four
years as Township Supervisor has also taught me a great deal.
I have had experience in drawing up levies, working up cost effective budgets, supervising employees and helping the public on
a day to day basis. Being ready to sit down with people to address any questions or concerns they might have is very important.
That is what public service is all about.
I think I can move forward with that experience and, with your help, make our Township a good place in which to live and work.
Please consider voting for me on April 4th. Thank you.
For Township Clerk:
Putman Township Clerk
Cuba Resident for 56 years
Cuba High School Graduate
Putman Township Clerk for 28 years
Retired from Amax Coal Company in 1992
Cuba Christian Church
Lewistown Odd Fellow Lodge 51
Lewistown Rebekah Lodge 566
Cuba Masonic Lodge
Cuba American Legion
Married to wife Harriett 59 years
James J. Padowan
JAMES J. PADOWAN--CANDIDATE PUTMAN TOWNSHIP CLERK
23794 N HIAWATHA PT
HONEYWELL EDP SYSTEMS SUPERVISOR
ROCKFORD BLUE CROSS DATA PROCESSING SUPERVISOR
LINN LANES OWNER/MANAGER
PUTMAN TOWNSHIP CEMETERY BOARD
PUTMAN TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE
ST.BEDE HIGH SCHOOL
NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
Fish News: A New Approach
By Morgan Maddox
Wee-Ma-Tuk Landowner’s Association, with the help of landowner
Ryan Maddox, has teamed up with Nate Herman of Herman Brothers
Lake and Land Management this spring to survey, stock, and manage
the lakes of Wee-Ma-Tuk. Nate is extremely excited to partner with us
on the venture to make our lakes as healthy and prosperous as ever.
Herman Brothers is a very well-known outfitter who has been
developing properties for generations. They specialize in every
phase of lake management, but most importantly in the longevity of
Nate and Ryan began their venture in late April/early May by surveying
4 lakes of Wee-Ma-Tuk. The lakes were chosen based on population,
which are Traer, Marie, Wood, and the Big Lake. Once surveyed, Nate
laid a plan for each lake detailing what fish need to stay, what fish
need to go, and what fish we will need to add to better emphasize the
environment of each lake. Four lakes were selected this year due to
budget estimates, but based on Nate’s determinations and our budget
there could be more lakes surveyed/stocked in the 2017 year. We
plan to continue our relationship with the Herman Brothers for many
years to come in order to come to know all lakes of Wee-Ma-Tuk and
to maintain their conditions. And please remember, the dues we as
Landowners pay help to maintain and improve our properties by
giving us the opportunity to form relationships such as this!
Nate is more than happy to answer any questions you may have
regarding your lake’s health, fish stock, or any other general lake
management questions. He urges landowners to make smart
decisions regarding their waters and to know that the smallest detour
from a plan could set the environment in the wrong direction. If you
would like to contact Nate directly, please feel free to do so by
emailing him at www.hblakemanagement.com . You can also review
the Herman Brothers and their services by visiting their website at,
http://www.hbpondmanagement.com. Please keep an eye on our Wee-
Ma-Tuk Facebook page and www.weematuk.net for updated
information from each lake survey and for the recommendations that
Nate Herman sets forth. His direction will make the lakes of Wee-Ma-
Tuk thrive, and we couldn’t be happier to have him!
Roast a Wienie with WMTLA!
Our Fall General Meeting is set for October 20 at
Wee-Ma-Tuk Country Club. Social hour is at 5, food at 6,
meeting at 7.
Board members Chris Strong, John Loebach, and Jerry
Walloch will be retiring, and Jed Prater has resigned due to
work conflicts. We will need four new members.
If you're interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and
introduce yourself. If we have more than four volunteers, we
will need to conduct an election, for which paper ballots will
Judy Kemper is setting up a wienie roast--perhaps
outside--with all the trimmings. Watch for your Fall
Newsletter, coming soon.