John Dappert was born in a farmhouse near Shumway, Illinois July 19, 1943. Six months after he was born, his family moved to a rented farm at Bone Gap, Illinois. Seven years later, his address became Jewett, Illinois, close to the small town of Hidalgo.
The experience of living in rural areas strongly affected John, shaping his thougts and career choices in life. From toy farming a stalk of corn or beans near the back step of each house in which he lived to helping his parents and his wife's parents in their fields, he has always farmed in some manner, even while holding other means of employment to provide living expenses.
John graduated with a BS in ED from Eastern Illinois University at Charleston, Illinois in 1965. He worked his way through school by driving a milk can route on weekends and summers, slinging 120 pound cans of milk on the truck at dairys, and unloading them at Prarie Farms Creamery in Olney. He worked at Anaconda American Brass in Mattoon, Illinois (Now named Annamet) for five summers, includeing two summers after he began teaching. His first full time employment was as an 8th grade science teacher in Mt. Zion, while he lived in Decatur.
He married Sara Sue Smith after a four year courtship on November 25th, 1966. Sue had received her Masters degree in music education from Milliken in Decature, and taught in Decatur.
John and Sue moved to her home farm and both gained teaching positions in the Robinson Illinois Community District #2.
After teaching for twelve years and the birth of their Daughter Deana, John left teaching to farm full time, having spent many late hours helping Sue's Father in the fields.
Having health problems, John and Sue moved to Robinson, Illinois for many reasons, and sold part of the home farm that had the residence in which they had lived since 1968.
John had a farm sale to sell off major equipment in 2003, and became semi-retired, with lots of things left to do in his life. He has served for many years as the Treasurer for the North Fork Conservancy district (A local governmental body which maintains the channel for its namesake river).
He has served as Treasurer for the local Airport, and is currently Chaiman for the Crawford County Airport authority that maintains our local flying facility.
At this time, John and Sue have had 45 wonderful years of marriage, with the usual joys and heartaches experienced by anyone.
The Last Monday in May
As we hear on the news about fighting in foreign countries today, we are reminded of the many times our soldiers have fought and even given their lives for the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. A special day has been set aside to remember the sacrifices given by these soldiers to protect our rights and freedoms. That day is called Memorial Day.
Are We Losing Our Independence?
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There is a growing trend in the United States that is of great concern for many independent thinkers. It has to do with losing our independence as our population increases. We lose independence slowly each year, so slowly that most of us do not even notice the change
Quentin Abraham was a friend, who taught with my wife at Flat Rock Grade School in Flat Rock Illinois. He was a man of many talents, one of them was his musical ability.
The Hopper House
A popular feature in local newspapers during the early 1950's was to use photos taken from a light plane flying over the many homesteads in the reading area, run them in the paper, and give the picture to the person who could correctly identify the house. The Oblong Oracle featured our house in November 1953, when my wife Sue was nine years old. This picture spurred this response from Mrs. Arthur
Wabash Cannonball Bridge
St. Francisville, Illinois, (Home of the famous Black Jewell Popcorn company) has a great treasure our family visited recently. We had long heard the story of how a local farmer, tired of the long distance hauling grain to Vincennes, Indiana on the other side of the Wabash, had bought the abandoned railroad bridge to make his travel shorter.
Rabbits and Rats
The local paper informs me that Oblong, Illinois is having complaints from residents about rabbits and fats. The rabbit issue concerns a complaint about a local resident raising rabbits for show and meat, right within the city limits!
While it was raining very early on a cool July Sunday morning, I looked out the window and saw something setting on our lawn furniture under the overhang of the house. These record-setting cool temperature settings on the third week of July in 2004 are unusual, so the small black and white dog was shivering in the cool July morning rain
"If you take a dog which is starving and feed him and make him prosperous, that dog will not bite you. This is the primary difference between a dog and a man."
- Mark Twain
He Stood In a Rainbow
"I was fishing, when all at once I noticed many colors surrounding me," said Quentin Abraham, describing his experience. "I stepped out of the rainbow, back into it, and back out of it again. This lasted for several minutes, and I enjoyed the experience, not knowing it was possible."
What the Easter Bunny, Santa, and Farmers Share
Santa Claus, The Easter Rabbit, and farmers all share a secret. The secret shared by them is perhaps the greatest bit of knowledge in the known world, not realized by many, but learned quickly by almost everyone who grows crops and livestock to feed the world
In the Southeast corner of Clark County Illinois, way out in the boondocks where the hoot owls chase the chickens, a very unique location can be found (after a lot of stops to ask directions) to buy a hamburger.
Burl Ives, Our Local Claim To Fame
Burl Ives is buried in the community in which I call home. Born in the small town (Population 100) of Hunt, then known as Hunt City, He was brought home to lie in a local cemetary.
We Move The Earth
Many of us don't realize our lives are often viewed by others, and taken as examples. There are often those living legends in almost any community.
The Last Cob Truck Driver
Sometimes the contributions of those around us in support jobs should be remembered for their efforts in life.
February 9, 1954
It was on February 9, 1954, that my Mother, Francis Hoerr Dappert, reached back to pull the trip rope on the International Harvester #14, 2-16” plow pulled by the red M, and was pitched off and killed
Two Watch Charlie
This essay was written for a memorial day tribute to the Viet Nam era veterans. It tells the story of a local vet.
Peters Middle School
The art of teaching all students individually, according to their own rate, was the process we all tried to discover in the beginning years of Peters Middle School. None of the teachers involved had been trained in this method, and few had the raw passion to learn, but all made a mighty effort to find some way to achieve cohesiveness in the faculty that could be translated to better teaching for
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