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Arts and Culture

Jack Schaefer Lauded as the 2024 Citizen of the Year

On May 15, 2024, Board Director Beth Raseman offered these words to introduce Jack Schaefer, Barrington Area Development Council’s 50th Citizen of the Year.

I have the great pleasure of introducing the 2024 Citizen of the Year, Jack Schaefer.

Jack can be best described as a servant leader, always focused on serving others, rather than requiring power or control. His style of leadership is based on ethical and caring behavior and involving others in decision making.

He is honest, loyal, and humble. He is always learning and reflecting. He is intensely curious. He loves all kinds of music from opera to country and has played guitar most of his life. He is a true Renaissance Man: cultured, knowledgeable, educated, and proficient in many areas. He is dedicated to living a full life. We are so lucky to have had Jack and his wife Carolyn in Barrington for 49 years.

There are many special people here to celebrate Jack tonight. His older brother Carol is here from Davenport, Iowa representing the Schaefer family. Jack grew up in Davenport and is the youngest of five children. His family is very close to each other.

His wife Carolyn is the love of his life. Jack has been entertaining her since they first locked eyes at a fraternity/sorority exchange at the University of Iowa. They have been happily married for almost 54 years.

Their beloved sons Andrew and Tom are here, as well as Andrew’s wife Christine and their three grandchildren Addy (12), Claire (9) and Nolan (7). Anyone who knows Jack knows how much he loves the role of father and grandfather. His nieces, Kristen and Greta are also here, they love their Uncle Jack for all his support in their lives growing up. And his “adopted” grandchildren, Sarah, Emma, Andrew and Jack Liedlich are here as well.

Jack received his BBA in Business from the University of Iowa and his MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. After military service from 1969-1971, he worked in the financial services industry in Chicago for 36 years.

Jack has served as a board member for Citizens for Conservation, The Natural History Society of Barrington, and The Stillman Nature Center. Governmental involvement includes having served on the Barrington Zoning Board of Appeals for 10 years and the Village of Barrington Board of Trustees for four years. He has been a member of the BACOG Water Resource Committee since 2008 and is a Board Member and Past President of BADC. Jack is a member of the Village of Barrington Cultural Commission since its creation in 2010 and is Chair of the Humanities Committee. He has served on the Barrington’s White House Advisory Board since its inception in 2015. His love of music led him to serve on the Music Blocks Board beginning in 2020 and he became its Board Chair in 2023.

While president of BADC he spearheaded the LifeSource Blood Drive and the Leadership Academy held biannually after local elections for newly elected officials.

As a member of the Barrington Cultural Commission, his leadership was instrumental in bringing the Oscar® Nominated Short Films to the Catlow Theatre from 2013 until 2020. He helped create The Barrington Independent Short Film Festival that ran from 2017-2019. As the Chair of the Humanities Working Group, he has created and fostered a bi-annual Storytelling Event, and the annual Poetry in the Park. He is a member of the Town Warming Committee and a dedicated volunteer for the Information Booth at the annual Barrington Area Art Festival in May and the 4th of July Run for The Arts.

Gary Schmitz shared this in his nomination for Jack. “It seems that every board I’ve joined I always see some familiar faces. And, more often than not, one of those is Jack Schaefer’s. There are many people in Barrington who have benefited from Jack’s leadership, encouragement, and creativity.”

Meet Author Allen Saxon

The Barrington Author’s New Novel Honors the Heroes of Normandy and More,
Just in Time for the 80th Anniversary of D-Day

Author Allen Saxon

Please tell us a little about your background.

I have lived in Barrington since 1983. I grew up in Plainfield, attended Washington University in St. Louis and Tulane University School of Medicine, and completed training in General Surgery at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s before practicing locally for 34 years. Growing up, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July were special times when we not only celebrated the holidays but honored past generations, including our fathers and mothers who served.

Did your medical training help you in writing the book?

I called upon my medical expertise to describe some of the events in this story.

How long did you have the idea of writing this book? Is it your first?

The idea for this book developed as a break from another project I have been working on. I am completing the draft of that book which deals with the transition medical students in New Orleans, circa the 1970s, made as their education progressed from classroom work to the care of patients. I currently teach at both Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Rosalind Franklin University, so I have developed an interest in the process of medical education, although this book is formatted as an entertaining novel.

You mentioned that you’ve thought D-Day, the largest ever amphibious invasion that took place in Normandy, France during WWII, should be a national holiday.

I think that our country should designate the time between Memorial Day and July 4 as “American History Month” and that we should support community programs to explore the richness of our shared past during that time.

Have you ever been to Normandy?

I visited Normandy last summer and remain awed by the enormity of the undertaking to free Europe. Every true American cannot help but be deeply moved viewing the 10,000 graves in the American Cemetery. I was surprised to learn that the beaches remain open to the public for recreation and that erosion is taking a toll on the sites that the French government does not have the funds to protect.

With June 6, 2024, being the 80th anniversary of D-Day, what would you like your fellow Americans to be thinking about?

I think that learning the history of the U.S. involvement in the liberation of Europe should cause Americans to reflect on our shared past and common values at a time when our country seems split into antagonistic political camps.

Was there any special inspiration for “The Climber of Pointe du Hoc,” or did you create the storyline to support your devotion to D-Day’s memory?

The inspiration for the book came first from my habit of watching a film or reading about the invasion every June 6. A documentary streaming on Prime told the story of the assault on Pointe du Hoc and to this I added two other themes. The first dealt with the emerging role of nursing as a scientific-based profession as reflected in the wartime experience of British nurses. The second theme involved the role of Afro-Americans in the war effort. In 1960 the hit movie, “The Longest Day” featured 42 international film stars in cameo roles. Rewatching it I realized there were no Black faces. A simple google search revealed that not only were Afro-American soldiers present on the beaches that day, but there is a growing recognition of their contributions to the war effort. Combining this story with that of Vivian Thomas, the gifted Johns Hopkins’ surgical tech who was instrumental in developing the surgical correction of congenital heart disease, allowed me to create a character who is instrumental in the telling of my story.

How long did the book take to write?

The first draft of the story only took about seven to 10 days to complete, but recruiting help in editing and preparation necessitated taking more time to make the story as meaningful for readers as possible.

What advice would you give to others who want to write a book?

In 40 years of dealing with patients I have learned that everyone has a story to tell. For those who wish to write, I think it is important to realize that to accurately communicate your story takes a village. There are many online courses or guides that can help and, in fact, when I became interested in storytelling, I discovered an excellent creative writing course at Harper College that met for one evening a week. In addition, I belong to the Wesley Writers Group in Evanston which provides a forum for people to share their work and receive critiques as they develop their ideas. Whether you are writing a memoir solely for family members, or planning to reach a wider audience, these pathways are very helpful and socially gratifying.

“The Climber of Pointe du Hoc” is available on Amazon or can be ordered through your local bookstore.

The team includes (from left) John Rosene, Ann Messer, Jenny Drecoll, Vicki Kelly, Bob Zubak, and Terry Groh. Not pictured is Paula Jacobsen.

The Kalaway Cup Committee is the all-volunteer planning and event day’s management team behind the annual LeCompte/Kalaway Cup Polo Matches held each September. Already well ahead of schedule with sold-out sponsorship and tailgate commitments, the region’s single largest polo event happens in Barrington Hills this year on September 7, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public is welcome to attend and can purchase tickets at the entry gate. Enjoy the polo matches, Midway Field food vendors, and the family-friendly, festival atmosphere of this long-standing polo tradition in Barrington Hills. For more information, contact barringtonhillskalawaycup@gmail.com.

Pictured from left: Joanne and Rollin Potter with Thomas Balsamo on the porch of Barrington’s White House.

The Barrington Cultural Commission recently unveiled a namesake award to honor Village of Barrington’s President Karen Darch. In recognition of her vision to create the Barrington Cultural Commission in 2010 with a goal of establishing Barrington as a cultural hub, this award is in her name, and will recall the success of the vision and mission and encourage its longevity. The first two recipients of the award are Rollin Potter and Thomas Balsamo. Potter is retiring from his foundational role as the first Barrington’s White House Cultural Director, having ensured years of outstanding cultural programming. Balsamo was recognized for his long-term role on the Commission and his years of service to the community. Pictured from left: Joanne and Rollin Potter with Thomas Balsamo on the porch of Barrington’s White House.

uncommon ground

S T O R Y  a n d  P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y  b y  M A R Y  K L E S T

Left: Cuba Marsh Forest Preserve where cyclists, hikers and dog walkers get away. Right: Bird watching in Barrington Hills.

Get Away While Still in Town

How do you get away from the routine, from work, from others while still in town? That’s the question I posed to area residents. One middle-aged woman told me she gets away by going to Jazzercise class at the Park District. Another said she meditates in her walk-in closet. A man who grew up in North Barrington remembered fishing in Honey Lake. Several people mentioned hiking, bird watching, and walking their dog. The gamut of replies showed me how easy it can be to get away while still in town.

Talk to a stranger

Barrington resident Karla Serrato says: “Going into shops I’ve never needed to walk into is fun. Unexpected things can occur. I had never set foot in Amazing Gracie’s for years while living in town, but once I did, I met the owner, and it turns out she’s the mom of someone I went to high school with. It was nice to find that connection.”

Explore the past

Always curious, Jennifer Buehler Shaw seeks out stories of the past. She recently visited the Barrington History Museum on Main Street. “The original schoolhouse is on the grounds with several permanent plaques that tell a lot about the original settlers.” She also likes strolling the Flint Creek Dreamway path near Langendorf Park. “I enjoy the murals in the tunnel painted by local artists.”

Skip the expected

I assumed Rollin Potter of Lake Barrington would mention listening to music since he has a doctorate in music, but instead he replied: “Take a walk in the forest, a swim in the pool, a bike ride, all surrounded by nature!”

No place like home

Leslie Sutton was born, raised, and remains in Barrington. Her getaway is her own backyard. “Every year my garden grows and changes. It’s a peaceful, calm place yet it energizes me. I feel happy here and just want to hang out.”

Embrace the moment

I ride my bike to Citizens Park and through the Cuba Marsh Forest Preserve trails. I am aware only of what’s around me—the wispy heads of tall grasses, multiple shades of green, an enlarged view of the sky, a wall of puffed trees in the distance, wetlands. Plants and summer cone flowers share their earthy scent. The sound of a distant train, motorcycles on Cuba Road, and a chorus of cicadas drifts across the prairie. I am away, yet home, when on my bike.

To each their own. Summer is a time to be free. Get away.

Mary Klest is a Barrington-based writer and local journalism advocate. She can be reached at mary@maryklest.com.

Poetry Pause


by Steph Nielsen

. . . . . . . . .

Steph Nielsen lives in Barrington and participated in the
2024 Poetry in the Park event.

. . . . . . . . .

So many years, small
Uncertain, uneasy. I
Grow slowly. Waiting.

You nurture, you’re kind,
Your nature helps me to bloom,
Relax, unfurl, be.

The first arrives, long,
Lanky. Wonder to behold,
Growing like a tree.

Second: quiet, wee
Slowly uncurl like a fern,
You are mystery.

Bright, expansive third,
A riot of color and
A flower full on.

We the gardeners
Raising, tending, letting grow;
Wildly cultivate.

– End –

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