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August 30, 2017     Times
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9 At Veteran Park i. !- i.i. 9 0 By Mike Lakin The ball diamond major improvement was an early august project paid for by the school district. Before (right) and after photos show there: is quite a difference in the diamond. Couldn't help it, with the corn next door I just had to see if a "Field of Dreams" would draw anyone from the corn. No. Worl.d War I Encampment at the Monticello Railway Museum By Mike Lakin When I read that the railway museum was featuring the running of restored 1907 Southem 2-8-0 steam locomotive #401 and the Illinois State Military Museum's World War I Living History Detachment;Well I knew what I wanted to do August 19. Surprisingly, Lynn said she would go to. Three things were on my list - an operating steam engine; the World War I collections, displays, and encampment set up; and the chance to say hi to Richard Schachtsiek. The combined event represented the departure of Illinois Army National Guard troops to Camp Logan, Texas for mobilization train- ing for the Great War from September to October 1917 (100 years ago). Displays of WW artifacts from the trenches were terrific. The German helmet with the chunk out of it, depending on your interpretation, was cause for a pause. Questions were welcomed and you found out a lot of details that went beyond "It's a machine gun" "It's a German hand grenade" the detailed explanations filled in infor- historic sites. We spent many hours discussing many historic eras until he retired way back in 2002. After Lynn and I left, I discovered that Stan Buckles, a Mt. Pulaski resi- dent and volunteer at the Illinois State ,Military Museum was also there. Apologies Stan. By way of an historic note, Stan is related to Frank Buckles, who was the last surviving American veteran of World War I. Frank Buckles drove ambulances in France near the end of the war; he died in 2011 atthe age of 110. The Living History Detachment was there with more than I expected. We met a German pilot and a British pilot; both in character along with memorabilia related to WWI avia- tion. Being brothers, they had worked up not bad accents for the portrayal. Remember this was Saturday in August, but they wore the leathers and didn't pass out from the heat. marion. And there was Richard Schachtsiek. I knew Richard well when he was site administrator for the Postville and Mt. Pulaski Court House state The Centennial of WWl is just "getting under steam" and there will be more events through 2018 pre- sented by the Illinois State Military Museum's World War I Living His- tory Detachment. It's well worth a couple of hours to visit with these well-informed historians.