Tubing is not just for summer anymore


IMG_20171003_203645 hey kids break out those inner tubes that we stored away last summer. That’s what I told my Hoffman Estates boys club kids as I took them and the inner tubes to a nearby Hill after a good snowfall. If they thought sledding or saucering was fun just wait till they tried inner tubes. Inner tubes Glide quickly down any Hill. The kids soon found out that I was right. They had the time of their life that day.

Can you See THIS Through the Trees?


 my name is Dan Cantrell and I was hiking through the Manistee National Forest when I got a glimpse of this! I almost dropped my drawers! I had to do a double take to see if I was in my right senses. I didn’t stay at that Locale long because I wasn’t sure if this guy had friends around. I caught a glimpse of this thing and I can’t explain it yet today. I sent it too the administrators of this blog to see if they would publish it and warn people about it. I sure won’t be going back to this location anytime soon.

The future Hoffman Estates Boys Club


This was a prototype for the Hoffman Estates Boys Club of the future .  My board of directors and I  had plans for a gymnasium and locker rooms plus an extensive Arts & Crafts Center. Our Educational Center would be state-of-the-art. There would also be a games room for ping pong, pool, and air hockey. Finally there would be a lunch room. Outside the club would be two softball fields and a field hockey field. Sadly my board would never be able to raise enough money for this. When you consider that one year my torch Club, which consists of boys 11 to 13, raised enough money to put a new roof on our current Club. Kids out fundraising better than my board did. Isn’t that sad?

The Marion YMCA Trip to Our Property


Before I even took one boys club trip to our property, the Marion YMCA took one in 1972. Bob Swearingin, the Program Director, accompanied me on the big brown YMCA bus. That bus didn’t go all that fast so it took quite a while for us to get from Marion to our property. We pulled in just off Noreika Road above the wooded beach and then took four tents down to the wooded beach.

That was the most tents I ever took to Michigan. In all 16 boys took the opportunity to travel to our farm. Three tents were erected close together with the fourth tent being put up near the Pointe for the first time ever. Bob and I shared a tent while the rest of the boys divided up with the oldest boys taking the Pointe tent.

Work details were much easier with the larger group and our first night saw us taking a hike down the bloody antler trail. These kids tired easier than the boys club kids so we never quite made it to the Christmas tree farm that night before turning back. This group did however get out to the Haunted Island but for the first time ever it was in shifts. Eight went out one night and eight the next night since there were only two rowboats.

Sidetrips were to the Lake Michigan Recreational Area and to the Ludington State Beach.

The beach got plenty of use with this group as swimming dominated their time. At night we played tracking and hound and the hare in our forest.

With this group it would have been nice to have visited another YMCA group that owned a camp known as Martin Johnson on the other side of the lake. We didn’t get that chance although they might have seen us at the Big Bass Lake store on two occassions that we were there with the Marion YMCA bus.

Christmas tree shopping


3 I went Christmas tree shopping with my neighbor’s son and learned a lot about how kids want a tree. The boy’s name was Nicholas and he wanted a pink tree. He was amazed at the place we went to didn’t have one. He protested they’re all green. When we had settled on a green tree Nicholas wanted one that was 20 feet high. I told Nicholas that a tree that high would have to stand outside. He said that a large tree would hold more presents under it. That’s kids Logic for you.

Woodshop fallacies


Bradenton Boys Club and Joplin boys clubs  each had a operational  woodshop  at one time .  But over the years  each  became obsolete  within the boys club program . Each room had power saws  and lathes. However wood shops have to have qualified  people to operate them .  My two clubs did not .  Plus when you added to it  liability insurance Woodshop programs  just  didn’t  make sense . Both of my programs  had activities such as nail driving  which is a far cry  for what a Woodshop program should be .  I wonder how many active Woodshop programs exist today  in boys clubs?d3539158a19fe3e56c622ec18ebafb76

Coming in for a Landing


pilot to control tower, coming in for a landing. Approaching from the North. Could this be the yellow plane? The plane is heading south and in the distance are the twin Islands, pirate and Four Winds. From this height you can even make out the Eastern turn of Big Bass Lake toward the channel between big and little Bass Lake. What a view! You can also find the Manistee National Forest all around the lake.

Lowell Tensmeyer


IMG_20171019_062510 I’m including my friend Lowell as part of my family because in essence he was. I often referred to him as my second father. We enjoyed studying the Old Testament of the Bible often. Plus I would take counsel from him both in person and over the phone. He worked for Eli Lilly as a scientist. Sadly he passed away four years ago and I miss him to this day. In life one  rarely meets someone like Lowell.  Fortunately for me I knew him many years.

No number one horse engine this time!


rescued_horse_t1140 Elmo I’m mr. Fred. And Elmo just because your car doesn’t start up this morning don’t think for one minute that I’m going to be taking you to work. And you can call me a nay hey Shaker all you want and it won’t bother me a bit. You can put a bit in a horse’s mouth but you can’t lead them to work. Take the subway this morning.

WHS 1986 State Baseball Title


the year was 1986. The game played at Indianapolis Bush Stadium. The opponent was the Marion Giants. That year Wabash won 31 games and lost 6, taking home the first ever state championship title in any sport. Chris Rood was the coach that took them to the title. The final score was Wabash 2 Marion 1. These two teams have been rivals in baseball for years. The Two Towns are 20 miles apart. Beating a fine team like the Marion Giants was icing on the cake. The orange and the black had their finest day and a place in Indiana State baseball history.