Ideology and the end of Oakley Dam

  On the wall of my campus office hangs a picture of two plaid shirted area farmers with a pitchfork between them ‘American Gothic’ style. They are gazing intently and quizzically forward, hands on their chins as if to say “What the…?!”  And suspended on the tines of the pitchfork are the printed words “Stop the Dam.” The image reflects […]

Academy (of the Sangamon) Awards

  Yes, it’s that time of year again! The time when rich, glamorous and fabulous people at the height of their careers give awards to other rich, glamorous and fabulous people who are also at the height of their careers. Yes, it’s Academy Award season! And why should the fabulous Sangamon River miss out? So here, in a debut performance, […]

Fire and Light: A Holiday Story

  T’was ten days or so before Christmas, five years ago to the day that this issue of the Citizen came out. Preparations for the holidays were stirring. The artificial tree was up, standing beside Carol’s baby grand piano, in front of the huge picture windows overlooking the Sangamon River. We’d tried real trees, but our cat Shadow kept climbing […]

These four walls

Not far north of here at the Sangamon River Forest Preserve stands a house. And in this house lives Doug Sanders, Champaign County Forest Preserve Grounds Supervisor. Recently, I was fortunate to be Doug’s guest. Doug hasn’t lived there long and hasn’t had a chance to learn much of history of the house, but he was nonetheless glad to show […]


  “Expert says model shows no leaks for 1,000 years” NewsGazette Headline, August 17, 2012 I woke up in my red Adirondack chair down by the Sangamon River one afternoon last week. I guess I’d fallen asleep, but I felt good; refreshed, like I’d been asleep for years. I looked around and everything just looked different: the trees looked different, […]