by TERRY KONKLE
President, Rockford Area Historical Society
Recently I have spoken with several people about some of my “Nuggets of Rockford History” questions. Helen Hessler and Gene Berry knew that the “Golden R” meets on the last Saturday of June each year and honors the Rockford High School class that has currently reached the 50-year mark. Other classes prior to 1962 are also included with many represented.
This year the class of 1962 will be featured, and it is a special group for me. I was their class advisor in my second year of teaching. Actually, they taught me a lot.
My wife and I will be at the “Golden R” meeting and also at the class reunion later that day.
I had a nice phone conversation with Patty Burch, who had favorable things to say about Zell Gill.
Later, at a meeting I attended, Steve Ellis told me that Zell had influenced him to serve on various groups. He mentioned the Library Board and H.U.D. Zell influenced a “good” man.
Then, at Arlo Elkins’ Memorial service, his brother Dan mentioned that he knew Ruth Streeter and Zell Gill and had read my questions about them. Dan is a member of the class of 1962 and will attend the reunion next month. One way that he keeps in touch with our town is by reading The Rockford Squire.
Here is a new “Nuggets of Rockford History” question, which was prompted by the recent sightings of a bear in our area. “What well-known Rockford person kept a bear caged on his property for a time?” Contact me at (616) 866-0530 with your answers and comments.
On Thursday, June 7, the historical society will have its annual potluck meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford. Officers will be elected for our new season. The meeting will be our last until we begin new programs in September. The society, as a group, does not meet in June, July or August, but our board and committees will continue to work. As readers know, we have a lot going on, and I will continue to keep people informed.
We will set up at the present museum location for the Start of Summer Celebration festivities, so stop by to see us. Information on our fundraising auction is now available for readers to find out how they can take part. We need your help to complete the process.
Finally, thanks to all those who have worked to make our museum move get closer and closer to reality and a special thank-you to this newspaper for all of the support they have given us. What a positive group they have been!