Clarence Blakeslee (deceased) 1932 RHS graduate Clarence Blakeslee graduated from Rockford High School in 1932 after a distinguished high school career that included varsity letters in track, football and basketball. He was also a success in the classroom, as evidenced by his selection to the National Honor Society, an honor he prized his whole life. After high school, Clarence began a life of learning. He attended Kalamazoo College, but his life circumstances did not allow him to complete college in a traditional manner. He continued to enroll in college classes throughout his life, many for the simple joy of learning. Clarence survived the battles of the Hurtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge in World War II and was decorated for bravery during his service to our country. His experiences provided him stories which he shared over the years with students and the community. He wrote and produced his own story of the war, which has been a best seller in Rockford ever since. He donated all proceeds of his book sales to the Rockford Area Historical Society and the Rockford Rotary Club. As a businessman, Clarence established his own business in Rockford which still thrives today. His business, first as Rockford Sheet Metal and later as Blakeslee & Son Inc., quickly earned a reputation for quality, service, fair pricing, and absolute honesty. Clarence was committed to the Rockford community. He served as president of the Rotary Club and was a charter member of the Rockford Community Foundation, now known as the Rockford Area Community Endowment. He was appointed by Gov. William Milliken to the State Plumbing Board. He was a founding member of the Rockford Area Historical Society, serving on its board for many years. He was inducted into the Rockford High School Sports Hall of Fame, and has been recognized for his community contributions by selection to the Pillars of Honor in Recognition Plaza at the Rockford Dam. His hobby of photography grew into a personal mission. He will be remembered by many with a camera or two hanging from his neck. He felt that photos captured our history while making subjects realize their importance in that history. His nickname of “Mr. Rockford” was well deserved.
THE SQUIRE HAS RETURNED— Tom and Judy Sharum of Rockford just returned from a two-week vacation starting in Venice and went to Croatia,Greece and Turkey. The first week they visited Split Croatia and Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Iraklion, Greece before returning to Venice to unload and reload more passengers. Then it was off to Croatia again only Dubrovnik Croatia this time, then Athens, Izmir Turkey, Nafplion and back to Venice for Home. The couple took the Squire with them during the whole trip and then gave it to the room stewards to read, having it make the rounds. The weather was a beautiful 75 to 86 degrees the whole time!
In these tough economic times it is smart for business owners to arm themselves with as much information about business operations as they can and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce (RCC) wants to help. The RCC has partnered with SCORE, a nonprofit organization and a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration, to bring helpful business information to the Rockford area. The SCORE organization is dedicated to helping the small business community through no-fee face-to-face business mentoring. Whether you are starting a new business or have questions about your existing business, the SCORE business counselor will be able to help you find the answers. A SCORE counselor will be at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, 598 Byrne Industrial Drive, Rockford, starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, November 3 for one-hour sessions. To take advantage of this free business mentoring, please call the Rockford Chamber of Commerce at (616) 866-2000, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment. SCORE business counseling is a great way to help your small business succeed.
A Christmas Story is a 1983 American classic Christmas comedy film based on the fictional anecdotes of author Jean Shepherd. The plot revolves around Ralphie Parker who wants only one thing for Christmas: “an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time”! Follow Ralphie and his family’s adventures as Christmas nears in this stage version of an American classic – which will be performed at Rockford’s new black box theatre! Seating is limited, so get your tickets when the box office opens on Monday, November 1st!