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This Website to Close


Posted by cspinner - July 3rd, 2014

Hi Everyone,

Unfortunately, a great amount of spam has entered this website.  When I check the comments that have been entered, there are nearly always several hundred spam messages.  It has become impossible for me to get to the legitimate messages and to eliminate those that aren’t legitimate.  Therefore, unfortunately, I am being forced to close this website.  I will not take this action for several weeks in order for interested parties to read this message and understand why the website will be closed.  If you’d like to contact me, please do so by mail at our new address: 484 Cambrian Road, Cable, Ohio 34009.

It has been a true pleasure communicating with you concerning my book on the Naperville train wreck of 1946.  I have enjoyed the journey from the publication of the book to the dedication of the Paul Kuhn sculpture at the crash site at the Naperville train station. Thanks for reading and commenting on my two books, A Book of Prayers: To the Heavens from the Stars and The Tragedy at the Loomis Street Crossing.  If you enjoyed the books, continue to spread the word, please.

Safe travels always,

God bless,

Chuck Spinner

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The Forgotten 46th VictimThe Forgotten 46th Victim


Posted by cspinner - May 11th, 2014

 

The Forgotten 46th Victim

It took me five years to write The Tragedy at the Loomis Street Crossing, detailing the tragic Naperville, Illinois train wreck of April 25, 1946. In my research I spent a lot of time trying to pinpoint the exact number of passengers and crew members who died in the Naperville crash. After I published the book I felt quite confident that I had determined with some certainty that the number of fatalities rested at 45.

Because of the publication of the book in 2012, a memorial sculpture was planned and created, and finally dedicated on April 26, 2014

I developed a bad cold the week after the dedication ceremonies. I didn’t feel like doing much of anything…but, I did have plenty of time to think. I thought of the wonderful weekend in which I met many of the relatives of the victims. I looked over the list of the fatalities and tried to remember the life story that each brought to that tragic day. And then, it hit me. I opened my book and flipped through the pages until I came to page 28. I’ll retype the story from that page so that you can perhaps have the same revelation that I had that day:

“Dorothy Lee (Lendrion) Aman grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from South High School. She lived with her mother, Julia. In 1943 Dorothy left home and joined the Marines. While stationed in Santa Barbara, she met her future husband, Marine Corporal William Aman. When William returned from his tour of duty in the Pacific, the couple married on September 15th, 1945.

After the couple were discharged from the service, William found employment with the Watson Brothers Trucking Company in Omaha, Nebraska. In February the couple tried to drive back to Cleveland to visit Dorothy’s mother and to give Julia the exciting news that she was to become a grandmother. Unfortunately, the Aman’s car broke down about 50 miles outside of Omaha and the couple had to postpone their trip.

William could not take more time off so soon after his employment, so, Dorothy took the train by herself and stayed to visit with her mother for 10 days. Obviously Dorothy and her mother must have had a wonderful time discussing the exciting details and preparations needed for the baby’s arrival in early Fall. As Dorothy boarded the Advance Flyer for her trip home to Nebraska, she must have been in a great frame of mind picturing future visits to Cleveland with her husband and baby.”

After reading the story, I turned to page 74 and reflected again upon the tragic result of Dorothy’s train ride. Since Dorothy was traveling to Omaha, she was certainly seated on either the fourth or fifth car from the end of the Advance Flyer. Those cars were named the Silver Cloud and the Silver Gleam respectively. No one seated in those two cars lost their lives when the Exposition Flyer rammed into the back of the Advance Flyer. So, it is certain that Dorothy decided early on to leave her seat and go to eat in the Silver Inn dining car, the third car from the end of the train. It was in that car that Dorothy lost her life.

My book goes on to reiterate that the twenty-two year old Mrs. Dorothy Aman was in the early stages of pregnancy. Some readers of my book would go no further than to describe what was in Mrs. Aman’s womb that day as an undeveloped fetus. This author can’t help now but to speculate what the life of that unborn child would be like today had it survived to adulthood – for the age of Mrs. Aman’s child and the age of this 67 year old author would be identical!

So, I guess, a case could be made that there were 46, not 45, who lost their life that day. You will only find 45 names inscribed on the plaque by the sculpture at the Naperville train station. But, today I am saying a prayer in remembrance of this forgotten 46th victim of the Naperville train wreck. I hope that you might decide to do the same.

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Sensational Naperville Train Memorial Dedication!


Posted by cspinner - May 6th, 2014

Hi Everyone!

Sorry that I did not immediately place a blog on this site concerning the sensational weekend we had for the Naperville Train Memorial.

Since we returned from Naperville, my wife and I have been about as sick as we’d ever want to be!  We are so thankful that this condition came when it did, and not during the dedication weekend!

We brought up our trip to Naperville into two days.  The first day we stopped for wonderful lunch with our good friend, Doug Dieken.  Doug is a former player for the Cleveland Browns and has been doing the color commentary for the Browns radio broadcasts for the past 26 years.  He also wrote the Foreword for A Book of Prayers: To the Heavens from the Stars.

The second day we stopped at our favorite stomping grounds, the University of Notre Dame.  I was delighted to sign a few books and meet the new personnel heading the Bookstore staff.  I told my wife as we pulled into Naperville that I wanted to see the Naperville train sculpture before we checked into our hotel.  It happened to be a wise choice because we came just as the crew had finished the pour for the foundation of the memorial.  I saw Paul Kuhn, Paul’s Dad, and a friend at the site.  We both recognized each other and hugged each other.  Paul said to me, “You realize that we are now forever linked together in our lives!”  The sculpture itself was covered, but Paul showed us pictures of the finished product from his iphone and then explained the process he went through to complete this task.  He started working 8 hour days, seven days a week.  He soon moved to ten hour days, then twelve hour days, and finally fifteen hour days.  During this time he lost 35 pounds but completed everything on time.  The sculpture of the three figures is composed of over four thousand railroad spikes that he fashioned to form even fingernails on his creations!

Thursday morning I had a 20 minute radio interview for the Dolly McCarthy Radio program.  At noon I spoke at the noon luncheon of Naperville’s Rotary Club.  I didn’t think I’d know anyone at the luncheon, but I was mistaken.  An old time friend from my high school days, Ron Ory, reintroduced himself to me.  So, did Jon Ripsky and Marty Walker who are members of the Memorial Committee who asked to be guests to hear me speak.  Jon Ripsky has a long history in Naperville.  His story bears repeating.  He is one of very few people who never finished high school, but who went on to earn two master’s degrees and became a captain in the Naperville Police Department.  The Navy straightened Jon out after he got kicked out of high school.  The Rotary Club luncheon was held in the beautiful restaurant that I remembered as Willowway Manor.

On Thursday afternoon Patrice and I were invited to the home of Dick and Mary Locher for a wonderful couple hours of delicious fruits and desserts as well as delightful conversation.  We learned again what we really knew all along…that Dick and Mary are wonderful people and Dick is a genius artist.  Dick designed two of Naperville’s most recent sculptures..Dick Tracy and Joe Naper.  Mary showed us a video of one of Dick’s latest works, Lincoln’s hat…which is now awarded to the winner of the annual Northwestern University – University of Illinois football game.

When we left the Lochers we met Al, Laurie, and Sara Siebert back at our hotel.  Al was the best man at our wedding and we both have been there for each other at important events over the years.  We went out to eat at Portifino’s on Ogden Avenue, one of our favorite, fun places to eat when we go back to Naperville.  I believe that we may have closed the place…again, a great, great time catching up.

I should say that when we came to our hotel, Martha the woman who takes care of the breakfasts, came up and hugged us both.  We have made good friends with Martha over the years that we have been coming to the Naperville Fairfield.  The Sieberts soon understood why and they also enjoyed talking with Martha during their stay.

Friday was another special day.  In the morning the Sieberts and the Spinners went to Saints Peter and Paul Parish Hall in Naperville which is just three blocks south of the train station.  There we met Mike Brummond who worked with me to arrange my talk I would be giving on Saturday morning.  The new parish hall is beautiful and Mike showed us where I would be speaking and how he had set things up.  He had all the technical equipment ready for my power point presentation.  He said he would have over two hundred chairs set up and would have a hospitality room with refreshments for the seventy relatives of the victims whom I was expecting to attend the presentation.  Mike had everything covered…even name tags for the relatives!

After our tour of the parish hall we showed the Sieberts the magnificent Saints Peter and Paul Church, next to the parish hall.  They were mesmerized by its beauty and took a lot of pictures.  From there we went down to the library to arrange things for my talk there that Friday evening.  Afterwards, Patrice sat on a park bench and I walked with the Sieberts along the beautiful Naperville Riverwalk all the way to the Naperville Centennial Beach where as kids we would swim just about every day during the summer.  I remember only one summer when we were forbidden by our parents from going to the beach.  That’s the summer when George and Mary Ann Rice died from polio and there was so much confusion and conjecture as to how the disease might spread.

After our walk along the River Walk, Al and I drove up to the train station so that we would be there at 1:05pm, the exact time when 68 years before the tragic Naperville train wreck occurred.  Not surprisingly there were about ten people there who also had the same idea!  Among these people were my uncles Joe and  Al Rechenmacher, and Joe’s daughter Claire.  Uncle Joe and his wife Esther flew in with Claire especially for the dedication.  It was great to see them!  Also at the sculpture were Jim Christen (my technical adviser for my book), the sculpture Paul Kuhn and several others from the committee. On our trip we also stopped at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery to visit our family gravesite.

While Al and I were at the train station, Patrice and Laurie and Sara were sitting  at Starbucks (the former Naperville Liquor Store once owned by our Dad and his brother Bill) where they met our former neighbors and longtime great friends, the Dixons.  Al and I joined them for lunch at Ted’s in downtown Naperville.  Debbie and Dennis, Scott, and Gramma Izzy joined the Sieberts and us for a rollicking time at a great restaurant.   Whenever we get together with the Dixons, it’s like we never left our old neighborhood.  Debbie and Dennis are both very close to retirement and looking forward to relocating their home base to Texas and then spending much time traveling throughout the U.S.

After our long lunch Al and I went to both Andersons Bookstore and Barnes and Nobles where I signed the books that they had on hand.  Then we joined up with the Sieberts and showed them the 5th Street Station that was once the Kroehler Furniture Factory where our Dad worked for 25 years.  Then we freshened up back at the hotel and then drove to the Nichols Library where I gave my second talk at the library that, for the past ten years, has been named the best library of any city over 100,00o in population.  It was another responsive crowd and Al, Laurie, and Sara were really helpful setting up and helping to sell copies of my book.

We topped the evening by another great meal, this time at the Brick which was within walking distance of the hotel.

Saturday morning would begin just an absolute dream day.  When we arrived at the parish hall, Mike had set up a hall full of chairs.  I never thought there would be enough people to fill that many chairs…but, as it turns out, they had to find more!  There was coffee, and bakery for the relatives of the victims and a separate room for these people to sit and share stories.  Our son Scott, his wife Elle, and our two precious grandsons Caleb and Joshua, were among the first to arrive.  They were amazed as well at the facility and the boys quickly volunteered to help set up and sell books with the Sieberts.  Relatives of the victims soon began arriving and before you know it I was called from the Hospitality Room because it was getting close to the 10am starting time.  We heard word that the 9:47am train from Quincy would be late, so we delayed the start time by ten minutes.  I had arranged with Annette Wehrli of Naperville’s Trolley Tours to pick up the people from the train station.  I wish I could have seen the faces of the Quincy party when they discovered their means of travel.  Annette was just fantastic.  After my talk she even drove these people to lunch and then back again for the dedication!

Since the pastor of SSPP was in Rome with the church choir for the canonization (the choir sang in St. Peters Basilica on the day of the canonization) and the associate pastor was at a college graduation for his niece, I arranged for Father Don Kocher to lead the opening prayer.  I have to email Father Don to ask for a copy of the prayer.  It was the best.  After I was introduced by Mike Brummond, I told the crowd that if I just left before my talk, the purpose, meaning, and closure to the event was already beautifully explained and underlined by Father Kocher.

My power point presentation went very well.  It was great to see so many people there.  Al and Sheila Spinner were there.  Sheila is really a trooper!  She looked great even though she had just finished months of chemotherapy.  Al and Sheila were there for both the talk and the dedication.  We really appreciated the efforts both of them made to attend.  It should be noted that they also were very helpful when I first unveiled the train book back in 2012.

After the talk I was amazed at the amount of books that I signed and, again, Patrice, the Sieberts, and Caleb and Joshua helped move things along.  After everything was done, we realized that there really wasn’t much time for us to go to lunch and then comfortably return for the dedication ceremonies at the train station so we drove three blocks North to the station where Ron Keller already had the Naperville Municipal Band playing a number of pieces including one from 1886 called “The C.B. and Q”.  Over 300 people would assemble for the dedication ceremonies.  After the band played the bagpipers played a turn…then the band played the National Anthem and the program, mc’ed by Brand Bobobsky began.  It was great to have Scott, Elle, and the boys, the Sieberts, the Dixons (Scott brought his girlfriend Stephanie), Uncle Al, Uncle Joe, Aunt Es, Claire, Donna Abrogast Campbell, Al and Sheila Spinner, and Dick and Mary Locher in attendance.  The fourteen member memorial committee became like a fraternity in just the short time over the weekend.  I was honored to be able to be able to give one of the speeches.  Caleb and Joshua had gone to lunch with their parents and came back just in time for the dedication.  They were in back of the crowd, but when their Papa spoke I was gratified to see the boys move up to hear me speak.  It was a simply gorgeous day.  Al Siebert (always the mathematician) had estimated from the train schedule that my talk would be interrupted by a passing train.  Fortunately for me, just before the event the order of speakers was changed and I somehow avoided the several trains that passed by.  (I should mention that the Sieberts were so mesmerized by the trains that, after the ceremonies they took a train into Chicago for the rest of the day!).  It was so gratifying to meet and talk with so many people, especially the relatives of the victims who were being finally provided with some closure to their tragedy.  Also, these relatives were grateful that their grandchildren and grand nieces and nephews were now able to know about the tragedy that so affected their families.

After Paul Kuhn gave his talk, he, his father Tom, and Mayor Pradel unveiled the magnificent sculptures to a thunderous applause.

People didn’t want to leave and gathered long after the ceremonies had ended.  We finally had to leave for the private reception that was given at Bella Familia restaurant at the 5th Street Station.

Patrice and I were again one of the last to leave and were quite bushed when we returned to our hotel.  We just spent the rest of the evening resting and reminiscing over how well the events of the last few days had gone.

On Sunday Patrice and I went to mass at Saint Peter and Paul Parish Hall.  Then we went to Bianco’s Restaurant for a brunch compliments of Uncle Joe and Aunt Esther.  Twenty two of our relatives were there.  I sat next to Mike and Don Rechenmacher and their wives Dianne and Linda and also Uncle Joe.  Patrice was with Sue and Judy Rechenmacher, Dianne, and Claire.  But, most of the time, stories were told across the whole room and it’s unbelievable how joyful a gathering of our relatives can be.  Between Uncle Joe and Mike I think we all learned stories of Uncle Dick that many of us hadn’t known.  Of course, Uncle Al provided his share of stories as well.  Thanks to Uncle Joe and Aunt Esther for providing this wonderful gathering!

Our final event of the weekend also was very special.  The committee knew that Patrice and I would be leaving Naperville on Monday; so the email was sent around for the committee to meet at the sculpture at 4pm on Sunday for a group picture of the Memorial Committee.  As I said earlier, this group, for me, had become a close community over such a short period of a weekend.  Paul Hinterlong should receive large commendations for heading this committee and I so enjoyed getting to know him and working with him.  Paul confided in me  “Chuck thanks for staying on my ass about this project” and he told Paul Kuhn “thanks for working your ass off to complete this magnificent sculpture on time!”  I was proud to stand next to Jon Ripsky and Ron Keller in the pictures, although I would have been equally as proud standing with Jim Christen, Bope Schader, Paul Kuhn, Jack Shiffler, of the other members of the committee.

Well, that’s about it.  On Monday morning Patrice and I drove six hours to Mechanicsburg, Ohio and in the next two days we got our bank bridge loan and then signed the closing papers on the house we bought to be closer to our son’s family.  It is very, very difficult to leave the beauty of a lakefront home; but, the decision is made easier by how happy and excited our son’s family is about our move.

We drove home on Wednesday and that’s when we both started to get as sick as we have been in a long, long time.  Again, we are just so thankful that this condition didn’t come during the dedication weekend.  Even this writing has taken a lot out of me, so I will sign off.  The statue at the Naperville train station will be there to always remind us of both a tragic event and a triumphant rescue efforts by so many.

Take care,

Chuck

 

 

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The Dolly McCarthy Show


Posted by cspinner - April 21st, 2014

Hi Everyone,

It’s finally here!  This weekend will be the dedication of the memorial dedicated to both the train wreck of April 25, 1946 and to the heroic rescue efforts associated with the crash.  This Thursday at 9:30am you might want to listen in to The Dolly McCarthy Show where I will be Dolly’s guest.  Go to www.blogtalkradio.com/TheDollyMcCarthyShow.  Let me know what you think.

If you make it to any of my talks and/or to the dedication please come and greet me and let me know you heard about the events through my blog.

Take care,

Chuck

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Here’s the agenda for Dedication Weekend!


Posted by cspinner - March 4th, 2014

Hi Everyone!

The Naperville, Illinois train memorial dedication weekend is less than two months away and plans are being finalized for what should be a fantastic weekend of commemorations!

Friday evening, April 25th, at 7pm I will be giving a talk and having a book signing at Naperville’s Nichols Library located at 200 West Jefferson Avenue in Naperville.  Friday marks the 68th anniversary of the actual date of the train wreck.

Saturday morning at 10am I will be giving a power point presentation on the train wreck at Saints Peter and Paul Parish Hall located at 36 North Ellsworth Street in Naperville.  A number of friends and family of the crash victims will be attending this presentation.  Copies of  The Tragedy at the Loomis Street Crossing will again be available at this event.

Saturday afternoon at 1pm the memorial sculpture, created by Paul Kuhn and sponsored by the Century Walk Foundation will be dedicated at the Naperville train station.  The station is located just three blocks north of Saints Peter and Paul Parish Hall.  The Memorial is sensational.  It is fashioned by hundreds of railroad ties that Kuhn has melted, polished, or bent to form three human life sized figures representing the types of persons present at the crash site.  There will also be an eight minute audio segment that viewers can listen to explaining the wreck and the purpose of the memorial.

If you attend the ceremonies, please come up to see me and let me know you follow my blog entries.   See you on the 26th!

Take care,

Chuck

 

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Excitement is mounting for Naperville Train Memorial Dedication


Posted by cspinner - January 15th, 2014

Hi Everyone,

Yes, it’s only January 15th and already excitement is mounting for the Naperville, Illinois Train Memorial that will be dedicated on Saturday, April 26th, 2014 at 1:05pm at the Naperville Train Station.

I have received word from a number of the friends and families of the victims of the 1946 train wreck who will be making every effort to travel to the dedication ceremonies.  A California resident who is the nephew of one of the victims  already has his plane and hotel reservations!  And I have heard from people from Keokuk, Iowa, Burlington, Iowa, Quincy, Illinois, and DesPlaines, Illinois all of whom are trying to make arrangements to attend.  All of these people had friends and family who were killed or who were injured while traveling in the same car, #1376, the last car of the Advance Flyer that was crashed into by the Exposition Flyer.  The dedication will present to these families an opportunity to share stories of their loved ones and bring closure to many whose lives were affected by the crash.

Also, members of the memorial committee are giving talks to each of the local schools as to the tragic event, the heroic rescue efforts, and the importance of recording and preserving local history.  Each of the schools will be given a copy of  The Tragedy at the Loomis Street Crossing for their libraries.

Mark your calendar, April 26th, and come to the dedication.  You won’t be disappointed.

Take care,

Chuck

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Train is longest chocolate structure in the world!


Posted by cspinner - January 7th, 2014

A train made entirely of chocolate has set a new Guinness World Record as the longest chocolate structure in the world.  The sculpture, on display at the busy Brussels South station, is 112 feet long and weighs over 2,755 pounds.
Maltese chocolate artist Andrew Farrugia spent over 700 hours constructing the masterpiece.
He said he came up with the idea of the train last year after visiting the Belgian Chocolate Festival in Bruge: “I had this idea for a while, and I said what do you think if we do this realization of a long chocolate train, you know, because a train you can make it as long as you like.
“Actually it was going to be much smaller than it was, but I kept on adding another wagon, and another wagon, and it’s the size it is today.”
Farrugia had previously built a smaller train of 12 feet for an event in Malta, which he said gave him insight about how to build this much larger version.
There are two parts to the train. The first seven wagons are modeled after the new Belgian trains, and the rest of the train is modeled after the old train wagons, including a wagon with a bar and restaurant on board.
Three days before the event, Farrugia transported the chocolate train by truck in 25 wooden boxes from Malta to Belgium.
Farrugia said the train incurred considerable damage during the drive and several of the train’s walls had completely collapsed. Luckily, with hard work and little sleep, the chocolate artist was able to fix all the damages before presenting the train to the public on Monday.
After measuring the length of the train and confirming no material other than chocolate was used, officials from the Guinness Book of World Records added a new category to the collection of world records and declared the train to be the longest chocolate structure in the world.
All I can say is WOW!  Whether or not you like chocolate, this is amazing.
\\2B59387F-4007-4D68-BB63-87BCEAF188A0
\F25AE49D-58BC-488E-BEFF-B968735FE159
\2140E9AD-DF3B-4580-89BE-95A0B2933B93
\E5AEB95F-055A-41C3-BA06-456C7BE651B0
\BDEE5F4D-3D60-4C51-95F8-D80E6EB8D5C0
\4C8AC836-A6A5-4735-A457-133F07C558DF
BBCF6CE6-28EC-41B2-B7FF-ECFA5DD4840C

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Daily Herald article on Naperville train memorial


Posted by cspinner - January 6th, 2014

Article printed December 28, 2014 in Daily Herald

1946 train crash to be memorialized in Naperville sculpture

The 45 people who died almost seven decades ago in a tragic train crash in Naperville will be memorialized next spring as a public art group unveils a sculpture by a railroad subcontractor and a native of the city.

“Tragedy to Triumph” is the name of the sculpture Paul Kuhn of Naperville is creating to honor victims of the crash that shook the community on April 25, 1946, when two trains collided just east of the railroad station.

For all of the pain it caused, the crash ultimately did much to improve railroad safety, leading the Burlington Railroad to separate departure times of trains traveling on the same track by at least 15 minutes and prompting signal systems nationwide to add a flashing yellow light to give engineers more time to stop.

But the memorial Kuhn is creating will be the first to pay respects to the lives lost in the crash.

“People coming together to help each other is really what I want to focus on,” Kuhn said about his sculpture, which will be formed entirely from recycled railroad parts — melted rail spikes and old train wheels, things he has obtained through his work as a subcontractor for a railroad company.

Naperville Century Walk, a nonprofit organization that has placed 44 pieces of art in public locations since 1996, is commissioning Kuhn’s $60,000 sculpture in an effort Chairman Brand Bobosky said was motivated by a book about the crash.

“We think it’s right to remember this event and the people who perished,” Bobosky said.

The book “The Tragedy at the Loomis Street Crossing,” was released last year, the product of five years of research on the crash victims, survivors, stories and circumstances by Chuck Spinner, a Naperville native who was born shortly after the 1946 accident. Spinner, who now lives in New York, said he felt compelled to research and write about the crash’s history once he retired from a teaching career.

“These were people whose lives were taken much too early,” Spinner said of the 45 passengers killed when one westbound train leaving Chicago rear-ended another that had stopped because of concerns with its undercarriage. “It’s nice to commemorate their lives and what they had achieved and sort of the spirit they brought to others.”

Bobosky said Spinner’s local presentations about the book last year brought the crash back to the minds of several prominent residents, who then began meeting as the “train wreck committee” to develop plans for a memorial.

The committee accepted Kuhn’s proposal in November and he now is working full-time on completing it before the scheduled dedication date of April 26, 2014 — one day after the 68th anniversary of the crash. The weekend scheduling should allow more people from out of town, such as relatives of those who died in the crash, to attend the ceremony, Bobosky said.

“Tragedy to Triumph” will be located at the far eastern edge of the platform at what now is Naperville’s downtown Metra station at 101 E. 4th Ave. It will show two men on either side of a woman injured in the crash, helping her walk with her arms over their shoulders in the “human crutch” position. Train wheels will be scattered around the three human figures and a plaque will list the names of those who died.

One of the men to be portrayed in the sculpture represents the Naperville residents who helped respond to the emergency, which took place in a town with no hospital and only a volunteer fire department.

Bobosky said the various functions of the “sleepy little town” of nearly 5,000 people came together that day, with workers at the town’s biggest employer, Kroehler Manufacturing Co., leading the way and North Central College students stepping in to assist.

The other man in the sculpture will represent members of the military, since several crash survivors were enlisted soldiers returning home from deployment.

Kuhn, whose family has lived in Naperville for generations, said several relatives remember the crash and were among those who pitched in to respond. As he was developing his proposal for the sculpture, he sought their recollections and tried to “put myself into the project.”

“I really had to sit down and think about what happened and how this affected the community,” Kuhn said.

Talking with his relatives helped, he said.

“The whole concept was to show the community coming together and helping out during such a traumatic event.”

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Chicago Tribune gives front page coverage to train memorial dedication


Posted by cspinner - December 2nd, 2013

Hi Everyone,

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday.  Lots of exciting news!  You can find an article  (December 1, 2013) about the Memorial to the Victims of the Naperville Train Wreck on the on-line version of the Chicago Tribune.  The story will appear in print form in the Chicago Tribune in Thursday edition of the paper.  The story gives a picture representation of what the completed memorial will look like.  The dedication will take place on Saturday, April 26th, 2014)  the day after the anniversary of the actual crash date.  The reason for the adjustment in the date is that the memorial committee predicted correctly that there will be many more parking places available on a Saturday.  Also, they felt that many more people from out of town from the families of the victims will be able to make a weekend ceremony.  I will give you more details on the dedication ceremonies as I receive them.  Please make plans to attend the April 26th celebration.   And think about buying a book now as a Christmas present.  I can inscribe and autograph the book in Naperville in April.

Take care,

Chuck

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Dedication of Naperville Train Memorial to be held April 25, 2014!!


Posted by cspinner - October 20th, 2013

Hi Everyone,

I just got word from the chairman of the Naperville Train Memorial that the dedication of the memorial is scheduled for April 25th, 2014.  That date is the 68th anniversary of the Naperville train crash that took the lives of 45 people.  I will now set about getting word out to the families of the victims involved in the tragedy.  These families have indicated that they planned to travel to Naperville to be part of any memorial dedication that might take place.  Mark your calendars for next April 25th and try to attend.  It should be quite a ceremony!   I am so thankful for the efforts of all the members of the committee and am thankful that, even though I couldn’t attend any meetings, they made me a committee member.

Take care,

Chuck

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