The Community

Here's Boomer and Sunny at another wedding.

Boomer's father had passed away about a decade earlier, and Boomer's mom was getting remarried.

Just after they started breaking ground on the pole barn, Boomer saw that a cell phone company was building a 150-foot tower two lots to the west. The neighbors were upset, because this would immediately reduce their property values, plus expose them to high levels of microwave radiation whose effects on human health are suspect.

Illinois law permitted an Illinois public utility to site a tower in this zoning, but Boomer learned that this particular cell phone company had applied to become an Illinois public utility, but its application was still in process. So they were not yet an Illinois public utility. He and the neighbors were able to stop the construction just before they were about to pour the concrete for the footing for the tower.

The cell phone company had to rip out everything. The neighbors were very relieved.

A gray kitten appeared on the property one day when Boomer was building the barn. He had seen a gray kitten around the storage locker in Crystal Lake where they were storing some belongings while working on the homestead. The kitten had jumped into the van several times, and Boomer had chased it out.

But apparently the kitten managed to hide in the van when he wasn't looking and ended up on the property. So they started feeding it.

The cat never grew very large. It acted more like a dog. She would come when called, and would follow Boomer around while he worked on the property.

Boomer's wearing two hats and double gloves in this photo. The cat lives in the barn and is unperturbed.

Fire is always a major threat to property. The neighbors would burn trash under any weather conditions in an old metal drum right next to Boomer and Sunny's property. One day, when the winds gusted up to 40 mph, Boomer looked out the window and saw the field of reed canary grass in flames and headed towards their house and barn. He called the fire department and ran outside with a broom, sweeping the leading edge of the fire back until the fire department arrived and put it out.

A couple of years later, a major brush fire started about a mile away on the other side of the house and was headed in their direction. He spent half a day with a broom as multiple fire crews and local residents were needed to put it out.

Boomer served on the Board of Directors of the McHenry County Peace and Friendship Festival.

This photo was taken during the annual McHenry County Peace Festival. Boomer is seated just right of center playing bongos during a Latin tune.