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Duchnowski: Have you seen the model battleships?

I don’t know who made the model ships floating in the retention ponds in the shopping center near Walmart, 2300 Sycamore Road, DeKalb.

Whoever you (or they) are: You are awesome.

Everyone reading this column is now pausing to applaud your creativity. And stealth. I’m sure of it.

These little pieces of public art survived snowfall, ice and heavy rain. They still are floating carelessly, sharing the space with a little litter and a lot of geese. Some in the newsroom tease me for the affection I feel for these painted pieces of scrap wood and rusty nails, but I think of them as public art.

I mentioned them in this column Feb. 20, hoping a reader would either 1. turn in the creator(s), or 2. claim the public acclaim that’s coming to him/her/them. I even pondered how I might verify that someone claiming to be a creator actually made something as cool and spontaneous as these model battleships.


Just an email from a reader suggesting I check out the shark fins in the retention pond closest to Party City, 2350 Sycamore Road. Indeed. They are there.

But named or unnamed, whoever you are, whereever you are, I thank you for making our community a little more fun. If you ever decide to “sink” the battleships in mock war and real play, please invite me along.

Only five times in your life: Speaking of happy things, John Ward of Sycamore got a little off topic during an interview last week.

He described how he and about 50 other farmers helped Glenn Bolander harvest 380 acres of corn in October 2011.

Bolander’s wife, Carol, was battling breast cancer, so Jim Jones of Sandwich organized the farming community so they could complete work that would have taken Bolander weeks alone within a couple of hours.

There were so many farmers and equipment that DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputies helped control traffic while farming equipment moved around Route 23 between Genoa and Sycamore.

As Ward described it, he was really touched to be a part of something so big and kind. He figured we all get five or six really good “feel good” times in our lives, and that was one of his.

What’s one of yours? Shoot an email to me at describing a time when you felt you were part of something pretty special. I might just include them in my next column.

• Jillian Duchnowski is the Daily Chronicle’s news editor. Reach her at 815-756-4841, ext. 2221, or email

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